PAROLE HEARING

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LESLIE
VAN HOUTEN

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SUBSEQUENT PAROLE CONSIDERATION HEARING
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS

In the matter of the Life Term Parole Consideration Hearing of:
LESLIE VAN HOUTEN
CDC Number: W-13378

CALIFORNIA INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN
CORONA, CALIFORNIA
JUNE 5, 2013
9:00 A.M.

PANEL PRESENT:
JEFFREY FERGUSON, Presiding Commissioner
AMARIK SINGH, Commissioner

OTHERS PRESENT:
LESLIE VAN HOUTEN, Inmate
MICHAEL SATRIS, Attorney for Inmate
PATRICK SEQUEIRA, Deputy District Attorney
JOHN LAMONTAGNE, Victim's Next-of-Kin
LESLIE LAMONTAGNE, Victim's Next-of-Kin
ANTHONY DIMARIA, Victim's Next-of-Kin and Representative
LOU SMALDINO, Victim's Next-of-Kin and Representative
TODD SPITZER, Victim's Next-of-Kin Representative
DEBRA TATE, Victim's Next-of-Kin and Representative
JAMIE LUNA, Victim Witness Representative
BARBARA HOYT, Witness
RICHARD MONTES, Public Information Officer, CIW
NICK UT, Photographer, Associated Press
LINDA DEUTSCH, Reporter, Associated Press
JILL BRACKEN, Observer
CORRECTIONAL OFFICER(S), Unidentified

PROCEEDINGS

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Good morning. The time is nine a.m. This is a Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing for Leslie Van Houten, CDC number W-13378. Today's date is 6/5/13, and we're located at the California Institution for Women. The inmate was received on 8/18/78 from Los Angeles County. The controlling offense for which the inmate has been committed is Murder First, case A853156, count one (inaudible.) Additional counts, Murder First, 187 PC, and that's count seven. Also conspiracy to commit murder, 182.1 of the Penal Code, and that's count eight. The inmate has a minimum eligible parole date of 8/17/78. This hearing is being recorded. For the purpose of voice identification, each of us will state our first and last name, spelling our last name. And when it is the inmate's turn, after spelling your last name, give us your CDC number. I will start and I'll go to my left. And what I'm going to do is we're going to go around the table first. And then we're going to have to go around the room. So we'll go all the way around the table. And then we'll start with the people in the back row. And then we'll snake around and get the people in the center row, and make sure that everybody actually gets their name on the record. And I've got microphones on both sides. So if you could -- if you're in the back row, I'd ask that you move up closer to the microphone and speak loudly, giving your name and spelling it into the microphone as much as possible. And Commissioner Singh will be monitoring to make sure that everybody is heard on the tape so that the transcriber can record this accurately. Okay. I will start and then go to my left. Jeffrey Ferguson, F-E-R-G-U-S-O-N, Commissioner.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Amarik Singh, S-I-N-G-H, Commissioner.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Patrick Sequeira, S-E-Q-U-E-I-R-A, Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Michael Satris, S-A-T-R-I-S, and I'm the attorney for Ms. Van Houten.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Leslie Van Houten, V-A-N, H-O-U-T-E-N, W-13378.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We'll go around the back. And the gentleman with the camera in his hand can (inaudible.)

MR. UT: All right. I'm Nick Ut, AP photographer.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you spell your last name?

MR. UT: N-I-C-K, U-T.

MR. SPITZER: Good morning, Commissioners. Todd Spitzer, attorney at law. I'm the victim's representative for Lou Smaldino.

MR. SMALDINO: Lou Smaldino, S-M-A-L-D-I-N-O, representative for the La Bianca family.

MS. HOYT: Barbara Hoyt, H-O-Y-T.

MR. LAMONTAGNE: John LaMontagne, L-A-M-O-N-T-A-G-N-E. My grandfather was Leno La Bianca.

MS. LAMONTAGNE: Leslie LaMontagne, L-A-M-O-N-T-A-G-N-E, Tony LaMontagne's wife.

MR. DIMARIA: Anthony DiMaria, D-I-M-A-R-I-A, representative for John DiSantis, nephew of Leno La Bianca.

MS. TATE: Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, victim's spokesperson for Angela Smaldino.

MS. LUNA: Jamie Luna, L-U-N-A, Victim Witness Representative.

MS. DEUTSCH: Linda Deutsch, D-E-U-T-S-C-H, reporter with Associated Press.

MR. MONTES: Richard Montes, M-O-N-T-E-S, Public Information Officer, California Institution for Women.

MS. BRACKEN: Jill Bracken, B-R-A-C-K-E-N, observer.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And let the record reflect that we do have a correctional officer present in the room. And she's here for security purposes, and she won't take part in the hearing today. Now I have reviewed the 1073 and the DEC System. And I saw that the 1073 reflected that you have no disabilities aside from a need for glasses, your glasses. Is that accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And are you aware that if you have any kind of disability that would cause you difficulty participating in this hearing today, we would provide you with an accommodation or some kind of assistance so that you could participate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And if we fail to do so, then you have a recourse. And that is to file a grievance. Are you aware of that also?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And with those things in mind, do you need help with any disabilities for this hearing today?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I don't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And I note that you are wearing your glasses.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And are they -- is the prescription correct, and are they working okay for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, they are.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So they're for reading and distance both? hear?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Can you

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I can.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you hear me okay right now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I can.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you walk?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I can walk.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I note I did see you walk in here today. And can you read?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I can read.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And I notice that -- I notice you have college degrees. Is that accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Do you have a learning disability? Have you ever been diagnosed with such?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Have you ever been part of the mental health system at CDCR including CCCMS or EOP?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Are you taking medications for any reason at this time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Am I taking them now?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Are you taking medications --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- on a regular basis --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- daily or anything?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Do you suffer from any disability that would prevent you from participating in today's hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We've had the opportunity to review your Central File. We've also had an opportunity to look at your transcripts. And they're before us. And we'll be looking at those throughout the hearing possibly. You'll be given the opportunity to correct or clarify the record as we proceed. Nothing that happens here today will change the findings of the court. The Panel is not here to retry your case. And we do accept as true the findings of the court. The Panel is here for the sole purpose of determining your suitability for parole. Mr. Satris, did you discuss with your client her rights regarding this hearing and the format that we use to conduct these hearings?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. And she's been through many hearings before. And we're fully prepared to proceed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And Ms. Van Houten, have you had the opportunity to meet with your attorney and to discuss the hearing procedure and your rights?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I note that you signed BPT 1002 on 1/19/13, and that acknowledges that you were given a copy of your rights for Lifer Hearings and that your correctional counselor did go over them with you. Now Ms. Van Houten, did your attorney review the procedure of how the BPH conducts Lifer Suitability Hearings, your rights and the factors that we consider in order to determine if you're suitable for parole?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Do you have any questions about your rights, the format of the hearing or the factors that we will consider?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I don't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, have your client's rights been met to this point?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No. They have not in several respects.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But we're still prepared to proceed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. I'll give you the opportunity to address those in preliminary objections. If you have preliminary objections, please put them on the record at this time.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No objections per se in the sense of I'm not asking the Board to do anything. But we were denied certain requests. And I could put them on the record now.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now would be the time.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right. We did seek to have co-counsel to assist in the presentation of this case because it is such a long one and complicated one. That's in our first submission, Exhibit J, pages 201 to 203, where that was denied. It said only one counsel could appear on behalf of Ms. Van Houten. We did also request to present a video clip under letter of May 10th, 2013. That's in our second submission, Exhibit F, I believe. And that was denied as well. And we've just provided it in the materials. There's a transcript though of that video presentation which is Exhibit E in the second submission. I was also denied the ability to bring a laptop into the case. Because of the massive material, I thought it might assist in facilitating my representation. And that's basically it. For the record, I did request and it was granted that the Board consider Ms. Van Houten for parole in the event that she gets a parole date that that one be calculated under the old ISL as the new one. And I presume the Board is prepared to do that. I kind of confirmed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We are prepared in the event that that's necessary.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And there's, I guess, what used to be called PBR, Parole Board Rules, that guide that calculation. Do you have them?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I have -- I have a print-out of those (inaudible.)

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. I don't, actually. But I think I pretty much know what they say. And you said in terms of the review of the Central File, which I have to confess I wasn't able to complete -- it's six thousand and some pages or whatever. But I was trying to look at the transcripts. And I was advised they weren't available, that they were all included in the Central File on the -- I don't think so though.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: They're not. They're kept separate from the --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- Central File. But they're in records at this -- at this institution.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right. That's what I thought. But I was advised differently. And so I didn't have an opportunity. But I have the transcripts otherwise, except the 1979 one. Did you have an opportunity to review that one?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I did not.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No. I had difficulty in obtaining that. I guess it's on microfiche. And the microfiche machine was broken. I did bring just a few excerpts of that because I got it in an unmanageable way to copy really. So I will maybe -- if the Board is interested, I will be making some reference to that transcript. And I'll leave at least the pertinent pages of it before we leave. And that's all I have to say preliminary.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And for the -- you put all of those concerns of yours on the record. However, they're not in the form of objections. You certainly do not expect a remedy here today, are you?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No. That's what I'm asking.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You've already been denied. Okay. Very good. Well, your concerns have been put on the record at this time. There are no other objections at this point in the hearing?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And I will acknowledge that prior to the hearing today, we have had an opportunity to review the confidential portion of the Central File. It is not likely that we'll be relying on information contained in the confidential portion of the file. If that changes at any point during the hearing, we'll notify counsel at that time before we make that consideration.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: We would request that the Board consider at least one item in the confidential file that was placed in there last week. I don't know if you're -- are you familiar with it?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I not only can't really say, I can't discuss anything more than -- more than the dates of the submission.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: My colleague is now looking at the confidential file on her computer in front of her. And the most recent date on there, is that what you're saying?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: May 31st, I think.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: No. I have March 11, 2013.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Because I did review the Central File, and it was a -- and they confirmed that it was material that was placed in her Central File, I think May 31st or June 1st.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: There is a second page. And there is May 31st, 2013.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And so we would request that that be considered by the Board. I think it's relevant.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We'll make that determination during either our recess or in deliberations. And then we'll notify --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- whatever (inaudible) at the time that we (inaudible.)

ATTORNEY SATRIS: We are not requesting that the Board go into any confidential session to discuss it with us. We rest with what's stated in the -- in the memo which Ms. Van Houten --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Even if it's part of our consideration, we are required to make a confidential tape --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Oh, really?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- clear the whole room and make a confidential tape --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- and discuss what we considered and the relevance.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Fair enough.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: If we do, we'll make a confidential tape. We're prepared to do that. But we haven't even decided if we're going to consider it yet without knowing what it is.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And Mr. Satris, will your client be speaking today regarding all matters?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: She will.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you give at this hearing will be the truth and nothing but the truth?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. I will incorporate by reference the facts of the commitment offense as found in the Appellate Decision filed 12/15/80 on pages 3 and 4, and the Appellate Decision filed 3/1/2004 on pages 5 and 8. I will incorporate the prisoner's version of the crime from the 2013 Subsequent Risk Assessment, pages 5 and 6. I'll incorporate prior criminality by reference to the CI&I rap sheet that we reviewed in the Central File. Now Ms. Van Houten, we'll start the hearing off by talking about your social history. Those are the things that have happened in your life prior to you coming to prison. They'll include your childhood, your education, jobs you've had, relationships that you've been in. They'll also include things like substance abuse history, past criminality. We'll also discuss the commitment offense. We'll discuss not only the details of the offense, but more importantly, your understanding as to why things occurred. Things like insight and remorse will also be discussed during that portion. And once we've asked all the questions that we have regarding the things that happened before you came to prison, I'll turn things over to Commissioner Singh. And what she's going to talk to you about are your post-conviction factors. Those are the things that happened since you've been in prison, all of your accomplishments. We'll discuss your disciplinary history, if any. And then we'll also discuss the Risk Assessments prepared by psychologists for use at this hearing today. And we'll have a number of questions of you regarding those things as well. And once all those questions have been answered, she'll turn things back over to me, and I will discuss with you plans for parole. We'll go in chronological order. We'll talk about your life before prison, then your life in prison, and finally your life as you hope for it after prison so we can learn who you were and we can compare that with who you are now. Do your understand?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Why don't you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself? There's a -- there's a mountain of prior transcripts in here in front of us and your social history is recorded in there. But this Panel has not met you yet. So this is an opportunity for you to tell us a little bit about your life before you came to prison. Were you raised in a two-parent household with both mother and father at home?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Until the age of 14.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What happened at age 14?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My father left. And up until that time, I had been a pretty content and happy girl. And his leaving changed my life in a big way.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you maintain a relationship with your father even after he left?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He would come on the weekends and pick us up. And the structure of the family being disturbed caused me to feel abandoned by Dad. And I blamed my mother. So my relationship with my parents took on a different dimension. And I began to look for kids in the school that also were single parents and changed what I had been doing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you have brothers and sisters?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I have two younger siblings, a brother and a sister, and an older brother. alive?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Are they still

