Thursday, August 30, 2007







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

AUGUST 30, 2007

James Davis, Presiding Commissioner
Carol Williams, Deputy Commissioner

Leslie Van Houten, Inmate
Christie Webb, Attorney for Inmate
Patrick Sequeira, Deputy District Attorney
Louis Smaldino, Observer
Debra Tate, Observer
Anthony DiMaria, Observer
Layne Juarnez, Observer
Fred Mills, Observer
Scott Wilson, Observer
Correctional Officer(s) Unidentified


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right, this is a Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing for Leslie Van Houten, CDC number W-13378. Today's date is August 30th, 2007 and we're located at the California Institution for Women. Miss Van Houten was received on 8/17/1978 from Los Angeles County for the offense of Murder in the First Degree, counts six, seven, and eight, case number A253156, Penal Code Section 187, with a minimum eligible parole date of 8/17/1978. This hearing is being recorded and for the purposes of voice identification we'll each state our first and last name, spelling the last name. When it reaches you, Miss Von Houten, if you'll also give us your CDC number, please. So I will start and move to my left. I'm James Davis, D-A-V-I-S, Commissioner.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Carol Williams, W-I-L-L-I-A-M-S, Deputy Commissioner.

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

MR. SMALDINO: Louis Smaldino, nephew of Leno LaBianca, S-M-A-L-D-I-N-O.

MISS TATE: Debra Tate, spelled T-A-T-E, support person.

MR. DIMARIA: Anthony DiMaria, D-I-M-A-R-I-A, support person.

MISS JUAREZ: Layne Juarez, J-U-A-R-E-Z, with CIW.

MR. MILLS: Fred Mills, M-I-L-L-S, Reporter, Channel 2 and Channel 9.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Christie Webb. I'm the attorney for the inmate, Miss Van Houten. My last name is W-E-B-B.

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


MR. WILSON: Scott Wilson (inaudible) and PBS, Los Angeles.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And let the record reflect that we are joined by a correctional officer who is here today for security purposes and will not be actively participating in the hearing. And just for everyone's edification, the press has been told that everything on this table is confidential and no one is to be filming anything that you're writing. Other than that, we are, of course, being recorded, so --

MR. MILLS: All right.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Miss Van Houten, in front of you, on that laminated piece of paper, is the Americans with Disabilities Act Statement. Would you please read that aloud.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: "The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law to help people with disabilities. Disabilities are problems that make it harder for some people to see, hear, breathe, talk, walk, learn, think, work, or take care of themselves than it is for others. Nobody can be kept out of public places or activities because of a disability. If you have a disability, you have the right to ask for help to get ready for your BBT [sic] hearing, get to the hearing, talk, read forms and papers, and understand the hearing process. BBT will look at what you ask for to make sure that you have a disability that is covered by the ADA and that you have asked for the right kind of help. If you do not get help, or if you don't think you got the kind of help you need, ask for a BBT 1074 Grievance Form. You can also get help to fill it out."

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Very well, thank you. And according to our records, together with staff from the institution, on April 4th, 2007 you reviewed and signed a BPH Form 1073 indicating that you do not have any disabilities that would be qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act; is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Yes, that's correct.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Has anything changed since that time?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Now you're wearing glasses today to read your form. Do you need those glasses?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I need them to read the form.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And do they work well for you?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And did you have those in preparation for your hearing today?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. And you can hear me all right?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And you walked here today under your own power?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Is there anything that you can think of that would preclude you from actively participating in this hearing today?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Counsel, you're in agreement with that as well?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Very well. This hearing is being conducted pursuant to Penal Code Sections 3041 and 3042 and the rules and regulations governing parole consideration hearings for life inmates. The purpose of today's hearing is to once again consider the number and nature of the crimes for which you were committed, your prior criminal and social history, and your behavior and programming since your commitment. Now we've had the opportunity to review your Central File, this prior transcript, the Board Report, submissions by counsel, and you'll have an opportunity to correct or clarify the record as we proceed. We will reach a decision today and inform you of whether or not we find you suitable for parole and the reasons for our decision. If you are found suitable for parole, the length of your confinement will be explained to you. Nothing that happens here today will change the findings of the court. The Panel is not here to retry your case. We are here for the sole purpose of determining your suitability for parole. Do you understand that?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: The hearing will be conducted in approximately or roughly two phases. First I will review with you the crime for which you were committed, as well as your prior criminal and social history. Commissioner Williams will review your progress since your commitment, basically since your last hearing, your counselor's report, psychological evaluation, parole plans, and any letters of support or opposition as they may exist. Once that's concluded, the commissioners, the district attorney and then your attorney will have an opportunity to ask questions. Questions that come from the district attorney will be asked through the chair, and you will respond back to the Panel with your answer. Following that, the district attorney and then your attorney will have an opportunity for a final closing statement, which will be followed by your closing statement, which should focus on your suitability for parole, which will then be followed by a statement from the victims' next of kin. The California Code of Regulations states that regardless of time served, a life inmate shall be found unsuitable for and denied parole if in the judgment of the Panel the inmate would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety if released from prison. Now you have certain rights. Those rights include the right to a timely notice of this hearing, the right to review your Central File, and the right to present relevant documents. Counsel, are you satisfied that your client's rights have been met to date?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yes, I have -- am.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You have an additional right, and that's to be heard by an impartial Panel. You've heard Commissioner Williams and I introduce ourselves today. Do you have any reason to believe that we would not be impartial?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. You will receive a written copy of our tentative decision today. That decision becomes effective within 120 days, and a copy of the decision and a copy of the transcript will be sent to you. The Board has eliminated its appeal process. If you disagree with anything in today's hearing, you have the right to go directly to court with your complaint. Once again, you are not required to admit or discuss your offense, however, the Panel does accept the findings of the court to be true. Do you understand that?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Thank you. I have passed to counsel a checklist a documents. If you will take a look at that and make sure we're all operating off the same list of documents. That would of course include by reference all of the documents that you've given to us today as well.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yes, I believe so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Do you mind passing that to Mr. Sequeira, please?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. Yeah, I believe I've received all these documents as well, thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right, thank you. That'll be marked as "Exhibit 1." Counsel, in addition to what you have previously given us, some of which you had sent by priority mail that we've discussed earlier, is there anything additional you'd like to submit at this time?

ATTORNEY WEBB: No, there isn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Any preliminary objections?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yes, I do have an objection. And I'm sorry, I'm going to object to the presence of Miss Tate and anyone else who's a relative of the victims at the Tate house that night. I don't know if there's anybody else here that fits that category. And with all due respect to Miss Tate as a victim, she is not one of Miss Van Houten's victims' next of kin or immediate family members. And Miss Van Houten was not convicted of murders at the Tate house and -- nor of conspiracy for those murders. And I know that's been a -- there's been a bit of confusion about that in the past, and so I'm going to renew my objection to Miss Tate's presence. And I know she gets a victim/witness next of kin notice of these hearings, and although she appears here as a support person, I want to state my objection for the record, please.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Thank you. Your objection is noted and overruled. They are here as support persons and were observers and will not be addressing the Panel today.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Any other objections, Counsel?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Not at this time, no.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Will your client be speaking with us today?

ATTORNEY WEBB: She's not going to discuss the facts about the commitment offense today. She's clearly discussed those facts since her trial testimony and in fourteen prior hearings and with the psychologist and other people who interview her for the Board. She fully accepts responsibility for her offenses, and she doesn't dispute the facts in the Statement of Facts, that I assume you're going to read, as long as those are the facts, the adopted facts, that were included in the 2006 hearing, and that's from the Court of Appeals Opinion.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. And for all other matters that you will be testifying about -- do you need a moment, Counsel? [Brief exchange between inmate Van Houten and Attorney Webb.]

ATTORNEY WEBB: You understand she'll be talking about anything else you want to ask her about her prison record and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Of course. That's what we're about to do right now.




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. If you'd raise your right hand then, please.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you will give at this hearing will be the truth and nothing but the truth?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Thank you. All right, for a review of the crime itself, I am going to refer to the Court of Appeals documents, starting on page 2, under the title, "Facts," where it states that: "Van Houten's --" Do you need a moment, Counsel, to find that?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I think you're right there. Starting on page 3, actually.




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: "Van Houten's life before the crime exemplified both the typical and terrifying in Southern California during the late 1960s. She was in some respects a normal teenager. Her family attended a Presbyterian church where she sang in the choir, went to the Youth Fellowship and enjoyed church camp every summer. She went to high school in Monrovia, California, graduating in 1967. While in high school she was a homecoming queen and class secretary, and participated in Campfire Girls and Job's Daughters. After high school she went to Sawyer College for a year, earning a legal secretary certificate. In other respects her life exhibited dangerous instability. At fourteen she began using marijuana, methamphetamine, mescaline, and benzedrine. She reported taking 150 'trips' on LSD by the age of nineteen. Her parents divorced when she was fourteen, and she became pregnant at fifteen, and either miscarried or had an abortion. She lived with her mother until graduation from high school, and then with her father and stepmother during the year she attended Sawyer College. After gaining her certificate from Sawyer in 1968 she left home, met a boyfriend, with whom she lived, and traveled up and down the West Coast for about five months. In San Jose, California, Van Houten heard about a commune at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, California and began living there, attracted by the communal lifestyle. Charles Manson (Manson) had established a commune with about twenty companions, who gathered around him in the Haight-Ashbury area, where he had gone after his release from prison in 1967." And for both counsel, I'm not going to -- I'm just going to refer to a reference for any of the court citations. "The group, which became known as 'the Family,' was allowed to live at the ranch in exchange for the men maintaining the ranch trucks and the women performing domestic and secretarial work. By August 1969 the members included Van Houten; Charles 'Tex' Watson, (Watson); Susan Atkins, (Atkins); Patricia Krenwinkel, (Krenwinkel); Linda Kasabian, (Kasabian); Steven Grogan (Grogan); and others. Initially, life at the ranch seemed idyllic to Van Houten, according to cultural standards in the late 1960s. She described the ranch as, 'the wonderful commune of kids, all the women all embroiled all the time, and you took care of the kids.' Soon after, the sinister side of the Family emerged. Manson dominated and manipulated members of the Family, and within the context of isolation, dependence, fear, drug, sex, and indoctrination of the Family experience, the members became convinced that Manson's peculiar apocalyptic fantasies and goals." And then there is a Footnote No. 1 which refers to the bottom of the page: 'Manson believed that the Beatles, in their song 'Helter Skelter,' were warning him of an impending, bloody civilization, ending worldwide race war between blacks and whites. During this war Manson and his follower would hide at the bottomless pit in Death Valley. Manson foretold that blacks would succeed in their 'revolution, but the Family would emerge from the pit to take control and restore order.' Manson came to believe that he would have to precipitate the race war by murdering whites, and the way he thought blacks would do it in the race war, and in such a way that blacks would be blamed for the murder.'" I'm returning to the text. "Van Houten, as a member of the Family, shared Manson's beliefs, goals, and means, which included the murder required to start the revolution they envisioned. Van Houten testified before the Board that on the evening of August 8, 1969, Manson approached Van Houten and asked her, 'if she was crazy enough to believe in him and what he was doing,' and Van Houten said, apparently answered, 'Yes.' That night, following Manson's instructions and without Van Houten, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Kasabian brutally murdered Sharon Tate-Polanski, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Jay Sebring and Steven Parent, subsequently referred to as the 'Tate Murders.' The victims were trapped in or pursued through and about the Polanski residence, and shot or clubbed or stabbed multiple times. The murderers returned to the ranch and reported to Manson. Sometime the next day, August 9th, 1969, after Atkins, 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 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 the 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 a 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 LaBiancas. Manson and Watson went inside first and surprised and tied up the LaBiancas. Manson returned alone several times later, reporting that he tied up a man and a --

ATTORNEY WEBB: "Minutes." Wait a minute.


ATTORNEY WEBB: That's "minutes later." I'm sorry, you misread.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: "Several." Thank you. "Manson --" I'm going to return to that second sentence. "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 do. He also told them not to let the victims know they were to 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 LaBiancas at the point of his bayonet. When Krenwinkel and Van Houten went into the LaBianca residence, Manson and the others drove away. Manson and Kasabian planted the LaBiancas' wallet in a gas station restroom, hoping it would be discovered by a black person, who would use the credit cards and be blamed for the theft and murder. At the LaBianca residence, Watson asked the victim if they had any money. Mrs. LaBianca's hands were untied and she brought out a small box of money. Watson told Van Houten and Krenwinkel to take Miss LaBianca into her bedroom and kill her. Van Houten and Krenwinkel took Mrs. LaBianca into her bedroom -- to her bedroom." Excuse me. "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. LaBianca's head and wrapped a lamp cord still attached to the lamp around her neck. Mrs. LaBiana heard the sound 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. LaBianca grabbed the lamp attached to the cord around her neck and swung the lamp at Van Houten. Van Houten knocked the lamp out of LaBianca's hand and wrestled her back onto the bed where she pinned her down so that Krenwinkel could stab her. Krenwinkel plunged the knife, taken earlier from the LaBianas' kitchen, with such force down on Mrs. LaBianca's collarbone that the knife blade bent. Van Houten ran into the hallway, calling for Watson, who came into Mrs. LaBianca's bedroom with the bayonet. According to Van Houten, she turned away from Mrs. LaBianca and Watson stabbed Mrs. LaBianca 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. LaBianca lying on the floor. She said that she 'felt' Mrs. LaBianca was dead but that she 'didn't know for sure.' Van Houten then used the knife Watson gave her to stab Mrs. LaBianca. She admitted, at one point, stabbing her in the lower back sixteen times and, at another point, she said that she stabbed her fourteen times. Mrs. LaBianca 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 stabbing, Van Houten thoroughly wiped away the perpetrators' fingerprints and 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. LaBianca's clothes, which she did, and discarded in a Dumpster the clothing she had come with. She drank some chocolate milk from LaBiancas' refrigerator. Back at the Spahn Ranch, she burned Mrs. LaBianca's clothes that she was wearing and counted the eight dollars in change in Mrs. LaBianca's box. Van Houten hid out for two months at a remote location and was not arrested until November 25th, 1969." And there is a --

ATTORNEY WEBB: Can you read on to the middle of page 9? That's what has been in the past two hearings describes here.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Let's see. "In 1971 a jury convicted Van Houten of two counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder and imposed the death sentence. The judgment was reversed because of the mistrial, disappearance of Van Houten's attorney. In a subsequent retrial, the jury deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial. Van Houten was tried a third time and the jury again convicted her of one count of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and two counts of first degree murder, however, the jury in this third trial, was not required to decide that she premeditated and deliberated the murder because the trial court also gave felony murder instruction, and current life sentences with the possibility of parole were imposed, and penal judgment was affirmed, and in this same opinion a petition of habeas corpus was denied." Is that what you're talking about, Counsel?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yes. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. There is a version of this that is ascribed to you. And, of course, Counsel, at any time if your client would like to change her mind and address the Panel, she certainly may, however, we understand and respect that she has a right not to and that that would be held against her. In the August 2007 Board Report there is a version that is ascribed to you. Do you know, Miss Van Houten, was this something that you spoke of recently?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You mean for this Board Report?


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I spoke with him about it in the 2006 and held to it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. And in this version it states: "I was nineteen years old. Like many of us in the 1960s, I was searching for a commune of kids with spiritual values and idealism. I came to live at the Spahn Movie Ranch with a group of other young people under the watchful eye of an older man named Charles Manson. When I first arrived, Manson was not speaking of violent revolution and I believed I had found a peaceful, loving commune. Over a period of time, through a process of manipulation and drugs, I came to believe that Charles Manson was a reincarnation of Jesus Christ. I was very naïve and idealistic and had never met anyone like him before. I have discussed my version of the crime in detail in each of my parole hearings since 1978 and I incorporate those facts in this report. I will continue to do my best to answer all questions the Panel members have. I am legally and morally responsible and take responsibility for the death of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Looking back, I know how terrifying that night was for them and I carry a tremendous shame about this. I would like to apologize to the family and friends of Leo [sic] and Rosemary LaBiana. It is my understanding that the State has a Victims' Rights program. If at any time any family member wishes to talk to me through an established intermediary, I would welcome the opportunity to apologize personally. I have taken very seriously these murders and truly am sorry. I know that Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were kind and loving people, and I deeply regret the taking of their lives and having hurt those who love Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca as I know their pain is unending." And that's the end of the statement. Are there any other statements, Counsel, that you're aware of that you would like read into the record?

