Wednesday, January 30, 2019



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

JANUARY 30, 2019

RANDOLF GROUNDS, Presiding Commissioner
KRYOS CHAKUR, Deputy Commissioner

RICH PFEIFFER, Attorney for Inmate
DONNA LEBOWITZ, Deputy District Attorney
LETICIA TREJO, Victim's Advocate
JOHN DESANTIS, Victim's Nephew
LOUIS SMALDINO, Victim's Nephew
DEBRA TATE, Victim's Representative
LIEUTENANT ROSIE THOMAIS, Administrative Assistant



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, this is sub number 21 parole consideration hearing for Inmate Van Houten, W13378. The date is January 30th, 2019. The time is approximately 8:45 a.m. We're located at CIW. Van Houten was received CDCR -- in CDCR 08/17/1978 for the controlling offense of murder first, two counts with a -- one of the counts being conspiracy, uh, from Los Angeles County, PC 187, two -- two counts, uh, noted in the conspiracy. The case number was 8253156. She has a minimum eligible parole date of 08/17/1978. The sentence is seven years to life. The victims in this case were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. This hearing is being recorded and for the purpose of voice identification, each of us will state our first and last name, spelling our last name. And Inmate Van Houten, after you spell your last name, if you'd also give us your CDCR number as well. We'll start with me and we'll go around the room and lastly, we'll put the victims' next of kin on -- on the record as well. Randolf Grounds, G-R-O-U-N-D-S, Commissioner.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Kryos Chakur, C-H-A-K-U-R, Deputy Commissioner.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Donna Lebowitz, L-E-B-O-W-I-T-Z, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Rich Pfeiffer, P-F-E-I-F-F-E-R, Ms. Van Houten's attorney.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Leslie Van Houten, V-A-N H-O-U-T-E-N, W13378.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. If we could, go ahead.

VICTIM'S ADVOCATE TREJO: Leticia Trejo, T-R-E-J-O, victim's advocate.

MR. JOHN DESANTIS: John Desantis, D-E-S-A-N-T-I-S, nephew.

MR. LOUIS SMALDINO: Louis Smaldino, S-M-A-L-D-I-N-O, uh, nephew.

VICTIM REPRESENTATIVE TATE: Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, LaBianca family representative.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: We also have in the room, uh, one custody officer that's here for security purposes and will not be participating in the hearing.

LIEUTENANT ROSIE THOMAIS: Lieutenant Rosie Thomais, T-H-O-M-A-I-S, administrative assistant, public information officer.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. Uh, Counsel, do you have any preliminary motions you want to make at this time?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I -- I do have, um, one is, uh, I filed a, uh, motion, um, for, uh, recommendation to recall Ms. Van Houten's sentence with both the CDCR and the BPH and, um, nothing has been done. Uh, yesterday I, um, on the CDCR end of it, it was referred to Kathleen Allison and, um, I have a phone number for her. It's 916-323-6001, and yesterday I -- I called to see if there was an update or if there was any movement on that and I was told I'd get a call back and let me know anything. I never got a call back. And, um, what it is that the law changed on 1170D1 in last June to where at any time CDCR and the BPH can recommend to the trial court, um, that the inmate be resentenced and I did a motion for that. It's -- it's -- it's in the packet. Um, it's in the 10-Day. And I'm respectfully requesting that, um, this Panel recommend to the Superior Court that Ms. Van Houten be resentenced regardless of it -- it's -- your decision on whether or grant parole or deny parole today and the reasons for that are the law has changed since her, uh, sentencing in three critical areas. One, uh, is the youthful offender. The other is elderly parole and the third is the intimate, uh, partner battering. And each one of those categories gets great weight where that wasn't the case at the time she was sentenced. Um, in talking to other Commissioners about the process and how to -- how to do this, and nobody has done it before, so nobody knows how this works, um, some of the Commissioners said this is going to have to go to the en banc and I -- I agree it probably would have to, so I'm respectfully requesting that this Panel refer that motion to the en banc to hear -- to schedule and hear.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. That's noted for the record.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Um, the -- the laws that you've mentioned, uh, we should note that we will be giving great weight to each of those areas, uh, independently. As far as making an independent recommendation for resentencing, I'm gonna have to check on that, check with my legal team as to what extent this -- this Board will speak to whatever the factors are. But to answer your question, those factors will be given great weight today.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I -- I understand that. Yeah. And -- and I also understand that, uh, In Re Palmer a couple of weeks ago was depublished by the Supreme Court, um, and -- and they had -- that case had defined what great weight meant and what -- how -- how to apply it --