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, they are.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you maintain relationships with them until day?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how did school go for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: School was good for me until my sophomore year. And when my personal priorities changed, my grades began to go down. But I maintained attendance. I graduated high school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. How old were you when you graduated high school?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Seventeen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what did you do after high school? Did you go on to college or get a job?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: What I did was, I was hoping that I could become part of the Self-Realization Fellowship. I had -- prior to that, I had been involved in hallucinogens and marijuana. And so I decided that I wanted to try to find in those days what was called like nirvana, an inner peace, by joining Yoga Grenunciate's (phonetic) Ashram. So they suggested that they could use secretaries. And so I attended a year of business school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you were a substance abuser as a teenager. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what did your substance begin -- that use begin with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Marijuana.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: When did that start?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Right about 15, 15-1/2.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you use stronger drugs as well?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I moved on to hallucinogens.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You don't consider marijuana a hallucinogen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It is. But I think LSD is stronger. I just --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It sure is.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you moved up to LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what else?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mescaline, mushrooms, something called DMT. I took some Benzedrine.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Why did you -- why did you use these kinds of drugs?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was curious when I was 15. And so I smoked my first joint. And then after I did that, I fell in love with it and began to change my lifestyle.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What did you like about the effects of the drugs?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It took me away from who I was at that moment.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what was wrong with who you were?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt that I was out of place. I didn't know where I fit in in the community. For my middle school years and my early high school years, I was part of a very socially involved crowd. And once my family separated and the structure of it changed, I looked for a place where I felt more comfortable.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And when you were using hallucinogens, did your behaviors change at all?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I became more irresponsible. Yes. They did change. I became more self-centered. I started spending time with older kids.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you didn't like who you were. Did you, in your family, suffer any abuses like physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Certainly not physical or sexual abuse, but -- I'm trying to find the words. That when our family -- our family had been very involved in our community. And when my dad left, who not just we were as a family, but who I was, there was -- Mom was pretty upset and hurt Dad left. And he had told me before he told her. So there was tension in the relationship between my mother and I. And I loved my dad very dearly, and I felt he had abandoned me. So I started to look for a place to feel comfortable. And I sought out a young man that I was attracted to and began to create what I felt for myself was a permanence in a relationship with him, even though we were quite young.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And I believe I read in the file there was a pregnancy.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I ran away from home in the summer between my junior and senior year to San Francisco with Bobby Mackie, my boyfriend. And I came back. And in the fall, I realized I was pregnant. And that also was a very, very hard time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: How old were you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was 17. I told my mother and my father. And Bobby was there. When I first told Bobby, he basically said, you know, what are you going to do about it, which meant that I felt that I was on my own with the pregnancy. I had envisioned something else, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what did you do about it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I told my mom and dad. And my mother cut me off, and my dad was not knowing what to do that day. And then as time went on, my mother became adamant that I have an abortion. And I didn't want one. I wanted to have the baby. I wanted to start my own family. And it became very tense and distant and cold between us. My father had said that he would let me live at his house with Bobby. And my mother found that unacceptable too. And she was the stronger person. And ultimately, after a lot of conflict, I surrendered to her desire and I had an illegal abortion in my bedroom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Well, you had teenage drug abuse and you ran away from home and had other antisocial issues in your life. Did your brother and sister, did they follow that same path?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Why do you suppose you were -- that you turned out differently?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I think I did because I kept looking for where I fit in and belonged. Once I started drugs, to tell you the truth, I'm not even that clear on how my sister and brother were doing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did they become drug abusers?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: After the murders and I was arrested, my brother had trouble. And my sister did. But when I was at home -- they're four and five years younger than I was, so they were like ten and 11. But they managed to get their lives together and continue living and have good lives now. But certainly, they reacted to what happened when I committed the murders.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. So you graduate high school at 17. You took a year of business training. Did you get a job at any point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you ever have a job?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: After business school, what did you do with your time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: About halfway -- about near the end of business school, I got in touch again with my old friends from Pasadena. And I began to use drugs again. And when I left business school, I went to Victorville with some of my friends. And from there, I ended up in San Francisco again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: The whole time you were in Victorville and San Francisco, you were abusing hallucinogens?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What about alcohol? Did you ever abuse that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not too much, just a little bit.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And no depressants or stimulants?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Stimulants.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Like which kinds?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In the beginning, it was Benzedrine. And then when I got reconnected with my Pasadena acquaintances, a little bit of methamphetamines, but that wasn't my primary drug.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So from say age 18 to the time of the commitment offense, you were 19, how often were you getting high?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In high school, it would be maybe every couple weeks. And then once I was on my own traveling around, probably once a week, more when I -- whenever it was available.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Now high, you're talking about hallucinogens?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yes. Marijuana every day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you would use the stronger drugs like the LSD and Benzedrine, mushrooms, those kinds of things, that would be when as available?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I stopped the Benzedrine in high school, at the end of high school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And did you have any brushes with the law prior to your commitment offense?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Oh, yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, there were some arrests --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- after you were a member of the Family I guess you would call it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But no arrests prior to joining up with that -- the group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how old were you when you did start associating with those folks?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Nineteen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how long were you associating with them prior to the commitment offense?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: About one year.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What attracted you to that group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They represented for me a place where I could be myself. I could take the hallucinogens and live in a commune style relationship. They were embracing to me. And I felt I could belong there. Up until that point, I was feeling like I was looking for where I could fit in. And when I got there, I felt that that was where I could belong.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you feel you needed to belong to a group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did. I felt like I needed to belong somewhere. I felt rejected and betrayed by the way the abortion had come down. I felt that my relationship with Bobby had been over. I just couldn't put the pieces together.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you were no longer with Bobby at the time you went to go live with the Manson Family?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I was not with Bobby through most of my business school when I wanted to join the Ashram. And I was wandering around, you know what I mean? On hindsight, I know what my life could have been. And I know the choices that I made and where I ended up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So your belonging to this group certainly involved committing crimes. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Smoking weed in the beginning. The crimes really started mostly at the beginning of '69. Up until then, we ate out of garbage cans and took care of George's ranch and lived up in the desert.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So when the crimes started in the beginning of '69, what did they start with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Dune buggy stealing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Anything else?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, let me just -- because you were talking about -- I'm not sure if it's clear. That was the crimes of the Family as opposed to personally Leslie actively personally participating in crimes at that time. Is that what you're talking about, Leslie?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, the group activity.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you participate in the dune buggy stealing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And how about any other types of crimes other than drug use?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When the whole idea of the race war and Helter Skelter started, some of the people in our group would go and perform creepy crawling, which was going into homes and stealing things. I robbed my father's house at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: When you call it creepy crawling, is that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's residential burglaries?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. There were stolen credit cards. And some of us would go to stores and buy things that we felt we needed to get for surviving in the desert once the revolution started.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So this was to support your lifestyle essentially?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah, or our belief system, you know, the idea that we would end up in the desert and look for a bottomless pit.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you yourself participated in at least one burglary. And that was the burglary of your father's house?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Any others?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what about the stolen credit cards? You said some of us. That makes it sound like you were involved in that to some degree.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I used a stolen credit card with another woman. I ended up in Van Nuys Jail for that. And then they released me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, it sounded within a short amount of time you were arrested a few times. It didn't appear that they would be -- you were charged with any of those things. But there were a number of them. Grand theft auto on 4/19/69, and that was a milk truck. Were you involved in the theft of a milk truck?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was in the milk truck when they stopped us. Some of the vehicles were stolen. And I was in the vehicle. And so when it was stopped, I was arrested and then let go. And also, as the group began to get larger, the local police would come and do raids and arrest all of us for mostly grand theft autos. And it was a way to see what was going on at the ranch by the Malibu Police Department.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And this was -- there was a raid, such a raid four months after that first arrest. And let me go back to that first arrest. That was the very first time you were arrested for something was in 1969, 4/19, for the milk truck?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Then four months later, 8/16/69, there was one of those raids. And you were arrested for what I think for what appears another stolen -- a stolen dune buggy. Were multiple people arrested for that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say maybe 17 or 18 of us.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And then the following month you were arrested for a burglary. And that happened at a department store. What was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That was the stolen credit card.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: That was the one time that you involved yourself with a stolen credit card, or had you done it and gotten away with it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. That was pretty much it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So the one time is when you -- when you got arrested?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. It's kind -- yeah. I mean there were lots of credit cards and lots of other women going out and using them. But for me, that was the time that I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Had you ever taken a stolen credit card and gone into a store and used it and not gotten caught?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you never got away with it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And then on 10/10/69, there was yet another auto theft charge that you were not charged with that one as well. So had you actually done any time in jail over this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just the days waiting for arraignments.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you just spent a matter of days, and each time you would get released and you'd right back to the ranch and --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- continue your association with this group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And did you -- did you agree with the ideology of the group? You mentioned a moment ago something about the Helter Skelter and that sort of thing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I did agree with it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what was that that you agreed with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That the blacks had been suppressed and that it was their turn to be in charge and that the whites had treated the blacks in a bad way, and that there would be a revolution and the blacks would then be in control. That the whites that survived it would live in a hole in the center of the earth and reemerge after 150 years.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So it was your desire to let the blacks get into charge of the world or this country?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This country was -- I was only thinking of this country.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And was your group, the Manson Family, were they going to facilitate this revolution, this uprising?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how were they to do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: By committing murders of white people and making it look like it had been done by blacks.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you felt or you agreed anyway that by committing murders of white people that that was going to somehow empower black people?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was to spark a revolution --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It was to --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- which the blacks would win.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- anger the whites? They would -- they would murder blacks in retaliation and there would be murder back and forth and eventually the blacks would win?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you and your group would go find a hole in the desert?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And were you -- were you high on LSD when you were of these beliefs or were -- or is this when you were stone sober as well?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Both. The group from the beginning, we worked at -- we believed that our parents and the social institutions that hold a society together had turned us into robots. And so collectively, we worked to shed those things we had been taught. So between my getting to the ranch and the talk of Helter Skelter happening, I had worked very hard to undo what had been a good moral upbringing. And I kept twisting it, and I kept twisting it until I did believe in this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you wanted to take part in it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I am going to read from the Appellate Decision. And the one that I'll read from is the Appellate Decision filed 12/15/1980 and then I'll -- no. I'll read from the Appellate Decision filed 3/1/2004, pages 5 through 8, toward the bottom. "Sometime the next day, August 9, 1969, after Atkins and Krenwinkel returned, they told Van Houten that they had committed the Tate Murders. Van Houten felt left out and wanted to be included next time. After dinner that night, Manson told Van Houten and the other members of the Family that the murders of the previous evening had been too messy and that he would show them how it should be done. Manson, Van Houten, Watson, Krenwinkel, Atkins, Grogan and Kasabian got in a car as instructed by Manson. Van Houten took a change of clothes with her in case her clothes got bloody. Kasabian drove, following Manson's apparently random directions for about four hours selecting and discarding possible victims, until Manson told her to stop in front of the residence of Harold True on Cielo Drive. Manson was acquainted with the residence. Kasabian knew Harold True, who was known to some of the Family, and told Manson he could not go there. Manson said he was going to the house next door, which was on Waverly Drive and belonged to the La Biancas. Manson and Watson went inside first and surprised and tied up the La Biancas. Manson returned alone several minutes later reporting that he had tied up a man and a woman and got their wallet. Speaking directly to Krenwinkel and Van Houten, Manson told them to go into the house and do what Watson told them to. He also told them not to let the victims know they would be murdered. The purpose of this advice was to avoid the chaos of the Tate murders. Van Houten and Krenwinkel went into the residence and found Watson holding the La Biancas at the point of his bayonet. While Krenwinkel and Van Houten went into the La Bianca residence, Manson and the others drove away. Manson had Kasabian plant the La Biancas wallet in a gas station restroom hoping that it would be discovered by a black person who would use the credit cards and be blamed for the theft and murder. At the La Bianca residence, Watson asked the family -- or asked the victims if they had any money. Mrs. La Bianca's hands were untied and she brought out a small box of money. Watson told Van Houten and Krenwinkel to take Mrs. La Bianca into her bedroom and kill her. Van Houten and Krenwinkel took Mrs. La Bianca to her bedroom. At some point, Krenwinkel went into the kitchen and brought back some knives and gave Van Houten one. Van Houten then put a pillowcase over Mrs. La Bianca's head and wrapped a lamp cord still attached to the lamp around her neck. Mrs. La Bianca heard the sounds of her husband being stabbed and a guttural sound of his breathing in the living room, and she forced her way up from the bed, yelling her husband's name. Mrs. La Bianca grabbed the lamp attached to the cord around her neck and swung the lamp at Van Houten. Van Houten knocked the lamp out of Mrs. La Bianca's hand and wrestled her back onto the bed where she pinned her down so that Krenwinkel could stab her. Krenwinkel plunged a knife taken earlier from the La Bianca kitchen with such force down on Mrs. La Bianca -- oh, on Mrs. La Bianca's collarbone that the knife blade bent. Van Houten ran to the hallway calling for Watson, who came into Mrs. La Bianca's bedroom with the bayonet. According to Van Houten, she turned away from Mrs. La Bianca, and Watson stabbed Mrs. La Bianca with the bayonet eight times. Each of the eight stab wounds was made by a bayonet probably wielded by Watson because of the force required to produce the deep wounds. Each of the eight stab wounds alone could have been fatal, seven of which were in the back. Then Watson turned Van Houten around, handed her a knife and told her to do something. At that moment, Van Houten saw Mrs. La Bianca lying still on the floor. She that she felt Mrs. La Bianca was dead, but she didn't know for sure. Van Houten then used the knife Watson gave her to stab Mrs. La Bianca. She admitted at one point stabbing her in the lower back 16 times, and at another point, she said she stabbed her 14 times. Mrs. La Bianca was stabbed a total of 42 times. According to Diane Lake, another Family member, Van Houten told her that she had stabbed a woman who was already dead and that the more she did it, the more fun it was. After the stabbing, Van Houten thoroughly wiped away the perpetrators' fingerprints while Krenwinkel wrote in blood on various surfaces in the residence. She gave the extra clothes she brought to Watson when he asked for them, and Watson told her to put on some of Mrs. La Bianca's clothes, which she did and discarded in a dumpster the clothing they had come in. She drank some chocolate milk from the La Biancas' refrigerator. Back at the Spahn Ranch, she blurted -- or she burned Mrs. La Bianca's clothes that she was wearing and counted the eight dollars in change -- and change in Ms. La Bianca's box. Van Houten hid out for over two months at a remote location and was not arrested until November 25, 1969." Does that sound accurate to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's very accurate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. So you were aware of the murders, the five murders that happened the night before?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And those would be -- those would be called the Tate murders in the media.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And are you -- are you -- were you aware of the actual graphic detail of what had occurred?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not specifics.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you see it on television or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We watched it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- watch the media accounts?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We watched on TV.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what did you see on TV?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Bodies being taken out of the house on gurneys.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you hear descriptions of what was found inside that residence?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I learned later. But I just watched a lot of sadness and chaos on the television. I can't say that I really got details.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you learn that there were five people that were killed in that house?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how did you learn that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Through Pat Krenwinkel.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Ms. Krenwinkel told you what had occurred inside?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what did she tell you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She told me that it didn't feel right, that it seemed wrong, and that it was hard to do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So it was hard for her to do?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Specifically, what did she tell you had occurred inside?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That young people had been murdered.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did she say how they were murdered?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Stabbed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So she told you all of that including that it seemed wrong and it was hard to do. And you felt left out and wanted to be included next time? Is that accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Early at my going to the ranch, Pat was the one that kept an eye on me. And she was kind of like, I guess placed like a big sister to me. And I was devoted to her. And I knew that she had crossed the line on her commitment to beginning the race war. And it was important to me that I cross that line too. So I wanted to go. I wanted to show my commitment to this belief system.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But she told you that it seemed wrong. Didn't what she told you about her behavior and her actions influence you that it was -- this may be wrong?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Whether it felt that way or not, it was something that had to be done.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you were, in fact, included the next time which happened to be the next day.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And you and your crime partners drive around for four hours before you found the house that was finally selected?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A very long time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And was this location randomly selected?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It appeared so at the time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you know why it was selected?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I have no idea.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you know what type of victim you and your crime partners were looking for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. We were looking for affluent white.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So your victims were selected because of their race?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And the plan was to go inside and kill white people?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And that is, in fact, what occurred, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And at any point during this, either the planning or the time when you were parked outside, did you ever think of not involving yourself or maybe running or getting away or driving the car away, something to get away from that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And during any of this planning that involved mass murder, did you think about maybe reporting this to the authorities to save someone's life?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Why not?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't have the moral integrity to do that. I twisted myself to the point where I believed this had to be done and I participated.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now would you have drawn the line somewhere? For example, if this crime included the killing of small children, would you have included yourself in that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I can't answer that honestly and say that I wouldn't have done it. Of course, I'd like to sit today and think that I wouldn't have. But to be honest with you, I don't know what I would have done.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: In your mind, did you think that there was a certain line you would not cross?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I didn't. I'd crossed the line. I'd crossed the line by going to the house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So whoever was in there including babies and little children, you were on board as far as being involved in killing them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I never thought through that far at the time. I hadn't thought through that far. One of the houses --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You never let your mind wander and figure out who might be in a house, an affluent white household?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In one of the houses that he looked in, he came back and said there are children so we're not going to go to that house. So, you know, maybe that made me not think about that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And this is Charles Manson you're talking about?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. May I say something?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Oh, please do.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I feel that at that point, I had really lost my humanity. And I don't know how far I would have gone or not. I had no regard for life and no measurement of what would be my limitations.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now were you high on hallucinogens when this crime occurred?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I was not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So you were sober at the time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Had the La Biancas done anything to upset you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Nothing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Was anger a factor in any way in this crime?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My anger toward them?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Your anger in any way, your anger transferred to them regarding something else perhaps? I don't know. Anger, you know -- anger is often an element or a factor when we're discussing murder. And I'm just wondering --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- if anger factored in in any way in this case.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I was angry at the state of the world. I certainly was angry at my mother still, which I think brought me to some of this. And I was rebellious.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But the La Biancas themselves, they had done nothing to anger you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. They were complete innocent strangers.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And did you feel sad about what was happening to them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When Mrs. La Bianca began to call her for her husband, I felt for a fleeting moment that what was happening was wrong. I was overcome by her love for her husband.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But then what? You said a fleeting moment. But then you went back to that same --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I went back to trying to hold her down.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So when you entered that residence, you knew that it was for the purpose of committing murder?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now the planning of this Helter Skelter, and certainly the planning of the events from the previous evening, were those -- were those -- were you a part of those? Did you hear those? Were you aware of those things?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In the early spring of '69, we began to do preparation for Helter Skelter, not the specific killings. That conversation began a matter of weeks before they happened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you ever have a come to your senses moment and think what we're about to do and what we're planning is going to put innocent lives in danger, and people are going to be killed unnecessarily, I can prevent this now? Did you ever think like maybe that was something that you could do?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I never thought that. Over the year, we had been rethinking our lives to where we would be asked would you die for your brother and if we're all one then killing someone is killing yourself. And this kind of mantra would be going on. And at the time, I felt that that was true.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you recall telling Diane Lake that the person you had stabbed was already dead and the more you did it, the more fun it was?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And was it more fun the more you -- the more times you stabbed her?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Why did you say that then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because at the ranch, everything was supposed to be okay and fun. And I felt that I had not carried out what was expected of me in the house in as strong of a manner as I should have. And I was trying to impress her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Commissioner, do you have any questions?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: I do. Thank you. Ms. Van Houten, earlier you said that when you went to the ranch initially, Pat was like an older sister, she kept an eye on you. And then you said Pat had crossed the line over into the race war. And you said that it was very important. Your words were it was very important for me to cross the line because it had -- because it had to be done. Well, why was that so important to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was really needing at that time to belong and to show loyalty and to be held in regard by the group. And it was important to me that I show that I was in it all the way.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So you didn't have any problems -- mentally, you didn't have any concerns that what they were doing is wrong?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I believed in it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So you believed that the ideology, that the race war was something that needed to happen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Who started all of that, that talk of we need this race war?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, Manson started it. But we all contributed to it. No one ever said to him that it didn't make sense. And in my various therapies and in my own probing of myself, I used to, when I was younger, blame him for what happened to me and all of that. But I have come to learn that in our relationship, he needed people to make him feel big, and I needed someone who was big. So while he came up with these thoughts, I never challenged them.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Why did you need someone who was big?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt so little of myself. And I hadn't really forgiven myself from succumbing to my mother and the abortion. And I was wandering around with no sense of who I was. And I needed someone with the answers. I had always been someone who wanted to know a deeper meaning to life. And when I met someone who presented himself as someone with the answers, I was in there one hundred percent. He could never have done what he did if it weren't for people like me. So I believed in it. He began the conversation, and then we looked for the clues to help set it up, like when we were at Gresham and listening to the Beatles' album and finding clues and feeding into the idea of what was happening.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And earlier you said that everything at the ranch was supposed to be fun.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: What did you mean by that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: By letting go. It was the idea that our parents and schools and churches were all designed to make us feel guilty about everything. That we needed to let go of all the constraints and to live a life that was fun. Everything was fun. And Diane -- this is just another regret on my part. Diane was only 13. And she represented the ideal of what women should be like. And I wanted to impress her. And I knew her youth, and so that was the language I used.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So Diane was only 13, but you though she was the ideal of what a woman should be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Why is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was presented as the ideal of an empty shell, that she was an open vessel and that's what women were to be.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: But you went -- you went to the ranch and you joined up with all of these people because you were looking for the deeper meaning of life. And is that what you thought was accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At that point, yes. I went with what was going on.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. All right. Thank you, Commissioner. I have nothing further at this time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Well, I've read in the file you're a very smart person. You have a high IQ. And I just -- it baffles me how you could believe that your actions would set off a race war and that your group of whites would go find a hole to live in in the desert and live there for 150 years and then rise up. That just sounds so ridiculous. How did you -- how did you reconcile that belief with your intelligence?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because of the idea that everything that I had learned was wrong. When my intuitive self would question what was going on, then I would feel guilty for that. And I was spending all of my time undoing everything. And I was -- in the group itself, I was often called stupid and treated that way. And I believed it. And I denied my own potential.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now it took two months before you were caught. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what transpired during those two months?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pat and I were sent over to a place called the Fountain of the World. And we stayed there. It was a structure that used to be where a guru in the 20's or 30's used to have people there. There was an older woman that was a caretaker. And so Pat and I went and stayed there with her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Was this also in the desert?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. This was in Box Canyon.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then ultimately, we were picked up and taken to the desert where we stayed until we were arrested.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. You were with Pat. You were also spending some time in the desert during that two months. What were you -- what was going on in your mind? What were you thinking about what you had observed or what you had been a part of?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When we were in the desert, we were busy trying to find an indication of where the hole would be that would lead us to the center of the earth. We were learning how to live off the land which, you know, there's no food. So we were basically down to surviving.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: During that two-month period of time, did you experience what is referred to as remorse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you ever feel that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt remorse several years after coming here.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Commissioner, we can move into post-conviction factors now, unless you have any more questions.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: No, not at this time. All right. Okay. All right. In review of the Central File, Ms. Van Houten, I see that you were received for this life term on August 17th, 1978.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And that prior to incarceration, you did have a high school diploma. You graduated from high school.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And since you have been incarcerated, you have obtained your Bachelor's Degree in English Literature.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And it looks like your diploma was dated 1982.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And then you have in fall of 2012, obtained your Master's Degree.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And that's in what discipline?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The Humanities.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Humanities, all right. And then your last hearing was on July 6th, 2010, where you received a three-year denial. And at the time, the Panel recommended that you remain disciplinary-free, continue with self-help and therapy. And currently, your custody level is Medium-A. And your classification score is 19 which is the lowest it can be based on your commitment offense. Let's see. And your 812 is clear. It indicates you have no gang affiliation. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. Okay. So currently, your position is as a tutor for Chaffey College.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And the file indicates you've been doing that since 2005.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I have.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And I reviewed some work reports. And for this review period from 2010 until April of 2013, your work reports indicate that you are an exceptional worker. You've received all ones which is exceptional work rating. So what type of tutoring do you do in your position?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The way Chaffey College is set up is that they tape the actual class that's going on. It's a -- it's a program that works with 30 women at a time in a group. They earn their AA degree. And so they take on a 12-unit schedule for this 2-1/2 year period about. And the teachers tape their class. And then they send a DVD to the prison. And I'm assigned various classes to -- there's like five or six tutors. And so I review the DVD. I present the class to the students. And I work with the teachers through mail. And they come out a couple times during the semester. And so I almost teaching assist and tutor the women.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: It sounds like it's something you enjoy doing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It means a great deal tome. IlookbackonmylifeandwhoIwas. AndI think that education for women is the most important thing that they can get while they're incarcerated. So I feel like it's something that is very important to me.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. Just for historical purposes, I did review the file. And it looks like you have been in a number of different positions before becoming a tutor. I think early on you were in different clerical positions in different areas of the institution, as well as being a clerk. You were a program clerk for a few years. And as well, it looks like you were a porter. And I think you worked in culinary too at one point.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Is that correct? Yes. So you've had various different assignments and job positions while incarcerated. And consistently, the file does reflect that you have been receiving exceptional work reports.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: By way of vocations, I see that you did complete data processing in 1996.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And was that the last vocation you've actually completed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, with the tutoring, there's a certification that goes with it that allows me to be employable at any of the community colleges in California and work in the English tutoring department.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So that's --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: It looks like -- and I did read through the file. And it said that the data processing was really something that was important and it helped you to become a clerk for different programs.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. All right. And by way of self-help, in this reporting period, it looks like you have been involved with Emotions Anonymous.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And I have chronos which pretty much indicate you have been consistently attending. And the chronos show three-month periods at a time --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: -- and that you've been attending Emotions Anonymous. And tell me a little bit about your participation in Emotions Anonymous.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, it began when some of us who are p.m. workers were not able to go to NA and NA. And so I went and asked if we could have a group that would be similar to AA/NA in the morning in the chapel. And another woman who wanted to participate had found Emotions Anonymous which encompasses also the CODA and the Al-Anon. Because it's emotions, it was something that would be relevant to all of the women that would be in our group. So we have a small home group of p.m. workers so that we can stay active in a weekly 12-step kind of meeting. And EA is sanctioned by AA, and I think it was in '71. So it follows the same principles of the 12-step program and the same language.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. So the chronos indicate these discussions cover topics such as anger, anxiety, drug abuse, shame --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: -- loneliness, grief and frustration.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Also for me what's been very helpful is that there are some things that never have solution that -- and it helps me deal with really my life. That there's no -- there's no solution to who I was and what I did. And it helps me know how to separate the shame from guilt. You know, shame is what leaves me vulnerable. Because when I'm shameful, I am not feeling very good about myself, where I think with guilt, I know that I did something that's unforgivable, but I can create a world to amend. And I've tried to design my life where I am what's called a living amends, which is why the school is so important to me.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So is that how I -- how you're making your amends.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's how I live with myself. Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: By being a tutor and helping others?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, and sponsoring young women, trying to be someone who lives a life for healing instead of destruction. So anyway, EA is very important to me in that way.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And it does cover some aspects of substance abuse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Because I did see that you were attending and have in the past Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous consistently since 1986. But I didn't see anything recent in that regards.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Well, I go -- when school is on vocation, I go to the big meetings. But you have to attend so many in a row. But AA and NA and the 12-step program are really what I base my life on. I live it. And EA is close enough in the language that I stay in touch with that. I consider myself an addict. I know the damage. I think of in the beginning of chapter three where it says the words of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization, and that's who I was. So I take it very seriously.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. Yes. I saw that you were also a facilitator for both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and that you also participated and facilitated Al-Anon. And that was in '96, 1998 and 1999.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And then I saw you've taken -- attended the Wellbriety program.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. That's a Native American 12-step program.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And the chrono I have dated is from August 16, 2011, saying that you did participate in the Wellbriety program. Was that just a one-day participation, or was it a lengthy series?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a series. And it hasn't really gotten off the ground again since then.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And how many series or how many classes were there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably about two or three months.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. The chrono does indicate that you took a leadership role and that you demonstrated all the qualities and interests and that -- were presented to the group, and you often share your experiences and insights and thought process with great detail. So they did write you a very nice chrono in regards to your participation for the Wellbriety program. Okay. And then I see you have been participating with Choice Theory.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I just finished Phase Four.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. I don't have a chrono for Phase Four. I do have one for Phase One and Two. So tell me a little bit about Choice Theory.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Choice Theory is based on the idea that we create for ourselves what we would like our world to be, and then there is the real world that we live in. And then you evaluate the choices that you make and the world you live in and how much do they pertain to the world that you would like for yourself. It's taking responsibility for choices that you make.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And you've completed up through Phase Four?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: How many phases are there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Four.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. All right. And it says you serve as a principal and director of -- the chrono dated April 11, 2013 indicates you were serving in the dual role of principal and director of Choice Theory Connection program.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, I was part of it and participated and presented things. But I'm not sure what director means.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Which chrono was that? I'm sorry. I didn't get --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: April 11, 2013, signed by Les Johnson, Principal of El Prado Adult School and College Programs. It's just a general chrono. It does -- it writes about the program, and it does indicate that you are commended on achieving an exemplary milestone, and encouraged to continue to practice what you have learned. And then we have a Phase Two as well, indicating you have completed Phase Two of the Choice Theory Connection program.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Let's see. In this reporting period, I see you have a certificate from Alternatives to Violence Project, the AVP Project. And you completed the basic course in Non-Violent Conflict Resolution. And that was on August 26, 2012. And I know in the past I've seen other certificates where you've participated in similar programs regarding victims' services and victim impact and domestic abuse. It sounds like they were similar in nature.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Have you done an AVP course before or is this -- was this your first one?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This was my first one.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And what did you take away from it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I took away how important it is to be aware of community, how to work in a way with other people in difficult circumstance. It's put on by the Quakers. And it's like a packed weekend. So you're there with them for several days all day. And we would be broken into different groups to perform various tasks. And some of them were difficult and designed to raise frustration and how do you solve that. So I think I took a lot away from that on patience and who I am, how well do I look to other people for solution, how open am I to ideas, that kind of thing.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. I saw that you did take a similar Conflict Resolution course. I think it was in 2005.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The Restorative Justice.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Yes. And was it something similar to that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. AVP was more personal stressors. And Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice had more to do with understanding again that some things will never be solved. That there's no making right of some things, and the responsibility to live your life in a way that doesn't harm others, being aware of how one act can affect so many people, that what I did that night continues and who it affects grows, and how many people were affected by it, that my act was like a pebble falling in a pond where Mr. and Mrs. La Bianca died the worst possible death a human being could have, and I am responsible for that. That affected their families and everyone they loved. It affected the community of LA that lived for months in fear, wondering if they would be next. It hurt the people that were at the ranch that didn't know this kind of thing was going on and have lived their lives in hiding. It destroyed the peace movement that was going on at the time, and just tainted the overall nature of things from 1969. So Restorative Justice has taught me how to really understand that and live with it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Not everybody at the ranch was participating in this ideology of this race war?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I can't say. But not everyone went. You know, I can only imagine that he, you know, felt that I was ready to cross the line. I can't -- I'm assuming that others were not as aware. That's an assumption on on my part.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Because after the murders took place, you didn't go back to the ranch for very long.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. And I was told to not discuss it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Who told you not to discuss it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex Watson. And that was kind of surprising to me because I thought everyone was involved. But as I've grown, I've come to feel that maybe that wasn't the case.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So why did you end up talking to -- what was her name, Diane, the young girl?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I talked to her before he told me that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He caught me talking to her like that. And then they sent Pat and I to the Box Canyon. So on hindsight, I'm thinking that perhaps others weren't as devoted as I was.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. I also saw you have taken a course, a chrono dated April 15, 2013, from the -- a recent course with Office of -- US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, basic course in Restorative Justice and Victim Impact.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And it was -- it looked like you were part of a group, a study group and then doing role play scenarios.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Three-hour workshops. And what was that course about?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was more of the Restorative Justice. I try to take them when I can and they're presented in the prison.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: The last chrono I have was for -- let's see. It was for the program regarding the book entitled Monastery of a Heart, an Invitation to a Meaningful Life. It was a program regarding self-reflection and insight while developing values such as discipline, control, non-violence, respect and tolerance as a way of life. And that was a group you attended from November, 2011 to April, 2012?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And it was twice a month?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: What was covered in that group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A woman named -- I believe her name Joan Chittister -- put together a book called Monastery of the Heart. And they were using that as the study guide for -- we would break into small groups and discuss how to find meaning in our lives in prison and how to find peace.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. Finally, I do have a chrono from a J. Luna, L-U-N-A, that indicates that you were a participant in the food sales. And this is a chrono dated August 18th, 2011. And you were commended for your participation in that program. What was -- what was that -- or the food sales program? It doesn't give a lot of information about what that was.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, in the prison, they do fundraiser food sales. And to be able to ensure that some of the food doesn't slip out the back door, they have certain women that work the sales that they feel won't steal. And so I do that. I've done it probably for about five or six years.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. So this is something that's ongoing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. It does say that the inmates selected to work food sales are held to a higher standard of integrity because it is part of a public service to the CIW community.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. So we have that. And then I do have a laudatory chrono from an officer. And it's V -- I think it's pronounced Win, it might be. But it's N-G-U-Y-E-N, it looks like, correctional officer. And this is a laudatory chrono that indicates that you have been a role model inmate at CIW, that you always respect staff and other inmates, and you have never displayed any harmful behavior toward others. And it indicates that this officer deals with you on a daily basis and does indicate their belief that you are not a threat to society and that you'll do well in society. By way of disciplinaries, I see that you have no 115's.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And you have one 128A from 1981. And that was for communicating with women who were in a detention facility when that was not permitted.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Yeah. So how have you -- how have you remained disciplinary-free for all these years?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I follow the rules, and I know that rules are there for a purpose. And I don't find it that hard to make it through the day without confrontations. I treat the correctional officers with respect. I treat my fellow inmates with respect. And I don't want what I can't have, and just basically mind my own business as best as I can.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. There was a note in your Board Report that indicated you did teach a sewing class back in January of 2010.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Was that just something you did one time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Every now and then maybe like once a year I would do it when we had hobby craft. We don't have it anymore. So it was just part of my giving to the hobby craft community to help women learn how to embroider and do things with their hands.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: All right. Is there any other self-help certificates or courses you've taken during this period that I haven't covered or any other laudatory chronos that you've received that I haven't covered?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think that you covered them all.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. I did review out of various sources, the Board Packet, some information your attorney had provided and the Central File, which is all electronic so I want to make sure we've covered it all at this point.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: All right. Commissioner Ferguson, do you have any questions about post-conviction before I move into the reports?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I don't. But before we move into the Psychological Reports, I'd like to take a recess. But before we take the recess, I know -- I'm acknowledging that we have many next-of-kin and many representatives of the next-of-kin that intend to speak. So what I would like is during the recess if you could come up with a list of the order that you'd like to do that speaking so that we can -- we can call you in order when the time comes. It'll be about a ten-minute recess. It's now about 10:30. And so we'll reconvene about 10:40 (inaudible.)

(Off the Record.)

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. We're on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. The time is roughly 10:55 a.m. All persons previously identified prior to the recess have returned to the room. We're about to cover the Psychological Risk Assessments during this portion of the hearing. But before we do, I'd like to acknowledge that I did neglect to do something that I intended to do earlier in the hearing. It's on my checklist. But I think because of all the paperwork scattered in front of me that I didn't see it, so out of sight, out of mind. And that would be the Hearing Checklist. The Hearing Checklist is a document that ensures that we're all operating off of the same set of documents. I suspect that we are. But just to confirm that, I will pass the Hearing Checklist -- there's actually two pages -- to Mr. Satris initially. And he can look at the items that are checked and see if, in fact, he has those documents.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I do have those documents. I see where the sentencing transcript was first checked and is crossed out. And I did not get that in the so-called Lifer Packet. It is in the Central File. I saw it there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It is. And I don't have it in my packet either.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I think that's why it was crossed out.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yeah. For some reason, Cumulative Case Summary, Board Reports, Psychiatric Reports, prior decisions are all --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: They're on the other page.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Oh, sorry.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: There you go.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Thank you. Yeah. I forgot about that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: If you could just initial those?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And if you could hand them to Mr. Sequeira?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. I do note that the -- I did submit a copy of the autopsy reports.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You did, and they're in the ten-day packet.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Yeah. And it's just not -- it's not on the Checklist.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Right.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: But I just wanted to acknowledge that. And I -- and I also note that counsel submitted some other documents that I -- that I didn't receive earlier. But I did receive them today.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And I'm about to acknowledge those as well.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay. And I've received all the other documents on the Checklist. Thank you. And I've initialed both pages.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And I will acknowledge on the record that we also have additional documents that have been submitted by counsel. There's a -- it looks like it's about three or four inches thick, a stack of papers that we just got today. But they were -- they were left with the files, the paperwork and all the transcripts. We've looked at them. I've tried to look at them thus far during the hearing. And I can assure you, Mr. Satris, that I'll never be able to look at all of these pages. But we do have them in case there's something in particular that we need to reference at any point during this hearing.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We also have late submissions -- I mean the submissions that we got today. And that would be -- it says Second Submission of Material on Behalf of Leslie Van Houten.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. Let me say that that -- well, let me say first on the District Attorney's submission, I also didn't get that today, even though there is the ten-day notice requirement under the Board rules. But like I say, we're prepared to waive that and proceed with the hearing. I was able to pick it up at the institution two days ago, Monday.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, you're ahead of us, because we haven't seen it until today.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And that submission that I did make that was titled the First Submission, that was submitted May 17th, 2013 and was intended to be timely filed so it could be distributed. And then you've got the Second Submission. And one of the -- I wanted -- I did want to talk about the submissions too and make sure that everything is marked for the record. Because it is a big record and understandable. So maybe we could do this off the record during a break. Would that be better? Or I would request that, for example, the first submission of material be marked as an exhibit. What you sent me that I initialed in terms of the list of documents, is that considered Exhibit 1?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: That's going to be called Exhibit 1.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Can we call this Exhibit 2 or Exhibit A; make it a two --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. We'll call it --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: -- the first submission?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We'll call it Exhibit A. And that would be the big stack of papers with the rubber band around them.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: That's called First Submission of Material.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And we'll refer to it as Exhibit A --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- because we already have Exhibit 1.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And we'll make your submissions alphabetical.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then can we make what's been titled the Second Submission of Materials, Exhibit B?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's now done.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then there is a faxed -- or not faxed, faxed to me, but a collection of letters of support, several letters of support. This is approximately five or six pages with the top one being Saint Matthew, June 1st, 2013 letter. And I could submit that at this time and call it Exhibit --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: If you would, I'll put that in my --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: E?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- Exhibit B under the portion where there are also support letters. And I'll cover that during parole plans.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Maybe Exhibit B-1 then? I mean it is a separate submission document.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right, Exhibit B-1.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then could we have Exhibit C marked, the actual DVD that we submitted? Do you have that?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I don't have it.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: You don't?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I have not seen such a thing.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Well, it was submitted to the prison just as part of the record. I understand it's not being admitted. But just to be identified?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We don't have it, unless Commissioner Singh has seen it. I have not.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Well, let me just say for the record, it's the one that was submitted under cover letter of May 10th, 2013.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You indicated that in the paperwork that you submitted there is a transcript of that?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. Okay. That's Exhibit E of now what is Exhibit B.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I would rather -- I would rather not mark an exhibit anything that we have not had a chance to look at or consider.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Just for identification? Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And we're not going to be considering --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- the DVD.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right. Very good. That's all I have.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And Mr. Sequeira, anything else to add about that?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I believe there were some letters in opposition that were -- should have been delivered to the prison within the last day or so.