ATTORNEY WEBB: I don't think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Then in terms of a prior arrest record, as a juvenile you had no contacts with law enforcement whatsoever?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: In this or any other state?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. As an adult, you were arrested several times, most of which were either you were released with insufficient evidence or no disposition, in 1969 for grand theft, and that was you were released on insufficient evidence, and again in 8 of 1969, grand theft auto, with no disposition. Do you remember what happened in either one of those cases?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. All of my arrests were when I was at the Spahn's Ranch.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And one of them, there were several of us that were in a nope truck, I think, and that, that might have been one of them. And then the other, we were living at the Spahn Ranch and the police came up and raided it for dune buggies, and I was in the local jail for a few days and then released.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But you weren't prosecuted for any of these cases?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: In September of 1969, arrested for burglary, with no disposition; October of 1969 again, auto theft, no disposition; and then of course the incident offense itself.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. The burglary one was a woman I was with had a credit card that she was forging.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But again, you weren't prosecuted in any of these?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Let's turn to your personal factors. It notes, again in the 2007 Board Report, that you are now fifty-seven years old, you're the second of two children, you have two younger adopted siblings, you were raised in Los Angeles, and it indicates here in a loving Christian home. You were very sheltered by your mother, who was the main disciplinary figure and had high expectations. You were very close to your father, and you indicate the he was an alcoholic. So far correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Whenever they say that, I think it's important that it be known that my father was also a active member of AA at that time. It doesn't talk --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, I was going to ask you about that.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: How did his alcoholism manifest itself?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: What do you mean? How did --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: How did -- was there any abuse in the home --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- as a result of the alcohol?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. And I don't -- it seems like that clinical people always write it because he's an alcoholic, but he was an alcoholic in the program (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: So he was a recovering alcoholic?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I never saw him drunk.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And there were never any indications to you of any negative aspect of that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He was very, very active in AA. He would have his people he was sponsoring come over to the house and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: He was open with that as well?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yeah. And we never had alcohol in our house during my childhood, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Your parents were divorced when you were fourteen years old and your father later remarried twice?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And your boyfriend was the person who first introduced you to LSD at the age of fifteen?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You became pregnant during your senior year, and at your mother's insistence you indicate that you had an abortion?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Were you using LSD at the time you became pregnant?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was. I didn't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Was that part of the decision-making process for the abortion, do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I actually wanted the child. And mom was very concerned about a small town, and this was in the '60s, and so she arranged for an illegal abortion, which for years she told me wasn't an abortion because it was an induced miscarriage. One of the doctors here --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Was there a -- did your parents --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- helped me to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- know that you were using drugs?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not until I became pregnant.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: After -- let's see. You graduated from high school and you moved in with your stepfather and -- or your father and your stepmother?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And then you went to Sawyer Business College and obtained your certificate as a secretary?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. And you moved to the San Francisco area where you met Bobby Beausoleil?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And you lived together until you moved into the Spahn Ranch?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And then we've talked a lot about the life after that, which we've really already covered. And I noticed in the record there was a lot of discussion in the psychological report and then in prior transcripts regarding a distance between you and your mother and you thought that that was maybe contributory to your looking for this commune life.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The whole abortion issue really distanced mom from me. And I look back on that time from -- I think that's what made it easier for me to get involved in the communal life. And dad's second wife wasn't particularly pleased that I was as close to him as I was. And so, you know, none of these things are excuses, but they're contributing factors to behavior choices.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Right. So you were in your senior year of high school. So were you seventeen or eighteen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was seventeen.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The dates change in my records because there's so many records of me, but it's seventeen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. So you were seventeen --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When I had the abortion.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: --when you became pregnant when you were a senior in high school?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- and had the abortion? So, but prior to that time would you describe your family life as being fairly close?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When dad left, mom became a working mother and it was more difficult. She had a lot more pressure. So, you know, a divorced family changed structure. Up until Dad left, it was very close.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. So up until the age of fourteen it was close, but your mom was working after that as --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As a schoolteacher.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: As many people did during that time?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: So there was a little bit of strain there in terms of her probably not having as much time. But the real strain came after the abortion?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, the real separation between mom and I came then. The -- the --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The distance between us was really young teenage girl with her mother. There's always a little bit of conflict. But I think that the -- all of the different contributing things that were coming in at that time made our distance larger, and then the abortion kind of sealed it up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But prior to that time you were still -- I mean, you were a leader in your high school, very active, socially active?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was until my junior year. That was when Dad left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But you became a prom queen at some point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I was the homecoming princess.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- my first two years of school. And then --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. So your freshman, sophomore year?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then I -- really what I did was I smoked marijuana, and I feel that that changed a lot of my priorities, not immediately, but certainly being introduced to that environment.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You said your boyfriend introduce you to LSD at the age of fifteen. How often would you use LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Usually, in the beginning, maybe every other weekend, and then usually on weekends. And then once I dropped out, as the expression went in those days, then I did it more frequently.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: How frequently would be more frequently?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say sometimes maybe twice a week.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And in the interim would you also use marijuana?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Marijuana was just part of life.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. It wasn't part of the lifestyle. It was mostly the hippie movement of marijuana and hash and hallucinogens.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Benzedrine. You know, I believe that they're finding that alcoholism, or really the addictive personality can be detected through DNA, and I feel that I have that from my dad, and I've taken very seriously the NA/AA programs offered here.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And we're going to talk more about that in just a little bit.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You were married in 1981.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: To a parolee by the name of Bill -- is it Cywin?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And then that ended eight months later, roughly, due to irreconcilable differences?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, he -- I was -- I believe I was thirty-two, maybe. Thirty -- I think I was thirty-two. And he came to visit, and I felt that, you know, he was presenting someone who was rehabilitated and all of that, and I told him that if he ever got arrested or turned out to not be who he was telling me he was, I would divorce him, and so he got arrested.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Is there anything that we haven't talked about regarding your life prior to the incident offense? We're not going to talk about the incident because you don't want to talk about the incident offense today. So is there anything we haven't discussed regarding your life prior to the instant offense, arrest record, things like that, that you would like to cover that we haven't?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not that comes to my mind. I've been through it many, many times.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I do my best to be as genuine and forthright as I can. So I -- whatever there was at some point, I have discussed it and nothing is coming to my mind right now. I think that we've talked about it all.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, if you think of something as we go along, let me know.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And we'll come back and make sure it's introduced at the appropriate time.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Commissioner, any questions on this?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. I'll ask you to turn your attention to Commissioner Williams, please.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. I'm going to go through your custody period, and of course it goes -- it's extensive, so I'm just going to focus on the recent years.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. I note that you've been housed at CIW under Medium A Custody, with a Placement Score of 28, and that currently you're assigned as a Chaffey College tutor.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: That's your job. Okay. I do note here in your academics that you did earn your bachelor's degree in -- I don't have the year here. I don't have the year. But you did earn your bachelor's degree.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I believe it was somewhere around '86.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, 1986. Okay. And that you've had positions as Clerk, Clinical Clerk, with the education lieutenant. Okay. Your group activities, I'll just go through the ones since 2004.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: You're commended for your participation in the African-American Women's Prisoners Association 2004, also recognized for your participation in the same organization for the period of December 1st, 2003. So it's June 1st, 2004. You're recognized in June of 2004 as an active participant in Pathways to Wholeness. November 2004 also recognized for your participation in the same organization. You have been active in AA. In December of 2004, you received recognition for your participation December of 2004, once again, Pathways to Wholeness. December of 2004 commended for volunteering as a Literacy Tutor for the period of September 1st to December 31st of 2004, once again recognized as a tutor. In 2005 commended for volunteering your services for the Christmas distribution of stockings. You were praised in 2005 as an active member of the CIW Interfaith Chapel Christmas Carolers. In 2005, once again, March, you were recognized as an active participant in Pathways to Wholeness; that's a continuing thing. April of 2005, the African-American Women Prisoners. April of 2005, you participated in an eight-week pilot program of Conflict Transformation Skills from February through April of 2005. You were commended in May of 2005 for co-instructing a quilt and sewing class. In July of 2005 you participated in a nine-week training course for Conflict Transformation. You were commended in August of 2005 for co-instructing a quilt sewing class, and once again, in October, and then for volunteering, as you continue to do, for the Chaffey College program. I note that you have had no chronos, no 115s, no 128s, during this period of review. There was 128a for communicating with an inmate, and that was quite a while ago.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Okay. Okay. Let's take a look at your parole plans. Is there anything --

ATTORNEY WEBB: You know, I just want to point out that there are some more chronos that never made it into here, and I think there were some others, about her AA and NA participation in an Inmate Assistance Module. That's on the last page of that report. But there are lots more of these in 2006 up to 2007, and I want to --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- make sure that that somehow gets reflected in the record.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Would you like to share them with me?

ATTORNEY WEBB: And I note these were all submitted ahead of time to the Board, and I honestly don't know why they don't get in the file from within the prison. But I think it's a little --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You have some that she has in the Board Report.

ATTORNEY WEBB: And I'd like --




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But, you know, if there's a lag time, I guess, like any bureaucracy, they're probably sitting in a file folder to be filed somewhere, so --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. And I note that you did give me one earlier today.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Right, I did.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: That is dated August 21st, 2007 for your participation in the Inmate Assistance Module Substance Abuse. Now these that we're taking a look at now are -- I note they're work supervisor reports. These are dated 2005 for being highly reliable and motivated and dedicated in your tutoring methods. That seems to be a continuing --

ATTORNEY WEBB: Are those at Chaffey College?


ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible).

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Two thousand and five as well. This is 2003, Chaffey College tutor.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And this is one from 2007 which continued to commend you for your activity there. This is one from December 29th, 2006, and this is from April 6, 2007, Substance Abuse culinary staff where you were approved to participate; especially, you helped out with the Fourth of July meal. This is from July 2007. You completed the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So we'll note that we did receive those.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. Right. I want to make sure. Because that takes us up through 2006, whatever wasn't in the file at that time, or this time at the last hearing through the present, and there have been, you know, continued involvement in the NA and AA programs.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And, you know, and her participation and commendations for participation in Chaffey College programs and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Of course, we've mentioned that already.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We've already mentioned the Chaffey College.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yeah, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: The Chaffey College program.



ATTORNEY WEBB: But I want to make sure they -- everybody still understands she still doing that --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- up until the present so they're current and there wasn't anything -- you know, I think it was back to 2004 or something like that. But that's ongoing.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Let's take a look at you parole plan. And we have noted here that if you are granted parole that you plan to live with a friend, a Connie Turner.





ATTORNEY WEBB: I'm sorry to interrupt again, but could we -- we're going to pass -- try to keep the name and address confidential.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Because -- and I forgot to say that. Just because --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- it's something we don't want broadcast.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And the Board has complied with that request in the past.


ATTORNEY WEBB: If that's okay?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I noticed in the last one, and for now we'll go ahead and do it that way because it wasn't mentioned originally. But we'll leave it at that for right now. I'm not sure we can maintain that, but we'll figure out a way to do it.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. There's also a job possibility.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And you can understand my concerns about that.


ATTORNEY WEBB: In terms of this particular case.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. And there is also an alternate residence program that's indicated here.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Now in terms of employment, we do note that you have employment with an attorney, and I do have a letter to that effect.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. This is going to get difficult because there's a paralegal and also an attorney, and so --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: This would be the paralegal, I believe.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. Can I just say?


ATTORNEY WEBB: Yes, go ahead.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'll go ahead and say the names.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This is going to get too confusing. So, yes, Rich Fifer is the attorney that offered me the job.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. And then you have a second employment offer with a medical doctor?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Well, he has a paralegal business, Don Miller.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And he doesn't -- I don't believe in his letter he specifies the hourly rate, but that's also very close to the halfway house.



DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: What was the name of the paralegal?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: The doctor is Donald Miller.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I have a open opportunity to apply at the Chaffey College Success Center. They've given me certification until I'm certified to be a tutor at the community college level.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And so that's from a woman named Laura Hope.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel, I think with regard to parole plans, what we will do is that we'll continue on as we are now. If there is a grant of parole, then we'll have to make that information public.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I understand that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And if there is not a grant of parole, then we'll leave it as is and it'll just be evaluated by the Panel.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Sure. I understand, but -- and that's fine. It's just until that time, we can maintain confidentiality. I think you also have, by the way, the Chaffey College. Professor Hope attached --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- the certificates that would allow Miss Van Houten to apply for the jobs as a tutor there.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And she's attached those certificates. You also have another job offer, that's been outstanding since the mid 1970s, in a fabric store.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Did you mention the Crossroads in terms of a place?


ATTORNEY WEBB: A place to live?


ATTORNEY WEBB: And that's from Sister Terry Dodge, who knows Miss Van Houten personally.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And has spoken to her about that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes. And we do have the letter to that effect.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Okay. Then we have -- I'll go through the other letters before I go to the psych eval. We have letters that were sent early on, many letters. We have letters from thirty-year friend, Paul Silk, I believe it is. I won't go through all the names since we're being (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I don't think (inaudible).

ATTORNEY WEBB: That's fine.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. We have a number of them. Gerald Grumbleton.

ATTORNEY WEBB: He's known Miss Van Houten for 26 years, I believe, and we -- last year the Board specifically directed that they were interested in letters from people who had known her for a long time, so that's --


ATTORNEY WEBB: And who would be there for Support.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: There are quite a number of letters --

ATTORNEY WEBB: -- on her parole.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- (inaudible) does recognize that there is. There are a number of support letters. Are there some of these letters that you feel are more important than others that we should highlight? We've reviewed them all. But, I mean, are there some that are more important than others?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Right. Well, maybe you think of some of them that are important, but I certainly think, you know, the people who've her for a long time, like Mr.Gumbelton --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. Well, maybe we can just highlight (inaudible).

ATTORNEY WEBB: Georgeanne Calhoun, who has also visited Miss Van Houten for more than 30 years, and will off her support and a place to live.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Christina Able, twenty-five years.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I don't know who that is.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's right here. That's Mr. Gumbelton's wife.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: So I note that there are some twenty or more letters here of support, and many of them do indicate as much as ten to twenty years of a relationship.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Many of them are like from maybe close to thirty years ago. And I asked that the people that knew me and knew me well be the ones to write you, the people that are actively in my life, for the most part, the people that will be who I rely on and --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- will be helping me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Are there some of these that are more important to you than others that we could read --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- in the record and just refer and (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They all seemed that way to me, you know, when I was reading them, I felt that they were very supportive and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Are there some (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was very moved by the letter by Patrick O'Riley. He was an assistant to the woman that did the cult expert paper, and I've seen him a couple times since that, Margaret Singer, and he offered to help me be able to get a master's degree when I got out because I think that's important for me to do and what I'm interested in, and I was very touched by that, and I didn't realize that he and his wife would try to help me with that. My nieces' letters --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: (inaudible) were very touching.

ATTORNEY WEBB: One of them from Justine, her niece, is very touching. And there are a --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Can you find the letter from the niece, Justine?

ATTORNEY WEBB: There are a number of nieces and nephews and --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Is the one from Justine handy right there?


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One of the things that I think --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: (inaudible) read that one.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One of the things that I would hope that you would see from the letters is that I've been honest with the people that are in my life, that they never condoned what I did thirty-eight years ago, and that they don't excuse who I was, and they have all been actively helpful in helping me become who I am today.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Do you have the letters there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I would hope that the letters would reflect that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We'll go ahead and read them.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: "My name is Justine McCossick [phonetic]?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And I am the niece of Leslie Van Houten. Miss Van Houten will be bringing her case before you in August. I wanted to take this opportunity to address her case and her character in hopes of a favorable outcome on the matter of her parole. I have known my aunt Leslie since I was born. I have visited her regularly all my life. We have always been close despite the distance. As a child, she would send me and my sister finger puppets and doll dresses and we would take Polaroid pictures in front of the painted landscape on the wall of her prison visiting room. We have exchanged letters. I have told her about my classes and teachers, my interests and hobbies, my achievements, my first boyfriend, my first apartment, and she has been everything an aunt ought to be, affectionate, fun, someone older and wiser to keep an eye out for me. From what I can tell, this is also the role she takes with many of the other women with whom she is incarcerated. Lately, when I've come to visit her, there are always so many people that I need to meet and be introduced to, or who stop by our table to say hello. After they go, Les will lean over and tell me who they are and what they've done and what she hopes they will achieve with their lives. So many of these girls are so young, just kids, she often says. She hopes that they will use the opportunity of imprisonment to get their heads on straight and their lives back on track, and she personally tries to offer whatever support and guidance she can. I forget sometimes that my aunt was so young when she herself was convicted, just a kid like those others she looks after. At nineteen years old she was younger than I am now, and it breaks my heart whenever I visit her to see that stubborn optimism, that buoyantly plucky spirit and that young girl who came in here thirty-five years ago still waiting for the opportunity to get her life back on track. Leslie practices what she preaches. Over the course of her incarceration she has been a model inmate and a woman determined to make the most of every opportunity. She has pursued higher education, she has helped teach other inmates, she has learned various technical skills that would allow her to compete in today's work force. She has also used that time to work through her psychological and emotional issues and to come to terms with her guilt. As you well know, Leslie regrets every day what happened that night and her role in its enactment. Because of all this, and because of my intimate knowledge of her character, it is my firm belief that Leslie Van Houten should be released. She would pose absolutely no threat to society. She is not a violent person, she is not an angry person, she is not out to control -- out of control of herself in any way. She has fully addressed the circumstances both internal and external that led her to being present the night of the crime so that those circumstances would never again recur. She and I have often talked about what she would do if she were released. I have made it very clear to her that I would be happy to have her live with me if she wanted, and I know that many other close friends have made the same offer. We have daydreamed together of being able to visit freely, of going hiking, or visiting the beach, or talking into the small hours of morning, of finally getting to know each other, to be a bigger part in each other's lives. So I end this letter with a sincere request for you, the members of the Board, simply that you carefully review my aunt's history, both of her crime and her rehabilitation. I ask that you give due weight to all of the good things that she is doing presently with her life as much as to the mistakes from her past. I ask that you take this letter into consideration, and the letters of others like me, who are waiting desperately for the day where we can have our Les back. My grandmother passed away two years ago still waiting for the freedom of her oldest daughter, and I pray every day that I might live to see that dream come true. Thank you very much for your time. Respectfully, Justine McCossick."



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: As I've indicated, there are many, many letters here in support of a release. But then on the other side, there are many letters that are not in support of release.

ATTORNEY WEBB: And last year the Parole Board also asked that. What they wanted were letters in opposition of people who had some connection with her and who knew her, as well, and not just people who see her on television and have some kind of knowledge from afar. And I don't know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Of course, we keep referring back to the last year.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And each hearing is a new hearing, so --

ATTORNEY WEBB: Well, it's difficult to keep -- you know, to have some consistency --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- in continuity in terms of, you know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: (inaudible) we are -- we have reviewed these --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- letters and submissions that are --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- in support, and then we'll review the letters that are submissions against.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: So we're not going to limit it to any particular parameter.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But certainly it's understandable that in either case people more directly connected with the case may have more influence --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- or more knowledge (inaudible).

ATTORNEY WEBB: Sure. Or with knowledge of her.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Who have been in her life for, you know, a period of five decades. I just wanted to point out one thing about the letters. There is one from a man who was one of the people that Mr. Van Houten sponsored in AA when Leslie was a child, and I think, you know, he's known her since she was seven years old. I don't know (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: If you'd like us to, you know, highlight that letter, we'll certainly do that as well.