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: -- because it had never been applied, um, before in this setting. Um, and although that, um, case has been depublished and can't be cited, the cases that it relied on, um, which is People v. Martin, um, that is still -- you know, it's what the, um, Palmer court used to define great weight and that -- that underlying law is still a good law.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Very good. Anything else that you'd like to --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That's it. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- cite to? All right. District Attorney, did you have anything that you wanted to weigh in on?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Um, yes, Commissioner. I would like to make an objection to some of the -- to the consideration, evaluation and acceptance as exhibits of some of the documents presented in the 10-Day packet and those that Mr. Pfeiffer presented here this morning. Three documents that he presented this morning, uh, the first one is the intimate partner battering investigation for Patricia Krenwinkel and that was also presented at the last hearing in 2017, but the objection is that this investigation was done for an entirely separate inmate and therefore it is no appropriate to consider it or admit it in this hearing. The second is actually, um, one of the paper documents that Mr. Pfeiffer submitted was the answer for petition to review, which was also in the 10-Day packet and the objection to that is that this Panel is not in a position or do they have authority to determine a discovery issue and the answer to the petition for review was, um, submitted on a discovery issue. And -- and it's just an inappropriate issue for this hearing. The third document that Mr. Pfeiffer submitted that he just spoke about was the motion under Penal Code 1170D1. Again, another inappropriate issue for this Panel to consider. That is done by BPH legal. They evaluate all the cases and determine which ones should be submitted to the court. We --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, that's in your referral. Did you have something else you wanted to --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Yes. There are a few more, um, documents that were submitted in the 10-Day packet, which I would also object to, and that is the transcript that Mr. Pfeiffer submitted is not a complete transcript. There was a session in the morning where we made objections and discussed the appropriateness of what was going to be testified to and who was going to testify and so I would request that if this Panel is going to consider that transcript that they consider the entire transcript and not just the afternoon session. I would object to if the -- if the Panel is to consider the transcript, I would object to the consideration of Catherine Share's testimony, uh, because she admitted to the court during the Franklin hearing that she was part of the what she considered to be outer circle and therefore, her personal knowledge was not that great because she was not present to view and to, uh, observe a lot of that which she was testifying about. I would also object to the submission by, um, Lawrence Steinberg. Mr. Steinberg -- or Dr. Steinberg had never met the inmate and he is in no position to offer an opinion as to her risk level. I would lastly like to object to the submission of the excerpts from what is called in the 10-Day packet the Barbara Hoyt interviews. There is nothing to authenticate the statements. They're taken out of context. The entire document is not here for the Panel to review and therefore, it is not an accurate description of all of the statements of Ms. Hoyt.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You're talking about Dr. Hoyt?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: No, no, this is Barbara Hoyt. She is one of the former Manson family members. And I think that's the sum of my objections. Thank you.



ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um, as far as the intimate partner battering investigation, although it was done for Patricia Krenwinkel, Ms. Van Houten was in the same circumstances, in the same situation, so it's relevant. It might -- um, and -- and she's included in that investigation as well. As far as the petition for review, the answer to the petition for review, in that the District Attorney's Office that was signed by three top Deputy District Attorneys told the Supreme Court that their salient view of the entire crime has always been Manson was in charge, everybody acted at his behest. And that's particularly important today because, first of all, it's an admission from the DA's Office and second, um, the governor's reversal is that Ms. Van Houten didn't accept full responsibility, um, based on casting some of the blame on Manson. Well, the District Attorney's Office also agrees that Manson was in total control and everybody acted at his behest. So they are agreeing with Ms. Van Houten that that's just part of the circumstances, the facts of the crime and while Ms. Van Houten isn't not accepting the responsibility for her part in it and everything, there were other parts as well and, you know, they can't all of a sudden divorce themselves from statements that they made to the Supreme Court that actually helped Ms. Van Houten. As far as the 1170D1, um, I -- I've made my, uh, talk there. On the Franklin hearing, the reason for a Franklin hearing is to bring this information to the Board to consider at a parole suitability hearing and I'm not objecting to the morning session, um, of the transcripts being used. That’s not a problem. As far as Catherine Share's, uh, testimony, um, she was in the outer circle, yeah, she was in the outer circle, but she was at the ranch. She was there. She was threatened with torture if she tried to leave the cult. Um, Dr. Steinberg's psych report, um, whatever weight you want to give it, you can give it. Um, the reason that we used Dr. Steinberg was he was the doctor in charge of, um, doing the psychological evaluations that went to the U.S. Supreme Court that was the foundation for all of these youthful offender, um, changes in the law from you can't sentence a youth to death to now all of a sudden, um, youthful offenders have, um, the adolescent brain development and everything else. He did the studies on that. He is -- he was the leading, uh, doctor in the entire country on that. That's why we used Dr. Steinberg. As far as Barbara Hoyt's interview, that's being used to impeach statements that were used by Governor Brown in his first reversal that, um, the people at the cult were free to leave anytime they wanted and Barbara Hoyt, um, testified or -- didn't testify to that, she made some, um, out of court, unsworn statements not subject to cross-examination that said we were free to leave at any time. Well, it took her six or seven attempts to leave before she was able to get away from Manson, so that impeaches her prior testimony that the governor used in his first reversal that he didn't use in his second one. And that's -- that's all I have.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Well, both -- both of you are going to have closing statements and a chance to make that argument. I do want to take a break at this time, uh, and, uh, follow up on a couple of issues. Some of the issues have already been spoken to in previous -- uh, at the previous, uh, uh, hearing in 2017 with Commissioner Roberts, but, uh, there's a couple of issues I want to, uh, talk about a little bit before we proceed. So if we would, the time is 9:00 a.m. We're gonna take a quick break.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: We're back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, we're back on the record in regards to Inmate Van Houten, W13378, and her subsequent number 21 parole consideration hearing. All of those that were in the room are back -- prior to the break are back in the room and we're ready to proceed. Um, before we go forward, I wanted to make mention, uh, to all of those objections and concerns that were put on the record, the motion recall is, uh, at an extremely high level of 1170D is, uh, as mentioned by you, sir, uh, Counsel, you've already reached out to the secretary and undersecretary in this case, uh, the secretary's office as well as BPH and that will not be handled at this local level.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, the IBP (inaudible), uh, we'll set that aside, but any of the information that we cover today during the hearing, uh, we can certainly cover that at that -- that time. Petition for review, uh, is overruled -- excuse me, overruled. The transcript in regards to Share, we'll give whatever weight we -- we, uh, desire to give. Barbara Hoyt's testimony, whatever weight. Lawrence Steinberg report, we note that, but, uh, we're -- we're primarily utilizing the one that's current, uh, which is the report that's timely by Dr. Athans on 11/01/2018. Okay. At this point, we're gonna go forward. If you have regular, uh, items you want to use for your closing statements, you'll have that period of time to -- to make mention and make your arguments at that point. Uh, the 1073 Form dated January 8th, 2019 reflects that you got a 12.9 reading level. Does that sound accurate?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. I note that you also have a Bachelor's, uh, degree as well as a Master's.




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And your Bachelor's is in --



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The Humanities.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Humanities. Congratulations.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: The Disability and Effective Communication System reflects normal cognitive function and reflects you wear glasses. Do you have those glasses with you?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you have bifocals for long and short distance, is that correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. You see okay with those glasses?




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You walked in here just fine, so I'm assuming you don't have any problems with mobility. Is that correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, have you ever been diagnosed with a learning disability?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I have not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are you currently in the mental health system?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Have you ever been in the mental health system?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I have not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, do you take any kind of medication for anything?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. You probably take that once or twice -- well, probably once a day, correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you've probably already taken that this morning or do you take that in the evening?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I take it in the morning.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Did you take that today?


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


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very good. Counsel, have we, uh, adequately covered your client's ADA concerns, sir?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So we've reviewed your Central File and your prior transcripts and you'll be given the opportunity to correct or clarify the record as we proceed. Nothing that happens here today is going to change the court findings as we're not here to retry your case. We accept as true the findings of the court. We are here for the sole purpose of determining your suitability for parole. The format we'll use today is I'll discuss your pre conviction factors, such as your life crime, prior criminality, personal history, and any other pre-conviction factors that I deem pertinent to assess suitability. The Deputy Commissioner will discuss all - - all your post-conviction factors, your time in prison. The Comprehensive Risk Assessment and parole plans will also be addressed. The District Attorney and your attorney will be allowed to participate in today's hearing. This is a reminder that this is a non-adversarial hearing conducted to ensure public safety. I note that you signed the BPH 1002 Form on 08/31/2018 and it was cosigned by correctional counselor Halberd (phonetic), acknowledging that you were given a copy of your rights and that your correctional counselor went over them with you. Do you have any questions regarding your rights or did your attorney sufficiently cover that topic to your satisfaction?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I have no questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Good. Obviously Counsel, uh, Mr. Pfeiffer, you -- you've had the opportunity to go over your client's rights prior to the hearing, sir?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very good. So do you believe as of right now that your rights have been met, Ms. Van Houten?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Counsel, did you have any additional documents you wanted to submit? I know you already gave us --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: You know, there are some that she had at the last hearing, which are her crime insight statement and a relapse prevention plan. Did -- did you want to -- I'm sorry.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I remember them from last time.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: This -- it's the same thing. Yeah.