MS. TATE: They ended up accepting them via fax --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay. I think there's a fax.

MS. TATE: -- and attached them to the exhibit.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: So just as long as -- I believe they've been received. So I just wanted to double check that. Do you know how many -- how many letters were there?

MS. TATE: It was 180, roughly, 180 and change.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Going to be about 180 letters in opposition that were submitted via fax.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I don't -- I have not seen those.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Nor have I.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: We were provided two this morning. And I have had -- made sure everyone has a copy of those.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Right.

MS. TATE: I have two sets in my car.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Perhaps we'll -- I'll make sure that we take another recess. And during that recess, I'll try to contact someone here at the institution that might know where that stack is. And we will -- we will acknowledge it at that point provided we get it.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: And if not, we can bring another copy of them in and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Last resort.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Right. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Commissioner Singh?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: All right. Ms. Van Houten, I want to talk to you a little bit about the two Risk Assessments that were prepared in your case for this hearing. The first one is the Comprehensive Risk Assessment. And that was prepared in 2010, March 3rd, 2010. And for today's hearing, what they did is the Subsequent Risk Assessment. And the Subsequent Risk Assessment is an update of some of the factors that -- and programming that you have been doing since 2010. So first going through the Comprehensive Risk Assessment, it was prepared by Dr. C. Carrera, C-A-R-R-E-R-A, approved March 3rd, 2010. And in this Comprehensive Risk Assessment, it does cover a lot of different information. And it's derived from an interview that was conducted with you on February 11, 2010, a review of your Central File and your unit health record. And what the clinician does is provides this Panel with some background information regarding your childhood and family history and educational background as well as any relationship history, adult peer relationships. A lot of this information has already been covered as part of the hearing this morning. So I'm not going to go over it in detail. And so you do know, we do consider the entire report in detail as part of our deliberation process. And the entire report has been viewed. And once I go over some of it, you can point out any particular area you'd like to further discuss. The report also contains parole plans, which Commissioner Ferguson will talk to you about shortly. And then it goes through a clinical assessment. And it assesses your mental health history as well as it goes into some of your insight and self-assessment, which we've been discussing with you today. Let's see. It does note that you are not part of the mental health system at CDCR. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And in the 2010 report, it does discuss some of your substance abuse history that Commissioner Ferguson has talked to you about. In 2010, you told the clinician that you had used LSD between 150 and three hundred times. Is that accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That number started a long time ago. I took a lot of it. And, you know, today I can't give you an exact number. But I took it as often as I could and over a period of a couple years. So it's possible. I would say more like maybe the 150 than the three hundred.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. What was it about that, about LSD that you were attracted to?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was attracted to the hallucinating and going into a different world. And when I first started taking it, there was an idea that by taking it you could reach a truer state of existence. It was promoted by Timothy Leary in a book called Be Here Now and letting go of everything and shedding everything that holds you down in life.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: That was the mentality that you incorporated in your life back then, wasn't it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: How have you changed now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I'm very involved in life. I think that the institutions that hold us together as a society and a community are very important. And being of sound mind is important, having good reason and thinking things out, understanding consequence, not being in an altered state. It's, I think, the foundation of good citizenship to be responsible.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. All right. This Comprehensive Risk Assessment does continue on with your criminal history and review of the life crime, which Commissioner Ferguson has discussed with you. And it talks about your institutional programming, which we've covered, and both currently and what you've done, some of the things in the past. Once the clinician conducts the interview with you and reviews the documents in the Central File, what they do is they utilize a series of instruments to determine your potential risk for violence in the free community. And the clinician, Dr. Carrera, used the PCL-R, the Psychopathy Checklist Revised, the HCR-20 and the LS/CMI, the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory. And in each of these instruments, Dr. Carrera gives her opinion of where you fall in the risk of potential violence. For the PCL-R, Dr. Carrera indicates that you do fall in the very low range for the clinical construct of psychopathy when compared to other female offenders. She does note that you do not present any impulsive or irresponsible behaviors. In the HCR-20, which is Historical, Clinical and Risk Management, Dr. Carrera indicates that you do fall in the low range of violent recidivism. And for the LS/CMI, Dr. Carrera indicates that you also fall in the low category of incarcerated female offenders. Dr. Carrera's opinion, based on her training and experience and everything she has reviewed in the instruments that she utilized, her opinion is that Ms. Van Houten presents a low risk for violence in the free community. And then in 2013, you were interviewed by Dr. Larmer, L-A-R-M-E-R. And Dr. Larmer indicates you were interviewed on February 5th, 2013. Do you recall that interview?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And you participated in the interview with Dr. Larmer?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. Dr. Larmer similarly includes some clinical data including your mental status and your insight and self-assessment. Dr. Larmer also indicated what your institutional programming was. And he -- the period that was covered was from July, 2010 forward. And Dr. Larmer also indicated your parole plans which you presented at the time and information about the life crime. What Dr. Larmer does is considers the overall, the Comprehensive Risk Assessment from Dr. Carrera. And I think Dr. Larmer is a she.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: I think I must have said he a few minutes ago.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Yeah. Okay. She indicates that Dr. Carrera's report indicated you were a low risk of committing future violence. And she indicates what the Subsequent Risk Assessment is for is to consider the relevance of dynamic or variable risk factors. And it is -- Dr. Larmer's doesn't stray from the opinion of Dr. Carrera. She does indicate that you have appeared to make great strides in understanding the internal conflicts that led to your use of drugs, becoming involved with Charles Manson and subsequently the life crime. Dr. Larmer also indicates that you have demonstrated a continued commitment to sobriety and taking necessary steps to ensure sobriety in the community. And there have been no significant changes in your psychological functioning or self-understanding since the last BPH Hearing. In risk management factors, Dr. Larmer indicates that your parole plans remain well developed, and you are acutely aware of the stress you are likely to face in the community given the notoriety of your case and your lengthy incarceration. And it follows -- it ends by indicating that you have remained disciplinary-free, abstained from use of drugs and alcohol, and you have no changes in your pro-social adaptive functioning since your last hearing. And that was approved on February 20th, 2013. Is there any particular area in either the Comprehensive Risk Assessment or Subsequent Risk Assessment that you would like to further address, Ms. Van Houten?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think they speak for themselves. And I'm comfortable with it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: If you have any questions about what they discussed, then -- you know, I know she brought up relationships in the second one and that that's always been a concern in Board Hearings, my bad relationships that I've had.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And so I spoke with her about that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Why do you think you've had bad relationships in the past?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I think that I've had them because I've had a low opinion of myself. And I've come to learn that relationships just don't happen. There's a reason that you pick the people that you do to meet your needs at that time. And with Bobby Mackie, I feel that I was with him because I wanted to have something permanent that I felt was mine after my dad left. And then I felt -- I believe that when I got to the ranch and I had a relationship with Manson -- I talked to you a little bit about that before, that I needed for someone to have all the answers that would basically take over and be in control. I think after my abortion, I tried to get things together. But in the long run, I just still looked for someone else to have the answers. And with Bill Sywin, who was my husband, I settled for less because of my history. I didn't feel that I really could be attractive to someone who had more going for them. And I needed to have what I would consider an idea of a normal relationship. So I think the thread that tied them all together was neediness, neediness and a low opinion of myself, not being complete within me. So I've looked at all of that and I've done my best to address that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: What type of relationships do you look for now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I -- basically friendship is what I look for now. I haven't really been looking to be involved with anyone. And I'm happy with really good friendships, people that I feel good about that know me and understand me with all of my shortcomings, help me to be the best that I can, and let me know when a true conversation has to happen, if I'm getting carried away with something, you know, having friendship. I think that's what friendship is.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I like good intellectual conversation.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So you don't have a romantic type relationship at this point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I don't.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay. And you just said that you were looking for someone who could identify or talk to you about your shortcomings. What do you see as your shortcomings?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My shortcomings have been to not have a good set of boundaries. That's been my ultimate worst shortcoming, that I didn't have a clear definition of where I began and someone else begins. And I've put a lot of attention into that. And I rely on friends to tell me, you know, what they think of people or ideas or whatever are coming into my life and what I'm thinking about --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: So how do you set boundaries?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and how I'm dealing with the time.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: How do you set your boundaries now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I feel good about who I am today. And when people come too strongly into my, you know, area or want my attention too much, I measure it against my own morality. If someone isn't being respectful or would like me to compromise beyond what I'm comfortable with, I think my boundaries are established by my sense of self-esteem and who I am today, which I didn't have before. I'm pretty self-contained. I don't really -- I don't really have big areas in my life anymore where I'm craving to have it filled up by someone else or something else. In Choice Theory, they talk about having a board of directors in your life, and those are people that help you maintain your sense of who you are. And I have that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Do you -- do you still see yourself as someone who's a follower?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No, I don't.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: How do you see yourself now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm independent. And I feel that in order to be able to live with myself -- you know, the 12-step talks a lot about service work and being someone that is engaged in their community. And I feel that I put a lot of stock in that, that it helps me to be able to feel that I'm making recompense for the damage that I've done in a healthy way. And I feel that I'm a person who has learned from life's experiences. And I incorporate those lessons when I'm seeing young women that are beginning to make those same errors. So I don't really see myself as a leader or a follower, but an older woman within the community that I live.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's how I see myself really.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: All right. Thank you.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Can I just add one thing on the Psych Report to put in context?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: I was just going there next, Mr. Satris --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Oh, sorry.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: -- if you would like to identify anything in the report at this time. And please let us know whether it's the Subsequent or Comprehensive.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, going to the most recent one, the Subsequent, on page 6, just to put in context where the assessor states that there's been no significant changes in Ms. Van Houten's psychological function or self-understanding, I think she means in terms of like fallback. Because then she goes on and says she, Ms. Van Houten, appears to have maintained the gains she has made. "She has developed a sense of independence and now devotes much of her time to helping other women achieve independence through education. She is reflective of the psychological situation and environmental factors which contributed to her history." And when -- and then going now to the 2010 Psycho-Social Report, on page 6, one of the sort of facets of the crime that I don't think Ms. Van Houten really articulated today -- and it might be out of concern that, you know, in the past, well, the most recent Board even, had said, you know, she identifies objective indicators. And I think they saw that in somehow like shifting blame, and they wanted her to look more deeply into herself. But she talks about, and she's quoted on the bottom of page 6 there, as being in that mindset at that time where Charles Manson said he was Jesus Christ and talked about how, you know, he'd been crucified and that he had taken on the role of the messiah and saved the world. He was like the Jesus Christ's second coming, and it was going to have to be done differently this time because the pacifism of Jesus Christ hadn't worked the last time and he was crucified.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Mr. Satris, are you trying to point out a clarification in the report or --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No. No. Okay. I can, I think, probably save the rest for closing.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay, if you would like to save the rest for closing.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: All right.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Thank you. All right. Commissioner Ferguson?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Ms. Van Houten, you just talked about relationships.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And relationships is important. Because it was your relationships that certainly were a factor in your crimes. You say that you're independent. Do you have a lot of close friends?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how many people would you say fall into that category of close friends?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I probably have about 15 people that visit me on a regular basis. I probably write about 50 or 60 people. And these are people that I've known for several decades. And I feel close to each of them. At one point or another, we either visited and they've moved to other states or I knew them from high school and they've come back into my life. People that when I was working on my Bachelor's degree, there were people that came in from the community. And I've maintained friendships with them. I have -- different friends are different conversations.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now another factor that I identified in your crimes is race. And that was the motive of your crime was to set off a race war causing many people to die over anger and racism. Have you addressed that through your stacks of programming that you've done throughout the years?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What have you learned about yourself as far as your attitudes and your feelings towards persons of other races?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That we're all the same. That race is insignificant. That people are individuals. That what we what make of our lives --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Where did you learn that about yourself?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A lot of it had to do with doing time and living in a multi-cultural environment where I'm exposed to different cultures on a daily basis.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: For example, of your close personal friends, are any of them African American?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And who is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Different women that have been in here from -- and gone out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Former inmates?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And they're people that you still keep in contact with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You said that you keep in contact with many close friends that you had prior to coming to prison.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Are any of them African American?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You just told Commissioner Singh that your shortcomings were not having a good set of boundaries. And is that your shortcomings that you still have, or was that the shortcoming or your shortcomings that you had prior to coming to prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I feel that the parts of me that leave me vulnerable are -- they don't disappear. But when they come up, I have a system of making sure that they don't come to any kind of fruition. I think that I have an equal awareness of my strengths. Sometimes I'll see someone and they'll seem like maybe they are very broken. And out of my need to do good, I might try to involve myself with them. I would call that my shortcoming. And I had a bad experience like that years ago. So I have my strengths that tell me that's not my place, it's not my business, and to not engage myself in something that has the potential of becoming unhealthy.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you think of any other shortcomings that you can talk about that influenced your behaviors prior to you coming to prison and still could potentially be a risk for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I think a shortcoming was a deep desire for approval and belonging. That I would compromise myself too much to be part of a group, not being that voice that said no.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And the second part of that question was its current presence in you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, no. If I feel myself worrying about something too much, then, you know, step ten basically says that do a daily inventory and see what's eating at you. And if there's something that's coming up too much or causing me to have unrest in me, I'll take care of it right away.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I suspect that the desire for approval and belonging is in everyone, certainly most people. And how was it that it was unhealthy with you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would go too far for it. I mean everyone likes approval. But it's the choice of where you're trying to get it. And I picked negative places. I seek approval from my supervisors and, you know, the healthy kind now.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. I'm going to shift gears temporarily, and I'm just going to put on the record that -- let's see -- pursuant to Penal Code Section 3042, notices of this hearing were sent to interested parties. And the parties do include the attorney that represented you at trial, the Sheriff's Department for the County of Los Angeles, the judge that presided over your case, the Attorney General of the State of California, also the District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. And all of the notices were sent December 11th, 2013. But specifically, the response that we received, let's see, from the DA's Office is the response by sending a representative from that office to appear in person to verbally put his opinions regarding your suitability on the record. And that would be Deputy DA Sequeira. And he'll have an opportunity to speak shortly. And as far as direct responses to those notices that I just put on the record, I'm not aware of any others. Now if you were to be granted parole, where is it that you would go to live, at least initially?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Crossroads in Claremont.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And why Crossroads in Claremont?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's a six-month transitional program. I've met the woman who oversees it, Sister Terry Dodge. She's familiar with me. And they have an established system of how to help people integrate back into the community. And I would like that kind of restriction and guidance.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And you think you need that restriction and guidance?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think if it came to it, I could do well. But if it's available, I would feel that -- I think it's important that should I ever be able to live in the community, that I live in a structured environment where I learn to do things on my own so that when I'm with my friends and everything else, I have a foundation that I've established through people that are trained to help me do that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, society is not a structured environment. After six months, you'll be living somewhere else.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Right. But I'll know how to use phones and that kind of thing. I'm thinking more about how the world has changed. I don't know it at all out there. And rather than -- it's my understanding that at Crossroads, they help you set up right away going to meetings, using technology. The students from Claremont colleges come over and talk. And I just -- that would be my preference. I could -- I could make it otherwise. But I would really prefer that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Well, I do acknowledge that we've received a copy of the letter from Crossroads, and that was received by you through your attorney at the start of this hearing today. And the letter is dated April 9th, 2013. And it is signed by Sister Terry Dodge, Executive Director of that program. And they do acknowledge that they have drug and alcohol counselors on site and that they have programming and AA/NA and issues of trauma, self-esteem, anger management, critical thinking, money management, codependency, healthcare, grief and loss and job readiness. So it sounds like a very good program. Do you have a backup plan for transition in the event that they're filled up? It does say here that they are able to accommodate up to 21 women at a given time. And there's always the possibility that it'll be full and there's no bed space.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I have two other options. One is a friend of mine named Connie Turner that I've known for -- since the 80's. And she and her husband have made their home available and offered to help me and have located AA meetings and other places that I could go to to establish myself. And then there's one more reentry --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Just before we move on from that, if you're looking for the letter, that would be Exhibit A in our first submission, the very first letter. And she has for a number of years at a number of hearings made that offer.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And there is a letter with the letterhead of Connie Turner.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And it's dated May 1st, 2013. And it says that she would have one bedroom and one bathroom to herself if you were to come live with her and her husband. And she says she's lived there for 13 years. And she lives in San Gabriel. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. All right. And then there was another one?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. There's one more that I don't know that much about.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is it a transitional housing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But you did get an acceptance letter from them? Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And which program is that?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: That's the very next letter in that submission.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, the next --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's called Primary Purpose Substance Free Living Homes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. The next submission in line would be what appears to be a brochure of the services that they offer at Primary Purpose Substance Free Living Homes. And they're in Los Angeles. And it's signed by L.E. Carson, and it does say that you've been approved to enter their substance-free living home for women.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And I think if you look through a number, this letter is -- part one of the themes of it is that the people are actually prepared to have her move in.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Right now I'm just trying to capture what her desires are --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- her first, second and third choice are just in the event that the first choice falls through at least initially.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. All right. And if you were to be paroled, how are you going to support yourself out there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I have a variety of skills. And ideally, if my notoriety didn't interfere, I would put in an application to be a tutor at one of the community colleges. I have a letter from Rob Rundquist who is my current supervisor that says that I have that ability. I'd make about 15 dollars an hour, work 40-hour workweeks. So I have that employable skill. If my notoriety interfered with that, I could do online tutoring. I also have been working for the last eight years as the English tutor. And you have two letters from some of the teachers that I've worked for that establish that I have a command of the written English language where I could do some editing. I also could, and would intend to, take a grant writing course so that I could write grants for different agencies and foundations. I also have the skills and the ability to do formatting of theses and doctoral degrees. And all of these would help me to be able to put in my share of living. I don't see in the near future my trying to establish living alone, that kind of thing. I think I would live with friends and contribute.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. I'm going to start referencing letters. I've got a number of questions about your plans. But I want to get these letters out of the way because I suspect there's quite a few of them. There's a letter here from the Law Office of Christie Webb. And it's dated May 20, 2013. And who is Christie Webb to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's been my attorney in the past. And she assists me in legal issues and matters today.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she does indicate that she's assisted your current attorney, Mr. Satris, in preparing for this hearing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she says that you're a mature and thoughtful person and you try to enrich and improve other people's lives. There's a letter from David Nakase, N-A-K-A-S-E, and then in parentheses, it's Van Houten.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And that's your brother?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And your sister-in-law, Kim Boone, also signs this letter.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's dated May 1st, 2013.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And where does your brother live now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He lives in Pasadena.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And he says that being a member of your immediate family, you'll be -- he'll be part of your support system.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And here's a letter from Kay Van Houten. And that's the wife of your father?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She says she was married to your father for 33 years. And she says that she'll support you any way possible when you're paroled.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: The widow.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Right. Right. It's a letter from Flo Conway also signed by Jim Siegelman, S-I-E-G-E-L-M-A-N. And who are they to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I met them when I was going out for my second trial. And they were studying when people snap, when things just stop in someone's life.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So they met you researching for a project or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- or a book?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, a book.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They wrote a book. And they've continued their studies and have supported me.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: They particularly also study cults and the effects of cults on individuals. As stated in the letter, they've previously submitted the entire book to the Board. But somehow, I don't know that it's still around. So the chapter that she refers to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: There is a chapter here, chapter 14. And it appears to have been included. And there's a letter from Robert Rundquist from Chaffey College Success Center -- and Rundquist is spelled R-U-N-D-Q-U-I-S-T -- from Chaffey College, dated May 10th, 2013. And he talks about your commitment to the students and their personal development. And he acknowledges your eight years of employment as a tutor and that you received a tutor's certification from the college. And he says that you could secure employment upon your release as a Chaffey College tutor, a pay rate of 15 dollars an hour. There's a letter from Linda Grippi, G-R-I-P-P-I. And who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's my closest friend.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she -- and she says that this is the 20th letter she's written. And you -- did you know her before you came to prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. We were in high school together.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she also says that you are welcome in her home, and she will continue to be your friend and provide whatever you need. There's a letter from Karen Ruthig, R-U-T-H-I-G, May 29th, 2013. Who is she?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I met her through an old family friend. And she visited me when she lived in California. And she married and moved back east and we've kept in touch. I've known her probably close to 35 years.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she will continue to have love and support through your transition and beyond. Here's a letter from Chris Chesser, C-H-E-S-S-E-R, dated May 14th, 2013. So she was a person that you knew prior to your commitment offenses?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He's a --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Or he?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It's a man.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I've known him about 30 years. And I would say that he has been very helpful in me learning about good relationships, particularly with the opposite sex where --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Has this been a romantic relationship?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not at all. And so he's probably one of my first and longest male friends that that was never discussed or became a factor. And we've had very good talks about healthy relationships.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And he does say at the end of his letter that he would be happy to assist in any way with your transition. It's a letter from Talia Bowman, B-O-W-M-A-N. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The daughter of my childhood friend.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She says she's known you 25 years.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She would be happy to welcome you back to society, support and live next door to you. Here's a letter from Michael Farquhar, F-A-R-Q-U-H-A-R, dated May 16th, 2013. And who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He's a man that in -- he did an article for the Washington Post. I don't remember when, but a long time ago.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: He says nearly 20 years ago. Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And we corresponded. And he no longer works for the Washington Post. And he comes out maybe every other year, and we visit.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And he does indicate that he's visited and talks about a visit that you had last summer. There's actually two letters here.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: That's in his current letter. He said he was attaching his prior letter, and then also the actual article that he wrote, August 7th, 1994, for the Washington Post.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And it is an 11-page article. Karen Glasser, G-L-A-S-S-E-R.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's Chris Chesser's partner. And I don't know how many years I've known her. But sometimes she comes with him to visit. And we are in touch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she says that she would welcome you into her group of family and friends. Her letter is dated May 15th, 2013. It's a letter from Allison Hurlbutt, H-U-R-L-B-U-T-T.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I also met her through Chris. And we were both working on our Master's degrees at the same time and spent time talking.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She's a marriage and family therapist, she says.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she's been a friend of yours for over ten years.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Here's a letter from Anna Thies, T-H-I-E-S.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's an older woman. I have no idea. She began writing me support letters and wanting to reach out to me. And her letters touched me. She had sadness in her life at losing a loved one. And she wanted to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, she sends a letter all the way from Mays Landing, New Jersey.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And I don't -- I only know her through correspondence.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And there's a letter here from Rita Marmolejo.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Marmolejo, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Marmolejo, M-A-R-M-O-L-E-J-O.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And it's dated May 17th, 2013. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's a volunteer that comes in here and oversees the Native American groups right now because they don't have a spiritual advisor. So she -- I see her about twice a month.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she does that you're a very committed teacher assistant at this institution. And there's a letter from Jeff Guinn, G-U- I-N-N, May 22, 2013. And he's another person who wrote a book?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He's in the process of it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: He says he spent 15 to 18 hours with you. And he also includes what appears to be some sort of article about the book that he's either writing or has written.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: There's actually a pre-lease copy of that book that I would leave for the Board's consideration if they're at all interested in it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We've got so -- a mountain of stuff --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: There's probably too --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- to read here already.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thanks. Here's a letter from Cheryl Minichilli, M-I-N-I-C-H-I-L-L-I. And that's 4/19/2013. She says she's known you 32 years. And who is she?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was an inmate here. She's been out about ten years and we stay in touch. And she's doing well.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And she says she'll help you with your adjustment to the community. And the next letter is a handwritten letter, three pages, signed by Daphne Kenney, K-E-N-N-E-Y. And she does have a CDCR number after her name. Is she still an inmate or is she --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She was at fire camp. And she's here right now on an injury. But she is one of my sponsees. And so she wrote to share that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She does say that you have helped her with her drug addiction.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And are there other letters in the first submission --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- that I didn't get to?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. After you go through the first couple that you did, I think starting then at --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Nancy Stoller?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, earlier than that I think is -- oh, sorry. Is that number three? Right. Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Nancy Stoller was one of my first educators in here when they abolished the death penalty. The warden at the time wanted us to begin, meaning my codefendants and I, to be exposed to the ideas of feminism and measuring the difference of means and ends and to try to have people interject some kind of wedge into what my mind had become. And she was one of them. And she's also a job offer that she would -- she's read my thesis and would hire me to do research on her work.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It does say in her letter that she would hire you if you're paroled to Northern California.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what -- and what does she do now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's retired. But she still does some, I think research work and papers.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So she would hire you to assist in that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. There's a letter here from Nancy Pratt.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I went to high school with Nancy.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She says you could be a good role model for others if you're released, others who have traveled down the wrong road. And she does say that you could -- she could offer you a place to live. She has plenty of room. Where does she live?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She lives up north in like Eureka or Ukiah. I get them mixed up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Yeah. That's pretty far up north. There's a letter here from Mickey Dickoff.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: D-I-C-K-O-F-F, who's that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's a friend.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how do you know her?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I know her through -- I met her through one of my mother's boyfriends. Well, my mother didn't have that many. I said that wrong. But my mother's boyfriend met her and then introduced me to her.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: She's a documentarian who said she was also in 1993, researching a documentary involving you. Leslie, do you know that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, but it never happened.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: But she does say that she's in the process of looking for an office manager and researcher with exceptional organizational and secretarial and communications skills --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- and that she can't think of anyone more qualified for that position than you. It's a letter from John Barkman, B-A-R-K-M-A-N.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. He's married to a friend of mine. I don't know him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: He says he would be -- he would offer you occasional part time work as clerical work in his business. A letter from Paul Van Houten.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My brother.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: This one is dated April 28th, 2013. He says he's retired after 33 years of working for the City and County of San Francisco. And he indicates you have a solid support network outside of prison. And he is part of that network. And he'll do everything necessary to help you have a successful transition. And it's a letter from Noel Nocciolo or Nocciolo, N-O-C-C-I-O-L-O. And she says that her mother is your best friend, and she refers to you as her aunt.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. That's Linda's daughter, and she was very close to my mother.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Dana Nakase.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's my --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- N-A-K-A-S-E.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. That's my niece.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She said that she would provide you with every aspect of support, guidance and love. She's one of your many family members. It's a letter from Carolyn Johnson and Jan Nishida, N-I-S-H-I-D-A. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Those are friends of my mother. Jan lived in the condo next to my mom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And there's a letter from Timothy Lawlor, L-A-W-L-O-R, from Ontario, California. And he's a retired chaplain. And how do you know him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I worked for him for a while. And he was a -- he was the priest here for many, many years. And we stayed in touch.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: He says he was your counselor from '69 to '85, religious counselor I suppose.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's a letter from Gerard Gumbleton.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He and his wife have been good friends of mine. I met them through my mother. They've been friends for maybe 35, 36 years.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And then here's one from -- I've already gotten this one, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Laura Hope from Chaffey College. There's also a letter from Carmen Navarro from Chaffey College. Here's a letter from Angela Cardinal Bartlett from Chaffey College. And who are those ladies?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Laura Hope is the dean of instruction. And she supervises Rob Rundquist who wrote the other letter. And Carmen Navarro is the communications teacher that I assisted her in her classes. Angela Bartlett is an English teacher who tells you of my skills.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And she does say that you could work as a tutor earning approximately 15 dollars an hour. It's a letter from Albert Erdynast, E-R-D-Y-N-A-S-T, from the Antioch University of Los Angeles. And who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was my undergraduate advisor when I was working on my Bachelor's degree.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. And then Rene Coleman, Ph.D., the wife -- is the wife of Albert Erdynast. She sends a letter as well. It's another letter from Chaffey College, Deckard Hodge, H-O- D-G-E. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He's the other English teacher that speaks to my abilities.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Marilyn Montenegro --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- National Association of Social Workers. She indicates that the Women's Council, which I guess she's a part of, provides assistance and will provide assistance to you upon your release, linking you with counseling and other reentry services.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She's been a volunteer and part of the various organizations here for many years.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Julie Werbel, W-E-R-B-E-L.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I met her through another friend. She and her life partner live in Washington, and we correspond and sort of do a book club thing. We read and share ideas.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's a letter from Dan Mrotek, M-R-O-T-E-K. And who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That was one of my original Board Hearing lawyers.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: The next one is from Kim, no last name.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. That's my AA sponsor. And so because of the anonymity that if you had any further questions you could go through my attorney.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And Kim has agreed to be your AA sponsor on the outside upon your release?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. And is Kim your sponsor at this time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We're just beginning correspondence. I had one, but that didn't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was in some sort of an accident, and I haven't heard from her. So I'm beginning with Kim.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from John Waters.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A longtime friend.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Since prior to you coming to prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: How did you meet him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He asked if he could come see me, and I said yes. And so we started a friendship, and it's gone on for about, gosh, 30 years maybe.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Mildred -- I can't -- it's handwritten, and I can't read her signature. It starts with T-H, it looks like I-E -- L-K-E maybe? Is that it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. That's it, Thielke, I think.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And who is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Her husband had always written letters of support. I don't know them. But she wrote you all the same.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: James McGrew.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Jimmy McGrew and I went to high school together.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: He says he'll do everything in his power to make your transition successful.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Charlie Brown.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was -- when I was out on bail, he was a high school student. And Linda was an educator. And so I spent a little bit of time with some of the kids that were thinking it might be okay to experiment with stuff. And that's -- he's one of them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Steven Godfryd, G-O-D-F-R-Y-D.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. He's another that I spent time with from the high school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Susan Talbott and Elizabeth Gray.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They're very dear friends of mine. And they helped with my bail. And we have maintained a close friendship and relationship.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: James Gabrielson and LaDonna Bon, B-O-N. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: James Gabrielson is an older man that wrote me, and mainly I think through his church in the beginning. And then we began a friendship. And his wife passed on. And LaDonna is his current wife. And they write and keep in touch. He visited for a while.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Gerald Bonney in Glasgow, Scotland, I believe. Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What's that all about?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: His cousin is here. And through the visits, he would bring his aunt to visit the cousin. And she and my mom would talk about Scotland. And he and I became friends. And we keep up a correspondence.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Nicky Meredith.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Nicky Meredith originally had contacted me about wanting to look into an article of how someone like -- with my history would end up in such a violent crime. And the article never really came to fruition. But I appreciate her candidness and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So she's a journalist, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Bob and Karen Thomas.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Those were -- Karen's dad fought in the war with my dad. And over a period of years, she found old photos, and we've just stayed in touch. They were war buddies, her dad and my dad.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's a letter from Joyce Ryde. She's a retired English teacher. And who's she to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's a, I think a prisoner advocate. I see her in the visiting room. And she's supportive of rehabilitation.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Judy Shane?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Judy Shane is Connie Turner's cousin.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Destiny Isaac?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's the daughter of one of the woman I sponsored in prison. And she's been clean now and so Destiny --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Destiny is 11 years old, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Joanne Murphy?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's the mother of the woman I sponsored.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And Laura Lee?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't know her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Gloria Killian from Action Committee for Women in Prison.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Gloria was here and got a reversal of her conviction and does prison support work.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: It's a letter from Diane Catanho, C-A-T-A-N-H-O.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's another person I did time with who has successfully paroled.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Anika Osterberg, O-S-T-E-R-B-E-R-G?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She was here and got transferred to Sweden and successfully paroled.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Robin Keeble, K-E-E-B-L-E. She says she's known you since 1981. A letter from Beckett Marts, M-A-R-T-S.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She was someone that I did a lot of time with that is now free.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Patricia Johnson?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I worked with her at the tutoring program, and she was released.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Nora Cumpian, C-U-M-P-I-A-N?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I worked with her also as a tutor.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Here's another letter from a former inmate, Dawn Murphy.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And Josita Bear Odle, O-D-L-E.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Michelle Rene Rino, R-I-N-O. I'm not seeing any that appear to be letters. Is that the last letter, counsel?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes, it is.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. Did I cover all of them? I (inaudible.)