ATTORNEY WEBB: No, I could do it. He's known Leslie she was seven years old. "Her father, Paul, was my sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous. Suffice it to say, the relationship was one of the closest I have experienced." He said: "Young people responded differently to the issues of the 1960s, and Paul and Jane cared that Leslie was conflicted and seeking answers to the questions of the day. The fact Paul was part of AA speaks to the family's awareness of destructive behaviors and desire to make life better. I can attest to Leslie being given core values in her upbringing." This is Walter Strandberg. "I can only say that upon hearing the events of 1969, I was horrified. My in-laws were close to the LaBianca family, and Leslie's involvement created a real dilemma for me, and yet I had empathy for Leslie and her parents. I could not understand at all what happened. Leslie's behavior was not consistent with the person I had known for so many years, how could she have done this, and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, and since her incarceration in 1969, I've remained in touch with Leslie. I have admired her efforts to give back to others. We can't change our past. The best we can is to move forward trying to make a positive impact," and he says he will be available to help guide her.


ATTORNEY WEBB: If she's paroled, when she's paroled. And that's a man who has known her for a long, long time.


ATTORNEY WEBB: And stayed in touch. And there are other letters from a former chaplain here at the prison, Dr. -- Reverend Lawler, I think his name is, or Father Lawler, and he says that Leslie is one who is worthy of the trust reposed in her. And another reverend, Dwight Glasstock who's known Leslie since she was a child also, and kept in touch with her.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: As I indicated, there are several. Several letters of people who appear to have -- who know you well.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: As you indicated, there are people writing in protest of Miss Van Houten's release, some who appear not to know her, who are just responding to the notice that the hearing is taking place. However, there are letters of people who -- there's a letter from Barbara Hoyt, specifically.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Hoyt, I think it's pronounced.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Hoyt. That is quite extensive, but does -- would she like that read into the record, or do we just want to note it?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, just to highlight.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. She indicates that she's testified in the trial. She also testified before the Board. She lived with the Manson family for six months when she was seventeen years old. She -- "In none of Leslie's prior parole hearings have I watched -- that I have watched has she ever owned up to how aggressive she was nor how aggressive her participation was in the crime." She talks about the demeanor.



DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I think, you know, if the Panel is not inclined to read the whole -- this is a three-page letter -- into the record, I will be more than happy to do it during my closing argument.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Because I want to incorporate --


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: -- incorporate some of her statements in my closing argument.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. That's fine. That's fine. We do have a letter here from the Los Angeles Police Department. I'll read it in its entirety. "Dear Board Members: The purpose of this correspondence is to respond to the notice of hearing sent to this agency regarding the pending parole hearing of Leslie Van Houten scheduled for the week of August 30th. Thank you for the opportunity to express the interest of the Los Angeles Police Department and the citizens who rely on this organization for their protection. During two days in August 1969 Charles Manson orchestrated the brutal slaying of seven innocent people. The crime spree, known as the Tate-LaBianca murders, terrified the greater Los Angeles area and horrified the country. Charles Manson befriended and brainwashed a group of disenfranchised young people, including Leslie Van Houten, and used them to advance his criminal and violent interests. These notorious and despicable crimes remain a part of the national consciousness. The facts of these cases clearly establish that Leslie Van Houten is a cold-blooded sociopath unlikely to be rehabilitated by the passage of time. Her release from custody would terrify citizens and pose a viable threat to public safety. On behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles, it is the fervent request of the Los Angeles Police Department that Leslie Van Houten be denied parole. Should you require any additional information," and they give a contact person. And once again, not all of these are from people with direct involvement but they are all in protest. Okay. So I'll just note that they are in fact several of them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Are there any -- Mr. Sequeira, were there some in the group of letters we have here that you're aware of that you want to address particularly?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: No. I think there's -- I know there's a large number of them in opposition. That's fine. We don't need to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And just for the record, the Panel has reviewed all these and highlighted them in terms of the content and so forth. But if there are some that you would like read specifically, we'll do that. If not, we'll just defer to your closing statements and the victims' next of kin.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: That would be fine. We can move on.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. So now I'm going to go to the psych eval. Now I'm going to try to stay current since the last hearing because we note that there have been some thirty, at least, psych evals that have been completed through the years.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. So on the last psych eval that was prepared -- and I also note that there is an extensive letter submitted by Michael Coburn that I will address also. Okay. The latest psych eval, or summary, is dated March 17th, 2007, and was completed by Katherine Kropf, Ph.D., and once again she notes all the previous evaluations, but I'm just going to go through the things that appear to be current from the last one. At the time of the last hearing the Board instructed you to get self-help, which you've done, stay discipline free, which you've done, and earn positive chronos, which you've done. The Panel's other recommendations were Dr. Smith is to review transcripts, the DA argument, defense argument, attachment to the psych history, decision transcript, past transcripts if needed to address, and we do have a direct response to all of that. Now it's noted here that Miss Van Houten's cognitive function was found to be within the normal range and without relative adaptive needs; she has a full scale IQ of 114; her programming has remained exemplary. It's noted here that there's quite a discussion about the drug use, about the LSD, about the hallucinogens. It is noted the impact of that on the actual offense, and I'm going to go into that more when I address the specific questions. It is noted that: "Miss Van Houten reports and indicates that she has developed a basic awareness of the prominent factors that led her to perpetrate the offense. She indicates remorse. Miss Van Houten neither sought, or she has not participated in any mental health treatment or taken medication." You have voluntarily participated in a number of self-help programs, however. The current diagnosis on Axis I and Axis II: there are "No Diagnosis," no indication of outstanding medical issues. In the previous examination, in essence, the examiners who have examined -- who have evaluated Miss Van Houten over the course of the past three decades have virtually unanimously append that she does not warrant the diagnosis of any Axis I or Axis II diagnosis. Now we're going to take look at the risk assessment. It says here: "Consistent with the results of Dr. Welk's [phonetic] 1999 evaluation, Miss Van Houten's level of psychopathy as currently assessed was found to fall within the low range. Factors contributing to her score on this instrument include her early behavioral problems, her historical irresponsibility, and her need for stimulating proneness to boredom. Her history does not feature significant impulsivity, however, and she accepts responsibility for her actions and evidences remorse and guilt for perpetrating her index offenses. Consistent with the results of Dr. Smith's 2006 evaluation, Miss Van Houten's risk for future violence as currently assessed was found to fall within the low range. Factors contributing to her score to this instrument include her history of early maladjustment, her history of violence, and her young age at the time of the first violent incident, her history of relationship instability, and her history of substance abuse. Factors that inhibit her risk for future violence include her low score on a measure assessing psychopathology, the presence of familial support, and the absence of major mental illness." And once again, that's submitted by Katherine Kropf in March of 2007. There were specific questions that were put forth by the Board at the time of the last hearing, and those were addressed and a response was received dated December 26, 2006 by Robert Smith, Staff Psychologist. Particularly, the questions were: Dr. Smith was to review the DA argument, defense argument, attachments to psych history, the decision of transcript, and past transcripts as need, as they addressed the influence versus toxicity effect on ongoing deeds as it relates to the inmate. Okay. The DA argument was the use of LSD as a contributing factor leading to the commitment offense is raised on page 67 of the hearing transcript, citing a sentence on page 5, which reads: "The perpetrators were under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs during the period leading to the crime and during the commission of the crime." Dr. Smith's remark on page 15 was a collective statement about the perpetrators rather than a specific comment about inmate Van Houten's actions. At that point in the report, Dr. Smith says: "I would characterizing the crime rather than focusing on inmate Van Houten." He does not believe there can be any reasonable dispute over the fact that the entire group of LaBianca murderers, including inmate Van Houten, used LSD regularly as part of their lifestyle. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV, clarifies that LSD has a long half-life in the body. "Persons dependent upon LSD generally used the drug several times a week and spend days to weeks recovering from a single dose. Thus, being under the influence of LSD is not limited to the period of acute intoxication immediately following use of the drug. Impaired judgment and reality testing can persist for days after the period of acute intoxication, especially, one would surmise, the persons who are being continuously influenced by similarly impaired peers and a cultic leader who endorses antisocial and delusional beliefs. The district attorney argues that Van Houten has been inconsistent in her statements in relation to whether she was on drugs when the murders were committed. Inmate Van Houten did not say to me that she used LSD immediately before the crimes were committed, based on my recollection and a review of my interview notes. Defense argument: On page 70 of the hearing transcript the defense attorney argues that the statements on page 15 of the report which says that the perpetrators of the LaBianca murders were using LSD during the commission of the crime might have been something I read in the record, reviewed for the case, as opposed to something inmate Van Houten told me. I did review a considerable volume of records in preparing to write the report. I note that in my own description of the crime in the report, which I discussed with inmate Van Houten line by line, I did not say that inmate Van Houten was using LSD while committing the crime. It is likely that in composing that paragraph, I was paraphrasing something I read in another document. As I have said, the comment on page 15 was a characterization of the crime, not a description of inmate Van Houten's actions. See the attachment, 'Psych History.' There was two attachments to the BPT 1001 I received records clerk following the hearing. One was a declaration of Michael B. Coburn, M.D., a four-page document, which is updated, but may have been part of inmate Van Houten's appeal of a prior denial of parole in May 2004. The other attachment was a review of prior psychiatric reports, which was appended to my most recent submission to the Board. The attachment which I authored is dated April 25th, 2006, and contained excerpts of twenty-six prior mental health evaluation reports between May 14th, 1971 and June 21st, 2004. With regard to the declaration by Dr. Coburn, I note that Dr. Coburn describes his various educational and professional qualifications as an expert in assessment of mentally disordered and incarcerated subjects. Dr. Coburn adds that he initially met inmate Van Houten during the brief term following her initial conviction and testified at her subsequent trial. Dr. Coburn reviewed a prior psychiatric evaluation dated June 21st, 2004 by Dr. Who, which I have reviewed and discussed in my review of records. Dr. Coburn comments on page 3 of his statement: 'The dangerousness exhibited by Van Houten when she was an LSD-addled Manson cult member while she committed the crime and then diminishing during the course of her first imprisonment. As of her first release from prison she was in all matters mental, emotional, moral and behavioral normal. She has since has recovered from the toxic effects of her Manson and drug experiences, never avoided or minimized her involvement in the LaBianca homicide. She never blocked or evaded true emotional sorrow for her actions.' Dr. Coburn goes on to say that he considers inmate Van Houten safe enough to live in an upstairs bedroom of his own residence. I note that some readers of the document have placed parenthesis around the portion of Dr. Coburn's statement that refers to the toxic effects of Van Houten, Manson and drug experiences. The Board has requested a discussion of the toxicity of LSD use versus the effects of being under the influence of LSD. Useful comments regarding the under the influence of LSD appear in the DSM-IV in the section that pertains to hallucinogen dependence. The writers of the DSM-IV comment that tolerance to the force and psychedelic effect of hallucinogens has been reported to develop rapidly and that most users of similar drugs who meet the full criteria for dependence used the drug only a few times a week. Due to the long half-life and extended duration of action of most hallucinogens, persons with hallucinogen dependence often spend hours to days using and recovering from the effect of the drug. Additionally, some LSD effects related to flashback can persist for as long as five years beyond the last dose. The DSM-IV adds that because adulterants or substitutes are often sold as acid, some of the reported adverse effects of LSD use may actually be due to substances such as strychnine, PCP, or amphetamine. This means that the potential for brain toxicity exists even though use of the pure form of LSD is not reported to frequently produce chemical toxicity. With regard to Dr. Coburn's remarks alluding to the toxic effect of her Manson and drug experiences, I believe Dr. Coburn was speaking figuratively, but I cannot speak for him. With regard to Dr. Coburn's remark that since inmate Van Houten has never avoided or minimized her involvement in the LaBianca homicide, I would simply comment that it is unwise to use terms such as 'never' or 'always' in describing human thought or behavior. Full acceptance of the gravity and brutality of a homicide is often a lifelong work which progresses in stages and is characterized along the way by degree of minimization and avoidance that are unconscious and not necessarily psychopathic or intentionally devious. Dr. Coburn's subsequent remark that inmate Van Houten never blocked or evaded true emotional sorrow for her actions is also something that would --" and I think this was a mistype -- "and possible for inmate Van Houten or Dr. Coburn to know with certainty for the same reasons. With regard to the prior psychiatric and psychological reports reviewed in the attachment I authored on April 25th, 2006, it is clear that the record of this woman's evaluation by mental health professionals over the last twenty-five years reflects a trend away from heavy rationalization, psychotic or antisocial frame of mind to a presentation that is generally reviewed as genuine, stable and nonviolent. Regarding the Panel's decision, I do not find specific discussion of the LSD issues apart from Commissioner Richardson's request for clarification regarding the issues of toxicity related to LSD use and the distinction between the chronic and acute effect of the drug. I have addressed these issues above. Briefly, biological toxicity is not associated with LSD use but a number of adulterants that may be combined with LSD and its manufacture can cause toxicity. Whether the LSD used by inmate Van Houten prior to the murders was adulterated to some extent or whether adulterants caused toxicity for her are matters that are not in evidence to my knowledge. Psychological impairment by LSD use is not limited to the period immediately following the ingestion of the drug. Peak intoxication occurs quickly following a dose of LSD, but it tends to end within a few hours for persons who use habitually, however, effects of LSD, aside from acute intoxication, can linger for days after a dose of LSD, and some specific effects can linger for years. With all due respect to the Board and the Commissioners, I am emphatically compelled, as a psychologist, to add that the language used to communicate the Board's decision is misleading. On page 87 the transcript reads: 'Until more progress is made, the prisoner continues to be unpredictable and a threat to others.' If this were literally true, inmate Van Houten could be involuntarily hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. However, it is not true. It is clear on the basis of her history and custody, her lack of diagnosable mental disorder and her current presentation that inmate Van Houten is in no clinical sense unpredictable. Her threat to others, as assessed by clinical methods, is low to very low." There is a "Discussion and Conclusion." Would you like for me to read that? "Peak intoxication occurs within a few minutes to a few hours after a dose of LSD. The peak intoxication ends within a few hours to a few days after dosing. For persons who use several times a week, there is some building of tolerance that tends to reduce peak intoxication, but the LSD-dependent individual would be more or less continually under the influence of the drug. Impairment of perception and judgment would persist under these conditions. Conversations with inmate Van Houten on October 4th, 2006 indicated that by the time the LaBianca murders were committed she had begun to believe she was living among elves in a forest. She describes delusional beliefs that she was in the process of growing fairy wings. It is reasonable to conclude that inmate Van Houten was in a chronically impaired mental state at the time of the planning and execution of the LaBianca murders. Although she was not continuously acutely intoxicated, the use of LSD did not specifically cause inmate Van Houten to commit murder, but the cultist affiliation and the impairment of her judgment and reality testing were more likely than not contributing factors to her decision to participate in the murders. In reviewing the entire hearing transcript, particularly the remarks of the district attorney, I understand that the issue of inmate Van Houten's consistency in relation to some details of her crime is raised because it is argued. This has a bearing on whether inmate Van Houten should be considered remorseful and/or fully accepting responsibility of her crime." Excuse me. "As a behavioral scientist assessing recidivism and violence risk, it is my opinion that much more importance is being attributed to these disputed points than is warranted in evaluating all of the factors that reliably predict her potential safety in the community. No revision of the conclusions and findings set forth in my report of May 8, 2006 are necessary on the basis of my review of the hearing transcript and Dr. Coburn's remarks. I remain in full agreement with the prior mental health examiners who have evaluated this woman over a period of more than thirty years in concluding that there is a low to very low risk of violence or general recidivism should she be released to the community." And that is submitted by Robert Smith. Now we have another statement that is submitted by Michael Coburn.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I resubmitted that this year again, and originally I think I submitted it in 2004, or maybe earlier. But I submitted it last year, and that is what prompted the referrals back to Dr. Smith to address the toxicity of LSD use. So since it wasn't -- it didn't seem to be in the Board packet, I wanted you to have what it was, one of the things that was sent back to Dr. Smith, when he made his assessment of the toxic effects of LSD. So I've again --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- given you a copy of that.


ATTORNEY WEBB: It's a declaration by Dr. Coburn.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. That has been previously addressed and is referenced in this report.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Right. That is -- that's what's referenced by Dr. Smith.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And that concludes my psych eval review.


ATTORNEY WEBB: I also submitted again, just so you know, I submitted a (inaudible) report by Dr. Singer and Dr. O'Riley. And the Dr. Wellish report that does the MMPI and other objective assessments that was done in I think maybe 1999, I attached that because that's also referencing Dr. Smith to the Board Report.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And the Panel has 3 seen all of the prior --

ATTORNEY WEBB: Yeah, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- on the list of (inaudible).

ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. But it doesn't seem to ever make it into the C-File. I just --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- wanted to make sure that you had another copy of that.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Miss Van Houten, when you think about this crime, how do you characterize it to yourself?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As tragic and creating a tremendous amount of sorrow. When I look back on myself, I think that I became a very arrogant little punk when I was with Manson, that it affected the family of the victims, it affected anyone that loved the LaBiancas, it affected the society as a whole, and that it was terribly sad.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: As you look back on this now, you had no prior arrests. Prior to becoming involved with this group, you had no prior arrests.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You came up, for all intents and purposes, in a very good family with the -- some of (inaudible) exceptions of things we've discussed already. What do you think it was about your (inaudible) at the time that allowed someone from that kind of a background to commit this kind of a crime?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I think that my drug addiction left me open to the lifestyle that Manson offered. I think that I was feeling alienated behind the abortion with my mother, that that was very traumatic for me. I was going to be a yogic renunciate. That's why I went to the legal school, the secretarial school. I was going to join a all-women's ashram I guess is what it used to be called. I think that I was very weak in my character, that I was attracted to the part of the hippie life that was not geared toward college or war protests, that I was one of the ones that was running around in the woods and without any direction in life.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But there were a lot of people during that period who used drugs, who were running around doing a variety of the two things, who lacked direction and all the other things that you've talked about who did not commit gruesome murders. What else was there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, it was -- I believe it was my relationship with Manson. I think that I had absolutely no skill to know how to deal with what I got involved in and I identified with the group before it turned violent, and when it turned violent, I didn't have the ability to find my way out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Were there -- again as you think back on it now, were there decision points that you'd go along with this process? Because, again, the record indicates that you went there because you were looking for this idyllic sort of environment, and it sounds like that changed fairly rapidly at some juncture. Were there points where you said, "You know, I should get out of here"?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was going to leave one time, and he took me on a dune buggy ride up into the mountains and told me to jump off the mountain because I was as well as killing myself by leaving him, and I believed all of the intimidation factors that he had, and he had a network set up and people kept an eye on each other, and so at one point I was going to leave, and I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Were there trips into town and other things that you might have taken advantage of?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, but usually you went with someone else.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Was there sort of a hierarchy in the group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, there was. It was the women that had gotten with Manson early on. That was Mary Brunner and Lynette Fromme, Patricia Krenwinkel. Those were the three main women.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: What about on the male side?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex Watson, Charles Watson; and Paul Watkins, and off and on, Robert Beausoleil.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And were those people assigned to watch you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. At one point I was getting -- I was getting more involved with some of the bikers that were coming around the ranch, and Manson got very, very upset because I was spending more time with the bikers, and I remember he told Watson that he needed to keep a closer eye on me. At the time I saw it as sort of like, "Oh, I'm cared for." Everything at that time period in retrospect, I was ignoring all of the opportunities to get away.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Do you know why you were ignoring them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think that I was ignoring them because I just didn't have the tools that I needed. I couldn't find my way out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Was there a prior relationship with your father and mother -- well, of course, your mother was a little bit estranged. But with your prior relationship with your father, you didn't think that was something that you could call upon?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No, I didn't. His politics at the time were conservative and I was fearful of that.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I just didn't know what would be waiting for me. I didn't feel close to him at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: With everything that was going on then, were you more fearful of that family contact than you were with the sort of a downward spiral of life within the Family?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, part of being at the ranch was to have turned your back on your family, and as part of my showing Manson how far I would go with him, I robbed my dad's house. Lots of things that are very hard to remember.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But no, I didn't feel close or that that was an option. Part of the whole Manson way was that everything else was removed. Catherine Share would always make a point as attempting to act like a -- my mother. And I went back home one time very briefly, and I had no shoes or clothes, and so mom gave me some of hers, and I took them back, and then the first thing Catherine Share did was put them on. You know, there was a lot of psychological warfare went on.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Looking back over it, was there any thought at that time of just staying where you were?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No. I was too lost in Manson's reality.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: In the work that you've done in NA.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You're familiar with your Steps. I'm sure you know those.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Are there some that are more important for you than others?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, these days I stay particularly close to step one as a constant reminder, and I practice step ten, which is the inventory daily and admitting when you're wrong, and eleven, my conscious contact with God and doing what I feel or believe to his His will.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Eight, yes. I do that when I need to. I do that when I've violated something, and I've done that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: With regard to your victims in this case, what have you done?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've apologized the best way that I know how, and I've left myself available for personal apology.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Did you ever write your letter?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, and I threw it away.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: What in general did it say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: How terribly sorry I am that I disrupted all of their lives, that I was part of taking the life of people that were very loved and very kind human beings, and that the only way that I seem to be able to make restitution is to become the person that I have today, that in the prayer of knowing what you can change and what you can't change, there's -- really the only thing you can ever change is yourself, that it's really been very painful for me knowing that there's no way that I can ever take away the sorrow.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: So in your list, have you made your list?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Of wrongs that I've done?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And people you've harmed?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Who's included in that list?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, certainly everyone that loved the LaBianca family and loved Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca and their family, Mrs. LaBianca's son and daughter, my own family, the community at large, then people that have come through my life that I haven't acted in the best way. Healing's a long process, and there are a lot of people I've hurt along the way.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Talking about the people that you've harmed, there was a greater goal in what you were -- what the Family was trying to accomplish at that time was this idea of a racial war?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And you apparently had bought into that?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Was -- you know, in addition to the nature of the murders themselves, have you thought about how you were able to, coming from this, again, this fairly normal background, to be able to buy into that kind of potential violence?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I've thought about it a lot, because at the time I didn't even think of it in terms of being racist. He -- it was presented as a eventual outcome, and I thought how dangerous it is to not pay very close attention to what people say. It was particularly painful for me because my sister and brother are Amerasian, and I had to live with that, with them too, and make my amends.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Commissioner, any questions?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Does the district attorney have questions?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: What role did Bruce Davis play in the hierarchy?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Bruce Davis had been gone when I got to the ranch and then he came back, and I think that he was one of the stronger men in the group, because there were some boys in there also, and Bruce and I really didn't have that much contact, but I know that Manson relied on him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And what on (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Manson relied on him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Manson relied on him. Okay.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: So why didn't the inmate mention Bruce Davis's name when she gave the list of the males that were involved in the hierarchy?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was listening --

ATTORNEY WEBB: Objection. I mean, that's a argumentative question.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, it's a question, and you can ask your client not to respond if you wish.

ATTORNEY WEBB: She can respond.


ATTORNEY WEBB: If she can.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't because, as I say, he came later. I was thinking of the people that I lived with more at the Spahn's ranch during the transitional time. I didn't really met Bruce until later, so I never considered him as intimate with me as others.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: The additional questions I have concern the commitment offense, and if she's not going to answer any of those questions, then I have no further questions.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Well, no, I'd just remind the Board that you certainly can't hold that against her.


ATTORNEY WEBB: So for the district attorney to reference that I think is (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, and his questions, I think we're were fairly clear --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- and indicated that we would not --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- hold that against her.



ATTORNEY WEBB: I don't have any questions at this time. But Miss Van Houten, is there anything else you'd like to add about anything?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We're going to get to your closing statement in a little bit.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But is there something that we haven't covered?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think back on all of the hearings that I've had, and all of the things that have been said, and the one thing that seems the most important to me is that the family knows how terribly sorry how I am and that you, as Board members, know that I do the best I can living with what happened in a true and real way, and that it's never my intention to not address things in the most honest way that I can, and so I feel like if you ask me the things that were on your mind and important, then that satisfies me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Thank you. Closing from the district attorney?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. In making my closing argument I'm going to address things in a little bit of a reverse fashion. First of all I want to discuss some of the testimony and some of the information that was discussed during this hearing, and then I will discuss the commitment offense, which Miss Van Houten has not discussed today. First of all, with regards to the parole plans, I find it very interesting that two of the parole plans involve, number one, employment with a Donald Doc Miller, who is a convicted murderer and whose life is now devoted towards assisting other life prisoners to be released from prison. So I question the viability and the reasonableness of working for someone such as Doc Miller. Second one, the one with attorney Mr. Fifer, who's a criminal defense attorney who represents a number of inmates, that's indicated in his letter, but I also find it somewhat suspect that someone who makes a living representing inmates would hire an inmate. But even more importantly, with respect to Miss Van Houten, in terms of her rehabilitation, one of the problems that she has is staying away from criminals, and staying away from drug addicts, staying away from people who commit crimes, to work in a law office that specializes in criminal defense work necessarily immediately puts her in contact with the very same element that she should avoid, and in terms of her rehabilitation, and in terms of her not relapsing or recidivating in any way, this is not the proper place for her to be working. That's just a brief comment with regard to those specific parole plans. The third one I think involves a divorced man in Staten Island who, from my reading of the job offer and the letter, seems to have a crush on her. Again, is that any different than the husband that she married at age thirty-two in prison?

ATTORNEY WEBB: Objection. Objection.


ATTORNEY WEBB: That, there's no job offer from anybody from Staten Island that we've referenced in anything. We can't help what people say in letters.


ATTORNEY WEBB: That's someone who doesn't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Counsel, the --

ATTORNEY WEBB: -- doesn't even know Miss Van Houten. I can't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: The district attorney is allowed wide leverage, or wide latitude, in closing, so the Panel --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: The Panel will consider the appropriate information.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: One of the problems with this particular inmate is she married a convicted felon when she was thirty-two years of age, a man that she knew was a felon, knew was on parole, and she, in what I think is another example of the way she tends to minimize things, she says she divorced him because he got arrested again. Well, he was found with female correctional officers' clothing matched to the prison, which certainly suggests to me that he was making an attempt or planning to break her out of prison. Now not to say that she was involved in this, but these are the kinds of people that she's associated with after she went to prison. After all these years of not doing LSD, after all these years of rehab, of all these years of making psychiatric process, this is what she chooses, and I think that really goes to the underlying problem with this inmate. This inmate has made poor choices, and she continues to make poor choices, and she can't even be honest with this Panel in discussing why she really divorced her husband, and that's because of the allegations that he was attempting, along with her, to break her out of prison. Now I also notice another interesting aspect, and the one that I'll just touch on briefly was the last question I asked her regarding her leaving out Bruce Davis, and she tried to minimized that by saying, Well, he was just kind of a minor player, he really wasn't at the ranch. By all accounts Bruce Davis was Charlie Manson's right-hand man. Bruce Davis was arrested, charged, and convicted in the murder of Gary Hinman. Another defendant convicted in that same crime was Bobby Beausoleil. Bobby Beausoleil was this inmate's girlfriend -- the boyfriend. That's how she became introduced to the Family. She and Bobby Beausoleil joined the Family at the same time. And I'll go back to that connection with Bobby Beausoleil in a moment when we talk about Helter Skelter and the commitment offense. But I find it interesting Bruce Davis has a parole hearing next week and coincidently she leaves his name out of it.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Objection. There's no evidence --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- to whether she talked about Bruce Davis.


ATTORNEY WEBB: I'm sorry, but --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel, again, this is his --

ATTORNEY WEBB: -- that's far afield.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. This is not -- that's --

ATTORNEY WEBB: But it's not any connection.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: It's going towards credibility. So continue.

ATTORNEY WEBB: It's not any connection --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- to the commitment offense.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You've been heard, Counsel. Thank you.

ATTORNEY WEBB: All right. Thank you.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Now let's go through the psychological evaluation, and this is why I'm doing this in somewhat reverse order. The most telling psychological evaluations from this inmate are the ones in 1971 when she first came to the prison. And I'd direct --

ATTORNEY WEBB: You know, I object to that.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: -- the Panel's attention to --

ATTORNEY WEBB: That's not part of her current --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- current commitment. I'm sorry.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- part of history, and this is his closing, so you'll be free --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- to address any of these issues in your closing.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: You go back to Dr. Fischmann, and I'm going to have to spell the first name, V-I-T-E-Z-S-L-A-V, middle initial S., Fischmann, F-I-S-C-H-M-A-N-N. He does a couple of the initial very in-depth analysis with not only this inmate but with also with Patricia Krenwinkel. In the 19 -- 5/14/71 report he mentions under "Mental Status Evaluation" that: "She verbalized her dissent with the current society, its lifestyle and social values and alleged injustices, which were symbolized by the X mark on her forehead." It talks about the hippie movement, again using drugs, and goes through the standard items. I note that he mentions that her father was an alcoholic as well, and apparently this information was provided by the inmate to the psychiatrist over the years, so I find it kind of interesting that one hand he's an alcoholic and he's an ex-alcoholic. Nevertheless, in the 5/20/71 report he talks -- it's the same Dr. Fischmann: "Leslie's continuing identification with the pathological culture of 'Manson's tribe' protects her from a full-blown personal pathology, psychotic disintegration." Talks about, the pages prior to that, it says: "In order to avoid the combined threats from within and without, she breaks up perceived reality into small fragments which have neutral content and no emotional implications. Contact is not lost, only twisted in a subjectively peculiar way." Down under, in the next paragraph: "The driving force behind her thinking and feeling is a radical passive-aggressive opposition camouflaged as nonconformity." And he further talks about her as being, having this passive-aggressivity trait. In 5/24/71, and this one's a very long report, he talks about the clinical pictures of both Miss Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel as being "surprisingly alike." He talks about the truth encompassed more or less integrated system of conceptualizations than intellectualization, with a strong mystico-religious flavor. Example: 'Life is death and death is life, one is at the time dead and alive, it happens all the time,' referring to murder. 'You, the establishment are murdering thousands in Vietnam. All people are our children and we are children of everyone.' Both girls 'know that they know,' while, 'others are confused and don't know that they don't know.' They acknowledge that according to the other truth, which is not the truth, they are guilty of murder, but claim that according to their truth, which is the truth, they are innocent. To discuss with them examples like human life or death is not unlike discussing democracy and individual freedom with a fanatical and confused believer in slavery. Indeed, in spite of the ideational confusion, logical inconsistencies and disregard of common sense realities which characterizes the girls' philosophy, one must not apriori diagnose this philosophy as a symptom of individual psychopathology of a delusional, autistic, or schizophrenic mind without first viewing it in a reference to the tiny and short-lived but nevertheless truly autonomous subculture of the Manson tribe. It appears that this tribe developed its own particular ideology, lifestyle, semantics, and vocabulary which impregnated the psychology of its core members." And then down in the next paragraph it says: "In other cases, however, the radical deviation from standards and norms was nothing else than role-playing performed by normal and psychiatrically little or not at all disturbed individuals." And the example that he uses: "(German SS men who murdered thousands because the leader ordered it and the ideology justified it.)" And one looks to a clue as to why in all these psychological evaluations it doesn't talk about her having a mental illness, it's quite clear why: because she was following orders, because she bought into the theory and the belief that this was the appropriate thing to do: that she needed to kill. This was a conscious decision. This isn't some drug-induced psychotic, hypnotic, cult-dominated discussion, these were choices. These were choices that she made. And you can see throughout the psychological reports her discussion of why she did it. I find the interesting one in 1978 where it says: "Her own individual rage and capabilities for violence are in tune with the action and provided her with an immense sense of relief. She stated that after the murders had been committed and she was in the house that 'An immense drudge had been lifted and everything was lighter.' She also related feeling vaguely at the time that they had done something right, and the fact that there was a dog in the house and that the dog looked like he was smiling and licking his hands support this." Going back to a page in that same, in now the '71 report: "Regarding the instant offenses, she described them as 'spontaneously coming out of the group, with members becoming involved, as they were, by chance.' She related being under the influence of LSD during the time of the instant offense but to no greater degree than at any other time during their existence." Again, back in '71 she's telling the psychologist, she's giving the LSD excuse. And in the same paragraph for that report, and that was -- actually, that was from Dr. Coburn: "Following the murders, she, as well as other members of the group, were able to further justify killing, no discomfort or remorse, because of the vast socioeconomic differences and the alleged personality defects and problems in the decedents." The same report he talks about: "Her father ostensibly had been a severe alcoholic 'and her mother had been educated.'" Now you go back, and then you go up to 1976. "She explained that she had not experienced guilt during the first few years following her arrest, still clinging to the belief that her presence in the house was to have served a good purpose," and this is July 20th of 1976. And in that report, and that was Dr. Flanagan's report, she says: "She said that she had lied on the witness stand because she felt Tex had wanted her to and that Manson had suggested that they attempt to free Watson, Beausoleil, and himself." And that shows you the extent that she and the other Family members will go to helping each other; they will lie, they will orchestrate whatever needed to be orchestrated in the courtroom, and you even see a statement from Tex Watson, which was submitted on her behalf, which also tells me that there's still a connection between this inmate and other Family members. The inmate in 1978 talks about, and this was in Dr. -- the same as Dr. Flanagan's report in '78: "That she felt that Timothy Leary in his book had been a significant influence at that time. She said that the Helter Skelter theory was a significant element in the motivation underlying the murders. At that time she felt that her participation was correct and justified." Now I find it interesting that in '85 the inmate received a degree in Psychology and English Literature from the Western Division of Antioch College. And I notice in looking back through this file that there were letters from Antioch College professors talking about how great she is. Antioch College is well recognized as a very liberal, progressive, you might want to call it, for those who are more liberal, college. In fact, they just recently shut their doors because of lack of enrollment, but it's been described by some as being sort of a hotbed of radicalism. I notice some of the courses that she took that were described in the one letter from the professor included a Theory of Justice, Immanuel Kant's The Groundwork of Metaphysics and Morals, Democracy and Education, Problems with Men, The Origins of Intelligence in Children. Clearly, this inmate has a fascination for philosophy, just as she had a fascination for the theories and the concepts that the Manson Family also embraced. There hasn't been a change in this inmate. What does she chose as a course of study? She goes from being yoga to Manson and Helter Skelter to philosophy. If there was any true change, if there was any true educational interest in changing oneself, you would think that it would go beyond studying philosophy. In 1985, and this is Dr. Cotter's psychological evaluation, and in that, I won't read the whole thing, but there was one quote in there that said: "She was totally dedicated to being a good soldier in the upcoming war. When the first killings, including Sharon Tate's occurred, she had not been asked to go along and felt rejected. Her spirits were lifted when told to accompany the next group." And then she goes on in that psychological evaluation. It talks about having these dividing feelings, and she had to call Tex Watson who then killed Mrs. LaBianca. And this is also part of what I'd term as the minimization. She's constantly talking in a number of these psychological evaluations, and I'll even go to the most recent ones, of this concept where she tends to dodge some of the important facts in this case. In this one, she's talking about, you know, basically that Tex Watson was calling the shots and then she's just along for the ride. But then she also claims, or she also explains that she did the busy work in wiping the furniture and fixtures to erase any fingerprints, something that she had not been instructed to do. On her own will, on her own free will, she wiped down the LaBianca residence so that when the police arrived they could find no fingerprints she did such a good job of cleaning up their presence. And then it talks about her feeling of having failed. She's talking about failing in terms of her not killing Mrs. LaBianca, which I think is a complete lie, and I'll get to that in a moment. But this "feeling of having failed --" and this again is from the '85 report -- "of having failed played a role in her being particularly loud in the courtroom demonstrations the Manson Family carried out throughout the trial." And these are just some of the older psychological evaluations. She discusses Scientology in one. She talks about Manson had a background in Scientology in the '96 evaluation. In a 1991 evaluation she says: "A lot of slips my mind. I think he asked me, 'Do you think you could kill someone? I said, 'Yes.' And then I went. That's about it. You know, Tex turned around and handed me knife and said to do something. I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca in the lower back. I think it was 16 times. Charlie had wanted us to do really awful stuff but I couldn't do that, so I started wiping all the fingerprints. Tex was in there taking a shower." Now I'm going to discuss briefly the most recent psychological evaluations, Dr. Smith's, and also the most recent one from Dr. -- and I've forgotten the name. It's someone that I'm not familiar with. Katherine Kropf, K-R-O-P-F. I find it interesting, first of all, in terms of Miss Kropf's evaluation, that she talks about and uses the example that Dr. Coburn wrote about the upstairs bedroom test. Dr. Coborn was a privately hired psychiatrist, hired by Miss Van Houten as part of her defense for not only the 1978 trial but also her appeal, and, of course, at this trial. To use that psychologically, in my opinion, biased evaluation to support her theory is completely mistaken. I mean, she lists all the other psychological reports. She should have seen that this was a private psychological report. This was not done by an impartial, or it should be at least ostensibly impartial, psychologist employed at the prison or by the Board of Parole Hearings. So she missed the boat on that one. And additionally, and before I get to her discussion of the crime with Dr. Kropf, Dr. Smith, and I've looked at two of his reports now, the one from 200and this most current update, are reports that I find completely unbelievable. I think this man is a joke. I really think his psychological evaluations are so tainted, they are so biased, they are so without any standards, that it should be an embarrassment to the psychological community. In his 2006 report he specifically says that: "All of the perpetrators of the crimes were on LSD at the time they committed these offenses." Not one single defendant who's been convicted in these cases has stated, they all admit none of them were under the influence of drugs, no one was under LSD, no one took any drugs, Charlie Manson did want anyone taking drugs when they committed these crimes because they would get sloppy, because mistakes would be made. This whole concept of this LSD-induced toxicity is a figment of this inmate's attempts to manipulate the Board and also the psychologist, and Dr. Smith has bought into it completely, hook, line and sinker. And now he backtracks. He backtracks on that with this addendum. But it's funny, this addendum goes back and forth. He talks about, Well, LSD really doesn't have a part in it because she never told me you took LSD, and then he spends all this time talking about LSD toxicity.