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: If it's in the file, we don't need to submit it then. Or I could make it easy for you. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, let's hand it over after you're done.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Yeah, I don't know if I have a copy. I just remember them from last time. I'll have to look in my computer to see if I have a copy.


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And -- and I apologize for not emailing those to you.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: That's okay. I -- I remember downloading the 10-Day from last time, so it was in the 10-Day, so I'm sure I have it.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How many pages you got in your 10-Day?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: The third 10-Day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. That -- that was my point.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Now it's time to swear you in. I need you to raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you give at this hearing will be the truth and nothing but the truth?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. So I was looking at the report and the source document as to how you -- you were raised. And the source document I'm referring to in this case is the, uh, the CRA that was done by Dr. Athans on, uh, November 1st, 2018. She states, um, that you were born in Altadena, California. One of two children born to your parents. I believe your brother was older. Um, they also had two adopted children that were orphans from Korea and who were raised in Mongolia. You described yourself as a typical middle class family. And then you note that you were approximately 14 years old when your parents divorced. Is that all correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Uh, you state that until your parents divorced you -- your family was rather classic as far as post-war and what your family looked like. What -- what was it like (inaudible) prior to the divorce?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was safe and never wanting. Um, I was loved.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And we did things as a unit. You know, it was --



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very well. And what was the discipline like for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The discipline --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The discipline was, um, more psychological, like I never had, um, boundaries with grounding or that kind of thing. My mom was the primary disciplinarian and she took the view that I would never disappoint her so it didn't have to be an issue, which in my therapy over the years, I would have preferred to have limits.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Defined limits. I lived my life trying not to, uh, until Dad left, until -- you know, guessing what she wanted and making sure I didn't hurt her by violating it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So if you did something wrong or she wanted to address something that you did that she felt wasn't, uh, right, did she talk to you about it? Did she, uh, address the issue with you? (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I -- I have a hard time even thinking back of when I would have done that.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My behavior became rebellious when Dad left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. So let's talk about that because it obviously changed right then. At least in reading the reports, that was something that you had difficulty with, uh, processing. You said you were going back and forth between the -- your mother and father and then eventually you just got involved in a relationship I think at age 15 and used that as -- as an excuse for either parent. But what was it like after your parents divorced? How did it change for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, my dad told me that he was going to leave mom before he told her. And when she found out, of course, she was really offended and I blamed her for his leaving and I cared very deeply for my dad and, um, I rejected her. I -- she was suddenly with four kids -- actually three. My older brother was about ready to leave the house at 18. But, um, she was focused on getting a job and renewing her teaching credentials and I started to go against the things that she had expected of me. You know, it's hard to look back and see that I was in no way cooperative. You know, as simple as having the meal in the oven and all of those things. Our status in the community changed. It was in the mid-60s and I hung with other single-parent kids and, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So that was the first change that you noticed? That you started hanging with different friends.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And it wasn't really that my other friends rejected me, but there -- there was a stigma and my mom was real aware of the stigma. This is all on reflection, you know --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- from years of therapy. But --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So what I'm asking you, I guess, the Board is really interested -- it's a real simple paradigm. It's who were you then and who are you today.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And the hard work, obviously, is with you and having to understand that and it takes a lot of work to gain that kind of insight. Um, but, um, you know, you're right now are -- are moving on who were you then, how'd you think then, and, uh, and with the Deputy Commissioner, he's gonna -- he's gonna follow up on -- on the other side of that coin, so to speak, as far as what have you learned and what growth have you made and such maturity. But so you -- you, uh, you started developing some other friends. You're blaming your mom. You're -- you become rebellious with her. You -- it sounds like you -- whatever she asked you to do, you -- you don’t. What's driving that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Anger at her. You know, well, like Dad was a member of AA and she was embarrassed about that and would not become involved in anything that had to do with like Al-Anon. I -- I felt that Mom, uh, didn't include him and was embarrassed of him and I blamed her for his leaving.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then when he would come and pick us up, he -- she would always say, you know, "he's only doing it because I make him."