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, there were the several that then came in by fax that we made part of Exhibit B. I can't remember now.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Was it one maybe, Reverend Fuller? Oh, no.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Yeah. Okay. It's Reverend Fuller. Who's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was my boss here. He was the Catholic chaplain in the prison.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And Masako Tsuchiya -- I don't know, T-S-U-C-H-I-Y-A.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was also a volunteer. She doesn't come in anymore.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Jean Van Steenburg, S-T-E-E-E-N-B-U-R-G?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. They're correspondence friends. They live in Austin. And so when they come up here, they visit me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Robert Van Steenburg?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. That's the couple that come visit you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: A letter from Robin Allen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's Connie Turner's sister.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She says she would welcome you in her home. Now I think I've got them all. Now what do you think your obstacles are going to be once you're released?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Maintaining anonymity.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Why is that important?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To live a life, a life as other people do, I think, anonymity is very important. Another obstacle would be seeing what's changed out there. You know, I try to keep current. I read a lot. But the world has changed more than just telephone use, you know. Technology has changed how people are with each other. And I think I would probably take a little time getting used to the fact that it's a different kind of world out there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now have you identified any warning signs or red flags that could come up if you start to get influenced by others on the outside?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And what are those?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, going back to the boundaries, I certainly would keep an eye on people I don't know. I have a very good network of people that I do know. And anyone that would approach me in a way that's not through a friend, I would have a bit of a concern about. People that are too adamant to get my attention is another sign. Offering things that are too good to be true.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Now you wanted acceptance and wanted to fit in. However, I just spent about a half hour or more just acknowledging a huge stack of letters including people that you knew prior to coming to prison, many, many people that you were associated with coming to prison. Why did you look at the worst possible people to associate with when you had so many pro-social people that you could have associated with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, with the high school friends, that was all connected to the world I was in before the divorce. Those were my friends when I was social, like Linda. We belonged to girls' clubs together. And I started looking in other directions, in the -- I felt like I didn't belong there anymore because my family had -- the divorce had happened. And it stigmatized us.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, you've mentioned the divorce many, many times during this hearing. And I'm aware, and I'm sure you're aware, that most people have divorce in their life. If not necessarily themselves, perhaps their children or perhaps someone in their family has experienced divorce even as a child, yet they don't -- they don't do the kinds of things you've done. They go on doing what they've been doing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is there something specific about you that would cause you to take such a drastic quantum leap to where you ended up?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think that it all happened in sections and segments, that when I didn't hang with that social crowd anymore, I went to the extreme of the kids that were using drugs and not having that much going on. My decision making was really lacking. And I sought out those that were, I don't want to say losers, those that just didn't have as much going. When I -- when I left the group of kids I was with, I did a complete about face and lost myself in the world of the drugs and hallucinogens.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Commissioner, any further questions just regarding parole plans?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Not at this time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. We're going to move to clarifying questions shortly. But before we do, it's probably a good time to take another recess. And we will do that. And during this recess, we will attempt to locate those missing opposition letters that have come. The time is now 12:20, and we will recess until approximately 12:30.

(Off the Record.)

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. The time is now 12:45. All persons previously identified have returned to the room. During the break, Ms. Tate was asked to go get copies of her letters, the letters that were sent to the institution. And they are what appear to be 186 approximate letters and emails of opposition to Ms. Van Houten's release. I'm not going to reference each of them individually. But I do understand that there are letters from members of the community including law enforcement and even letters from -- and emails from interested parties from outside the country. We will have an opportunity to look at these letters at various parts of the hearing including during deliberations today. And I'm going to mark this as Exhibit -- we'll call it -- call it Exhibit C. And if, Mr. Satris, you'd like to take a look at them at any point during the hearing, I'm going to put them here. So all you've got to do is reach across and just take a look at them.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: We can't get a copy ourselves? That's all there is?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, the one copy is all we have. I'm sorry. Okay. We were about to go to outside questioning. So this would be the point in the hearing where the representative from the Deputy -- or the District Attorney's Office. Deputy DA Sequeira, if you have any clarifying questions of the Panel, now would be the time.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. Can the Panel ask the inmate how many media television interviews she has -- she has done since the time of the crimes?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We certainly did reference a number of letters of support from members of the media. So can you -- can you even estimate how many -- how many interviews you've conducted with members of the media? And that would include people that are writing books and that kind of thing?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Maybe just -- maybe I'll just -- I'll just narrow that to television interviews.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Oh, have you given television interviews?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I have.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And how many?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Three come to mind. One was with Barbara Walters before my second trial. One was with Diane Sawyer during her -- during the 25-year marking. One was with -- I can't think of his name, the man that wore the suspenders that retired. I can't remember his name.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Larry King.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Larry King. And I did one in the prison regarding a self-help group that I worked with on sewing quilts for the homeless. And I could have done one or two more. But I don't remember them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And have you done letters (sic) with like radio shows and interviews with reporters for newspapers?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I did an interview with Michael Farquhar.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: He sent a letter of --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- support, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Most of this happened around the 25-year. And I can't remember if I did any others with the newspaper. I'm sure I did. But I don't remember it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: What about people who are going to write a book?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was interviewed by Jeff Guinn.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is that the only one?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As far as I can remember. I don't -- you know. If I did, I would clearly admit it. But I can't remember doing that. Oh, Nicky Meredith, the woman who didn't write the article.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then the snapping book which you've talked about.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, snapping --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- from back in '77.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay. Mr. Sequeira?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Did the inmate also write a book?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you yourself write a book?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, I -- no, I didn't. No, I didn't. But there was a book that was put out by Carlene Faith.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And that was a book written about you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I'm sorry. I forgot that.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: There should actually be a letter that -- I don't know why it wasn't covered. But I think it's in the second submission where she has previously written letters to the Board. And this book itself actually has been previously submitted by her to the Board.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Did the inmate cooperate with the writing of this particular book or give permission to or have some -- have any contact with it?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Did you have -- did you assist in the writing of that book?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I wrote her letters that she published in it. And she was one of my first educators when Nancy Stoller was an educator here. She was one of the first people in to start teaching me.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: If the inmate desired anonymity, why did she do all these interviews with Barbara Walters, with Larry King, and also communicate with all these other media individuals or people writing books?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you answer that question?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At the various times that I've given interviews -- and I remember I wasn't going to really do the Sawyer interview. And I did it to distance myself from Manson. But it's a good point that he brought up. And I feel like I had a purpose for when I did those that -- so I chose to do them. But it's a good point he brought up.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: What does the inmate think of her trial behavior?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you make that a little more specific?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: She had three trials.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Well, let's start with --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I'm sure she had a lot of behaviors.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Well, I'm talking about the outbursts, the courtroom outbursts.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: You're talking about the first trial in 1971?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Let's start there. Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Do you want to pose the question?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you -- do you recall a outburst in your 1971 trial, your first trial?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I behaved childishly, disrespectfully of the system. I made a mockery of the judicial system. I was rude to the judge. I made fun of witnesses. I paid no attention.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Sequeira?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. The inmate indicated that she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca approximately 14 to 16 times. How does the inmate know that she stabbed that many times?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is this from recall or is this something you read like in a report or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was something that I read in the report.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And it does not surprise you that it was estimated to be 14 to 16 times?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. No, it didn't surprise me.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Maybe she didn't understand the question. This inmate has testified at Parole Hearings that she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca 14 to 16 times. Where did she get that? How does she know that?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, that's very similar to the question that I just posed. But if you can answer it any differently or even if there's no difference, just answer the same. How would you know or how do you know to what you've testified about in the past about stabbing Ms. La Bianca 14 to 16 times?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I knew the area that I stabbed her was in her lower back. And the reports that came out said that that was the amount of wounds that I did.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: So then the inmate has a specific recall based upon what happened that night of exactly where she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you have a specific recall as to the location in her body where you stabbed her?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: So the number 14 to 16 comes from her independent recollection or it comes just from the -- from the autopsy report?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: The number 14 to 16, is that from your recollection or the autopsy report or a combination of those things?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I had lost my humanity at that point. And I repeatedly stabbed her. So that number was something that I assumed reflected what I had done.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Now there are 14 wounds in the autopsy report that are indicated and described as non-fatal wounds. So is the inmate telling this Panel that she did not stab Rosemary La Bianca any of those times thereby causing her death?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I don't think she's got the credentials to answer that question.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Well, no. The question is that has the inmate testified in the past that when she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca, she was already dead?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: She has said that in the past. Is that true?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've said that in the past. Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is it possible that she was still alive?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It could have been possible that she was still alive.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I think she said that in the past too. She thought at the time she was dead. But as far as she knows, she could have been alive.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And is that correct what your attorney just said?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I have no further questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, do you have any questions?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I do. Let me go -- well, let me start actually with the last question that was asked you by the Board, Leslie, in terms of divorce, at least particularly this day, maybe not as much back in the early -- when was that? The early 60's we're talking about.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But at any rate, divorce is a relatively common thing. It happens to a lot of people. Was there something special or different about you that causes you to attach such significance or see it as a first, like I think you said, building block or incremental point to where you ended up in terms of committing murder?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I reacted very strongly to the divorce. My parents and our family structure had been very safe and protected. I was very close to my father. I blamed my mother when my dad left, that she hadn't been supportive enough, she hadn't -- in AA, there's the group that generally is with wives. It's Al-Anon and Ala-Teen. And I reacted that if she had been more loyal to him that he wouldn't have left. I had been involved in a social group where now that my family wasn't perfect that I didn't belong there anymore. I looked for other places to fit in and be comfortable with other kids that were single-parent households. And I got with Bobby Mackie and started to use drugs. And at that point, my addictions kicked in to where I just changed my life right there.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Is it fair to say that what led you to the murders was all about you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. All of my needs led me to go to the ranch, to work very hard to fit in there.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Who you were as a person at each stage of your life, was it about that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was the choices and decisions that I made.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Based on who you were?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Do you distance yourself from that at all?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I've looked at it very closely so that I could learn to live with myself with how this happened.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And one of the things you've done is looked at yourself internally? Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: What was going on --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, you're asking a series of leading questions here.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Well, I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you ask more open-ended questions?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Well, let me -- let me ask some very open-ended questions then to start, which is if you had to say in a few words, describe yourself, who are you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm a woman that committed murder, and I have been incarcerated trying to figure out how to live with what I have done. That's the basic core of who I see myself as, someone who created a tremendous amount of sorrow selfishly without regard. And I've spent these years trying to figure out how I live with that.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And what have you figured out about how to live in the face of the murders you committed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The first thing that I have to do is be honest with myself. And over the years, that's taken on different layers. My honesty regarding the crime didn't have the same depth when I was 30 as it does when I'm 60. Because as you age, there's a greater depth to what's there to see, at least for me. And I've realized that the more honest I am with myself, I find peace. And in order to be able to continue having a life that is valuable and not a life being half lived because I'm incarcerated, that I needed to be able to be of value in my community. It's called a living amends. I cannot make right what has happened. But I can do what I can to prevent others from making that mistake, being as good of a person as I can. And I've taken that very, very seriously. And that's the core of who I am.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And have you -- have you taken any vows, not formal ones, but promises to yourself in that regard?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did. When the death penalty was abolished and I knew that I was going to have to live with what I did and answer for what I did, and I came back into myself as I came out of my fog of Spahn Ranch reality, I made a commitment to myself that I would try to live exactly the life I've been trying to live since then, one of doing my best to leave something positive and not focus on the negatives in other people's lives.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And has that involved not doing any further harm to mankind or society or those around you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, yeah. I mean I make mistakes. I grew up in here. I've made a few bad choices. I got married and then I divorced. And life is full of things I could have done better. But I've looked at those things and realized how I could have done them better and then I do it. And I incorporate that into who I am as a human being.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And on the flip side of not doing harm, are you trying at all to do any good or benefit?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's what gives my life value.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Let me go back to your life in the early life where the record seems to suggest that up until the point of age 14 or something you had a fairly stable life that you considered a loving home.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. And then did you find that those -- and you've kind of -- did you flower in that with that feeling, that psychological or that sense of security that you had then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: What were some of the activities you did at that time, social activities?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I belonged to the church, the Village Presbyterian Church in Arcadia. I was a member of all the youth activities. I was vice president of the junior high school. I was on the student body in my freshman year of school. I was homecoming princess the first two years. I was an active participant in the community I lived in.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then you've talked a little bit already about the divorce and you felt abandonment -- did you -- by your father, anger at your mother for contributing to it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Did you feel that -- did you feel at all sort of disillusioned?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, life wasn't what it had been presented to me to be. I thought that we would go on like that, my sister and brother and I. My older brother was graduating. My sister and brother and I were living our life. It seemed like Dad spent a lot of time in the garage, but it was secure and safe.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And to -- well, I'll just go on. There was someone who has written a letter in the past but hasn't -- didn't write a letter for this hearing who goes way back with you. It's Dwight Blackstock.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And could you tell me what your -- the activities, for example, you engaged in with him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We did the things that people do in church youth groups. We would visit the elderly and go visit the sick.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And he eventually became a reverend?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And was he a long-time supporter of you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, he is.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Now he's called you in the past. You and he were junior deacons?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, in the church.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. So that's what you were talking about just a minute ago in terms of visiting the sick or whatever?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. We were a strong foundation of our church.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And that's what you moved away from then when you said you kind of gravitated toward creating a new life that you had lost then in the person with Bobby Mackie?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. And you've talked a bit about your pregnancy and the abortion.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Maybe not as much then. That was actually an illegal abortion at the time. It wasn't so common now.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But I would ask you the same question in terms of the abortion. Many people have abortions or it's not unheard of. Was there something different or special about you in terms of how your abortion affected you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt betrayed. I felt alone. I was angry at my mother. I felt weak because I didn't stand up to my mother. And a big part of me shut down at that point.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Do you think it had a profound effect on you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. After the abortion while I was going to business school, my mother was trying so hard to pull us back together as a family. And I just wasn't going to have it. I just couldn't forgive her for that. And the minute I finished business school, I just took off with the people that I knew and started to get high again.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Now I'm going to be talking to you a little bit later, taking this somewhat chronologically, with the thesis that you wrote that gave you your Master's. But one of the things I recall from that was you writing about, I think it was other authors. And you can clarify for this how some of the major things, the darkness in one's life and their tragedies, it actually occurs offstage.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Could you -- do you -- does that have pertinence to the abortion in your life?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, yes. It happened in quiet and in secret and rested offstage. But the point of that is that when things happen like that, they still influence your ability to interpret the world around you. So when you're left with decisions to make, those things that rest in the sidelines are what you pull on to make the decisions that you make.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And that may be without even knowing it? Yeah, or let me rephrase. Did it take you some time to understand how you reacted and what kind of effect the abortion did have on you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It took years. It took years to understand that. Because I also wanted to protect my mother from thinking that anything that happened in my childhood led me to what I became. So I didn't -- I didn't really turn to that. It took a long time.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And I think earlier in the record when I think you were talking maybe to the probation officer or even -- you know, the issue and maybe even in the initial hearings, the question of the divorce comes up. And you actually sort of shrug it off as not that big in your mind.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: So did that also take some examination of you and understanding of your own person to determine that that actually was a signal point in your life?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Everything that occurred took a lot of examination. I had a lot of therapy. I had a lot of self-help groups to try to understand why I did what I did.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And one of the letters from your old friend, I think it was James McGrew -- was he the one or was it someone else who was talking about how you were always looking or searching for the truth?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I can't remember, but I was.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But that's a fairly accurate perception of his part?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And how did you do in your search for the truth? Where did -- I mean how early did --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not very well.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: How early were you looking for the truth? He says way back in your -- in your high school days.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When I was involved in the church, I was very involved in the church. And then when I started taking LSD and reading the books like Be Here Now, I was very serious about that. When I was going to Self-Realization Fellowship, I was serious about it then. And when I met Manson, I thought that I had met the man who had all the answers. And I was very, very, very wrong. And I committed a crime. I committed murders. I invaded someone's home. I committed the worst kind of crime a human being can commit. And my search has now turned into how do I live with myself. That's pretty much a summary of my search.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Going back to the, I guess search for cosmic consciousness that you were looking for and maybe thinking you were finding with psychedelics -- is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And you talked about the books of Timothy Leary. You just mentioned Be Here Now. You mentioned that before. Do you know Richard Alpert Ram Dass?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think he wrote it.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: That was a associate of Timothy Leary at Harvard. And then he became Ram Dass. Do you know?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, I'm going to ask you to get your most important questions out there. Because I'm going to cut you off pretty soon.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I don't see much point to a lot of the questions that you've been --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: All right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- that you've been asking.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: (Inaudible.)

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I mean -- good. Thank you. Let me move on then. Because I do want to get to then the rehabilitation stage or -- let me move on from your antics, I think it's fair to say, at the 1971 trial. And then you get to the point by the end of the trial of actually etching a X into your forehead. Correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And what was that? What mindset were you in then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was X'ing myself out from society. I was dropping out from society, leaving it, not identifying with it.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And you were still a true believer in the dogma according to Charles Manson? Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then you come to Death Row.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And you're still under that mindset. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And the people that are on Death Row with you are, for example, your codefendants.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: You talked about Krenwinkel, for example, as your big sister type of, I think what they call in the cult world, the minder.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then tell us how you then began the journey out of that fog that I think you called it earlier.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The institution was very careful about who we could and could not correspond with. The Associate Warden at the time, after the death penalty was abolished, worked with my mom to bring in boxes of family photos and like a set of photo albums so that I could separate the photos to match the photo albums from my relatives and try to help me reintegrate into my family. And the Warden had Nancy Stoller and Carlene Faith and others come and begin to educate us. And it was a slow process. I would sit outside and talk to correctional officers because only one of us were allowed outside at a time. So we began to talk and get to know life, and it was a slow and steady and continuous progression.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Was it -- and then you did get to the point then in that progression a couple of years down the road of understanding the horror of your crime? Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: After about 2-1/2, three years, I started to really understand what I had done and that this was something I was going to have to learn to live with.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And you've called it a long, slow process. Was it also a very painful one?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It still is.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: How about when you -- when you first, let's say, came to your senses? You were asked, you know, didn't you ever come to your senses before and question what you were doing. And, in fact, you said you hadn't. But you do come to your senses then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: What the psychologist says in 1980, Ruth Levies (phonetic), she's recounting it. And she says that she wanted to emphasize that you went through the entire process described above, which we've just talked about, essentially alone. And she means without like psychiatric professional support. Is that true?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. No. I had support, just not medications. I was undergoing therapy.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Back then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. But there were no drugs, tranquilizers or other medications that you used?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And that you had to pull yourself back to reality from the terrifying brink of psychosis in doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And, in fact, there was an earlier 1971 Psych Report that said as sort of paradoxical as it would seem, your adherence to the Manson state of mind, let's say, at that point was actually keeping you -- here it is. You know, your bizarre and confused rationalizations at that time, a decompensation would occur if they were weakened or shattered, a paradoxical conclusion that your continuing identification with the pathological culture of Manson's tribe protected you from a full blown personal pathology and psychotic disintegration. So do you understand that? Okay. Sorry.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I kind of got lost there.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, a lot of us are getting lost here.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. I'm sorry.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Can you cut to the chase and maybe ask --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- and draw it to a close?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, let me go on then. You did -- we haven't gone over it. But you engaged in a number of activities certainly from 1980 on that were along the lines of what you were talking about in terms of being of service and positive action?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Could you just briefly talk about that? I mean I know there was some talk about recent activity in terms of the hobby craft that you were doing. There was the SOS, Save Our Stiches.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: What was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's sewing quilts for the homeless.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And when did you do that? Didn't you start that, actually?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I started that group. I think in the early 90's I might have started that group. I'm not sure.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And what are some of the other activities? I mean --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I took -- one of the programs I really liked was one called Drug Awareness. It was put on by the African American Association. And I was a member and participated in the Mexican American Association.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, just before you move on from there, the African American program that you participated in, you actually did that -- I think I saw a number of chronos.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Did you do that for quite a while?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: About how long do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Maybe a couple years.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And were -- you were supporting their association and their activities?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And they had a very good -- that organization had a particularly good substance abuse program that I participated in.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And while we're on the subject of race, I guess, you mentioned that none of the support letters were from African Americans. But were any of them from other minority populations, people of diversity?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Asian, Mexican American, mainly Asian and Caucasian --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Well, you -- there was -- there was -- there were a few letters about your work.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and Native American.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: That is where I was going.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, okay.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And the question was posed to you about -- I'm not sure I can actually do more than paraphrase it. But it was long the lines of when did your sort of consciousness or tolerance of multi-culture people come into -- develop. And you answered that it really developed in the long time you were incarcerated in here.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Was there -- was there any earlier antecedents to that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was raised in Monrovia, California, which is multi-cultural. And we were fine then. And I had friends that were African American, Hispanic. And I was an integrated person. It was during my time at Spahn's when the idea of separatism was being espoused. And it was done in a way that was -- it wasn't clearly stated. It was like flowers in a garden. What would the garden be like if there weren't all the different kinds of flowers? You can't have just one. On hindsight, it was certainly racism and separatism.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But their --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And when I left the group, then -- you know, even the race war, even the race war, it was that the blacks were going to rise up and be on the top. But everything was separated. And that's racism. And at the time, I did not understand that. I had been caught up in everything else with it. And I'm deeply ashamed of that. And since my incarceration, I certainly am a multi-cultural person.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: But the Helter Skelter idea at the same time was built on the notion of there had been white oppression of blacks. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And it was the blacks' turn to rise up and have their turn at being the leaders.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And at that time, there were, in fact, a lot of racial riots and so forth that had gone on. This is after Watts and the Detroit riots. Is that right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: There was a lot of unrest and a lot of people challenging the system at that time. So while things were being pointed out, there were certainly things I could see as indicators to what I was choosing to believe.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, is that about it?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: No, it isn't. I would like to proceed. I'll try to -- I know the Board may feel satisfied. But there's also the Governor that we have to consider too. Oh, no. That's not even -- oh, yeah. The letter from Carlene Faith I thought had been submitted, but I do have the original here that I would like to add to the collection.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Would you like to reference it? I've already gone through the letters. Just say who she is --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: (Inaudible.)