ATTORNEY WEBB: Objection. You know, he was --



ATTORNEY WEBB: He was asked to do that --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- by the Board last year.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel, the Panel will review all this (inaudible).

ATTORNEY WEBB: He's presenting it as if something that Dr. Smith mentioned.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And you can argue the opposite.

ATTORNEY WEBB: And that's just totally wrong.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You can argue the opposite. Thank you.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel, you've been heard.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: And so he flip-flops back and forth. He talks about Dr. Coburn, he talks about his educational background, and he references Dr. Coburn quite a few times, and then he talks -- then he says that Dr. Coburn is wrong. When Dr. Coburn concludes that she never blocked or evaded the true emotional sorrow for her actions, he disagrees with Dr. Coburn, and he also disagrees with another important aspect of Dr. Coburn's --

ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible) report and I have to object to it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel. Counsel, this is just closing.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: You can certainly address --



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I understand that, but I can't object to every statement --



ATTORNEY WEBB: -- point by point.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Yes, you can, and that's why you have a notepad.

ATTORNEY WEBB: You know, I have my own closing and, you know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: That's right. Well, that's why you have a notepad and a pen. So if you'd note --

ATTORNEY WEBB: I think I have a right to object while he's making misrepresentations about a record that's in front of you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And it may be a different characterization as well.

ATTORNEY WEBB: It's not a mischaracterization.


ATTORNEY WEBB: It's a misrepresentation of what Dr. Smith wrote in that report.




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- will be the judge of that.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Well, I hope you do read it again, because it's a misrepresentation. Dr. Smith never said that he disagreed.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel we have heard you.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. Thank you.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. Dr. Smith disagrees with Dr. Coburn, specifically disagrees with him, because he says that Dr. Coburn's analysis is that: "It would be impossible for inmate Van Houten or Dr. Coburn to know with certainty for the same reason," and he's at least in two points disagreed and pointed out flaws in Dr. Coburn's analysis. And counsel wants to argue. She wants to argue left and right. And I find this other interesting aspect of not only this inmate but specifically Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith was asked to address these because one of the -- the deputy commission had some concern over the misrepresentation or the discrepancy in the report between Dr. Coburn saying this inmate was under the influence of LSD at the time of the murders, and that's the reason for the referral with respect to this issue. And I find it also very interesting that this kind of opens, all of a sudden opened a new door for Miss Van Houten and for Dr. Smith, because I note, lo and behold, what do we see on page 4 of Dr. Smith's report? Last paragraph: "Conversation with inmate Van Houten," and this is the inmate who has denied using LSD but in the past used that as an excuse, but recently has denied using LSD, then all of a sudden she says in this paragraph on page 4: "Conversation with inmate Van Houten on 10/4/06 indicated that by the time of the LaBianca murders were committed, she began to believe she was living among elves in a forest. She describes delusional beliefs that she was in the process of growing fairy wings." Where did this come from? This came one month after her last parole hearing when she was denied for a year, which she knew that -- she and Dr. Smith knew there was going to be this follow-up. So now, all of a sudden, she's trying to fit herself into this concept of being drug delusional, under LSD at the time that the murders were committed. I think is the most blatant and obvious attempt to manipulate this Panel that you can find. Nowhere in any of these psychological reports does she ever talk about living amongst fairies or growing wings. This only spouted up less than a year ago, one month after her last hearing, and this is the extent that this inmate will go to manipulating and trying to deceive this Board. And this inmate is smart. She has 120 IQ. She can dodge questions. The panels have seen that, and the Panel, when you look at all of the facts in this case, will see that she consistently dodges everything, and I think that is extremely significant. I nearly bowled over laughing when I saw this. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, after 30 some odd -- this woman has spent more -- has had more psychological evaluations and talked to more psychologists than probably anyone in the history of the state prison system. Nowhere does she ever talk about living with fairies and sprouting wings until she knows that they're following up on this drug toxicity, LSD toxicity angle, because that's the new defense, and there's a new defense every time with her. "It's Manson." That's the standard. And she looked like she's lapsed back onto the "Manson made me do it defense" this time. The last time, in 2006 report, it's -- and also even reflect in the most report, it's this codependency on Patricia Krenwinkel, that, "Patricia Krenwinkel made me do it." She was sort of the older sister. I didn't hear her mention it today; she goes back to Manson. Nowhere in any of the facts and the evidence that's been presented in this case over all these years has there been any credible evidence to show that she was forced, this inmate was forced, to do anything that she didn't want to do. Not once. Not once in any of it. And I defy counsel to show an example that she forced by anyone to participate in this crime, in these horrible crimes. In fact, it was quite the opposite. She wanted to participate. She felt disappointed that she didn't get to go along the night of the Tate slaughter where five people were murdered and an innocent fetus was killed as well. But yet she comes here, and every time we hear this revisionist history in front of the Board and she tells the psychologist new things. In fact, let's look at the most recent psychological report, and what does she say about the offense? Again, here's what she does: Well," she says, "Pat had taken me under her wing and I had gotten close to her." Again, this is Patricia-Krenwinkel-made-me-do-this excuse. And so she specifically mentions Krenwinkel and "Manson went to the house." And then she says: "Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were on the couch." Oh, this is interesting. She does admit in this particular statement that Tex Watson and Manson did enter the house first and tied up the LaBiancas, because of you go back to her early hearing, she doesn't mention Tex Watson, she kind of dodges him going into the house initially. I'm not sure why. But again, I think this is part of that defense mechanism of not saying anything against her crime partners. But in any event, now she says: "We went in. Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were on the couch. There was controversy about the pillowcase. I don't remember her face. I believe the pillowcase was already on her. I could be wrong. I was nervous." Well, this inmate put the pillowcase over Mrs. LaBianca's face and she can't admit that to the psychologist?

ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible).


ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible).



ATTORNEY WEBB: He has a responsibility to present you with a record where that's shown and --


ATTORNEY WEBB: offering in new testimony --


ATTORNEY WEBB: I'll bring in her testimony at trial.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Counsel can read the Statement of Facts.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I'll bring in --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Counsel can read the Statement of Facts in this case.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I'll bring in her sworn testimony.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: That's enough. That's enough.

ATTORNEY WEBB: That's because over the years --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We're going to take a short recess.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We're going to take a short recess.

ATTORNEY WEBB: But he has an obligation under the regulations -- yeah --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We are going to take a short recess.

ATTORNEY WEBB: -- to give you documentation, sir.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We're going to take a short recess. (Off the Record)

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right, we're back on the record. Counsel, the expectation will be that you will allow Mr. Sequeira to finish his closing statement. You will certainly be allowed every opportunity to do yours as well.

ATTORNEY WEBB: I -- thank you. And I apologize to the Panel and to Mr. Sequeira for my tone. But I do have a standing objection to under the regulations in Title 15 2030 about prosecutor participation, and he has an obligation to cite to supporting documentation in the file about all these things, and it's very difficult when he's talking about things that go back thirty-eight years to, you know, be able to respond to it. So I just want to make --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Your objection is noted.

ATTORNEY WEBB: -- an objection that he's not adhering to Title 15.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And your objection is noted. Mr. Sequeira.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. In response to counsel's last allegations that I'm somehow misquoting the record, the Panel quoted from the Appellate Decision in this case and the Statement of Facts, and maybe counsel didn't quite hear the Statement of Facts. The Statement of Facts specifically said, and I will go to page of the Appellate Decision, line 4: "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. LaBianca's head, and wrapped a lamp cord still attached to the lamp, around her neck." These are the findings of the Appellate Court. I'm not making this up. And counsel, I would think, would probably know what the facts are in the appellate report. But the second part of that that I just read is also extremely important because the facts of the case show that Miss Van Houten wrapped the lamp cord around Mrs. LaBianca's neck. And yet, in her statement to the psychologist on page of the most recent psychological report, the one by Katherine Kropf, she says, and I'm going to continue on from where I was talking about the pillowcase: "There was controversy about the pillowcase. I don't remember her face. I believe the pillowcase was already on her. I could be wrong. I was nervous. Pat went in the kitchen to get a knife. She then went into the bedroom and we were supposed to kill her. She had a cord around her neck. I held her down." What, the cord just mysteriously wrapped itself around Mrs. LaBianca's neck? And I think this is an extremely important omission to the psychologist by this inmate, Miss Van Houten. She can't even admit to the psychologist that she wrapped a lamp cord around Mrs. LaBianca's neck. And then she goes on, and when I say "she," I'm talking about Miss Van Houten. She goes on to tell the psychologist, she says: "I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca, who was on her stomach. I stabbed her on the lower portion of her back, 16 to 18 superficial wounds, which surprised me when I heard this." Over the course of a number of different hearings there's been differing statements from the inmate regarding the stabbing. One time she says: "She was already dead when I stabbed her," and then: "I'm not sure she was dead, she might have been dead, she wasn't dead." This keeps going back and forth. And now the latest one is: "I had these superficial wounds, that I inflicted times superficial wounds." And I note that this is supported by Tex Watson in his, quote, statement too, which is clearly biased and clearly was an attempt to help Miss Van Houten. But the point is that Mrs. LaBianca was stabbed 42 times. Eight of those stab wounds were fatal. Seven of the stab wounds on her back were fatal stab wounds in and of themselves sufficient to cause death. How this inmate can somehow feel that by stabbing Mrs. LaBianca in the back that she didn't really kill them, that Tex Watson did, which is what she tends to maintain throughout this, and it's, again, Somebody else did it, I'm just along for the ride, is beyond my comprehension, and it should be beyond this Panel's comprehension. And I notice that there's talk about these superficial wounds. But I might want to point to you to Miss Van Houten's own statement regarding her infliction of the wounds, and this is in the 4/15/85 statement, and that's from Dr. Lloyd H. Cotter, C-O-T-T-E-R, and it would be on page, let's see, page 2 of his report, and he's quoting Miss Van Houten. And that's in the second -- there's -- actually, there's only three paragraphs on the page. But it's in the second large page. She says: "Told by Tex Watson to do something to incriminate herself, she ferociously" and then it's in parenthesis, in quotes, ('I felt like a shark, a wild, frightening thing'), "used all her strength as she stabbed the dead Mrs. LaBianca in the lower back many times. She believed that she had stabbed her deeply each time." And then she says: "Later, listening to the coroner's reports that all the stab wounds were superficial, she was amazed." Well, all the stab wounds were not superficial. Again, there's a serious discrepancy here. And I think, as I recall, one Panel member asked her: "Well, why would you stab a dead woman if you believe she was dead?" And the only response that she could come up with was: "Well, it was like a shark frenzy." And in fact, there's a number of statements from her: "The more I stabbed, the more, the more excited I got," something to that effect, clearly indicating that she was having a good time in stabbing Mrs. LaBianca, whether she was dead at that time or she wasn't. In the same statement in the most recent psychological evaluation, she says: "Tex did both murders. The act was extremely predatory --" I'm going back to the superficial wounds, which surprised me when I heard this. This is on page 5: "The act was extremely predatory." And these are all quotes. "I used an example, when you see a shark attack meat, it felt unnatural. Tex came in and wanted her clothes. Tex did both murders. He told me to get Rosemary's clothes. I had done everything I could to embrace the reality of it." What is she telling the psychologist? She's not admitting that she did the murder, she said that Tex Watson did the murders, and her statements are over the place, and they go back and forth each time. And just one last comment on the psychological evaluations. Dr. Coburn, the one who was hired by the defense team way back in 1978, the one who's been quoted here a few times, Dr. Coburn saw Leslie Van Houten when she first came into the prison back in 1971 when he was employed not as a private psychologist making money from defendants or attorneys who wanted to hire him, but for the Department of Corrections. And this is what he said about her in 1971, which just happens to be missing from Dr. Smith's report. And this is the last two paragraphs of his report, and this was dated -- let's see if I have the exact date for you, 10 -- well, it's in 1971, and this would be the second page, or, excuse me, 6/15/71. I think there's several pages to this report. There's three pages to this report, but the last page. Well, on the first page of the report he talks -- she tells him that her father ostensibly had been a severe alcoholic. But anyway, it's the last page, the last two paragraphs: "Her own individual rage and capability for violence was in tune with the action and provided her with an immense sense of relief," and this is -- oh, I think I've read this before. This was the part about where she's talking about the dog in the house was smiling and licked her hands supported this. The last paragraph in Dr. Coburn's report in '71, before he was hired by her, says: "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," underlined, "capable of committing similar offenses than in the past, and this probably is not just bravado." Miss Van Houten had every opportunity not to become involved in these types of crimes or in this type of lifestyle. She came from a very stable family environment. That's been discussed at length during this hearing. But she turned her back on all of that by being a good student, having a high IQ, doing well at Sawyer Business College, being a homecoming princess. She decided she wanted to hang out with drug addicts. She got pregnant at an early age, she was forced to have an abortion, continued to use drugs, continued to associate with people who were involved in the drug lifestyle, drug dealers in her own words. She then gravitated towards moving out, leaving home, and at one point calling her mother on the phone from San Francisco, I believe it was, and telling her, "Don't bother calling me, stop loving me," completely dropped out from society at that point. Took up with her boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil, and another Manson Family gang member who is serving a life sentence as well, and then eventually gravitated from Northern California to the Spahn Ranch in Southern California. You know, the life on the ranch has been discussed, but I think it's important for this Panel to realize that there were a large number of people that lived at the Spahn Ranch, that people were coming and going all the time. This wasn't some kind of an armed encampment where there were guards keeping people and forcing them to stay. People came and left all the time. There were a number of Family members who didn't become involved in the Manson, the Tate-LaBianca murders. There were a number of them that hung out, did drugs, participated in this lifestyle, and there were many that left as a result of Charlie Manson changing -- Charlie Manson and the other changing this philosophy from sort of just doing drugs, listening to music, to this concept of starting a race war, or this concept that a race war was coming and that they should help initiate it because eventually at some point they could become the leaders, and that's where things turned. And as even the inmate has admitted, there was a small core group that followed this principle, that followed these concepts. And it's important to note that this just wasn't -- this concept of Helter Skelter and those who embraced it wasn't purely the thinking of one individual. It wasn't just Charles Manson. This was something that was talked about. It was discussed. They would sit around and listen to the Beatles' music, they would take drugs, they would discuss what these songs meant, and what Helter Skelter meant, what the song "Piggies" meant, and they eventually, collectively, as my predecessor who tried this case, Steven Kay mentioned, they collectively discussed and embraced this concept that there was going to be a race war, and eventually decided to help initiate this race war, and this inmate knew about this all along. This wasn't something that was fostered upon her. She wasn't indoctrinated into it. She willingly embraced it. And I find it really interesting for her to say that this wasn't a racist comment, because she had two stepchildren that were Amerasian. This was an absolutely racist concept. This didn't have to do with Asians. This didn't have to with Hispanics. This was the black versus the white. Charlie Manson adored Adolph Hitler. His hero was Adolph Hitler. His teachings and racist beliefs were all centered around Adolph Hitler, and that is what this inmate embraced. And the LaBiancas weren't killed, nor were any of these other people at the Tate house killed because -- they were killed because they were white, and they were killed with the purpose of blaming it on blacks, so that blacks would uprise and fight against the whites, and then this war between the whites and the blacks would occur. This had nothing to do with Asians. And I find it, you know, I find it interesting that she mentions that, that it wasn't really racist, that she didn't buy into the racist teachings. When you read the letter from Barbara Hoyt you'll see that she specifically points to it. And in fact, even the psychological evaluations talk about the SS men killing, you know, killing people who weren't of the Aryan race, killing Jews, because that's what was ordered, that's what Hitler wanted. So in previous hearings I noticed that Miss Van Houten indicated that she became aware that this concept of Helter Skelter and participation in it was going to increase or in intensity two weeks prior to the LaBianca murders. I believe, by her own statement, she joined the group maybe a year earlier but that Charlie initially was talking about different things, but then when he came back to the ranch that summer, that's when the talk of Helter Skelter increased, two weeks prior to the LaBianca murders. The musician by the name of Gary Hinman was killed. He was killed by some of the same crime partners that are involved with Miss Van Houten in the LaBianca murders. Bruce Davis, Charles Manson, Bobby Beausoleil -- her boyfriend -- along with a couple of other girls, Mary Brunner, Susan Atkins, were all involved in the torturing and killing of Gary Hinman, who was a wannabe musician who they believed had come into an inheritance and the Family wanted the money, because that was part of the concept. It was a commune, everybody shared, everybody pooled their resources, which I think has been accurately displayed, discussed by Miss Van Houten at this hearing. It was all for one and one for all, what was yours was mine, etcetera. In any event, he was brutally killed, tortured over a several day period of time, and he was killed. The significance of his murder is that it was the beginning of Helter Skelter, because there was the blood writing on the wall, there was a Black Panther palm print in blood placed on the wall of Gary Hinman's residence, and I think "Death to Pigs" was also written, and this was the start of Helter Skelter. This was a random -- this wasn't -- in this case it wasn't a random act because they knew Gary Hinman. But they killed him and they tried to disguise the murder as being something that was done by black individuals, Black Panthers, or someone associated with the black race, and that was two weeks before the Tate murders, and then, of course, you have the Tate murders, brutal, horrible slaughter of five people and an innocent fetus as well. But the point is is that Leslie Van Houten was at the ranch this whole time. She knew about the Hinman murders. She did nothing to either stop the Hinman murders, she did nothing to leave the ranch, she did nothing to try to even turn in those who were responsible for that crime, and she knew at that point that this is where the group was headed, and she made that conscious decision. And in fact, she even has admitted, in previous hearings and I think even in the psychological evaluations, that she actually debated and she thought about whether or not she could kill another human being for two days before she went out on the LaBianca murders. For two days she thought about it, she thought about it, and she decided yes, I can kill. And she's even made statements that on the night of the LaBianca murders that Manson came to her and said, "Will you do this for me, can you kill?" And she said, "Sure. I want to go." She was disappointed that she did not participate in the slaughter of the five people and the fetus at the Tate residence. She sat around the next day, the day following the murders, she sat around watching the TV accounts of the brutal slaughter, discussing with the Family members who were involved in the crime the fact that a pregnant woman, Sharon Tate, was brutally killed along with her fetus. She knew that this is what her associates, what her close Family members were doing and had done, and despite all of that, she made a conscious choice to join the assassination party, as I like to refer to it as, on the night of the LaBianca murders. This isn't someone who didn't think about it, who was under some drug-induced frenzy, or had been somehow brainwashed into some cult, she thought about it, because cults don't act -- well, cults may act to some extent the way the Manson Family acted. I mean the media sometimes portrays them as a bunch of drug crazed hippies. They were a crime family. They were very organized. They committed crimes to support themselves, whether it be stolen credit cards, forgeries, stealing dune buggies, whatnot. They acted like a crime family. When someone went against them, they tried to kill Barbara Hoyt. They tried to break Charlie Manson out of jail by robbing a gun store in Hawthorne. I mean, these are all -- just like a street gang or any other type of crime family. So they certainly had that component to them. But they also had a component of what I call, you know, a terrorism component, because that's what this crime was. This crime was domestic terrorism. And just like terrorists, they embrace --

ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible).