ATTORNEY SATRIS: It's dated May 15th, 2013. She's the one who talks about writing the book, the Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten, in which she investigates the cult effect and having known Leslie for 41 years when she was part of the program that the then-superintendent, Virginia Carlson, introduced with the support of the University of California that she was attached to to conduct tutorials with her and others at the special security unit. And she mentions how Leslie, by '74, had already regained her mental clarity and was developing her ability to reason and letting go of her delusions and face the magnitude of the crimes and the pain suffered by the La Bianca family. And she's learned to live with the deep grief of her guilt in this time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right. We'll accept the letter.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I'll let the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And then I will mark it --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: There's more.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I'll call it B-2, Exhibit B-2.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Or B-3. I thought B-2 was a few others that we had submitted in a package.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: No. I marked an Exhibit B-1, and then I went to Exhibit C for the opposition letters.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Let me move on then quickly and talk about relationships a little bit which I know is one of the concerns of the Board. They expressed it the last time. And could you just briefly explain the work you've done on relationships? I don't know about from the beginning, but certainly your most recent work since the last hearing at least.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've put together a relationship insight paper. I've read a lot of self-help books. I've brought it up in my EA sessions. I've come to see that, as I spoke about it earlier, that they weren't happenstance or random. That the people that I put in my life at that time were people that I sought out. And I've looked at that. And while Bill Sywin was yet another bad relationship, I had set limits on that. And when he violated it, I divorced him. So I felt good about that, that I was able to know how to stop the relationship.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And that statement that you're referring to is Exhibit D. And rather than go over it, because I know time is limited, of the first submission, I would ask the Board to give it as close attention as it can. But I did want to focus just on one observation you make here where you're talking about one of the books called Codependence and the Power of Detachment, How to Set Boundaries and Make Your Life Your Own. And you've talked a bit about the importance of how to set boundaries.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And you say and remove myself from unhealthy enmeshments. And then you go on to say, "This is what I was unable to do at the time of my crimes, but I was able to do in my marriage and divorce." So if you could again just kind of quickly maybe elaborate on that and explain what you meant.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In the past, I didn't have a good way to get out of the relationships. So I kind of fell from one into another and without definition. And when I was married to Bill and he violated what our commitment was to each other because he got rearrested -- I was under the impression he had rehabilitated -- I divorced him. So I made good on my contract with him, my verbal and emotional contract and understood how to get out of it.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I would like to talk a little bit about acceptance of responsibility.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Do you have any questions about that?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. Do you feel that you are responsible for the murders that occurred --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: -- that you committed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Do you have any kind of reservation or but for about that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And do you feel as responsible, for example, as Krenwinkel, because you've talked a little bit about how you were following her lead, so to speak --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I feel --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: -- her model?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I feel as responsible as Patricia Krenwinkel.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And why is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because we were both there. We knew what we were going to do. I assisted her.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Do you feel as responsible or do you -- is your acceptance of responsibility even without regard that Tex Watson, for example, as the record shows, was kind of the lead person in the house and committed, perpetrated the fatal blows on each --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. I carry the same amount of responsibility as Tex Watson.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And why do you say that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because we were in it together. When we entered the house, I knew what was going to happen. And I did nothing to stop it. At no point did I do anything to stop what was going on. I supported it. And I was a participant, and I'm responsible.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And then I guess the 64 million dollar question is do you feel as responsible as Charles Manson for your -- the murders that you committed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I feel that I helped contribute to who he became. I feel extremely responsible. I feel responsible for who he ended up being, never questioning him, supporting it, giving him all of that power. I do. I really feel responsible for that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Is that it, Mr. Satris?

ATTORNEY SATRIS: If it -- I could save -- I could save the rest for closing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I wish you would. It's gone on for a long time. And it is getting very warm in here.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Then I will --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I thought -- I thought the 64 million dollar question would probably be a good place --

ATTORNEY SATRIS: To end?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- to end.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: All right. I will. I will submit --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: All right.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: -- the rest.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We'll go to closing statements then. And we'll start with Mr. Sequeira.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. On behalf of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, I encourage the Panel to find the inmate, Leslie Van Houten, unsuitable for parole. In terms of the factors of unsuitability for parole for a life prisoner, Ms. Van Houten, inmate Van Houten, basically covers all of the grounds, starting first of all with an unstable social history. She led an ideal life as a child. Then at age 14 and even in her early years in high school, Campfire Girl, Girl Scout, twice a homecoming princess, Job's Daughter, active in the church, sang in the choir, secretary of her class. And yet despite that type of environment -- and granted, her parents did, in fact, have a divorce -- she chose to put that behind. Now in listening to her responses today at this hearing, I find it interesting first of all that none of her other siblings had the same reaction to the divorce as she had, including the other brother, Paul. I think his name is Paul. Additionally, she talks about not fitting in all of a sudden because her parents were divorced, and yet some of the letters of support are from the same people that she -- was part of her crowd in high school. And I'm assuming this is the good crowd and not the drug user crowd. But yet she chose to leave that. She chose to take up with an individual who'd been kicked out of another school and wound up in Monrovia High School. She began using drugs on her own volition. And that's been well documented in her -- in her discussions here today. And she basically threw aside her position and her peer group within her high school, which was a supportive normal peer group, to join the counter culture, to join those who were using drugs. And she sought these people out. They didn't seek her. She sought them out. And I think that's significant because she had every opportunity not to have gone the path that she went. But yet she did. And so she began using drugs, became pregnant. And then, of course, she had an abortion. But the abortion didn't stop her from graduating from high school. It didn't stop her from going to Sawyer Business College, and I believe finishing first or in the top of her class. It didn't stop her from pursuing things that she either wanted to do at the time or felt that it was -- or felt was necessary to do. But after Sawyer College, she then leaves, as she has described today. She goes wandering around. She meets Bobby Beausoleil, another Manson Family member. And they begin traveling to different communes throughout the state, Northern California, out towards the desert, and then finally settling back in Southern California, where she meets up with Charles Manson and the other individuals. And Bobby Beausoleil is still along with her at the time. I believe she's in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship or it's somewhat of a meĢnage a trois with another woman who also traveled with them before they landed at the Spahn Ranch. While at the Spahn Ranch, by all indications, by her statements, from various Parole Hearings and Psychological Evaluations, she enjoyed the life there. Everything was fun. It was -- it was a great group of people. And by her own admissions, even in the -- in the Psychological Evaluations, things changed. In fact, in her 1982 Board Hearing, she indicated that Charlie began talking and the others began talking about the race war. They began been talking about Helter Skelter. And the Family began turning towards the dark side, turning towards this discussion of violence and the discussion of antisocial activities. But what did Leslie Van Houten do? Did she leave the Family? Many other people did. There were a lot of people that wandered in and out of that commune at Spahn Ranch. Many of them didn't buy into the Manson and company philosophy. Many of them came and left. In fact, it was quite a -- it was quite a free flowing group of people. There were maybe 20 to 30 people, and not all of them bought into this Helter Skelter philosophy. But she was free to leave. She was free to leave at any time. But she chose to stay. She chose to buy into the philosophy. And the philosophy included murder. And in fact, she's testified at her trial that she actually thought about whether she could commit murder for two days before she decided she could commit murder, before she was asked to even commit a murder. So she stayed with this group and their antisocial activities. She stayed with the whole philosophy of Helter Skelter and starting a race war and blaming it on -- killing white people, blaming it on blacks, and eventually there would be this tremendous wave of violence throughout the country. Many, many people would be killed. Many people would be injured. And in the end, her and Manson and the other Family members, who would emerge from the desert, would be the ones that the blacks would turn to to govern because they were -- they were unable to do so. Farfetched, bizarre, but for someone with an 120 IQ, it's inconceivable how she could have bought into this. But she did. She bought into it hook, line and sinker. When her boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil, killed Gary Hinman, Susan Atkins, who was also involved in that murder and was also convicted, came back to the residence and gleefully talked to Leslie about how Bobby had killed Gary Hinman as she began sharpening her knives. When they began practicing these creepy crawly missions, Van Houten, inmate Van Houten participated in that. There is also testimony regarding Tex Watson doing knife training and teaching people how to use knives and how to stab and kill people. And that was all part of the planning and the pre-mediation for igniting Helter Skelter. So after Gary Hinman was killed in late July of 1969, Leslie Van Houten did what? Did she leave? Did she go to the authorities? No. She did none of those. And instead, she stayed with the Family, continued their activities, and then, of course, on August 9th, the first group went out to commit the killings at the Tate residence. Five people and an unborn fetus were slaughtered that night. The wounds were horrific. The victims were mutilated. Pregnant Sharon Tate was stabbed 16 times, five of them were fatal. Wojciech Frykowski was -- he fought with his attackers. He was stabbed 51 times. He was shot twice. He was hit over the hit 13 times with a blunt object. Abigail Folger, who Krenwinkel chased down into the lawn and stabbed was stabbed 28 times and died from a stab wound to the aorta. Steven Parent was shot four times, and Jay Sebring was shot once, which was a fatal wound, and stabbed seven times, kicked in the face several times, breaking his eye, nose and socket. Three of those seven stab wounds were fatal. This was a blood bath, an absolutely horrifying blood bath that made the -- made the newspapers, made the television. And this inmate, knowing that her friends, her close associates, had committed this crime, because Patricia Krenwinkel came back and described in detail exactly what they did, knowing all of that, this inmate's reaction was to feel rejected, to feel left out that she could not go and slaughter and kill people including a pregnant, 8-1/2 month-pregnant Sharon Tate. That is just unbelievable. That's just inconceivable that anyone could do that. But yet we see examples in society now. People will blow themselves up for a cause. People will be so immersed in an ideology whether it be a religious or social or political ideology that they will do unbelievable things. And they will do them because they are committed to the cause. And there's absolutely no question that this inmate was committed to the cause and that she has a proclivity for following causes, for following bad influences in her life, as she's even admitted here today. So knowing all of what had happened at the Tate residence, the next night when she was asked to join, she was willing to go. She brought a change of clothes. She huddled with Tex Watson and Charles Manson. They discussed how it should go down. The night before was too messy. And seven of them piled into a car. And they began driving looking for people to kill. And this was part of this terrorist activity. They were going to strike fear throughout Los Angeles County. Not just fear and murder at the La Bianca residence, but you also had a second hit team which comprised of Charles Manson, Steve Grogan, Linda Kasabian and Susan Atkins. So the seven of them got together, and they began driving around for four hours. They went to one location and they discarded it because I think as inmate Van Houten mentioned Charlie saw some pictures of children and he thought, well, at some time it may be necessary to kill children to start Helter Skelter, but not tonight. They went to another location but the houses were too close together on the hill, so they discarded that location. They went to another location, a church because they were planning on killing a minster. And they going to crucify and hang him upside down. But nobody was home at the -- at the church so they couldn't kill the minister. So finally, they settled on the location on Waverly. And the reason that they knew that location is they had been to a party at the house next door to the La Biancas. A college student by the name of Harold True at one time rented that residence. So they went to that residence. Charles Manson went inside with a gun, tied up the La Biancas. I think Tex may or may not have also gone in with him during part of it. But in any event, came back outside and instructed Tex and the girls to go in and kill the La Biancas, but not to let them know that they were going to be killed. Just go along with we're just trying to rob you and everything will be fine. The only thing that Charles Manson took from the La Bianca's residence was Mrs. La Bianca's wallet. And the purpose for taking the wallet is the remaining four, Grogan, Manson, Atkins and Kasabian, drove away from Waverly. They went to an area they thought was Pacoima but actually wound up in Sylmar. And the idea was to leave Mrs. La Bianca's wallet in a restroom in what they believed was a predominantly black area so that a black woman would find this wallet, would use the credit cards and be blamed for the murder. And it wasn't quite a black area. It was actually an area that wasn't frequented very well. And Ms. Kasabian managed to hide the wallet so well that she led the police to the wallet about four months later. Then that group, the Kasabian, Atkins, Manson group, then went looking for other people to kill. They went to -- they drove around. They were going to kill someone at one point at an intersection, but the light changed and the person drove away. So then they went down to the beach. And they were going to -- they were going to look up an actor that Linda Kasabian knew lived in an apartment complex. And they were going to go in. And the plan was to slit his throat and rob him and also stage the crime scene again to look as if he had been killed by blacks. Ms. Kasabian was reluctant to go along with the deal. And she led them intentionally to the wrong floor of the apartment building. An elderly man opened the door and they had to abort the plans. At that point, they still wandered around, but eventually hitchhiked back to the ranch. So it wasn't just the La Biancas that were the target. They were just part of the appetizer, so to speak for Helter Skelter, just as the five, you know, victims at the Tate residence were just part of the appetizer as well. So inside the residence, the inmate goes in with Patricia Krenwinkel, Tex Watson, and they bring Rosemary La Bianca into the bedroom to kill her, the two girls do. Inmate Van Houten puts a -- puts a pillowcase over Mrs. La Bianca's head, begins wrapping a lamp cord around her neck. In the -- in the living room, Tex Watson has placed a pillowcase over Leno La Bianca's head and begins stabbing and killing him. Mrs. La Bianca, hearing the screams of her husband as he's being stabbed and killed in the living room, bolts up from the bed that she's lying on. Because they've tied her up and they've put her on a bed in the bedroom. She jumps up, bolts up, grabs the lamp, swings it around at inmate Van Houten and inmate Krenwinkel, and begins fighting. Krenwinkel tries to stab her, hits her on the collarbone, bends the knife that they -- that she had. Prior to that, actually, both Van Houten and Krenwinkel each had knives. So they began struggling with Mrs. La Bianca who was fighting for her life. This inmate then goes and grabs -- and yells for Tex Watson to come in and help. Tex Watson is armed with a bayonet. So he comes in and he begins stabbed as well as all three of them are basically are stabbing. And the inmate is holding Mrs. La Bianca down. After she is killed and Leno La Bianca is killed -- and he's killed also in an extremely brutal fashion. In addition to being stabbed 12 times, he's stabbed with a carving fork. The carving fork was used to -- by Patricia Krenwinkel to carve W-A-R into his chest. And then the fork was left stuck in his chest. In fact, Patricia Krenwinkel said, "When I stuck the fork in his chest, I watched it wiggle." Additionally, a knife was thrust through Leno La Bianca's neck. It went in the front. It came out the side. The neck -- the knife was buried all the way up to the hilt. You look at the crime scene photographs, Leno La Bianca has a bloodstained hood or, you know, the pillowcase over his head. You can barely even see the knife until you remove the hood. And his hands were bound in the back with a leather thong that Charles Manson had -- was wearing that night. Brutal killing. Body defiled afterwards. And then they took his blood and they wrote on the walls of the residence. They wrote, "Death to pigs." They wrote, "Rise", and they wrote, "Helter Skelter", misspelled on the refrigerator. The reference to, "Death to pigs" was the pigs were the establishment. And the Manson Family believed that the Beatles were prophets and they were speaking to the Manson Family through their songs, particularly the Beatles White Album. There was a -- there was a very derogatory song about piggies being affluent middle class individuals. There's also another song on the album called Blackbird, which Manson and the Family took to mean the black race and the call for them to rise. And to rise up in revolution was also the reason for writing the word "Rise" in the -- in the La Bianca residence. "Pig" was also written in -- the crime scene at the Tate residence was also staged with writing in blood from the victims to basically look as if the blacks had done it, the same with the Hinman murder. The Hinman murder, a black paw print was put in blood on the wall as well. After the two victims were lying, defiled, bloodied in their residence, what does this inmate and the other crime partners do? Van Houten calmly goes around wiping the entire house for any possible fingerprints. They did not discover one fingerprint in the house. Because she did such a good job of wiping down the house of any fingerprints. They then washed. Tex Watson took a shower. They changed clothes. Van Houten put on clothing belonging to Mrs. La Bianca. They drink milk from the refrigerator. They ate some cheese. Then they went outside and hid in the bushes for a while, and eventually hitchhiked back to the ranch. Back at the ranch, inmate Van Houten took the clothes that she was wearing. She started a fire. She burned Mrs. La Bianca's clothes that she had been wearing and calmly counted out about eight dollars' worth of change that they had taken from the residence. No remorse. No sadness. No indication whatsoever that she was not proud of what she had done, as the same with all the other Manson Family members. And I find it interesting when you go back through the accounts that Ms. Van Houten has given regarding her participation in the murder of Rosemary and Leno La Bianca, there are numerous, numerous inconsistencies and there are numerous changes of story. And I'd like to go through some of them right now with you. One of the first is, of course, at her trial where basically, she puts on a defense of -- basically indicates that it's really somewhat of a self-defense. She says -- well, first of all, she says that she knew nothing about the Tate murders and that when she went along the next night, she had no idea where they were going or what they were going to do. And the murder of Rosemary La Bianca was made to seem like self-defense. She said that only after Rosemary swung at her with the lamp did she take one of the knives, and "Patricia had a knife and we started stabbing and cutting up the lady." That's a quote. Then there's another question in quote, "Up to that time, did you have any intention of hurting anybody? Answer: No." And this is from her defense attorney by the way. "Question: Did you stab her after she appeared to be dead? Answer: I don't know if it was before or after she was dead, but I stabbed her. I don't know if she was dead. She was lying there on the floor. Question: Had you stabbed her at all before you saw her lying on the floor? Answer: I don't remember." And then her attorney went on to ask her some other questions. "Question: Leslie, do you feel sorrow or shame or a sense of guilt for having participated in the death of Mrs. La Bianca?" And then there was a pause. "Question: Let me go one by one. Do you feel sorrowful about it, sorry, unhappy? Answer: Sorry is only a five-letter word. It can't bring back anything. Question: I am trying, Leslie, to discover how you feel about it. Answer: What can I feel? It has happened. She is gone. Question: Do you wish that it hadn't happened? Answer: I never wish anything to be done over another way. That is a foolish thought. It will never happen that way. You can't undo something that is done. Question: Do you feel if you wanted to cry for what happened? Answer: Cry? For her death? If I cry for her death, it is for death itself. She is not the only person who has died. Question: Do you think about it from time to time? Answer: Only when I'm in the courtroom." And as mentioned before, the antics, and to which the inmate has admitted to, and it's all captured on film, on pictures, in writings throughout the course of the trial of the century at that time, a trial that took one year, that there were numerous outbursts. This inmate and her crime partners would jump up and scream. At one time, they tried to rush the judge and they had to be restrained. When Charles Manson decided to carve an X into his forehead, Van Houten, Krenwinkel and Atkins did the same. Not only did the three of them who were on -- four of them on trial carve the X's into their forehead to X themselves out of the world, but there were a number of other followers outside the courtroom who did the same. When Charlie shaved his head, this inmate did the same along with the other girls. There are pictures and video of the three of them, the three girls, singing and chanting as they went down the hallways on the way to their courtroom proceedings. Absolutely no regard, absolutely no remorse. It was as if they were extremely proud of what they had done. When the death verdicts were announced, the three girls jumped up because Charles Manson had been removed from the courtroom at that time. But the three girls jumped up. And Krenwinkel says, "You have just judged yourselves." Atkins shouted, "Better lock your doors and watch your own kids." This inmate, Van Houten, "Your whole system is a game, you blind, stupid people. Your children will turn against you." This inmate not only bought into the Helter Skelter and she bought into this entire movement and this ideology, but it's an ideology that has quasi-religious overtones. And the inmate's fascination with philosophy and her further studies in college -- I meant college, but here in prison, have also shown that she still has that type of fascination. And it was also an organization, besides being a quasi-criminal organization, it was a criminal street gang or, you know, for lack of a better term probably a criminal terrorist gang organization as well. I mean this is not just this inmate and her crime partners and the La Biancas, but you had -- during the course of the trial, you had four or five other Manson Family members who broke into a gun store and took 150 weapons with the idea that they were going to use those weapons to hijack a 747 and kill one person an hour to free this inmate and Charlie Manson and the other two girls. So this was a far reaching organization. It wasn't just a tiny, tiny group. It was a slightly larger group than that. But it was a group that had the same ideology. This is a group that she was communicating while she was in prison and in county jail. This was a group that she found solace in. And it's a group that she has described many times in this hearing as wanting to belong, wanting to belong to something. Over the course of not only the original trial, which the defense was basically some type of self-defense and Charlie didn't have anything to do with it, when Leslie had her second and third trials, it shifted. Then it was LSD and Charlie made me do it. And that was the defense that she presented. That defense was unsuccessful, obviously, and she was convicted. But that common thread through all of her Parole Hearings since then is the same. It's basically, and it's been for quite some time now, blame Charlie, blame LSD. And then more recently, it's blame the abortion. It's blame all of these other factors. This inmate has always portrayed herself -- and although she's tried to modify it here today at this hearing, she has, in the past, consistently portrayed herself as being the victim, as being subject to these forces outside of her control that have forced her to become one of the most notorious murderers in US history. And if you look back through her Psychological Evaluations, you can see not only that pattern, but you can see all of the different indications that she's given that these outside influences forced her to commit the crimes. I am -- I found it very interesting in the most recent -- well, actually, not the most recent, the 2010 Psychological Evaluation on page 6, that she -- in the middle of the page, she says to the examiner that upon her first meeting with Charles Manson, he drugged her. "'I don't know, downers maybe. It made me lose consciousness.' She recalls drifting in and out of consciousness as he raped her and further violated her, thereby effectively claiming her and breaking her will." I'm having a hard time understanding. And I -- and apparently, this wasn't explored by the psychologist. How is it that if someone rapes you and drugs you that you're then going to become willing to become a mass murderer with them and in the efforts to start a race war? I have the same problem with the abortion. She talks about the abortion as being -- as causing her, you know, this hatred for her mother. But I fail to see where that connection is, how that somehow makes someone a -- join a terrorist organization with the idea of wreaking havoc throughout the land. It doesn't fit. It doesn't follow. And additionally, the drugs. We've been hearing for I don't know how many hearings now until recently, until finally she's admitted and the others have admitted that no one was on LSD that day, no one was on drugs. And, of course, she started using drugs way before she met Charles Manson. Her drug use started way before Charles Manson. It had nothing to do with this mind control of Manson using drugs. She willingly partook in drugs. And even then, as we've seen over time, the exaggeration of her drug use, and particularly LSD, has gone from 300 times now down to 150 times. Maybe next time it'll just be, you know, once every couple weeks. And she's modified her statements over time, just as she's modified her other statements. She's changed her statements regarding her participation in the crime. She now has stated that she stabbed between -- well, she's gone from she was dead to well, I don't know if she was dead. I might have stabbed her in the back. Now I've stabbed her 14 or 16 times, 14 to 16 times. Now I find it very interesting, and I submitted to the Panel for this hearing, a copy of the autopsy report. Because I noted not only did she say she stabbed 14 to 16 times, but she also tells the clinician in the most recent Board Report -- and I found this really illuminating. She says, "When I went to hold down Mrs. La Bianca for him to stab her" -- referring to Tex Watson -- "I let go of her." This is on page 5. "I'm not sure that there was a part of me that completely let go of my moral fiber." So she's trying to tell the clinician and telling the Board that, well, she really didn't want to do this, that there was something in her that made her let go of Mrs. La Bianca. And I think that's absolutely ridiculous. By all accounts, Mrs. La Bianca was fighting for her life. She was swinging a lamp. She was trying to get away. If Leslie Van Houten lost control of Mrs. La Bianca, it wasn't because some moral fiber inside of her that made her want to maybe let Mrs. La Bianca survive or live. It makes no sense. And then she says, "I felt it had to be done, like it had to be done, but was struggling to do it." Again, she's saying something completely different than what she's told the Panel today. She says she was struggling to kill Mrs. La Bianca. And then she goes on to say, "The wounds" -- "The wounds that I inflicted, I felt I was using all my strength, and I felt I was letting go. I felt out of control. When the coroner's report happened, it (the stab wounds) were one-quarter of an inch deep, and I thought I'd gave it all I had. I then believed that I always resisted. But then back at the ranch, I overinflated my strength." Does this show insight? She's now saying to the clinician that she stabbed 14 to 16 times one-quarter of an inch. Now first of all, she's absolutely wrong. Because if you look at the -- if you look at the autopsy report which I submitted, there are no wounds described as being one-quarter of an inch in depth. There are 14 wounds that are described as non-fatal wounds. But the depths, first of all, that they're described as are anywhere from -- let's see. I'll quote it in a second here. Three-quarter inch to one-inch or inch and a half wounds described, not numbered. Some of them may have been postmortem. But they were 41 stab wounds and abrasions, 22 in the upper back. Seven of them were fatal. There was a fatal wound in the front. She was stabbed in the lower back 14 times. In the anterior trunk there was also wounds. There were three wounds on the anterior trunk. There was one wound in the left breast, which was the fatal wound, and also a wound to the right lower jaw. When you read the description of the autopsy report, it also says, "The lower portion of the posterior trunk, numerous lacerations, stab wounds are up to a depth of 1-1/2 inches and approximately three-quarters to one inch in maximum width." I'm sorry. The three-quarters to one inch was the width. But the depths are up to 1-1/2 inches, not one-quarter of an inch. "However, did they not show any significant hemorrhaging because they didn't enter the connective tissue." She died of massive internal bleeding. "There are two moderate deep stab sounds in the upper mid-back, one near the mid-line" and then it goes to describe all of the other wounds in the upper back. She was brutally stabbed numerous times. And I asked the question earlier, how does this inmate get the number of 14 to 16. Was she counting? No. She wasn't counting how many times she stabbed. Who would count under those circumstances? Someone is struggling for her life and you're trying to hold her down or stab her and kill her, you're not counting, let's see, one, two, three, four, five. And every one of those stab wounds, according to this inmate, were one-quarter of an inch. She didn't -- she overinflated her strength. She really didn't want to kill Rosemary La Bianca. And that's the key issue when we're looking at insight, when you're looking at what does this inmate really understand about what she did. And if you go through the record, she's blamed Charlie, she said she didn't look at -- she turned her head away at one point. In one hearing, she said she turned away, her head away when Tex and Patricia Krenwinkel were killing Rosemary La Bianca. She says she didn't get any blood over -- on her clothes. And she's gone back and forth on that. She said she gave her clothes to Tex Watson because his were bloody. Tex Watson is 6'1". She's much shorter. Why would she be giving him her pants? And that's not even borne out by Tex Watson who testified that he got the clothes from somewhere else. So again, why would she say that she didn't get blood on her clothes? Why would she say she only stabbed one-quarter of an inch? Why did she say she was looking the other way? Why did she say that she couldn't bring herself to do the writing on the wall? Why did she say all that? She's saying that to minimize her participation in the crime. Even though she says I take responsibility, I am totally responsible for the deaths of both -- of both Rosemary and Leno La Bianca, she's not really taking responsibility. In the past, she just, you know -- she has hasn't taken responsibility for Leno's death because she didn't stab Leno. And Rosemary, superficial postmortem wounds. That's really what she said. And even up until the most recent Psychological Evaluation, that's what she's talking about. And she's blaming Charlie again by saying that he raped me and that's why I began -- I joined him. And not only -- it's not only the rape. In the same Psychological Evaluation, the most recent one, she talks about how Charlie used to call her stupid and the Family used to, you know -- I'm sorry. This is in the 2010 evaluation on page 6. It talks about, "I'm used to good feedback. Some people attract attention. So he did the opposite with me. That is finding fault because then I'd have to stick around." I'm having a real hard time understanding how if someone is constantly calling you stupid -- and I don't believe that I've seen this in any other report from any of the other Family members that she was ever belittled at the ranch, meaning Ms. Van Houten, where she was ever called stupid, whether she was anything other than just a regular member with anyone else. There's never been any indication. Yet she's the victim, right? She's the one who is being belittled so she -- because she wanted this acceptance, because she wanted to be, you know, liked by everyone, she was willing to go along with murder. And that, frankly, shows a complete lack of insight. The crimes in this case were exceptionally horrible, way beyond the minimum standard necessary to commit any murder, which was referenced in Rosenkrantz. And even in her Appellate Opinions -- and she's appealed virtually every single time she's come to a Parole Hearing. Even her Appellate -- her Appellate Opinions including the most recent one from Judge Espinoza in Los Angeles County, point out the fact that this crime fits all of the categories regarding multiple murders, hate crime, racial motivation, residential burglary, murder, felony murder, all crimes which are by their nature and by their definition today, are crimes beyond first and second degree murder. They are crimes of special circumstance. And, in fact, that was even mentioned in In re Van Houten how these crimes today would be considered special circumstances in order to distinguish the gravity and circumstances of those crimes over all the other murders that we -- that we see on a regular basis. And the horror of it is not just the brutal killing, not just the special circumstance allegations -- or not allegations, but the circumstance, special circumstances, facts of the La Bianca murder, but that this was just a prelude, that this was just designed to incite even further violence, and that she was part of a criminal organization that slaughtered five people the night before, also involved in killing Gary Hinman, and wanted even more violence to reign in California and terror. And violence and terror certainly shocked Los Angeles County at the time. People were afraid to go out. And it was, you know, not only sensational, but the ramifications have carried over ever since. One of the other Family members, Squeaky Fromme, later on tried to kill a president, went to a federal prison. The gun jammed. You know, even nowadays, you still see a fascination with these murders and the notoriety that this inmate has along with Charles Manson, of course. And you have recordings made by the musician Manson Family members being sold. You have artwork being sold by Bobby Beausoleil. You have these people always in the public light because of their notoriety, because of their viciousness and because of the horrible crimes that they have perpetrated. And, you know, I've listened to the inmate today. And the inmate is extremely bright. She's articulate. And she has obviously studied every one of her hearings. And she's adapted well in prison. But it's not particularly surprising that she's able to do so. I mean it's not just her intelligence. In fact, if you look back at her -- one of her early Psychological Evaluations in 1996 by Dr. McDaniel, on page 6 of that evaluation, and I'm going to quote -- let's see. I'll try not to quote all of it if I can avoid it. Okay, quote, the fourth paragraph. "Thereafter, she fell into the grips of a cult with a very devious and evil leader. Under this control, she adapted and became proficient as was necessary for their purpose. Under the tutorage of a monstrous mind, she was able to commit crimes that are inconceivable" -- excuse me -- "to the average person. Thereafter, during incarceration, she has adapted yet again and has almost perfectly fit the idea of the ideal inmate, achieving almost every avenue of self-improvement available to her. It appears as though she has tremendous powers of adaptation and can excel at whatever purpose she sets herself to. Unfortunately, historically she has required an external control placed upon her in order to do so." Next paragraph, "As a young adult without any particular authority over her, she failed to flourish. However, under the control of evil, she did excel in that area. Now under the control of what would be considered societal norms and rules and regulations, she has excelled as having no disciplinary problems, has distinguished herself amongst her peers both at work and in psychological groups, and demonstrated psychological insight far beyond what is typically seen in this environment." Next paragraph, "At the core of this is a desire to please those in positions of authority. She has attempted to please authority no matter if it is good or evil." And it's -- and this is very interesting too. One of the earliest Psychological Evaluations, and that's in 1971, when Leslie described what was happening inside the La Bianca residence, she says -- and this is quoting from Dr. Coburn's report, "Her own individual rage and capability for violence was in tune with the action and provided her with an immense sense of relief. She stated that after the murders had been committed, she was in the -- and she was in the house that, 'An immense drudge'" -- and it says sic, so I don't know if that's -- "'had been lifted, and everything was lighter.' She also related feeling vaguely that they had done something right and that the fact that there was a dog in the house and this dog looked like he was smiling and licked her hands supported this." The doctor goes on to say in the next paragraph, "Her character structure and value system is so at odds with society and appears so deeply ingrained in her that it is difficult to see a true change as ever occurring. She views herself as now even more capable of committing similar offense than in the past, and this is probably not just bravado." Now she's indicated in the hearing today that she began feeling remorse several years after she was in prison. Well, this is, of course, in 1971. But, of course, I find it interesting to note that her remorse only starts after the death penalty has been overturned in her case. Now she has a chance for parole. So what is she going to do? Of course, she's going to now tell the Board that she's starting to feel remorse, and she's going to do all of the things that she's done. And she's done quite a bit. And all of this is in an effort, obviously, to gain freedom. But she still continues to minimize and show lack of insight into exactly what role she played in the murders, which I think is extremely significant. The fact of the murders themselves, you know, as even cited by Judge Espinoza in his opinion is that even under the Lawrence standard, Lawrence did indicate that there are just certain crimes that are so heinous, so atrocious and so cruel that an inmate's due process rights may not be violated by denying parole on that basis because of the tendency to show future dangerousness. And I submit to you that is the case here. This is the exception to Lawrence. If there's ever a case in California murder history that would be an exception, would be what Lawrence is talking about when they talk about there may be crimes still many years later that are so heinous and atrocious that you can use that to deny parole, this would be it. But in addition to the circumstances and gravity of the offense, the multiple murders, the defiling of the victims, the fact that the victims were taken unaware at their most vulnerable point, the purpose, the racial animus for which the crimes were committed, even in addition to all of that, you have an unstable social history. You have criminal activity prior to the commission of the life offense, and you have a demonstrated lack of insight, and a demonstrated changing of her story regarding her participation over the years in these murders. And for all of those reasons, particularly the crime, the lack of insight, all of these indicate that this inmate still remains an unreasonable risk of danger to society. And we would strongly urge this Panel to find inmate Van Houten unsuitable for parole. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, if you're prepared to close, go right ahead.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Thank you. Leslie Van Houten is a remarkable woman. She's a remarkable individual of incredible depth and strength, someone who was -- who was brought up so obviously normal certainly on the surface, seemed particularly well adjusted and healthy to the age 14, 15, a dream child to the age of puberty. And then you see a downwardness develop in her adolescence. And we know some of the events that happened in her life and her reaction to them that in her person caused her to go further downward. It can be traced. She can trace it, you know, the divorce, the heavy use of drugs and particularly the psychedelics in search of the truth, the teenage pregnancy, the abortion, which was traumatic. And she continues then in this drift and downward slide to Spahn's Ranch, really were she descends to the depths of Dante's Inferno. I mean she's in a hell. She's put herself in there, you know, consorting with the Devil himself, Charles Manson, you know, the false prophet, diabolical guru who styles himself a Jesus Christ messiah. And it's all throughout the record that that certainly was what Leslie Van Houten, in her delusional beliefs at that time, believed in to the point of surrendering her own person, the person she actually truly was, giving up herself and this kind of twisted perversion of her morals and turning them upside down where she truly thought she was doing something right. She was saving the world with this messiah who she said, you know, had all the answers to her, and then commits, you know, the most heinous murders imaginable. And she's at the age of 19 doing that in that crazy, irrational state. There was no clear thinking at all on her part in that world and had been a number of reinforcing or conditions that contributed to her person at that point that she does say committed these crimes. I mean talking about going into the bottomless pit. What did you do after the crimes? Well, we were busy looking for the bottomless pit. And you see that in the evidence. I mean the prosecutor, the prior prosecutors in early times have talked about how she truly believed she was this fairy who was going to grow wings and turn into, you know, three inches. And they've got scuba gear that they're looking to find the bottomless pit. I mean -- and the idea is, wow. I mean you've got to be -- it's incredible. You've got to be whack to do that. And the notion being if somebody is so far out there then, how can we ever believe that she has regained her clear mental thinking and mental stability and clear thinking and has come back from that place that she was? And, of course, the record does show that after she gets to the very bottom there, which includes, you know, that whole period where she's in the county jail and is appearing every day at the trial, which one of the psychs, the 1980 one I think, Lovejoy, that I commend the Board to review, talks about how that reinforced her mindset. It just deepened it. And the notion, you know -- ironically, even though she did everything, you know -- as she said, she had these intuitive feelings that she didn't act on. She put them aside and then did go and fully join in these crimes to the point of the stabbing, which she -- I mean she is unsparing in her description of the magnitude of her offense and her state of mind at that time where she talks about she was like a animal, the beastliness at that point. She had reduced herself to a brute. She had denied her own humanity, she said. And in the same way, had denied the humanity of the La Biancas and the people she was killing. You can go back, and part of it, a lot of it is in the various studies or evaluations, reports that have been made in this case that I did attach. They've been previously submitted. There was the Singer O'Riley report which goes way back. That's attached, and also the more updated report from Dr. O'Riley. If you look at the letter that had attached, that snapping article, it talks about the cults' influences and the conditions and how -- and Leslie among all agrees that she did not walk into Spahn Ranch, this pristine unspoiled person. She was a very damaged individual. She'd already done, you know, heavy acid. She'd already had these traumas in her life. And she had all of these emotional states. And she talks about that in the statement that she made just a year or two ago that was submitted to the Board, that showed that she was just ripe to be molded into a member of this core group of the Manson Family and how that was the guiding, you know, principle in her psyche at that point in terms of this is the real thing, this is the messiah, this is the group. We are the chosen people. And even though, you know, it makes no sense from her personal intellect, that all gets submerged and surrendered, and she adopts the ways and thinking of the Helter Skelter approach. And since that time of getting out of her deranged fog, which is the early 70's, and returning to her true healthy self, you know, she had worked on rehabilitating and reforming herself. And as you will see, she had largely accomplished that amazingly really considering the depths she had gone to, had largely accomplished that by 1978. That is what every informed individual says. You can see it in that one report that was attached to the letter. That's the -- I just had it a minute ago. But you know the one that I'm talking about with the chapter. And that should be reviewed. Because basically, they talk about how they met her and, you know, could this really be the case. And they examined her and they found it to be true. And they've followed since. And it was true. And certainly the lifting of the death penalty was important to her. He reduction in custody that she finally was able to get in the mid-70's. And just a tremendous effort on her part. And so that when she does come up for the re-trial -- and it's not a defense what in that of the drugs and Manson made me do it. It's a defense at that time that was in existence which has no longer -- which has been abolished. But it was diminished capacity. Her mind was crippled, and she couldn't think sufficiently to intend and certainly to premeditate and deliberate. And you have the very significant fact that in her second trial when that evidence was presented, you have a hung jury, seven to five. And the psychiatric opinion was unanimous to the effect that her thinking certainly was crippled and diminished. Whether it rose to the level of negating the mental state required, that was a matter of dispute that the jury divided on. And so -- and this is reported in the decision that this Board quoted from where what happened then was the prosecution decided they'd better proceed on a felony murder theory that -- where that defense isn't as available, because it's just the intent to rob. Because there had been -- the distinction was whether this was manslaughter or murder. And what's important also in that time is that after that trial, Leslie Van Houten is able to secure bail. And that was another, I think, complete jump she was able to make her in progress in terms of reform and rehabilitation once she was exposed to the outer world. And it puts to question, you know, the notion that, well, she can only adapt in a highly regulated society. We have -- you know, she can -- she knows how to follow the rules. Well, that's really what we're asking her to do is follow the rules. That's what you're going to be asking her to do when -- if you parole her, follow your conditions of parole. Follow the rules of society that she is more than prepared to do. Because you are in an unusual situation where you don't usually get a preview of how an individual would do on parole after service of a substantial period of time. Then, it was eight years, which even is substantial then. Of course, now it's way more substantial than that. But that gives you, I think, an enormous added advantage in order to determine whether the apparent progress and reform and fabulous conduct and programming has any value in the real world. What the record shows, Linda Grippi talks about it in her letter. Leslie's father talks about it in his letter back in 1978 at the time she came up for probation after the eventual conviction. Because there was a real question that the court struggled with at that time, given her reform and rehabilitation, as to the appropriate disposition. And, of course, he decided in the end the seriousness of the crime -- I'm making my decision on that basis even though it's hard and difficult, and I will let the Parole Board determine how much time and where reform and rehabilitation balances out with the facts of the crime. But what Linda Grippi and the father said was that when bail was raised, she could have gotten out before Christmas, a few days before Christmas. And she purposely delayed her release until December 27th, because she knew how important the family was, the La Bianca family, what it would mean to them. It wouldn't make a very Merry Christmas for them if the big news from their point of view is that she has just been released and been returned to the bosom of her own family. And she delayed her release until December 27th, which is remarkable in my experience of knowing how lifers are so -- treasure being released in time for family holidays. So that speaks more than any expressions. And there have many expressions of remorse, heartfelt expressions of remorse from Leslie. That was one reason we wanted to show the video clip. Because words don't always come across on the page the way the presentation does. And you, fortunately, were able to see, to hear in person and see the body language and the presentation by Leslie. And it would be great -- I guess it's too much, there's only so much you can take in on these hearings -- to have caught glimpses of those same heartfelt expressions in her prior hearings. We did include a transcript of them, like I said, that you can look at just to get a sample. You've got the transcripts there that talk about it. And then you get into the question of how much time. What are we talking about in terms of time for this crime? The District Attorney submitted the letter from the Governor in 1982 concerning Tex Watson, where he attached a resolution that had been made by the Legislature that he -- that the Governor wanted the Board to keep in mind when they considered his parole, Tex Watson's parole in '82 to the effect that prisoners who had the death sentence abolished by the Supreme Court Opinion shouldn't ever be released. Of course, what has to be kept in mind was that Leslie Van Houten's judgment was entirely reversed. There was never any valid judgment to which that death penalty judgment attached. According to the courts, it was not a reliable verdict. And that was the whole reason she got the re-trial. And I would -- I want to just respond to that besides its irrelevancy on that level. What the Board said on page 170 in its decision page 2 in 2007 responds to that well where they say, "We should state and be clear at this point that this is not a hearing for Charles Manson or any of those known as a group to have been the Manson Family. This is a hearing for Leslie Van Houten. There are many aspects of this case that may never be clear. What is clear is that we do not discount the strides and accomplishments that Ms. Van Houten has done, nor are we here to suppose what may have been -- what may have happened had Ms. Van Houten been tried at a different time and under a different set of laws or penalties. Right or wrong, Ms. Van Houten's conviction is what it is. No more and no less. What the Panel is here to consider are the crimes for which she is convicted as well as her progress since incarceration." And the case that I had earlier referred to is the one, the 2004 case, In re Van Houten at 116 Cal. App. 4th, 339, where it says -- it characterized the Board's decision in 2000 as a "serious, deliberate and thoughtful decision in a difficult case." And that is all we are asking the Board for today, a deliberate and thoughtful decision. And why was the case difficult in 2000 when given the facts of the crime that we've heard about? I mean you could not imagine anything more egregious, more fitting into your especially heinous, atrocious and cruel regulations. And I do not -- you know, there's no point in me repeating that. But the reason why it was difficult was because of the tremendous reform and rehabilitation that Leslie had shown to that point. And you get to the point now of 14 years later, 13 years later, and I submit that it's a much easier decision for the Board to make now. The DA's position over the years actually has been inconsistent and has changed. And now I'm talking about time, how much time. At that time -- and this is in 1979, the transcript that the Board doesn't have on page 92, but I will leave it for the Board's consideration. "I think time is a very important factor in Ms. Houten's -- Ms. Van Houten's case. I think she's in a different category than Krenwinkel, Atkins, Watson and Manson. I see her in a different category. And I hold out some hope for Ms. Van Houten that at some time she will be suitable for parole." And then in transcripts you do have, '81, "Time is important in this case. I think time is important. I think that she should be observed for a longer time. She's going down the right path. And I've said to other Boards, my position with Ms. Van Houten is different than with other members of the Family. I said that sometime I feel that Ms. Van Houten should be paroled, but I don't think today is the day", 1981. And then he goes on and says, of course, in '82 again, "This is to not to say at some future time I wouldn't concur on a parole date. Time is the important factor in her case." And, of course, it goes on to the point where time -- once the time has been served in terms of time, it doesn't become an important factor. And I think a revealing interchange with the Board and Ms. Van Houten about time was the Board asking -- and this is back in 1996. But it really doesn't matter at what time the Board asked the question. "What's enough time for Leslie Van Houten?" And she says, "Well, that's a hard question to answer." She's not saying I've done the time. Look at me in '96. It's 25 years later. And the Board says, "Yeah. And it's a hard question for us to answer, isn't it? Yes. Yeah", they say. And then she says, "Well, I would say there's the matrix. There's the rules and regulations. And when it's determined that I have met both, then maybe I've served enough time." And I would say too the same. Hey, you know, how much time? The rules and regulations give you guidance if nothing, there. And if you look at the matrix for Ms. Van Houten's case, I could cite it. What is it? I'll get it at some point. But it's -- you'll see the matrix for her is, she is way beyond the time. But, you know, granted, you could even -- you can go outside the matrix. You could say this is the for the most, you know, torturous crime and whatever. It's this amount, which is -- I'm just picking it out of a hat now, 20 years, 22 or whatever. Let me actually think about looking it up for the most torturous terrible crime. You know, you set up a whole other category for Ms. Van Houten if you need to, if it's -- you know, it's certainly within the rules that you can do that. You can go outside the matrix. But if you set up some new category, I think you're still going to find that it is beyond the time at 40 plus years, 44, however many, almost 45. And then if you look at your rules for the ISL date, it's even less. It's 13 to 15 years, subject to adjustment for no prior convictions, and no adjustments for multiple commitments. That's under the Schoenfeld case. But it really has been for Leslie, important that there has been a light at the end of the tunnel for her. I mean that's only strengthened, I think, her resolve. Because the Board says -- again, this is back in '79. "And in looking at these barbaric deeds, you know, done for the most illegal reasons, coupled with the uncertainty of your ability to sustain your rehabilitative gains over a period of time, the Panel feels it must observe you longer. And we must have more time before we can project a date." And Leslie says, "I understand. But you will observe me? I mean there is hope at some time?" And the Board says, "Yes." And she says, "Okay. That's all I needed to know." And that was Ruth Rush and who was the Chairman of the Board at that time, and then I think later went on to become the Director of the Department of Corrections. And then the follow Board member says, chimes in, "The Panel discussed very many positive things that you're doing and positive progress, and considered, you know, many factors that are really encouraging to you and your progress. You have a lot of things going for you. If you can utilize them in the right way and put them together, I think there is a great deal of hope." "I feel that", she says, "I truly feel that, and I appreciate that." And then it goes on to a number of hearings where the Board is basically saying we need more time. In 1985, they tell her if she continues to program the way it's been noted for suitability for parole, the issue of suitability is much closer than she might realize. "It's recommended that you continue to do what you've been doing." And of course, she has continued to do that since '85. And the Board tells her in '87, "Now time is going to tell whether the display of character is long lasting. Time." And that is, I think always what the Board is looking for when they see evident rehabilitation. It's has this really become embedded into the person. Is it something that we can tell has become part of their being? And back in '91, the Board explains, you know, hey, your crime was very heinous. "You dug yourself quite a hole, and it's going to take a little time to get out of it." And she did dig about as deep a whole as you could hope for. And she has been with great persistence, with great diligence, with all of her heart and soul, has been digging herself out of that hole ever since to the point where in 2006, there's a very spirited discussion, they say, not easy at all looking at all sides. "And we give a one-year denial because of your extensive participation and very positive programming." And the indeterminate sentencing law is designed -- and this is -- I mean go to the roots of it, Roberts v. Duffy (1914) where they're talking about it where it's designed to extend to those who may show a disposition to reform and reformation may reasonably be expected a hope and a prospect of liberation from the prison walls. And they go on to say it's in the support of society to encourage the reformation. It realizes that prisoners are not always irretrievably bad, but there may exist sufficient good in them under which some -- such reformation is possible. And the Legislative policy is to provide a system where that hope is held out to the individual, and they can act on the good that is in them, and now I'm not quoting, despite the terribleness of their crime. And if that spirit of the indeterminate sentence to the -- for the good of all society doesn't apply to Ms. Van Houten, I can't think of who it may apply to. She embodies that hope for reformation and that change. And the -- let me talk about a couple of things that were said by the District Attorney where he says that there's been, you know, this change of story or inconsistencies in the crime. And it's really -- what was being quoted from at some length, the trial, it's the 1971 trial. That's the trial where Ms. Van Houten is still under the influence of her crippled thinking and the -- that whole craziness. And she has since then spilled her guts at her re-trial in 1977, and has been as consistent as can be and has talked many, many times about the facts of the crime to the Board in court that time. And her desire to speak the truth is really what has compelled her and to face the truth, both of those things, and has been as unsparingly truthful about the crime. There is -- there is this notion that runs through, like she talked about, where she was, you know, the intuition, some vestige of humanity relied and she maintained where there was a conflict. But she always has conceded and agreed that she always overcame that. The District Attorney was -- also talked about, you know, if there was ever a crime that calls for denial regardless of anything else that fits the Lawrence exception where -- Lawrence did say there may be the rare care where despite a showing of years and years of rehabilitation that the person is nevertheless suitable. But you cannot make that determination, Lawrence says, above all without looking and putting those aggravated features of the crime in context. And in the Prather case, they kind of even reiterated, reinforced the notion that you can't take some facts and isolate them and decide parole suitability just based on those facts. The essence or the core of what the Board does when it determines parole suitability is looking at all the facts in the context of all the other facts about the person. But I think first and foremost, that's true even about the offense itself. That's what the statute says. The Board shall establish criteria, so forth, and consider the number of victims of the crime -- which was sentenced and other factors in mitigation or aggravation of the crime. And the aggravating factors of the crime have been fully explored. What Leslie has to say about those aggravating facts are yes. That's the, I think, signal point about them at this time for the Board to determine suitability for parole, is that she agrees and admits and can't be more forthcoming or without excuse. You know, she answers the question did you really think that. Could you -- did you really go in there or just ready to -- yes, yes. She's spoken in the most unsparing terms about the aggravation of the crime. But there is mitigation too that doesn't excuse the crime or justify it or anything, but is relevant to your suitability determination. I mean you have the youth. You know, the courts have emphasized you cannot determine parole without considering the age when the person is a teenager in terms of the commission of the crime, not only because they have a reduced, you know, capabilities of the mind, which a person in Leslie's case was just completely submerged, but they have a capacity. A youth has a capacity for change and reformation which is about what parole suitability is. So you have that factor about the crime that you have to take into -- that you should take into consideration appropriately. You have in our own suitability regulations, stress, where the motive for the crime arose as a result of significant stress in the offender's life, particularly if it had built over up over a long period of time. And certainly, a year with Manson as your guru and your god living in the ranch is a stressful influence. Granted, it was one that she readily accepted and chose. All of her behaviors are chosen ones. She says so. There's no disagreement over that. But the stress has built up over a period of time. And you do see how it goes, the stress in her life from age 14 on, how it just builds and builds and builds. And she talks about it in some of the Psych Reports about how trauma is one thing that leads someone to be vulnerable to the cult influence, and she could identify the trauma in her life that did that. That's in the 2010 report that was talked about here earlier, statements Dr. West had said that -- to that effect and that she had worked with another doctor about the -- in terms of the trauma of the abortion and dealing with that to resolve that -- those influences. And, of course, she has dealt with all the trauma of the crime in terms of stress that contributed to the crime.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Mr. Satris, I really had to interrupt you. I don't normally interrupt a closing, although we do have the authority to limit the length of closings. I didn't say that up front because I'd -- I had never met you before and I didn't know how long you were likely to go.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: I didn't know you needed to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And it is a complicated case. And I do understand that we do need to spend some time with that. But this is the longest closing I've ever been involved in. And I'm just afraid if it goes much longer people are going to pass out.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Yes. I don't want to do that either. So let me -- okay. Then I will -- let me -- let me -- let me try to move along quickly then. Thank you. You go and look at the circumstances of the offense in your rules. And in terms of mitigation under 2284 and they apply in terms of the diminished capacity, the joining in without an apparent predisposition. Again, I'm talking about earlier on. She definitely was fully on disposed to do it, whether the crime was committed during an unusual situation likely to recur or whether there was no history or minimal history of criminal behavior especially no violence. And, of course, I think one of the most critical facts in this case is we have a single night, a single day of violence in Ms. Van Houten's life of 63 years where there is going to be no likelihood of her resorting to that again. And then you have looking at the Judicial Council rules that the Board is supposed to take a number of factors that speak. I won't go into that here. What was said by the District Attorney is that, you know, you should look at the Psychiatric Reports. And I also say the same thing. Besides the most recent two, there is all of the Psychiatric Reports. For example, the 1971 report by Dr. Coburn, his report that was quoted, he subsequently was a -- wrote a letter in support. You'll see it in the sentencing transcript, in support of Ms. Van Houten where it was proved wrong. He was proved -- he said he was proved wrong in terms her ability to change, and that she is, in fact -- reasonably be released. He said that for purposes the Probation Report. He said that in 2004, which our submissions, the first submission. We have to assist the Board, and so that I don't have to lengthen my argument, we did in our second submission do a summary of the Board -- I mean summary of the Psychiatric Reports that I would like you to also take into consideration, a recap of them. And we called it an Exhibit D, but what you will see is that -- for example, you will see that for 30 years, basically, you have not only these professional assessments of low risk, but you have them stated in the most compelling terms, the most -- beyond what I've seen certainly for any other inmate. And the length of them -- and let me just speak in terms of the one -- there was a report, the 1996 report, that was adverted to by the -- of can of is in