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: -- a concept. Rightly or wrongly, whether you think it's crazy or whether you don't think it's crazy, they embraced this concept of Helter Skelter, and they train to carry out the mission. Tex Watson conducted seminars at the ranch on how to stab someone: you don't put the knife in just straight, you have to put it in at an angle and you have to move it, wiggle it around so it'll cause more damage. They went on creepy-crawly missions. This inmate, along with the others, worked on -- put on black outfits, stalked neighborhoods, tried to sneak up on houses in the middle of the night, what they referred to as the creepy-crawly missions, in preparation for the Tate-LaBianca murders. The night of the -- the day of -- the night of the Tate -- the LaBianca murders, Charlie Manson called this inmate and all of the other participates into a room, into the bunk room, and had a big discussion on how things were going to go down that night. The slaughter at the Tate residence was way too messy for him. He didn't want that to happen again. This was going to be more organized, this was going to be less messy, and this is how they were going to do it. This inmate could have left at that point, she didn't have to go along, but she wanted to, and she went along. And then what happened? On a four-hour expedition seven people piled into the car: Charlie Manson, Steve Grogan, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins. Who have I left out? Oh, Linda Kasabian and Charles Manson. Seven of them piled into the car. They drove around looking for targets, and that's reflected in the reports and I won't go into a lot of detail. But there were many targets discussed and discarded. They went to a church. They were going to kill a minister and they were going to hang him upside down on a cross, but I think the church was locked, no one home, and they left. They went to another house, but they saw some pictures of children in the house and Charlie decided at that point, Well, it might be necessary at some point to kill children to start Helter Skelter, but not today. There was a motorist that was driving by, and there was some thought of killing that motorist, but that didn't happen. So they finally settled on the house at Waverly Drive, next door to Harold True's house. There were two assassination teams that night, and that's not quite reflected in the reports because it specifically focuses on the crime that she was convicted. But you have to understand that this was part of a larger plot, not only to Helter Skelter but also of other murder, of at least one other murder that night, because Manson and Tex Watson went into the house, tied up the LaBiancas, and then came back out, sent Tex back in with Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. Susan Atkins, Charlie Manson, Steve Grogan and Linda Kasabian then left. They left with Rosemary LaBianca's wallet. They drove to a gas station. And the idea behind going to this gas station, they thought it was in a predominately black area, and Linda Kasabian hid the wallet in the women's restroom with the idea that a black woman would find this wallet, would use the credit cards and somehow become blamed for the murders. But unfortunately, Linda Kasabian hid the wallet too well, number one, and they also hid it in a gas station that wasn't in a predominately black neighborhood. But that was part of the plan. And then, and I'm going to talk about the others first, then they then went off. When I say "they," Charlie Manson, Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins, and Linda Kasabian, and Steve Grogan, went down to the beach. Linda Kasabian knew an actor or someone in the entertainment industry that lived in an apartment, and the idea was to go and to gain entry into that apartment and kill him. Linda Kasabian was, of course, not particularly -- she was reluctant to go along on this whole idea, so what she did when they arrived at the apartment is she went to the wrong apartment, and, of course, a stranger opened the door, and, of course, the instructions were if anything weird went on just to abandon the plan. So the plan was abandoned, and they wound up eventually hitchhiking back to the Spahn Ranch because Manson had dropped them off. But there were two assassination teams that night. This wasn't just -- the idea was to spread random violence throughout Los Angeles County by these murders and to incite the race war. I mean, it is horrible enough when you think about the facts of these crimes, the LaBiancas by itself, then you add the Tate murders, but then you think that this was all done with the idea that more and more people would be killed or hurt as a result of their actions. So what happened at the LaBianca residence? The went inside, she was tied up, a pillowcase was put over Rosemary's head by this inmate, a lamp cord was wrapped around her neck as well, and while she's in this position, completely vulnerable, her husband is being killed, being stabbed to death by Tex Watson in another room. Mrs. LaBianca hears this. She jumps with almost superhuman strength and swings, swings the lamp cord and likewise swings the lamp. This inmate grabs her, pushes her, holds her down. Patricia Krenwinkel tries to stab her but the force of the knife hits her collarbone and bends the knife. Knowing at that point that they can't kill her because the knife's been bent and they were having problems, this inmate, on her own, runs to the other room and grabs Tex Watson and says, "Come in here." He comes in. He stabs Mrs. LaBianca a couple of times in the torso, because there's wounds in her torso as well, she falls to the ground, and then this inmate stabs her. Now this inmate --



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: This is information that was covered in some detail in the Appellate Opinion and so forth so we're very familair with it. So if you could --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- address other areas that are --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- not repetitive, please.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. The point is is that with respect to her participation, she has minimized it, and I have discussed it many times, and if you look back through all the other transcripts, she has minimizes her participation. It's always, "Well, Tex, you know, handed me the weapon and told me to do this," as if she didn't want to do it. That's completely contrary to all the statements that she's previously made, that she wanted to along and that she was willing to participate and murder on behalf of this, of the Family, and also is in direct contradiction to what she does after the murder. If she was not a willing participant, if she just reluctantly stabbed an already dead Mrs. LaBianca, why does she go about cleaning up the house? Why does she go about wiping the fingerprints? Why does go about doing all of this while Tex Watson is taking a shower to clean his blood? Why does she change her clothes if she doesn't do anything, if she doesn't have blood on her? And there's even discrepancies in that. One time she says she brought a change of clothes, and another time she says she doesn't bring a change of clothes, that she gave the clothes to Watson. She dances around that issue on the change of clothes because change, bringing a change of clothes indicates premeditation and deliberation and she's dodging that issue. And then, Okay, now, well, maybe the premeditation and deliberation issue is gone so let me try another tactic. Well, all right, I did bring the clothes but I gave them to Watson because he got the blood on him, I didn't. You can see this pattern in her different statements, and counsel will say, Oh, you know, she's talked about it a million times. Yes, she has, and in each time she has been caught going back and forth. The ultimate in cruel, cruelty and callousness, is what happened to Leno and to Rosemary. Forty-two stab wounds. Leno LaBianca was stabbed twelve times, the words "War" - - and if you see the -- if you look at the crime scene photographs, I'm sure they're probably in the packet, the letters "W" are completely across his chest, back and forth and down, carved in his chest. The carving fork, and not just a little tiny fork, you're talking about a huge Thanksgiving carving fork, is fully embedded and left in his chest all the way down to the hilt, to the point where the two tines come together. There is a knife passed completely through his throat that is left there. These victims were tortured. They were abused. They were mutilated. In their blood was written, and they wrote "Rise" in the upper portion of the front door in Leno's blood, "Death to Pigs" on the living room wall, "Helter Skelter" with "Helter" misspelled on the refrigerator. And if this wasn't callous and cruel enough, this inmate and her crime partners go into the refrigerator, they take out some chocolate milk, they take out some cheese, they go hide in the bushes, or they eat it in the house, I think there's different versions of that, but in any event, they eat their food. They take a small amount of money, and then they hitchhike back to the ranch. These are all consistent with somebody who knows exactly what they're doing and made every attempt to cover their tracks, because what does this inmate do? She goes back to the ranch, she burns the clothes, and, oh, she also puts on Mrs. LaBianca's clothes. She takes her clothes from the house, burns the clothes, counts the money the next day, and shows absolutely no remorse whatsoever afterwards. Now I've discussed how there were a number of Family members that did not buy into Helter Skelter, and here's a letter from one of them, and that's the letter that was previously referred to by Barbara Hoyt. "Dear Board of Prison Terms. My name is Barbara Hoyt. I testified in many Manson related trials against these defendants for seven years. I also testified before you on 10/20/06 against Bruce Davis. I lived with the Manson Family for six months when I was seventeen years old. One of the ways I have to judge whether or not a particular defendant has changed or is sorry is by how truthful they are in the present about their roles in the past. If they are lying or minimizing their actions, I know it because I was there. I was struck by Leslie's 2006 parole hearing because she made that task more difficult by refusing, (like Sadie) --" referring to Susan Atkins, that's Susan Atkins nickname -- "to discuss the crime events at all. She not only murdered these poor people but she is now playing Manson-esque games, i.e., demanding that their memory cease to exist. This is a major red flag to me. In none of Leslie's prior parole hearings that I have watched has she ever owned up to how aggressive she was, or how aggressive her participation was in these crimes. If there was something she wanted and you got in her way, she could be quite abusive. Her demeanor never changed after the murders. Her affect was never sad to me. According to Sadie, who I overheard talking about the murders to Ouisch, O-U-I-S-H, Leslie forced Mrs. LaBianca into her bedroom, put a pillowcase over her head, and wrapped a lamp cord around her neck and shoved her onto the bed and held her down so Katie, Patricia Krenwinkel, could stab her, which she attempted, but her knife bent on the victim's collarbone. When Mrs. LaBianca overheard her husband being murdered, she jumped up from the bed with a superhuman strength, screaming, 'What are you doing to my husband?' She managed to keep Leslie and Katie at bay by swinging the lamp at them with the cord still around her neck. So Leslie got Tex. She knocked the lamp from Mrs. LaBianca's hands, and Tex, with a large knife, stabbed her, bringing her to the floor. There were several people that lived with the Manson Family who, despite believing that Charlie was Jesus Christ, that despite fearing the coming of the end of the world and Helter Skelter, despite the cult techniques of indoctrination, chose not to harm others, even if it meant not surviving Helter Skelter. There was also a group of Family members who couldn't wait to kill. Leslie was in the latter group. I believe that even without Charlie she would have harmed others in some capacity. I saw an interview with Leslie's father and he stated that, 'He has never asked her about the murders and she has never commented about it, that he has not lost any sleep over this entire -- over this crime, and that he doesn't think about the victims, and that he forgave Charlie Manson a long time ago.' It must be nice. If my child had been involved in a murder, I would have asked a lot of questions and I would have lost a lot of sleep. Leslie's ability to kill --" or, excuse me. "Leslie's ability to feel no concern for others isn't a trait she learned from Charlie but from her father. Charlie just gave her a place to express herself. She chose to kill. She asked to kill. She wasn't a mindless drug-crazed zombie soldier for Charlie, as she described herself in an earlier parole hearing. She had lots of fun. She played games, camped, sang songs, raced in dune buggies, had casual sex with favorite partners. She enjoyed herself. She was not an innocent who was plucked from her home. She came to the Family with her own group, including Bobby Beausoleil and Gypsy Share, who were both involved in another murder and attempted murder. Leslie also at the time knew that what she did was wrong. On the morning following the LaBianca murders I entered the back house of the ranch to find Leslie on the bed counting coins. A call came from the field phone that a man was on his way to the back house looking for Leslie. She told me the man had given her a ride last night from Griffith Park and for me to hide her, which I did. In 1977 Leslie was out of prison for a few months. She came to Paul Watkins' home and I met her there. She demanded of me, 'Did I know what it was like to live under a death sentence?' Having been a victim of an attempted murder, I said indeed I did know, and I wasn't given a trial like she had. I feel from her statements that the only person she feels is a victim here is herself. I compare the Manson story with that of Hitler because there are so many similarities. Both groups consisted of antisocial people who in their blood thirsty quest for personal power were willing to kill innocent people to get it. At least Hitler's cronies were held responsible for their murders despite pleas that they were only following orders, and so should the Manson followers who chose to kill. Both groups have left behind a legacy of evil that haunts us still today. I believe that if Leslie were truly and deeply sorry, she would stop these parole hearings and let the victims' family have some peace and serve her time in silence and dignity. In closing, I would like to say to Leslie that there is a fact that you seem to be unaware of, and that is, that murder is something you can never recover from or make right. The victims never get their lives back. The families never get to stop mourning. The witnesses never again get to live without fear, and the killers spend the rest of their lives in prison. You demanding to be able to leave prison would mean that you would be the only one to be able to walk away from the carnage you caused, and that would be a travesty of justice. Thank you. Barbara Hoyt." In looking at the circumstances and gravity of this offense, and I know the Panel is looking at the entire picture, but I think what is important to also realize are a number of things. First of all, if there's any doubt whatsoever about the circumstances and gravity of this offense, the fact that twelve people from the community convicted Leslie Van Houten and gave her the death the penalty should erase any doubts about the gravity and circumstances of this offense. And granted, the death penalty was overturned in her case. Part of was because her attorney mysteriously died, was found drowned in a creek bed. This was the same attorney that had some disagreements with the other members of the defense team. She was allowed another trial. The death penalty was subsequently reversed due to a technicality, was then reinstated in the State of California in 1978. These crimes go way beyond an ordinary murder, if you can call murder ordinary. If this crime were committed today, or even if it had been committed in 1978, after the reinstitution of the death penalty, there were three special circumstances that apply in this case: multiple murder, felony murder, and murder for -- and racial murder, because the LaBiancas were killed because they were white, not for any other reason. Killing black people, killing any other race would not have served the purpose of Helter Skelter. It had to be whites. The minimum sentence that she would have received is life in prison without the possibility of parole. So now she sits here, in 2007, having committed these horrible crimes, with these horrible aggravating factors, and coming from an unstable social history, and an unstable background, and having, you know, a history of tumultuous relationships, not only before the life crime but also after the life crime, in a cruel, callous, brutal mutilation murder that shocks the consciousness, that goes beyond what we normally see in these types of crimes, and for which twelve people sentence a nineteen year old girl to death for, with no prior record, all of these factors are clearly factors that overwhelmingly indicate that she is not suitable for parole. Her responses today, with regards to even some of the issues that she's discussed, show a deception, they show lack of understanding, they show a lack of insight. And a lack of insight is not necessarily a factor of unsuitability, it does go to the issue of whether she's been rehabilitated, whether she has shown progress, whether she needs additional time in therapy to discuss and to understand the true depths of what she has done, and she continues to minimize that behavior. Whether it's the LSD defense, whether it's Charlie made me do it, whether it's Tex made me do it, whether it's Patricia Krenwinkel made me do it, these are all consistent games with her. She dodges every issue every time. And I think this Panel will see, in looking at the entire scope of the evidence in this case, that the factors of unsuitability far, far outweigh any factors of suitability for this inmate, and I'd ask the Panel to find this inmate unsuitable for parole at this time and to make it a multiple denial. I was very disappointed at the last Panel for only making it a one-year denial. I think there were more than enough evidence -- there's more than enough in the record throughout the history of this case to justify multiple year denials, and I would ask the Panel to impose a multiyear denial. Thank you.


ATTORNEY WEBB: Thank you. I don't honestly know exactly where to begin, but let me just start with the letter from Barbara Hoyt, and I have an objection to that entire letter. A lot of it's based on hearsay and double hearsay. It talks about things that, "According to Sadie." This isn't Sadie, who is Susan Atkins, I think. This isn't her parole hearing. And to say, "According to Sadie who said she heard it from somebody else about what happened," and that's -- most of it's hearsay or what she heard on TV. There are also misquotes. In Mr. Van Houten's -- you know, there's no indicia of reliability. I don't even know how I can respond to something that outrageous and that he would use it. This speech was some kind of desperation or Hail Mary pass. I think what's happened here is that the deputy DA has proven that Miss Van Houten was dangerous in 1971. And you know what? In 1969 she was, okay? She was when she was with the Manson cult. She tried to explain her relationship to Manson, how she would do what he ordered, how she would die for him, how would kill for him. She tried to explain that, and told that to psychologists in 1970 and 1971 when she was still under the influence of the cult indoctrination, and it's used against her thirty-eight years later. No one has made any attempt, that I can see, to try to understand what cult domination is all about, and I don't understand why anyone could doubt that that's what happened here. You know, to pick out things like -- but by the way, if you want to try to understand it, there's plenty in the reports that I've submitted over and over that explains exactly what happened. And by the way, LSD is talked about. This isn't the first time it's been talked about. This isn't. You know, it was talked about in Dr. Margaret Singer's report in 2000, and it's been talked about before in Leslie's -- in the psychiatric reports. I could pick it out for you if given an opportunity. If you want to have a continuance of this hearing, I'll pick out all those things to refute what the deputy DA has said. But it does place me at a little bit of a disadvantage here, quite a big disadvantage. I would also object to all the arguments about the actions of other people, and the plans of other people, especially Charles Manson, the Gary Hinman murder, all of that. This inmate, Miss Van Houten, had nothing to do with that. That isn't part of her -- it's not part of the Statement of Facts, and it's not part of her commitment offenses.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Counsel, of course the Panel recognizes and apportions the appropriate weight to any information in the file.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: The Panel also recognizes what is connected to Miss Van Houten and what is not, and apportions the appropriate weight accordingly.