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: You've got two minutes, Mr. Satris.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Okay. Well, that was Dr. McDaniel in 1996. He did a report in '98, in '99, in 2000 and 2002. And he moved completely away from what he was calling lingering concerns at that time. Let me see what I have to say that's most important then. If I can have just a minute to get back. You have -- this is -- this is not only the reports of all the cites which I commend you to, but you have the correctional staff for a number of years in the Board Reports. You could see there were Board Reports all saying low. You have a remarkable statement by the psych -- I mean by the counselor who made a special appearance before the Board that said -- anyway, that spoke at some length on her behalf, finding it just remarkable the change in her and progress, and that there was no question in her mind that she could make a contribution to society. That, I'll try to give you if you're interested in. I have the -- I don't seem to have the year. But that's pages 84 to 86. I'll leave it here. I think that may be from -- I'll leave it for the Board since I don't have any time left. I will conclude with the notion that Leslie committed a great sin, a great crime in 1969. And that in that time, she has developed to what the -- to the equivalent really of a saint. Everything she does is of service to humanity. I think the description you see in one of the letters about her being a wise elder in the community, somebody that young people can come to or troubled people --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Your time is up.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. And I -- and I have been reading the body language of everyone in the room (inaudible.) And it's definitely time for a break and trying to get this room cooled down again. It is now 3:10. And we will take another recess.

(Off the Record.)

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: We're on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And the time is roughly 2:30 p.m., and all persons --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: (Inaudible.)

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I mean I'm sorry, not 2:30, 3:30 p.m. And all persons previously identified have returned to the room. And we're still at closing statements. But it is now the opportunity for -- Ms. Van Houten if you do wish to address the Panel as to why you feel you are suitable for parole, now would be the point of the hearing for you to do that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I want to say thank you for the privilege to be able to come up here and be reviewed by you. I hope that today I was able to articulate how responsible I feel and that I have full awareness of just how callous and wanton the murders were. I understand that I X'd myself out of society in a very cruel and callous way. And I ask that you consider allowing me to once again reenter society. And finally, I want to apologize deeply to all of those that I harmed with my thoughtless acts. I know that the pain goes on generationally. And I want all of those who loved the victims to know that I am deeply ashamed of what I have done, and I live with it in a very real way. I do the very best I can not to excuse myself for what I have caused in their families. So thank you very much.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. Now this is the point of the hearing where pursuant to Penal Code Section 3043(b), victims next-of-kin and also their representatives can put their statement on the record. And I do note that a list has been provided to me. And it has seven names on it. And they're in order that they would like to speak. And what I would like is if we could move a chair up to the end of the table there, and that would be the place where everybody will speak.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay. Otherwise, I can let them use my chair.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Well, there's already a chair.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I can switch places.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: So I mean I shouldn't be that difficult --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- to just move a chair there. And then that'll be the chair that they can -- they can move in and out of --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- at the time that they speak.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: That's fine.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: That way, we have a good -- we can -- we have a good angle to see them. And I -- and I would ask that the inmate -- Ms. Van Houten, it's protocol that you do not look at the victims' --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: -- next-of-kin while they're speaking.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: All right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And that's just -- it's certainly nothing against you. It is just the protocol that we abide by.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: And could you also please state your name again when you come up to speak?

MR. SMALDINO: Be happy to. Yeah. Thank you. My name is Louis Smaldino. First of all, I'd like to thank the Board for allowing our family to voice its objections to Ms. Van Houten's parole. I'm actually here to represent the La Bianca family, and am Leno and Rosemary's oldest nephew. You know, firstly, I have a whole prepared statement. But I just have to tell you, you know, just listening to this today, it's like a dog and pony show that I've seen seven or eight times now. It just -- it's the same thing over and over again. There's really no change of what's being presented here. You know, it gets tweaked a little bit. You know, it's a different attorney or whatever. But at -- the bottom line is what I really feel in all this is that we have attended too many of these hearings and feel that justice has abandoned us. I mean several years ago here, we set up Marsy's Law which allows, you know, your discretion to extend these hearings. Personally, I've been to nine of these hearings in the last 13 years. And, you know, it's not a real hardship for me as far as time because I live relatively close. But for some of the family, I mean it's, you know, cross country to attend here. And that's why I've taken it upon myself to do this. But the bottom line is, you know, if there was some real progress or some real change of character flaw or something in that order, I could see a short extension. But I'm just telling you from based on my experience here in the last, you know ten, 15 years, it's the same story with just different players except Ms. Van Houten. So, you know, that said, you know, then I'll proceed with my statement. We are forced to relive the gruesome details that these sociopaths visited on our family and many other families who were the victims of this pack. We suffer through the ordeal every couple of years in order to get justice for our loved ones. We want to give them voice as well as to express our own loss. Leno and Rosemary were beautiful, loving people struck down in the prime of their lives. They were in their mid-forties with five children and a successful thriving business. I mean it's hard to conceive of that, you know, now that I -- you know, because I was so much younger at that time. But, you know, they were just in their absolute prime, you know, beautiful people, I mean the best family you could ever have. Then they were brutally murdered with no reason other than the thrill of killing. If pure evil ever exists, this is it. Yet we sit here today and listen to Ms. Van Houten tell us how sorry she is and reformed. I've tried to put myself in her shoes. But to the tell you the truth, I cannot. I just don't understand it. I grew up in the same area within three miles. I was -- I lived in Arcadia while she lived in, you know, Monrovia, at about the same time. I had just gotten married and started having my family when all this was going on. And I had a sister about the same age. And I just -- you know, you see that program on TV called Happy Days. That's what it was like living in that area. We used to go to Gwen's Drive-In, you know, and go to the drive-in movies and, you know. I mean it was just -- and play sports and -- it was just nothing like what's being described here of this drug, pot culture, you know. Maybe a little bit later in the 70's, but at this point in time, this was just not the environment in that community. And to describe it as -- that that's -- you know, there was just this little old group out there that was, you know -- I will tell you, I don't who that group was. But it just -- for the general people that lived there, it just -- that wasn't the case. It was a beautiful area to live in and raise your family. I don't believe Ms. Van Houten is really remorseful. She accepts responsibility, but she doesn't accept accountability. That's a big difference, you know. I did it, but, you know, now it's time to pay for it. And I don't think she fully, even at this point in her life, understands what taking the lives of two people in their mid-forties with five children and numerous people that rely on them for their support and comfort and successive generations, you know, the impact of that. And, you know, this is the part that I probably could relay to her about, you know. If I had done this, I would reach out to the family in every way possible, you know, to express my concern and my remorse. In 40 years that she's been incarcerated, that's never happened. She'll walk into this hearing room and say, oh, I apologize to the family. That's not the same thing. And we all know that. She has never attempted to reach out to our family or any of its members asking for forgiveness for her heinous part in this atrocity as any compassionate or humane person would do after 40 years. I really feel she has no compassion or empathy. I mean I think she has the intellectual capacity to understand what she did. But I don't think she really, like people feel and, you know, have this passion, she just doesn't have it. I just -- I've just heard her describe her part in all this. And I don't hear anything other than, you know, an intellectual exercise that, you know, an MBA or a Ph.D. gets you. By the way, I have one. So I -- you know, I know what I'm talking about there. It's an intellectual exercise. This is all about her getting out. She is unwilling to face the justice that is due her. It's always about Leslie. It's not about the victims. I didn't hear anything about the victims other than the description of their desecration basically that took place here today. I didn't hear the -- Ms. Van Houten in any way talk about, you know, how she did anything other than, you know, perhaps stabbed Rosemary 16 times and never fatally. And I mean it always changes. But it's basically the same thing. I just stabbed her after she was dead or whatever. And it's -- you know. I mean if you did it, you did it, and you should admit it, you know. So that's where I stand on that. Basically, she's unwilling to face the justice she is due. It is always about her, not the victims. And the word I use is, this is narcissism at its worst. She wants to be with her family, but we will never be able to be our Leno and Rosemary again. I truly believe, after attending these hearings, that she is unrepentant and still a danger to society, as she has no real regard for anyone but herself and her current circumstances. You just do not change spots on a leopard. I learned that from my dad when I was, you know, ten years old. And it's still true today at 70. Good people do not commit premeditated murder for a thrill and then try to start race wars. These are only sociopaths. And really, there's no cure for that malady, you know. Let's discuss the facts. Leslie Van Houten committed a murder in cold blood with premeditation, yet still asserts Rosemary was already dead when she held her and stabbed her 16, 17 times. She ate and drank from the refrigerator after the murders. She used Rosemary's clothes as hers were bloodied. She was involved in a multiple murder scenario. The murders were committed in the middle of the night in Leno and Rosemary's home. Their children discovered the bodies the next morning. Leslie Van Houten was upset because she did not participate in the previous night's murder spree. The murders were committed to incite a race war, and the victims were chosen because they were white. Leslie Van Houten made a mockery of her trials and abused -- has abused the legal system just as she's doing now. And finally, her inability to accept her role in these murders and accept her punishment. You know, on a previous occasion -- and Pat reminded me of this when we were talking earlier -- I told the court that I really believed the just punishment here is life without parole. Because of the tweaking of the justice system during that Rose Byrd time, a death sentence was commuted to life. And then, you know, somehow we got to this, you know, parole thing. If I were in this circumstance in her shoes, I would -- honestly, I would want to serve out the time as my penance and do as much good as -- I think she's actually doing some good in the prison, helping some of the other people in here. But she -- for whatever reason, I don't feel that she's ever really satisfied the families' yearning for, you know, remorse. And, you know, at the same time, we feel like that there's a grave injustice being done to the family because she's being allowed to, you know, come to these hearings all the time. The way I put it, it was only a judicial mistake puts us in this predicament we are in today. Let's set this straight and set the next Parole Hearing at a maximum length of ten to 15 years for both the family and society's benefit. It's both costly emotionally and, you know, expensive for the State to conduct these hearings. We need to set a permanent example to others in society who would contemplate similar heinous acts, you know, and let them know that you will be held accountable. And I think we have some of these other type of hearings coming up with some of these terrorist acts. And really, these people were terrorists. The place where these murders took place was our family home, where most of our children -- childhood holidays were spent with our grandparents. The carving set the murders were committed with, the boneheaded handle fork and knife, were those used for carving our holiday turkey and ham. As a child, I can remember seeing that. The walls were inked in the victims' blood. The murder scene was a total desecration of our family home. The psychological impact to our family has been immense and continues. The five children lost the companionship and guidance of their parents. The grandchildren have never known the loving and caring due them. My mother and grandmother were never the same. The business, the family business failed when it's owner died. The children and grandchildren have lived in some fear and despair. Yet Leslie Van Houten wants out. She asked or she stated earlier in her statement that she's searching for a way to live with herself. And I'd stipulate that she accept life in prison with no parole and do God's work and pray. My family says she should never get out. Thank you for your indulgence.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you.

MR. SPITZER: Commissioner, do you just want us to put one chair here --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Yeah. Just put one chair --

MR. SPITZER: -- and just move --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: That would be -- yeah, that would be the way we would --

MR. SPITZER: Can we just grab that purple or one of those? Because I -- we're all sliding and awkward. (Inaudible.) Oh, that's heavy. Good afternoon, Commissioner Ferguson and Commissioner Singh. My name is Todd Spitzer, and I'm the attorney representative of the -- of Lou Smaldino and the La Bianca family. I've seen you, Commissioner Ferguson before. I think you also know that I was the statewide Co-Chairman for Marsy's Law, and I was a co-author of Marsy's Law. And it's just heartbreaking to the La Bianca family that they have to repeatedly come to these hearings at these kinds of intervals over and over and over. In fact, when we wrote Marsy's Law -- and I shared this with Mr. Smaldino -- we specifically put Ms. Van Houten into Marsy's Law. We specifically named her in Marsy's Law. In the paragraph six of section two, we mention Bruce Davis, Leslie Van Houten and Charles Manson. Because when we asked the voters of the State of California to change the parole periods, we were trying to end this nonsense of the repeated victimization that goes on and on and on. And when the voters approved this, we believe, and the La Bianca family believes, and I believe the Tate family believes, that the voters envisioned that it would be people like Leslie Van Houten who would not have to put people through this year after year after year. In the last Parole Hearing, she was denied for only three years. In fact, during the campaign for Marsy's Law in 2008, Ms. Van Houten was the only inmate in the State of California to sue. She sued. And she tried to get her name stricken from the initiative. And the court -- and the Superior Court in Sacramento did not strike her name and allowed her name to stay in the ballot initiative. And we would submit to you as victims' families that how in the world is that an accepting of victimization and feeling sorry for the consequences of her act if as early as 2008 she was trying to strike her name from the ballot initiative that was supposed to hold her accountable and stop this nonsense? At the end of her trial, she stood up in court and she said -- her quote that Mr. Sequeira talked about was chilling. "Your children will turn against you." It gives me chills to think about that, but it makes so much sense based upon what we heard about inmate Van Houten today. Of course, your children will turn against you. She turned against her mother who she said wanted her to have an abortion. She turned against her father who divorced her mother and abandoned the family. And she forced society to pay the ultimate sacrifice for her resentment of what happened to herself and her family. Those are tragic events. There's no doubt about it. But the way she acted out in retaliation, even up through her trial, is completely unconscionable. You know, Sharon Tate was an actress. And she was killed the day before the La Biancas. And we know from the evidence that the Tate murders were all over the television, as you've heard today. What happened at the -- at the Polanski residence was all over. We know that Sharon Tate was pregnant with Roman Polanski's child. And we know that the inmate knew that. Well, what does she want? What has she talked about all day today? She wants to be accepted. She wants to -- she doesn't deal well when herself as a center of the universe of her psyche is somehow suppressed. Well, she's been looking out all day long through the window of this hearing room at the Channel 7 news truck. And there's an AP reporter that's been in this court all -- this Commission Hearing room all day. And there's been an AP photographer all day. And she knows for a certainty her picture is going to be in the newspaper in the next day or two if not later on tonight, and all over the social media and the internet. She thrives for that. That's why under the In re Lawrence standard Mr. Sequeira argued that this crime begs for that exception that on all fours it meets the requirement of In re Lawrence irrespective of any other factors of current dangerousness. But for goodness sakes, she is very dangerous. If she is released, she is incredibly dangerous. What did she tell you about her release plan? Her words, not mine, I need to go to Crossroads because I need restrictions and guidance in my life. I have to have structure. I cannot live alone and will not live alone. She knows that if she is left to her own devices with her own insecurities and a strong personality, another man in her life that tries to control her -- how long was she married? I think about seven months. She was married while she was incarcerated. And it was a very short-lived relationship because she does not work well in an uncontrolled environment in terms of her relationships. And she will recidivate in a heartbeat if she is allowed to go back into an uncontrolled environment. Her words, not mine. What's so scary about inmate Van Houten is she loves drugs, and she loved drugs. She talked about the fact she smoked marijuana every day and she loved LSD. She loved the psychedelics. She is not beyond trying to search for this nirvana, this place, this ultimate place being the vessel she described of the -- of the woman that was so influential in her life who was only 13, her junior. She's looking still in her life for that kind of influence to accept nirvana and to have all the answers of the universe. And only by keeping her in prison do we know that society will not be subjected to her dangerousness. If she wasn't dangerous, if people just on the natural didn't think she wasn't dangerousness, there wouldn't be so much attention, in my opinion and the Smaldino's opinion with respect to this hearing today. Why do people -- so many people care about this hearing? Because they're scared to death if she's released. That's just the -- that's just the common sense of the situation that they feel that if Leslie Van Houten is released from the California Institute for Women that we're all at risk as a society, as she in 1969 set Los Angeles into a peril -- into a peril and into fire, if you will. Here's a woman who had the gall to say that in terms of Commissioner Ferguson, your question, how are you going to be successful? What do you need to do to be successful as part of your parole release plan? I need to have anonymity. And Mr. Sequeira said, well, how many television interviews have you done? Well, let's see, I did the guy with suspenders, Larry King. I did Diane Sawyer. I did Barbara Walters. I have to submit I don't think there's one person in this room who's had that kind of notoriety or has done those -- that many interviews. This is a woman who lives for notoriety. And the second she's not in the spotlight, the second she doesn't get attention, she does dangerous things to get attention. Sharon Tate, the actress in the limelight, dead by the Manson Family. The next day, what does she do? She said why not me. Why didn't you take me? I'm ready to kill. She begged them to take her to the -- a residence, a four-hour search and finally came on the La Biancas. And then she went in willingly. What what her statements today? My God, I am getting chills. Commissioner Ferguson, you asked her after you read the accounting from the District Court of Appeal of the crime, is that accurate. "Very accurate", she said. Why did you do it? "It had to be done." Those were her words seven hours ago. Why did you do it? I crossed into the race war and I had no moral integrity not to do it. She says she didn't run away as you asked her. She said she didn't report it to the police because she lost her humanity. She had no regard for life, no measurement of limitations. And she wasn't even under the influence of any drugs apparently at the time. So we would just submit to you, if here's a woman who says she's remorseful and cares so much about victims, why did she try to strike her name from the Victims' Bill of Rights in 2008? And why, why does she always want the spotlight? Her counsel today came in at the very beginning seven hours ago and said that there were certain things he did not have and certain things he did not think he was able to submit as part of the record. But he did not want to delay the case. He was ready to go. That's because she's ready to go. The camera is here. The television people are outside. The AP reporter is here. She's ready to go. And if she gets released from State prison, she'll be ready to go. And that means she's going to hurt somebody again. And we can't have it. And on behalf of the victims, we are asking for a sentence of 15 years, which is exactly what Marsy's Law was passed by the voters in 2008. It was to say enough is enough is enough of a one-year, three-year. Before Marsy's Law, the maximum denial for a life case was five years. Now it's 15. And we're respectfully asking for 15. She deserves it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: I think according to the list, Anthony DiMaria?

MR. DIMARIA: Thank you, Commissioners. My name is Anthony DiMaria. I've been asked by John DiSantis, nephew of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca to speak as his representative and on behalf of the La Biancas families. As I read this statement, I will use the words we and our to reflect the collective perspectives of the La Bianca family and all the families of Leslie Van Houten's victims. To be clear, our families' involvement in these hearings has nothing to do with feelings of anger, revenge or hatred towards Leslie Van Houten. Rather, we come out of love to speak for those who are silenced in their graves. And even though these hearings and what is said in these hearings reopen old but very fresh wounds, we are grateful for the right to speak out for those who can't speak for themselves. There has been an epic mass of sensationalism and mythology and distortion resulting from these murders. But when we acknowledge the cold hard facts of these crimes, it is civil and just to see things as they are. As you ponder parole for inmate Van Houten, we ask that you consider as much justice for her victims. I speak additionally of all Tate/La Bianca victims and their families. Just as Leslie Van Houten and the Manson Family clan shared -- excuse me -- shared unified motivations and killed collectively, so too the victims in our families share collective loss and suffering. Some would have you believe Ms. Van Houten's crimes occurred exclusively at the La Bianca residence. On the contrary, Ms. Van Houten shared the intentions and full knowledge of Manson Family criminal activity for many months leading up to the murders. At a recent Parole Hearing, Ms. Van Houten's attorney states, "We are talking about one night of horrible violence in her life when she was clearly not in her right mind." Mr. Satris echoes the same belief again today. This is a misstatement of gargantuan proportions. Evidence exhibits Leslie Van Houten to be a prime and lethal force in one of the most notorious killing clans in United States history. There is not one of Leslie Van Houten's many crimes that occurred in a vacuum. We must acknowledge Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate, her son, and Donald Shea in these proceedings today. Because had Ms. Van Houten contacted authorities after Gary Hinman's murder on July 27th, 1969, we wouldn't be in this room today and nine people would have lived their lives fully. Instead, she passionately chose loyalty and dedication to a racist, terrorist ideology of the Manson syndicate, and ultimately proved herself a depraved weapon in the so-called Manson Family. In today's and previous Parole Hearings, there has been much discussion on influences of Ms. Van Houten before her crimes, accountability, whether Ms. Van Houten remains a threat to society, rehabilitation and suitability for parole. The La Bianca families would like to address these issues. Regarding drug and Manson influence, today attorney Satris and Ms. Van Houten submit to the Board that the inmate alone is responsible for her crimes. But at a recent hearing, Ms. Van Houten's attorney, Christie Webb, asserted that her client was rendered mentally incapacitated from chronic LSD abuse and Manson control. Ms. Webb states, "Leslie was vulnerable and she was controlled by drugs and Manson's brainwashing." At the petitioner's last hearing, her then-attorney, Brandie Devall, says, "It is abundantly clear that Ms. Van Houten has never used drugs as a crutch or a reason to justify this life crime." But just a few years previously, Ms. Webb declares, "All that LSD changed the chemistry of her brain." These conflicting stances were made just a few years apart at recent Parole Hearings. And between the two proposals, one must imagine completely different realities. The stark discrepancies are borne out on the record. Long-time supporter and friend of Ms. Van Houten, filmmaker John Waters, quotes Ms. Van Houten in his article Leslie Van Houten, A Friendship. "I became saturated in acid and had no sense where those who were not part of the psychedelic reality came from. I had no perspective or sense that I was no longer in control of my mind." These contradictions, made in distant and close proximity of each other gives one pause to realize that genuine accountability gives way to tactical strategy. Regardless of position, please consider Dr. Barbara Fries, M.D., Senior Examiner Board for Neurology and Psychiatry. "It is not defensible to say Leslie Van Houten was influenced immediately or chronically changed by LSD. No drug has ever produced a sustained psychotic state to cause a person to carry out organized activity as in these murders with regard to the planning, the targeting, murdering, painting messages in blood, not to mention escaping capture and hiding from authorities. Psychedelic drugs do not make people do psychotic deeds." On Manson, attorney Devall referred to Manson as a master manipulator who "had a knack for finding lost young people and manipulating them." For decades, our families are impacted as certain facets of media have fashioned a narrative on Manson and the so-called Family. But in light of the profound gravity of these crimes, it is imperative that we see things for what they are. The so-called Manson Family was not a cult. It was a group of people who chose to avoid work, have indiscriminate sex and get high. They thought they were manifesting a social revolution as many younger adults believed during the 60's. But there was a specific smaller sub-sect that truly desired cultural upheaval through murder and terror. Charles Manson is not a mastermind or a counterculture demigod with mystical powers to control. He is not the Devil himself or a guru, as Mr. Satris states today. He's an angry, frustrated man who lashed out at a society in which he was a complete failure. Leslie Van Houten is not a Charles Manson victim nor is she a follower. She too was an angry individual who identified with an organization bent on mayhem and destruction. Her choices and actions for nearly two years define her clearly as a cruel-hearted sociopath, a devoted killer. It must be acknowledged that there were many in Van Houten's group that did not kill. One of them sits with us in this room. Even Manson Family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly. These women -- these women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity." Is Leslie Van Houten a threat to society? Leslie Van Houten's crimes and the Manson legacy have become a societal cancer with destructive and lethal consequences even as you consider parole for her at this very moment. During the 80's and 90's, lead singer for the popular band Guns N' Roses promoted Manson lore as he regularly wore Manson tee-shirts at performances. He even saw fit to record a Manson song. In 2009, a movie titled Leslie, My Name is Evil was produced. It focused on the film's lead character, Leslie Van Houten, her crimes and the seduction of a juror. She is portrayed as a tragic hero. Last year, at many concerns, the lead singer of an emerging punk bank, Alkaline Trio, often wore a tee-shirt that reads Charlie's Angels. Beneath the inscription is the image of Leslie Van Houten smiling and singing as she walks the court with her cohorts. My sister, niece of a Manson Family victim, was at one of those concerts. She was so disturbed and nauseated she had to leave. Van Houten advocate and film director John Waters repeatedly uses Manson Family references such as free Tex Watson and murder gags in his films spanning decades. It is disgusting that Mr. Waters shows total callous disregard for the victims, yet he dedicated his film Pink Flamingos to Leslie Van Houten. Leslie Van Houten's crimes did not and do not occur in a vacuum. I sadly call to your attention the murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney. The Pennsylvania teenager was killed by four teenagers, ages 15 to 17. The weapons used to massacre the young man are a hammer, a hatchet and several large rocks. At one point during the attack, the hammer was struck so severely it remained in the victim's skull while he continued to struggle for his life. During the trial, the teenage killers testified listening to Helter Skelter over and over repeatedly for several hours before committing the murder. Helter Skelter, the same words written in Leno La Bianca's blood on a wall at Leslie Van Houten's crime scene. Judge Seamus McCaffery, after viewing Jason Sweeney's crime photos, said, "This is something out of the dark ages. I'm not sure we can call ourselves a civilized society when this happens." Three of the four teenagers were sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Philadelphia District Attorney Jude Conroy, who prosecuted the case, states, "It is really amazing that teenagers in Philadelphia, Memorial Day weekend, is attuned to the whole Helter Skelter and Manson mythology. It is a sad testament to the twisted, brutal legacy of the Manson murders that they have left behind such that it attracts 15, 16, 17-year-olds 40 years later three thousand miles across the country. It is a powerful legacy." The threat of Leslie Van Houten and her crimes to society, direct, symbolic, repercussive, is current and lethal. On the nature and gravity of Ms. Van Houten's crimes, I must apologize to Tony, Leno's grandson and Lou, Leno's nephew for possible additional pain with the following statements. It has been asserted over and over that the commitment offenses alone are not grounds for denial. Then let us look at the severe and depraved nature of the petitioner's actions. Consider Leslie Van Houten's racist, terrorist intentions in the months leading to the Hinman murder mid-1969, the murders on the nights of August 8th and 10th, the taunting during her trial as she spit on the memory of her victims when she sang, giggled and performed for cameras, and then her defiance when she said after her conviction in 1971, "Your whole system is a game, you blind, stupid people." At a recent hearing, Leslie Van Houten stated that she accepted responsibility for what she termed "superficial postmortem wounds" to Rosemary La Bianca. This statement is shocking and alarming, especially when we consider that it was made years after reflection and rehabilitation. The first fatal blow occurred at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she held Rosemary La Bianca hostage and prepared her for slaughter. The next fatal blow was dealt at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she wrestled her victim to the ground as she attempted to escape the bedroom. The next fatal blow, when she called out for Watson and Krenwinkel to finish the job. The next fatal blow, when she restrained Rosemary's arms while she was stabbed 41 times. There is not one thing about this inmate's crimes that is superficial or postmortem. It is imperative also that we acknowledge the zeal and pleasure in which Leslie Van Houten killed. In her own words, "The more I did it, the more fun it was." John Waters, in his piece, mentions how Leslie felt during the killings. She said she felt like "a primitive animal, a wildcat who just caught a deer." After all this, bodies strewn on the floor, Leslie raided the deceased couple's refrigerator, selected and adorned clothes from Rosemary La Bianca's closet, and then wiped the home free of prints. I'm reminded of something John Waters said in one of his interviews. He said he always found the Manson murders fascinating. He wanted to understand why these women killed as they did. Perhaps Mr. Waters and everyone in this room might try to understand how we should find ourselves strapped to a chair, our hands bound behind our back. Understand how it would feel to be defenseless and stabbed 26 times with a bayonet, a carving fork and a butcher knife. Understand how it would feel to hear the screams of your wife and know that she too will suffer the same unbearable fate. Understand what it would be like to be on the receiving end of Leslie Van Houten and her crew. On rehabilitation, these are painful troubled waters for all of us including Ms. Van Houten. It is my sincere hope that she know righteousness and peace. To be explicit, we certainly do not discount Ms. Van Houten's accomplishments behind bars. They are certainly commendable. But in comparison to the severe and grave dimensions of her crimes, chronos, letters and certificates became paper. Mr. Satris talks of time. Let us shift focus and imagine 44 years in a black, dusty coffin. Ms. Van Houten's victims, for them, there is no time. Leslie Van Houten and her attorneys assert that Ms. Van Houten is a changed, rehabilitated individual. One attorney states Ms. Van Houten is the most model prisoner in the system and has been for a long, long time. She cannot change her offenses, but she has changed herself. While the petitioner and her attorneys maintain Leslie Van Houten has changed, Leno and Rosemary La Bianca remain unchanged, unrehabilitated, unparoled. And they will remain so for eternity. The salient question remains, how can we make amends for Leslie Van Houten when no one can make amends for her dead? Considering the profound gravity of her crimes, the cruel and sadistic nature, the unspeakable suffering of her victims, the permanent loss to their families and the poisonous repercussions of her crimes to society even today, we ask that you deny parole to Leslie Van Houten for the longest period of time permitted by law. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. According to the list, Debra Tate is up.