ATTORNEY WEBB: Okay. And just let me say, when Miss Van Houten, who tries to explain the dynamic, and has in the past, tries to explain the dynamic of the relationships with Charles Manson, or Charles Watson, or with Pat Krenwinkel, it's been turned around and used against her somehow as though she's trying to absolve herself of the responsibility and put it on someone else, and all she's doing is trying to explain what those relationships were. She's talked about Pat Krenwinkel over and over in the psychiatric reports, about how that relationship and wanting to please Pat and do what Pat did was part of why she went that night, but, you know, I don't actually see how that really has much relevance today. In terms of things like the pillowcase, I also don't see why that has much relevance. And yes, I know very well it's in the Statement of Facts, and I was here for that hearing where Miss Van Houten said, "Well, you know, I might have put the pillowcase on." But if you look at every other parole hearing, you know, for some reason I think that was in response to an argument by Mr. Sequeira's predecessor, Steven Kay. For some reason they wanted her to admit that she put the pillowcase on when Tex Watson had always said he did it. I don't know that it matters now. Why does it matter thirty-eight years ago? She couldn't remember. And one year she said, "Well, you know, maybe I did." But she's always said she didn't see Miss Van Houten -- Mrs. LaBianca's face, and Charles Watson said he put the pillowcase on her head. I don't know why he would come forward and admit in that sworn declaration to a lot of things that implicate him in these murders in a larger way if it weren't true. And frankly, I think he came forward to give that sworn declaration because he feels guilty now that he's not on drugs and not in the cult any longer about his involvement of Miss Van Houten in those murders, and you can see that in the declaration the way he writes it. And yes, he's trying to help her. That doesn't mean that it's not true, and it's certainly not true -- that doesn't mean it's not true from his recollection of what happened, and he talked about the dynamics of how she related to Manson and how she would do whatever was worded, and she did. And with regard to Charles Watson, this one thing about the seven fatal stab wounds in the back. I have part of the coroner's testimony. I don't know why, because I don't know that that's relevant any longer either, but I have part of it with me and I'll be willing to share that with you. The fatal stab wounds were inflicted with a bayonet that Charles Watson had. That's what he says. That's what the coroner's testimony confirmed at the trial. Now we get, years later, and we're talking about how somehow Miss Van Houten inflicted those fatal stab wounds. She said over and over it didn't matter, she's taken responsibility for what she did, but I object to trying to put on her things that the record, if you have it, and you cite to it, really shows that other people did. I don't see that she has to take responsibility for other people's actions, and I don't see that trying to clarify all of that is in any way minimizing her own role or not taking responsibility for what she did. The only reason the DA knows what happened in the house, the only reason that Barbara Hoyt can talk about what she thinks happened in the house is because this woman testified at her trial.


ATTORNEY WEBB: I can give you that too. I have that testimony. It's two thousand pages. She testified about what happened, what she did, as far as she could remember. Once she came out from being a drug-addled and, you know, cult-indoctrinated member of that Family, she did her best to remember what happened. This is her testimony in 1977 and '78, which was when she was convicted. Again, with the fairy wings, you know, I don't even know why I should have to respond to that. That has do with the LSD. It's not the first time it's been said. I actually think it was said in a statement to Miss Van Houten's first lawyer back in 1969, and I think it was played. The growing fairy wings. You know, what are we talking about? She was crazy. She was crazy because of the cult domination and I think because of the LSD toxicity, although we seem to have denigrated the professionalism of at least two employees of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, two psychologists who did professional evaluations based on formal risk assessment techniques that are detailed in that 2006 report of Dr. Smith. So, you know, and I can provide it, as I said, if you give me a chance to get it. But there are a lot of documents in this thirty-eight year old case. And I think the point is, you know, that I think there's an attempt here to not only to talk about whether Miss Van Houten is a danger today to the public, which she is not, and with all the current records and the records for thirty years shows she is not, but there's an attempt to smear her, to denigrate her educational progress, to somehow say -- and I think at the same time to defame all philosophy majors. I don't quite get that. I don't see what relevance that is, and I think it points out that, you know, going so far afield just is counterproductive. Miss Van Houten was crazy, she did have impaired judgment back then, and if you want to try to understand why, you can look at the cult report and you can look at Dr. Smith's report, and you can see what happened to her. But I would just please ask you to separate her actions from other people's actions, other people's planning, namely, Charles Manson. She did join in it. I see that in the Statement of Facts, I understand she bought into it, but that was after a long period of cult indoctrination, and a long period of LSD, and Charles Manson was a pro. He was a pro at all the indoctrination techniques, the brainwashing techniques. He did -- in fact, Dr. O'Riley says in his letter, you know, he did essentially what the communists did in Korea, and they studied that in terms of mind control and changing someone's value system and turning it all upside-down so they couldn't tell what was right and wrong. I think even reading from the 1971 Dr. Fischmann, I think, was his name. Reading from that, did any of that make sense to you? This is a woman she's talking about what she thought was the truth and what she believed. It's senseless. It's crazy. She was temporarily ill. Dr. Coburn, who, by the way, we finally get in, who was a forensic psychologist here at the prison, Dr. Coburn said in his declaration that I gave you that she was temporarily ill, that he evaluated her in 1971, I believe. His was a '71 evaluation. And then he, when he wasn't paid by Miss Van Houten at all, by the way, that when he worked here for the California Department of Corrections, and he evaluated her, and he certainly made some findings that were quite astonishing and that made Miss Van Houten seem like a dangerous person at that point because she was still under the influence of the cult. And he says in his declaration from 2004, he says: "When I first -- when first interviewed, she was not well. She still suffered from the effects of her cult-like existence in the Manson clan and the effects upon her then-adolescent nervous system of the social, nutritional and interpersonal effects of that existence, especially the effects of large amounts of multiple mind-altering drugs, including heavy amounts of LSD, my own classification examination of her reflects that --" and that's what was read from -- "was, however, fear even then, that she did not suffer from any enduring mental disorder, functional organic. My subsequent evaluations of her confirmed those initial impressions, and further indicated that without any doubt she did not suffer from or exhibit signs and symptoms of any enduring major mental disorder or personality disorders. She had been made temporarily ill with dissolution of part of her sense of self, her values, and her judgment. The dangerousness exhibited by her while she was an LSD-addled Manson cult member where she committed the crimes and then was diminishing during the course of her first imprisonment. As of her first release from prison, she was in all matters mental, emotional moral, and behavioral, normal." And that was in 1976 when her conviction was overturned. By the way, referring to her death penalty is totally inappropriate and I object to that also. She is not here under the sentence of death. We don't know anything about that trial except that was when she still under his influence, under Manson's influence, and I don't know if she had any defense. And I think the deputy DA even implies somehow that her attorney was killed for some nefarious purpose. The man died. She didn't have an adequate defense. Her conviction was overturned; not just her death sentence, her conviction was overturned. She's not here under a sentence of death. It's irrelevant. Maybe if she'd had a defense, she wouldn't have been convicted then, because what happened in her second trial, when she finally had a defense in 1977, was that they couldn't convict her of premeditated murder. It was a hung jury. That was the first time she had evidence of mental impairment and that her judgment was impaired both by LSD and by the cult brainwashing. They couldn't convict her. They add in the felony murder instructions, and in 1978 with felony murder instructions that doesn't require the jury to find premeditation or deliberation, and that's a felony murder because they took eight dollars in coins from the house, then they get a conviction, and that also was a finding by the Court of Appeals in the Statement of Facts. So we can't talk about any premeditation or deliberation here. She wasn't capable of it. By the time she got to these --

MALE: (inaudible).



ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible). You know, the facts are horrible, whether you're hearing them for the first time, and even if you've heard them over and over. It's impossible not to be moved by the horror of it and by the still raw pain of the victims' family members, but please keep in mind that it's thirty-eight years ago, when Miss Van Houten was only nineteen, and when, you know, we're not talking about hearing number seven, or hearing fifteen. She's had sixteen prior parole hearings. The focus should be on who Miss Van Houten is today and how she's shown over the past thirty years who she really is and that she would not be an unreasonable risk of danger if released to the public. And I think you should also focus on the law, which requires that after the passage of so much time and so many hearings use the unchangeable facts of the commitment offenses to deny parole for a parole suitable inmate like Miss Van Houten, you know, you can't rely on that. You can't do that legally. She is certainly one of the most model prisoners in the system, and she's come here for all these sixteen parole hearings and tried to tell the truth. And one of the reasons, you know, she has a right to make a decision not to talk about the facts, and we've made that decision, and part of that was because every year there would be things about the pillowcase, and back and forth, and whether she did or didn't, and it would all be used against her, whatever she said, whether she admitted it or she didn't admit it. And when you look at the commitment offenses and her individual role, which you're also required to look at, and why she participated, Miss Van Houten's offense is not the most egregious first degree murder. It's part of the mental impairment. She did what she was told to do by Charles Watson, and his sworn affidavit says that. She was following Manson's instructions. And I don't think that saying what actually happened means not taking responsibility. That's not the equivalent. We're just talking about what was going on with the dynamic here. And, you know, to say that after -- Charles Watson admits he killed Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca, and I guess, you know, no one -- Miss Van Houten has always said she didn't know whether she was dead or not. She stabbed her. We have the coroner's report that they were superficial stab wounds. What we do know -- superficial stab wounds postmortem, and what we do know is that they weren't the fatal stabs wounds inflicted by Charles Watson. I said that before. She was never even in the room when Mr. LaBianca was killed. And she didn't write on the wall, and, yes, her codefendants did, but -- and it was horrible, and it's still horrible. But those weren't her actions, and she can't be responsible for their actions. She can only be responsible for hers, especially now, thirty-eight years later. It didn't make a difference back at sentencing, but it does now. And I think if you look at the psych reports, it shows Miss Van Houten has an understanding of why she committed these offenses and that she certainly has tried to show genuine remorse and empathy for the victims over all these years. And I just ask you again to keep in mind in evaluating her individual role, she was not the planner. Charles Manson and Charles Watson aren't here today, but it's impossible not to talk about them when you talk about Miss Van Houten's involvement in these crimes and her role in the commitment offenses. Hers are mitigating factors. I think it's important to focus on the mitigating factors because her mental state leading up to and at the time of the crime is critical if we are to understand her lack of dangerousness today. The offenses were committed a result of significant stress in her life. The cult indoctrination that I talked about, I don't see how anybody can truly doubt that, if you even try to understand it and look at some of the expert reports which you have in front of you. In a nutshell, Dr. Smith's psych evaluation confirmed Manson was antisocial cult leader who continually indoctrinated Miss Van Houten and the others so that she began to adopt his delusional grandiose beliefs and would do whatever was asked of her, and they were certainly delusional and grandiose beliefs. You can't read that Statement of Facts without seeing that they were delusional and grandiose. Certainly no one in their right mind would believe it, but she wasn't at the time. The drug addiction, mainly the huge amounts of LSD, that's something the Board last year wanted to follow up about, and it was important, and I think it is important, and it wasn't the first time it had come up, you know. And Dr. Smith certainly confirms that impaired judgment and reality testing can persist for days after the period of acute intoxication. So, you know, I don't know if Miss Van Houten said back in -- when she was still -- you know, her brain wasn't functioning properly back in 1970 and '71 and the probation report, I don't know if she said somewhere she had taken LSD or she hadn't, but I certainly do know, because I've read all the parole hearings, that she's never said since then that she was on LSD at the time, that she'd taken LSD at the time. She never said that. I don't know if some of the others have said they were, and I don't know where Dr. Smith got that information, but I do know there's varying information in the thirty-eight years of reports. Sometimes there's a statement that they were on LSD, sometimes not, but Miss Van Houten, at these parole hearings, since her commitment in 1978, has never said that. The point about LSD is what Dr. Smith finds, that she -- the use didn't specifically cause her to commit murder, but with the cult affiliation and the impairment of her judgment and reality testing were more likely than not contributing factors to her decision to participate in the murders. Last year the district attorney argued: "They weren't on drugs, at least you could use drugs as an excuse," and the LSD may or may not be an excuse. Miss Van Houten has avoided looking for excuses, per se, for her behavior, but it's at least an explanation. It's an explanation. I know you're troubled. How could someone who had all she had get to this point and do these horrible things? How could she come from a family background like that that looks so normal and get to the point where she could participate in these horrible offenses? An explanation of that: it helps, just like the cult report does. And it also give us an insight into why she's not a danger today, which is really what we're here to talk about. And that I would say Dr. Kropf, if you look at her 2000 evaluation, she says: "Miss Van Houten has a remote history of polysubstance abuse," meaning the LSD and all the other drugs she took then, but: "She has neither used nor attempted to use substances in more than three decades." That's quite remarkable to me. She certainly could here in the prison. Anyway, the facts of finding. That's why the LSD use contribute back then, but it's not, had no relationship to dangerousness today. And all the records show, by the way, that she has a deep understanding of the role her addiction played in her crime and the need for continued AA and NA participation, and she does it over and over, and she's been a leader and a facilitator in hundreds of programs over the past thirty years, so she certainly has an understanding of that and stays away from it. It doesn't contribute to any dangerousness today. Mitigating factors show why it also makes no sense to argue that she had a choice to leave Manson, that she had a choice to get out of the car that night, or a choice not to do what Manson and Charles Watson told her to do. By then her judgment was so impaired she wasn't capable of making a rational decision. And again, it goes to show why she wasn't convicted based on premeditation and deliberation back in 1978. By the way, between that 1977 hung jury, that deadlock, when they didn't have the felony murder instructions so they didn't have to find premeditation and deliberation, between that hung jury and going back to when she -- the trial when she was finally convicted with the felony murder instruction in 1978, Miss Van Houten was out on bail for six months. A lot of those letters talk about it. A lot of people met her then. A lot of them were young people who she tried to steer in the right direction, some troubled young people that she met through a friend of hers. She was out. She wasn't a danger then. She drove herself to court every day. That was in 1978. I just strongly urge you to look at these mitigating factors. And the psych evaluations, Dr. Kropf talks about thirty, Dr. Smith talks about thirty prior mental health evaluations that are: "Virtually unanimous in concluding that the inmate would not violently reoffend, or would be unlikely to violently reoffend if released to the community." Dr. Kropf herself concludes: "Miss Van Houten represents a low risk for future violence." And all the factors that Dr. Kropf identifies and Dr. Smith identifies as contributing to any risk at all are historic factors from the time of the crime thirty-eight years ago. A history of violence. The only violence in her record are these murders when she was with Charles Manson. The history of substance abuse and the history of relationship instability. None of those factors are present today. Dr. Kropf's opinion, "family support scores as a strong factor against reoffending," and that goes to relationship stability, you have all the letters from I think it's more like fifty to sixty people showing how they've been involved in her life, they've known her for a long time. She has family support, nieces, nephews, her brothers and sisters, have all written letters, and her father, who's eighty-nine years old now. That's a strong factor against reoffending. Other factors are her advanced age, thirty years of appropriate institutional behavior, academic and vocational achievements and skills, and you have all of that that Dr. Kropf and Dr. Smith also talk about. Dr. Smith finds that there's no evidence she's unpredictable and a threat to others. He concluded in the 2006 report that the risk of reoffending was very low to low, and this was on formal, again, formal risk assessment factors, the HCR-20, that I think you are probably more familiar with than I am, and another measure that Dr. Kropf refers to, the PCL-R, that I'm sure you're also familiar with. That was something that was done in Dr. Wellish's evaluation back in 1999 when they did a lot of the kind of psychological assessments that are done, and there's no conclusion that she would be likely to violently reoffend on any of those formal risk assessments. Dr. Smith even concluded that she has a significantly better than average chance of succeeding on parole. These are experts who see inmates all the time, Dr. Kropf and Dr. Smith. They work for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. I trust their opinions. Their opinions are supported by the opinions, thirty other opinions over the years that conclude the same thing: better than average chance of succeeding on parole, a significantly better than average chance. Miss Van Houten would even -- she'd have help from all these people in terms of financial, educational, housing, all that kind of thing. Psychological, social readjustment, that reentry, that's going to take some help, but she has that all available. Please give her that second chance. She's already served double the maximum time in your regulations for these offenses. There's nothing more she can do to make herself more suitable. She can't change the offenses. She has changed herself, and she's rehabilitated herself with the help of professionals here in the California Department of Corrections. Please given Miss Van Houten a parole date and set a reasonable term today. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Thank you. Miss Van Houten, now is your opportunity to address the Panel directly regarding your suitability for parole.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Thank you. And I know that the two of you see a lot of people that sit on this side of the table so I'm going to just speak from my heart. I want to say that everything that's happening in this room today, I'm the only one that has been consistently coming for the sixteen hearings and all of the various things that have been said over the years. At one point I asked if my psychiatric evaluations could be tape recorded because somehow what the evaluator chooses to put in quotes is determined that that's the only thing I talk about. I feel that when I was young and I was given a second chance at life, I took it very seriously and I took advantage of all of the things that the prison system offered to come to terms with what happened, to gain awareness of it, to certainly carry my responsibility for what I have done. I understand that there will always be people who feel that I should never be granted my freedom, and I respect that with the LaBianca family, and I apologize to you from the bottom of my heart for the pain and the sorrow that I have caused your family and that will come for generations to come that you have this cloud over you, and I apologize for that. It's difficult to live with murder on your hands and to figure out what do you do with life. One of the responsibilities I have is to be the person that I've worked very hard to become. I've had three decades of therapy. I've had sorrows and losses of my own, which I'm not saying for compassion but just that they helped me to understand also the losses of the families and how terribly sad it all is. I am a older woman now. Even in the prison they consider us senior citizens. And I see the young people and they're arrogant like I was, they know everything, and I do all I can to try to help them become women that can have a chance in life, because they do go home. I have family, and for years it's been something I've tried not to really think about too much. But I do have family that wait for me to come home too, and it's very hard for me to say because the LaBianca family will never be able to have the ones that they love come home, but the reality is that I do have that. And I've worked very hard, and I ask that I be shown mercy I didn't give, and that's not easy to ask for in this room, but I'm going to ask for that. And I just hope you understand that I have done all I can to become a very true and genuine human being, and I think that the letters from people that know me reflect that. And I also want to say that when you live in a very small environment for thirty-eight years, if you're hiding something it eventually shows up in some documentation, in some slipped behavior, and that's not the case with me because I am who I say I am. And so I just ask you to please review my file and know who I have worked so hard to become and to give me a chance. And that's what I'd like to say today. So thank you for listening to me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Thank you. It's been some time since the transcriptionist will have heard your names, so if you'll reintroduce yourself and go ahead with your statement.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Before we do, if I might, just with the Panel permission? I just wanted to correct a possible misstatement I might have made in commenting on one of the parole plans for Donald Miller, the job offer. I think I mentioned that Donald Miller was a lifer and he's been paroled. I don't know the nature of his exact crime. I think I might have said he was convicted of murder, and I'm not positive that he was convicted of murder. I just wanted to make sure that's clear on the record. But I do know from speaking to him that he's been a life prisoner and he's been released on parole. Thank you for allowing me the time to correct that.

MR. SMALDINO: Thank you. My name's Lou Smaldino and I'm a nephew of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. I'd like to read a letter that was prepared by Anthony DiMaria that is actually addressed to you and couldn't get you in time, but it captures a lot of what I personally believe. And I'll have a short one-page --


MR. SMALDINO: DiMaria is related to Jay Sebring, which was, you know, one of the other Manson Family --

ATTORNEY WEBB: I'm going to have to object to that. Mr. DiMaria is not one of Miss Van Houten's victims. If Mr. Smaldino wants to make a statement of his own, that's one thing, but I think it's against the regulations and inappropriate. I'll cite the section if you want me to. For him to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Well, I'm familiar with the section. I think it would be most appropriate for you to --

MR. SMALDINO: May I just present it to you?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Certainly. Give us the letter.

MR. SMALDINO: Yeah. As long as you, you know, will get a chance to read this.


MR. SMALDINO: Because I think there's some very powerful sentiments in there of compassion and feelings about how the family would feel and some of the other issues. In that case, I would like to present my own presentation, and I would like to thank the Board for giving us this courtesy today to represent the LaBianca family and to voice our objections to the release of one Leslie Van Houten. We all ask ourselves how many times we must come to present our objections at these hearings and at such frequent intervals. I know for me, I believe this is my eighth appearance, and I know my cousins and my sister have been here, when availability is possible, but for me, I believe this is my seventh or eighth appearance, and we ask how many times we have to do this. Nothing has really changed. Miss Van Houten committed a brutal murder with callous disregard for the lives of two innocent victims in the prime of their lives. They were in their forties, mid forties. They had five children and numerous relatives, a thriving business that subsequently failed, and she has left a trail of woe due to her calculated acts. I have seen my grandmother and mother devastated and die away long before their time. I have seen the children of Rosemary and Leno shun these hearings due to their ongoing grief and fear. I have seen injustice in that Miss Van Houten is even considered for parole. She was sentenced to die. I hear all the legal mumbo-jumbo here by her defense, but the justice system has reneged due to technicalities and misguided judgment, yet here she is again trying to game the system. Let's talk facts. Miss Van Houten committed the crime brutally and without any remorse, yet to this day she claims Rosemary was already dead when she stabbed her multiple times. This was a complete lack of the taking of responsibility. She was involved in a multiple-murder scenario and had the time to eat, drink and take the victims' belongings. By definition, this is a sociopath. She premeditated this act when she was not asked to join the Manson on the Tate murders and insisted on going on the subsequent murder spree. She has no true remorse but is focused on being a model prisoner to get her freedom. The only problem with this is that no member of our family has ever received even a note of sympathy. The only time we hear about it is when we come to the parole hearing and, you know, it makes a presentation to you how sorry she is. I mean, in thirty-seven years we have not even received a note, or a phone call, or whatever, you know, any kind of correspondence. I can't imagine having committed these crimes and having true remorse and not trying to inter-react with the people that, you know, I victimized. I mean, you know, Miss Webb calls her an ill person at the time of these deeds. Well, I would, you know, posit to you that she's an ill person today because she can't even come to grips with the reality that she committed these crimes in a brutal way, callous way, and can't even make amends with at least the five children. She doesn't have to even to do it for me, but with, you know, five children. She has life. Our family is burdened with death. She still claims that Charlie made her do it and the drugs. Excuses. Good people do not commit premeditated murder for a thrill or to start race wars, only sociopaths do that. We as a family are never able to share a holiday in the family's home where these murders took place, or see the bright eyes of Leno and Rosemary again. Never again for us. What Miss Van Houten did was permanent. Yes, she can change, but what she did cannot change. I was always brought up to accept responsibility for my actions and taught my own children and business associates the same. Miss Van Houten has never really accepted this. Justice should have claimed her life many years ago. Justice can only serve our family if Miss Van Houten is permanently incarcerated. She should accept this and pray for forgiveness instead of cynically trying to get her way out. She surrendered her rights for freedom when she took another's life for no sane reason. What troubles me most is the example that the Manson Family forced upon our society. We all live today in constant fear of terrorist attacks, but what else was the Manson Family but a group of homegrown terrorists who visited terrors on our neighborhoods in the 1960s? You know, it's amazing to me. We have no compassion for foreign-born terrorists but want them exterminated, you know, as soon as possible, but somehow we change gears when it comes to our own native terrorists. We use the law, psychologists, work programs, etcetera, to judge the unjustifiable. Miss Van Houten is a murdering terrorist. Character doesn't change. Keep her where she can never do harm to another human being. We as a society cannot risk her freedom. I would not want any other family or even my family members to ever have to inter-react with her. She has never shown what I would consider true remorse for her callous and brutal deeds, and the result is that our family suffers. I thank the Board for its indulgence today and remind you that the only reason we are here today is that Miss Van Houten wants out. She wants her freedom any way she can manipulate it and with whatever story will play to you. We ask that you not let this happen and to hold her accountable. I remind you that she was originally given a death sentence, which her attorney says doesn't matter, and that by today's -- under today's laws if she were to commit this same crime, she would have multiple life sentences with possibility of death or, you know, life parole without parole. A few items that came up when I -- just listening to the attorney for Miss Van Houten speak.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I'd ask you to focus on the impact and not on her --

MR. SMALDINO: Okay. All right.


MR. SMALDINO: Okay. I'm appalled by a seeking a spiritual core in a Manson commune. I'm appalled by the fact that I grew up less than two miles from Leslie Van Houten in the '60s when we were living happy days and going to the drive-in on Qwins and on Colorado Boulevard and she's in the commune with Charlie Manson. I'm appalled that a lot of children and kids I grew up with went through similar circumstances in their youth, did not seek drugs or Charlie Manson as a mentor and that trying to make the drugs responsible is not valid. You are the day you decide to take them. I'm appalled that her attorney would call Miss Van Houten ill at the time she committed these murders. If that is so, I believe her to be more ill today because she can't accept the responsibility or express remorse in an appropriate way. And thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Thank you. We'll now recess for deliberation.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: All right. Let the record reflect that with the exception of the gentleman who identified himself as a reporter earlier, all those previously identified as being in the room have returned. This is in the matter of Leslie Van Houten, CDC number W-13378. The Panel reviewed all information received from the public and relied on the following circumstances and the totality of the record in concluding that the prisoner is not suitable for parole and would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety if released from prison. The panel has come to this conclusion first and foremost by the commitment offense itself. The offense was carried out in an especially cruel and callous manner. There were multiple victims attacked, two killed in the same incident. The offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner. The victims were abused and mutilated in the offense. The offense was carried out in a manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering, and the motive for the crime was inexplicable in relation to the offense. These conclusions are drawn from the totality of the record and the Statement of Facts, and 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 Miss Van Houten has done. Nor are we here to suppose what may have happened had Miss Van Houten been tried at a different time and under a different set of laws or penalties. Right or wrong, Miss Van Houten's conviction is what it is, no more and no less. What this Panel is here to consider are the crimes for which she is convicted as well as her progress since incarceration. To that end and with regard to the crime itself, we have a young woman who made choices, those choices including being involved in drugs, being involved with the Manson Family, and after she recognized that the Family was turning violent and criminal, when the acts of violence began, the record shows that she was disappointed in not having been included, and when she went along in the vehicle with the other members of the Manson Family she had choices and decision points. In every case she made the choice to participate and in fact be an active participant in this crime. For reasons that defy all logic and reason, Miss Van Houten chose, chose to and in fact sought out becoming an active participant in the brutal deaths of Leo [sic] and Rosemary LaBianca. These victims were attacked in one of the most fearful and in the most fearful way possible, that of a home invasion. They were attacked in their own home and brutally murdered, Rosemary LaBianca having to listen to the dying sounds of her Leo. In these brutal deaths -- or, as if these brutal deaths were not enough, the proposed purpose of these murders was to start a race war. This also defies all logic and reason and compounds the heinous nature of the crime and Miss Van Houten's direct and active participation in the murders and the ultimate goal of that race war. Regardless of how twisted or implausible that goal, the desire to wreak that level of violence on society in combination with the actual violence visited upon the victims in this crime makes this crime truly exceptional and goes well beyond the minimum necessary for a conviction of murder in the first degree. Neither victim posed a threat to Miss Van Houten or any of her crime partners. With regard to a prior record, the Panel finds that while there are no conviction there is certainly undeniable evidence and statements of extensive drug use and at least peripheral association with crimes associated with the support of a communal life. With regard to institutional behavior, you have a record that is unparalleled of anyone that I'm familiar with. You have one 128a that was in 1981, and as far as we can tell, no 115s that we can find in the record. We do note that in a 2006 psychological evaluation there is a reference to a possession of marijuana in the late '80s. We have not considered that in our deliberation today and only ask that for future hearings that it be clarified in the record, because, even with the assistance of a record person, it was difficult to --

ATTORNEY WEBB: It was clarified --


ATTORNEY WEBB: -- at one point.


ATTORNEY WEBB: (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- that was not something that we could --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Do you want me to tell you about it?





INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was in the '70s.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Okay. Let me -- all right.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We have not considered it for our deliberation today and only ask that it be clarified or made more clear perhaps in a future Board Report. With regard to the psychological evaluation of August 2007 by Dr. Kropf, the panel finds that both that report and the supplemental report prepared by Dr. Smith the doctors are clearly supportive. With regard to parole plans, we find that with regard to Crossroads that the parole plans are appropriate. As an informational item, the Panel, based on the experience of members of the Panel, believes that the job offers relating to a law office, if the duties involve frequent and direct contact with criminals, would not be a plan that would be considered appropriate by the Parole Division, and this is just informational because, again, we think you have other alternatives, but we believe that to be the case. With regard to the 3042 notices, we do note that the District Attorney from Los Angeles County was here in person by representative and does oppose parole. Nevertheless, we do want to commend you for several things, and Commissioner Williams will now detail those.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: As we indicated, your violations here have been minimal, and we'd encourage you to remain disciplinary free. You have participated. You've gotten a college degree. You've participated in a variety of vocational things. We'd encourage you to just maintain that and to continue to participate. You work record, you're still tutoring, you're still helping others, and that's very good.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I encourage you with that.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Your group activities, you seem to keep busy with things that not only help you but are a benefit to others, so I encourage you with that as well.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: However, these positive aspects of behavior do not outweigh the factors for unsuitability. In a separate decision the hearing Panel finds that the prisoner has been convicted of murder and it is not reasonable to expect that parole would be granted during the next two years. The Panel comes to this conclusion again first and foremost by the commitment offense itself. The offense was carried out in an especially cruel and callous manner, that there were multiple victims attacked, two killed in the same incident. The offense was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner. The victim was abused and mutilated during the offense -- the victims. The offense was carried in a manner which demonstrates an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering, and the motive for the crime was inexplicable in relation to the offense. These conclusions are drawn from the totality of the record and the Statement of Facts. And once again, we should be clear that this is not a hearing for Charles Manson or any of those known as a group to be 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 for this Panel is that we do not discount the strides and accomplishments by Miss Van Houten nor are we here to suppose what may or may not have happened had Miss Van Houten been tried at a different time and under a different set of laws and penalties. Right or wrong, Miss Van Houten's conviction is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. What the Panel is here to consider are the crimes for which she is convicted as well as her progress since her incarceration. To that end and with regard to the crime itself, we have a young woman who had many choices. Those choices included being involved with drugs, being a part of the Manson Family, and after she recognized that the Family was turning violent and criminal, when the acts of violence began, the record shows that she was disappointed in not having been included. When she went along in the vehicle with other members of the Manson Family, she made choices and had decision points. In every case she made the choice to participate and in fact be an active participant in these crimes. For reasons that defy all logic and reason, Miss Van Houten chose to and in fact sought out becoming an active participant in the brutal deaths of Leo and Rosemary LaBianca. Those victims were attacked in one of the most fearful ways possible, that of a home invasion. They were attacked in their own home and brutally murdered, Rosemary LaBianca having to listen to the death sounds of Leo. As if these brutal deaths were not enough, the proposed purpose of these murders was to start a race war. This also defies all logic and reason and compounds the heinous nature of this crime and Miss Van Houten's direct and active participation in these murders and the ultimate goal of that race war. Regardless of how twisted or implausible it might seem today, the desire to wreak that level of violence on society in combination with the very real violence visited upon the victims makes this truly an exceptional crime that goes well beyond the minimum necessary for her conviction of murder in the first degree, and neither of the victims was any threat to Miss Van Houten or her crime partners. With regard to the previous record, we find that there is a record of criminal behavior not in terms of convictions but certainly undeniably with evidence of extensive drug use and at least peripheral association with crime in support of the communal lifestyle. With regard to institutional behavior, we've already discussed that as being an exceptional record. And with regard to parole plans, again, we consider the parole plans to be appropriate, with the exception of based on the experience of this Panel, the job offers relating to a law office in which her primary duties would be direct contact or frequent contact with criminals would probably not be a plan considered appropriate by the Parole Division. With regard to the 3042 notices, we note that the District Attorney from Los Angeles County was here in person by representative and did oppose parole. With regard to other information bearing on suitability, the Panel further finds that even after all of this time and after all of the laudable accomplishments by Miss Van Houten, including her degree, she unfortunately still does not seem to understand or express the nature and enormity of what she and her crime partners were trying to do. We come to this based in part on the Panel's finding that she continues to minimize the racial nature of the crime at the time when one could argue we are at a tipping point of -- we were, we were at a tipping point of racial violence and the clear selection of the victims to incite such violence. Secondly, we further come to this conclusion in reviewing Miss Van Houten's recent psych evaluation. The Panel is struck by the characterization of the reluctance Miss Van Houten ascribes to her actions on the night of the murder. I'll refer to the current psychological evaluation on page 5, which states that: "When asked for her account of the offense, Miss Van Houten stated: 'The first night, the first night of the Tate murder, Pat had gone -- Pat had taken me under her wing and I had gotten close to her. She had crossed over to the cause. I needed to commit to the cause. At that time ten or twelve of us were giving the impression that we were dedicated to starting Helter Skelter. Up until that time he (Charles Manson) asked us if we would do it. We said yes. The second night we got into the car. For a while we drove around looking for victims. When we got to the house, he went in. Tex --" or, excuse me -- "he and Tex entered the house. He came back to the car and told Pat and I to go into the house. I was starting to get nervous. I still felt I could do this. We went in. Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were on the couch. There was controversy about the pillowcase. I don't remember her face. I believe the pillowcase was already on her. I could be wrong. I was nervous. Pat went into the kitchen to get a knife. She then went into the bathroom and we were supposed to kill her. She had a cord around her neck. I held her down. She could hear her husband dying. Pat stabbed her in the shoulder and the knife bent. I was really shaky. I really wanted out and there was no way out. I knew I had to commit myself. I ran and told Tex we couldn't kill her. Pat went to the living room and Mr. LaBianca was dead. When I heard Mr. LaBianca dying, it more than I could handle. I called Tex. I stood in the doorway and looked into an empty room while Tex killed her. Tex turned around and handed me a knife and said, 'Do something.' I stabbed Miss LaBianca, who was on --" well, excuse me. 'I stabbed Miss LaBianca, who was on her back. I stabbed her in her lower portion of her back or superficial wounds, which surprised me when I heard this. The act was extremely predatory. I used an example when you see a shark attack meat. I felt unnatural. Tex came in and wanted her clothes. Tex did both murders. He told me to get Rosemary's clothes. I did everything I could to embrace the reality of it.'" The record of the Court of Appeals shows actions far more consistent with an aggressor than a reluctant participant. As such, and with all respect to the doctors, this Panel still finds that the inmate, Miss Van Houten, is in fact an unpredictable danger to society or a threat to public safety and, as such, a longer period of incarceration is required. Under recommendations, the Panel would recommend that you remain disciplinary free. Again, that's an exceptional record and one that I know is appreciated by all of the men and women who are responsible for the good order and discipline of the institution. That as available, that you continue to participate in self-help; that you cooperate with clinicians during the next clinical evaluation. The Panel will order a new psychological evaluation be prepared prior to the next hearing under the current format for the Board of Parole Hearings. That this being prison, the Panel understands that sometimes programs are not as available as we would all like, and therefore we recommend to you that certainly independent reading is available to you, that you can read books that you believe are appropriate for you and speak to your particular situation. Prepare a short report, two or three paragraphs, indicating an understanding of what you've read and how it applies to you and your particular situation. And that you continue to earn positive chronos. Commissioner, anything else you'd like to add?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: No. I'd just like to wish you well.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Do I send you the report of the book --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- when I do it? Because the next --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Actually, what you can do is give it to counsel and she can either provide to us ahead of time or provide it to us at the time of the hearing would be fine.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: All right. Thank you.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Thank you. We're adjourned.