MS. TATE: My name is Debra Tate. I've been assigned the spokesperson role for Angela Smaldino, sister to Lou Smaldino, niece and nephew of Leno La Bianca. I have been for several years responsible for the mental health and wellbeing of Angela Smaldino. Therefore, I can speak very well for the damage that it has incurred, this crime has incurred, and how it flows from one generation to the next. This isn't over. This is a very bright woman who has got her Master's Degree and repeatedly gone back over and over and over to achieve her doctorate so that she can educate very young individuals. The reason she can't get that doctorate and can't function is because of the crime that Ms. Van Houten perpetrated upon her family. It ruined her mother's heart, as it ruined my mother's heart. Her mother died of a broken heart, as my mother died of a broken heart. My daughter and her -- as her daughters do not get to have time with their grandparents as a result of Ms. Van Houten's actions. They are extremely egregious. She is oh so very sociopathic and narcissistic. I've been trained by the California Department of Parole. I was asked to open a halfway house at my ranch for women like Ms. Van Houten. I agreed to do so. I put up one test house. That was the end of that. It didn't take any time at all, one month to six weeks, before every individual in that house was using drugs again, sneaking men in, getting into fights. If you look at the statistics on people that have been released that are first degree murderers, their crime recurrence if it's not murder is always active. I personally don't know of one individual that has made it through the program and become a contributing citizen to society rather than a burden. In the case of the Manson Family, this is a well-oiled machine. This is a well-oiled machine that is still oiling itself today. I know because I watch. These people are networking together still. They have each got a fan base that they communicate with, that do biddings and go from one prison to the next prison. They are unified now as they always were. I'm very, very happy that our rehabilitation system can work to the degree that Ms. Van Houten, as other Manson Family members, core killers, is the way I'm going to refer to them, have educated themselves and done some good within the restraints of these walls. But isn't that what these walls are all about? In an uncontrolled environment, I'm not willing to bet anybody's life that these people will not repeat their crimes. As a matter of fact, I'd pretty much bet that they would. Ms. Smaldino also feels this way. She is scared to death. She cannot function. My sister, although she attended Parole Hearings for four years prior to her death, was also scared to death. Most citizens out there are scared to death. I know, I talk to them. I talk for them. I try to put them psychologically back together so that they can have some simile of normalcy after their loved ones had been taken. I have letters in the file from other correctional officers, other facilities in other states, other countries that think and truly believe in their hearts -- and I do believe with them -- that it would be a travesty of justice for these people to be released. Although the language did not exist at that time, these are domestic terrorists. What would you do if you were trying a case for a domestic terrorist today? I'll tell you what you would do. You would put the death penalty on the table or put them behind bars for the rest of their life. Organized killing clans cannot be accepted in this society. And that's all I have to say. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. All right. Barbara Hoyt?

MS. HOYT: Can I just scoot up?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Sure. That would be fine.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Is that okay?

MS. HOYT: Thank you.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Sure. (Inaudible) microphone closer.

MS. HOYT: It's okay. Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Go ahead.

MS. HOYT: My name is Barbara Hoyt. And I lived with the Manson Family from April 1st, 1969 to early October, 1969. I was present during the time of the murders. I knew Leslie along with the other members of the Family during that time. I did not know about the murders until I overheard Sadie or Susan Atkins describing or bragging about the murders to Ruth Moorehouse. And that was out in the desert, and that was in probably later September. The motive for all these murders was related to Helter Skelter. And it's a black/white race war that was -- that the Family believed would soon occur. And this war would ultimately result in the Manson Family ruling over the surviving population of at least the United States. He explained that becoming a rock star and getting his music out was -- and this was Charlie quoting -- it was to attract the young love to the desert. The Family was supposed to increase in size to 144 thousand out in the desert. It was kind of a Biblical number that he got that from. I wish I had the vocabulary to adequately express to you the enormity of evil that was to be perpetuated on the population. Preparing for Helter Skelter physically, mentally, financially was the all- pervasive fabric of Manson Family daily life. The acceptance of new members was a two-way street. All the members had pretty high IQ's. There were some in the Family who had photographic memories. One time Charlie Manson's lawyer asked Brooks Poston to recite to the court -- excuse me, I'm sorry -- to recite to the court every conversation he had with Charlie. And he lived with him for two years. And Brooks did it. Anyway, people came and went at will. I did. I left twice. Kitty Lutesinger left and returned. Bill Vance and Ella Jo Bailey left. Paul Watkins came and went several times. Leslie never left the Family. She was separated -- she never left them at all actually. She was separated from the Family when the authorities arrested her. And they separated her. She never willingly left the Family. The night the La Biancas were murdered, no one in Los Angles was safe. They made several tries at killing people. The La Biancas, like the other potential victims, were totally at random. Leslie Van Houten believed in Helter Skelter certainly enough to brutally murder another human being. She had no concern for the suffering of her victims. She didn't have any sympathy for the victim -- oh, I'm sorry -- for Mrs. La Bianca at all. There is no -- there is no cure for a person with this degree of coldblooded disregard for another person's life. Leslie seemed to be very happy. Now they've described the Family as being in hell, but she really liked hell. She really enjoyed hell. She had a good time out there. She was well regarded by the other members of the Family. I never once heard a disparaging word about her or to her by Manson or any of the other Family members. She was considered to be a strong person. But not only did she have no remorse in the summer and fall of 1969, she also shows no remorse now. And I -- every time she's had a Parole Hearing that's she denied, she sued or what's the word I'm looking for?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Appeal.

MS. HOYT: She appealed them. One time she even sued the State for being a political prisoner. I think the most blatant demonstration of her continued lack of remorse is the fact of these continued Parole Hearings where she drags the victims' families to relive the horror over and over and over and over again. And thank you for allowing me to speak. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. And I know we have two speakers left. But our uniformed correctional officer has to leave for count. I don't know how long it's going to take. We can probably get a replacement rather quickly. But it'll give us an opportunity to get the room a little cooler for the last two speakers that we have. It's now 4:25.

(Off the Record.)

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: We're back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And the time is 4:40. All persons previously identified prior to the recess have returned to the room. We have completed count procedures. And we were -- when we took our recess, we were -- we had two family members yet left to speak. And the next one is Leslie LaMontagne.

MS. LAMONTAGNE: Leslie LaMontagne, Tony LaMontagne's wife, Leno La Bianca's grandson. I wasn't planning on speaking today. So I don't have a long prepared speech, which I'm sure we'll all be thankful for. But after sitting here and having my husband have to listen to the brutal death of his grandfather, I thought maybe it would be important just right from the heart of what I see every day living with his family for 15 years. Before the break, Ms. Van Houten's attorney spoke about time. He kept stressing the word time, how long time does she have to spend suffering for what she did. For 15 years of time, I've seen this family personally suffer, for 15 years. Ms. Van Houten talked about needing to be in sound mind. I never will believe this family will ever be in sound mind again about this. She talked about needing all the answers. This family will never get all the answers they need from Ms. Van Houten. I've seen this family almost hesitate to use their true name, La Bianca instead of being proud to use the La Bianca name. My grandfather meant the world to me. I have amazing memories of my grandfather in my head, crossword puzzles on the patio, running to the pole, kicking the pole, who could get back home first, him measuring me in the basement, how tall did I get every time I visited him. My husband has been robbed of his grandfather. He will never have stories to tell people about his grandfather. I'm lucky my grandfather died of natural causes. So I still hold those amazing memories in my head of my grandfather. My husband will never get those memories of his grandfather in his head, either will my son. My son will never meet his great-grandfather. He was only four years older than my husband, four years older. He had plenty of time for life and relationships. We also talked a lot about the inmate's relationships and the relationships she would be able to have if she got out of here. My husband will never have a relationship with his grandfather. Leno and Rosemary will never get a chance to go back into society and continue to have relationships with their family and friends. I personally believe that you are born with your core and what you're able to let yourself do. I do not believe that books and groups and talking to people can really change your core that much. Through the Parole Hearings, I believe we are continuing to feed the inmate's needs for extreme attention and approval. Let's stop today feeding these undeserved -- this undeserved attention that she gets. And let's give the time and positive attention back to the victims. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: Thank you. Okay. Tony LaMontagne?

MR. LAMONTAGNE: I'm going to be pretty brief. I think everybody here has been right on point with everything. My name is Tony LaMontagne. My legal name is John LaMontagne, and that's how I was introduced earlier. But I go by Tony. And Leno was my grandfather. Rosemary was my grandmother through their marriage. This is my first time at one of these hearings. And as I said, I was born in 1973. And I'm the oldest grandchild. And I never was able to meet them. I've been trying to figure out what I would say about this terrible situation that me and my family have had to deal with our entire lives, if I ever had this chance. I mean I personally have gone through a gamut of emotions over the last -- I mean I'm almost 40, not quite, from sadness seeing my family destroyed before I was even born to anger that this hideous crime could even happen, and worse, that we'll even consider parole for this killer that didn't even give my grandfather and step-grandmother a chance. And then I -- and then I come across denial that this is even something real. I mean to me, it's been stories ever since I was three years old from my mom, from Leno's first wife, my grandmother. And everything that has come out has started coming out on me. But being here today makes this real. I mean it's not a story. And it's time that I stand up for my grandfather and his wife. The reason I'm here today is to support my grandfather and step-grandmother, to voice my strong disapproval of letting this convicted felon out on the streets after taking two innocent lives so brutally. There's been a gaping hole left in my life and our entire family's life without the love, the influence, guidance, support and experience of my grandfather. I strongly encourage extending Leslie Van Houten's next Parole Hearing to 15 years. There shouldn't even be one, but's that's the max is my understanding, so that I and everybody here don't have to spend the rest of our lives doing what the State should be doing in the first place and leaving her in prison for life. And that's it. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And the time is 4:45. And we will recess for deliberations.

RECESS
--o0o--

CALIFORNIA BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS DECISION

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: We are on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And the time is 5:15 p.m. This is the decision portion of the Suitability Hearing for Leslie Van Houten, CDC number W-13378. All persons previously identified have returned to the room with the exception of the photographer. I guess he had somewhere to be. So we will proceed in his absence. The Panel reviewed all information received from the public and all relevant information that was before us today in concluding that the prisoner is not suitable for parole because the inmate currently poses an unreasonable risk of danger if released from prison. The finding of unsuitability is based on weighing the considerations provided in the California Code of Regulations Title 15. And this is a five-year denial. The first consideration which weighs heavily against suitability is past and present mental state, past and present attitude toward the crime. Ms. Van Houten, your crimes were the true definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel. Your behaviors were integral in causing the most horrific string of murders to occur in this country in a generation. To this day, after 40 years, your crimes still instill fear in innocent people throughout the world. I can think of no worse motive than yours. Your motive was to instigate a race war in which whites and blacks would murder each other. Your victims were selected because they were affluent whites. Your crimes were particularly bloody and gruesome by design so that they would instill shock and anger in the community. You were involved in the plotting and the planning of these crimes early on. You could have come to your senses and you could have gone to the authorities. You could have prevented these atrocities before they even occurred. You were asked today at this hearing why you did not, why you didn't do that. And your response was that you truly believed in what you were doing. You said that it was very important to you that you cross the line and commit acts of violence including murder to further that cause. You were fully aware of the brutal, savage murder of five innocent victims committed just the day before you committed the murders of the La Biancas. You watched news accounts of the Tate murders, and you had your crime partners, Krenwinkel and Atkins, fill you in with the vicious details. Rather than be repulsed or horrified, you were envious. You felt left out. You wanted to be included in the next set of murders. You did, in fact, choose to involve yourself in the next set of murders. You did this willingly because you truly believed in that cause. And what is a concern of this Panel, as you testified today, there is no line that you would not have crossed. You testified today at this hearing that you quite possibly would have murdered children if they had been in the house, even babies if they were in that home. And that is very telling. This Panel is concerned with what kind of person would do those types of things and for the reasons that you did them. You were not high on drugs when you committed these crimes. Your victim or your victims had done nothing to you. You had no reason to be angry with them particularly. They certainly were -- or anger was no factor at all. You were not abused as a child. Your parents loved you and provided for you. By all accounts, at least up to age 14, you had an ideal childhood. And the question is why. You cited the divorce as a factor for your behavior. Your parents divorced when you were 14. You felt abandoned by your father and you stated today that you were angry with your mother over the divorce. You ran away from home. You got involved in drugs. You became pregnant. At age 17, your mother encouraged you to get an abortion. You cite the anger of having been pressured into that abortion as one of the contributing factors for your behaviors. And those things were probably huge in your life. And I'm sure that those factors did influence your subsequent behaviors. But this quantum leap to what you became -- many families experience divorce. It's quite common. Many people have traumatic childhoods, and many teenage girls have abortions as well. You have failed today to explain at this hearing as to why it is specifically -- why it is and what it is about you that would cause you -- you're a smart person. You were a smart teenager. You came from a good family. Why would you commit such horrific atrocities? Now today Commissioner Singh asked you about your shortcomings. And your response -- and I wrote them down when you said it because I thought, well, she obviously had a lot of shortcomings, let me find out. She wrote them -- you said not having a good set of boundaries. And that, I'm telling you, is a -- that is an understatement considering what you did. Of course, that goes without saying that you did not have a good set of boundaries. But why? And why did your boundaries include anything including the horrific behaviors that you did and the -- and had it been allowed to continue, it could have even gotten worse based on your mindset at the time. You said that you wanted acceptance. You felt you needed to belong. You said that you were attracted to Charles Manson because you thought he had all the answers. And you can't possibly feel that you needed to involve yourself in this type of behavior in order to be accepted or to belong. I referenced 48 support letters. It might have been 49. I think we got one late. And of those people, those are people, many of them family and friends that were with you even before you committed these crimes. They were with you in your childhood years. They were with you in your teen years. They were members of your family. And they're -- they've stood by you throughout your incarceration over all these years. They were there for you then. But you chose to ignore them. And the reasons for that, I still do not understand. You have failed to make the connection of how you went from Point A to Point B. You didn't -- you didn't just buy into the Helter Skelter race war ideology. You were part of the development of that ideology. You were certainly part of the application of that ideology by the murders that you committed. You failed to explain how such an intelligent woman would believe such ridiculous things, after causing a race war, you would hide out in a deep hole in the desert, and after 150 years, your people would rise up and repopulate the earth. Now that -- it just -- it's not -- it's just something that we'll never understand why you believed that. You have failed to explain how your feelings about race contributed to your behaviors. Race was clearly a factor in your crimes. While you acknowledge that you had no close friends at the time that were African Americans, you made no mention of how your experiences and how your beliefs contributed to your ideology at that time. And we did consider the commitment offense when we rendered our decision today. Your commitment offense hits all of the aggravating factors that we consider. It was committed, as I stated before, in an especially heinous, atrocious and cruel manner. And multiple victims were attacked and killed. Your offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner. And your victims were abused, defiled and mutilated during and after the offense. The offense was carried out in a manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering. The motive for the crimes is inexplicable and very trivial in relationship to the offense. Your crimes will always be a factor. The question is will the good ever outweigh the bad. And that did not happen today. We also considered other things. One thing I will mention is your parole plans. Because when we were discussing parole plans, I asked you something. And I wrote down your response because it did strike a chord. You were asked today if you have considered what, if any, obstacles you would face that would stand in the way of a successful parole. And you were quick to respond. The number one thing, you said maintaining anonymity and to live a normal life. And you say that; however, since you've been in prison, you've made no attempt to do that. You could have chosen to do that in prison, but you did not. You've had multiple interviews. You've had -- been on television many times. You've had books written about you. You've talked to authors. You've talked to reporters. You've done everything you can to attract attention to yourself. And it's clear to this Panel that you have not yet explored what it is about you specifically that has caused you to crave attention and so that that trait in you, craving attention, does not create an obstacle for you in the future. The Hearing Panel notes responses to Penal Code Section 3042 Notices indicate opposition to a finding of parole suitability. Specifically, the District Attorney of Los Angeles County, Deputy DA Sequeira has spoken in opposition today. And the Panel finds clear and convincing evidence pursuant to the Penal Code Section 3041(b)(3) after considering the public and the victims' safety as well as the parole consideration criteria set forth in Title 15 that the prisoner does not require a period of incarceration of 15 additional years before your next Parole Hearing. And for a listing of your institutional adjustments and certainly other factors, I'll now turn to Commissioner Singh.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Thank you, Commissioner Ferguson. Ms. Van Houten, you have engaged in positive programming. And I want to commend you for some of the positive programming that you've been doing. You've obtained your Bachelor's Degree. You've obtained a Master's Degree. And that's not an easy feat. That's not easy for someone who is out in free society. And it's probably even more difficult for someone who is incarcerated in a prison setting. But you have obtained those degrees, and you have upgraded educationally. And I do want to commend you for that. You've also been involved with the Chaffey College tutoring program. And you've been doing that since 2005 to the present. And the work reports indicate that you are doing an excellent job in that regard. And you are making a lot of positive strides in helping others while you are incarcerated with the skills that you've learned through your educational upgrades. And you've also taken several self-help programs and been consistently involved with Emotions Anonymous and Choice Theory as well as you've done some courses in the Alternatives to Violence program. And you are -- today you demonstrated to this Panel that you are an intelligent woman and you are very articulate. You've demonstrated that you can follow rules. You only have one disciplinary write-up which isn't even a serious rules violation, and it's from 1981, a very long time ago. And that's why it is troubling to this Panel that after 44 years of this crime that you committed that you still demonstrate that material deficiency in your insight, in your insight into yourself. The question was posed and it's been for the last 44 years, were you a follower. Well, are you a follower? Are you a leader? Are you a manipulator? What kind of person are you? You were very popular when you were younger. That's the sense I got. You were the homecoming princess. You engaged in pro-social activities. Yet you have this event happen in your life. You become pregnant. And then you feel that you've been manipulated by your mother. You were manipulated to get an abortion. You revolted and you joined a group of other people who had manipulative ways. They had criminal ways. You joined them, and you associated with them. And you freely participated in things such as creepy crawling. You engaged in burglarizing other people's home, victimizing other people. You also admitted to victimizing your own father, your family member. And he was the one who was supporting you when you were pregnant. He wanted you to stay with him and his -- your stepmother, his wife. But you chose not to do that. You chose to go become part of this criminal association and essentially, in my opinion, become a leader of a sense in that criminal association. And you were still demonstrating some of those tendencies. I was reading through some of your chronos. And you were part of a program, the Wellbriety program, and the instructor even wrote you naturally assumed the leadership role. You were a leader and you are a smart person. And now you need to really look inside yourself and be able to demonstrate what were those causative factors. Today you were unable to demonstrate what led you down that path of being in that criminal association. What led you down the path into engaging in these prior criminal acts and victimizing other people and then doing the ultimate victimization? You aided in taking -- you took one person's life and aided in taking another person's life, and did nothing to prevent other people's lives from being taken. You engaged in the commission of a robbery after these two people were murdered. And you had racial hatred, which Commissioner Ferguson has also commented on. And you were a person in your family who -- you weren't raised that way. You had two adopted siblings who were Korean. And so you weren't that type of person. You weren't raised to be that type of person. So you need to demonstrate what made you that person to engage in those acts so long ago. You have a need to belong. You indicated today you still need structure. You were hoping to have structure in transitional housing and to live with friends when you are in the free community. And as a 63-year-old woman, there are still a lot of aspects, in this Panel's opinion, that you need to explore, and you need to be able to demonstrate, so that you will no longer be a threat to public safety. Thank you. Commissioner Ferguson?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: And we did consider your age and that you are 63 years old. And we also considered your young age, 19 at the time of the commitment offense. And those were factors that we did consider in rendering our decision. The Panel has no substantial doubt, based on these circumstances, that at this time the prisoner does not require a 15-year denial. We then considered whether the safety of the public and the victims require that you remain incarcerated for ten additional years. But by clear and convincing evidence, we have no substantial doubt that for the reasons cited before, you do not require a more lengthy period of incarceration than the threshold of five years. While the Panel wants to commend you for your positives, on balance, the circumstances that make you unsuitable for parole, which we've already discussed with you, heavily outweigh the positive aspects of your case. After weighing all the evidence presented today, you are unsuitable for parole because you pose an unreasonable risk of danger if released and require at least an additional five years of incarceration. The Panel recommends that you remain disciplinary-free and, if available, participate in self-help and therapy programming. Penal Code Section 3041.5(d)(1) provides that you can request that the Board conduct your next hearing earlier than the denial period we issued today provided there has been a change of circumstance or new information that establishes a reasonable likelihood that you do not require additional incarceration. BPH Form 1045A will be provided to you to make such a request along with a written report of the Panel's decision. And on that, the time is now 5:35 p.m., and this hearing is concluded. Good luck, sir -- or ma'am.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SINGH: Good luck, ma'am.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Thank you.

ATTORNEY SATRIS: And I gather you found the confidential information not relevant or not worthy of consideration?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER FERGUSON: We looked at it, but it did not -- we did not use it in considering our decision. We actually looked at it during one of the recesses.

ADJOURNMENT

PAROLE DENIED FIVE YEARS