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, it was -- she -- she -- with all props to her, she tried to not get her anger at him on us, but, you know, she did.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was crushed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Yeah. So she's trying to go on with her life, make ends meet --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- and, uh, with three kids.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Right. And then I met a young guy that was new to our high school and we developed a very, um, intense relationship.





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. So you start developing that relationship and spending a lot of time with him. And then you eventually become pregnant with him, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And we were part of the early hippie movement.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was smoking marijuana. I was taking Benzedrine to make it through school. And on the weekends, I would take LSD, so I -- I was getting myself involved in the drug environment too.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did that start before Bobby or with Bobby?




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He introduced you to that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Well, what happened was I came home one day from school and, um, my brother and a friend of his were, um, uh, drying a kilo of marijuana in mom's oven while she was away and I told them that if they didn't let me try it that I would tell mom.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I wanted -- I wanted to know what it was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh-huh. So it wasn't really a sense of what's right or wrong (inaudible) at that time in society. It was more you -- you trying to manipulate your brother to be able to try the marijuana, is that correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you start doing drugs. You start doing LSD on weekends, uh, Benzedrine. What else did you try?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, you mean drug-wise or --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, at that time, nothing.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Methamphetamine hadn't really become popular.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Those -- I mean, there were different kinds of, um, psychotropics.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mushrooms, that sort of thing. But mainly it was LSD.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How often were you using drugs at -- at a young age?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: It sounds like almost every day some type of drug.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Usually it's marijuana. Usually it was marijuana.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. But how often was my question.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, when Bobby and I would go to people's apartments, he -- he was involved with kids that were in, um, high school.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I mean college. So he was, um, thrown out of school for having long hair and so he was hanging around more of the college kids and so when I could get away and go be with him, that was part of the social structure was to smoke weed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He was thrown out of school?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: There were plenty of kids that had long hair in the 60s.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. This was pretty much in the beginning. Yeah. It came below his ears and so they threw him out. At least that's what I was told.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Was he in a private school?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So I -- I, uh, so I see that you're using drugs with him and establishing a relationship now. We'll go back to that. A question I had a few minutes ago. You become pregnant.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Explain to me what happens there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. I had, um, Bobby and I ran away to Haight-Ashbury and it didn’t last long. It was not, um, people weren't that receptive to having, um, underage, uh, kids up there. Like they didn't want us staying with them because then if the police came, it would be more trouble for them. So it didn't work out and we came back. When, um, I don't know how long it was, but I realized I was pregnant, so I told Bobby and we met with my mom and dad when dad was coming up to pick me up for the weekend and mom understandably so, um, just lost it and ran out into the back yard and, um, I went to try to talk to her and she just pushed me away and said, you know, don't -- don't -- don't. Just stay away. And dad being who he was, was already trying to figure out how to deal with it. You know, like, he owned -- his second wife, um, was wealthy and so they owned beach properties and stuff like that. So he began to think "Well, I can get him a job, um, we can help them with an apartment." You know, he was trying to figure out a different way of making it work and my mom was adamant on an abortion and they were, um, illegal at that time. And I really wanted the child and this went on for probably too long, the arguments, and at one point she told me my dad only wanted me to have the child so his wife could adopt it and, um, it got ugly. I didn't feel Bobby had, um, I remember him saying "What are you going to do about it?", which probably on hindsight was -- I don't know. I -- I can't remember and at the very end before the abortion, um, he said that his mom was willing for us to go and live with her and, um, my mom wouldn't hear anything about it and she was pretty much the one that was in charge. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you already had run away.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And came back.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So what leads you to make that decision?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Because you -- you had options. Right? You could have left again.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you had an option with your dad and you had an option with your boyfriend.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you went -- you went with your mother's direction.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How'd that -- how did that decision process? How did it formulate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I didn't see leaving and having the child on my own as a viable option because I didn’t even make it up in San Francisco. In fact, I had never even thought of that. Um, there were the unwed mothers' homes. But, um, that seemed to be with consent, you know.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I honestly just remember that she was the one that was making the decision. And I, on hindsight, regret that and I -- I -- that I didn’t stand up to her, you know. There was a pattern there. And it was -- it was all planned. You know, I -- this, um, her marriage counselor knew of a woman that crossed the border and came and, um, put a solution like douched me with a solution and, um, then after there was a doctor that saw me to make sure it was all okay. It was sort of like this was a package deal on my hindsight and I -- I just don’t -- I remember feeling very helpless during the whole thing. I never wanted it. I succumbed. I succumbed to my mom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Buried the child in the backyard.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I d i d n ’ t do that. I found that out later.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you didn't have any part of the burial process?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You just had the abortion and then you went to the doctor and he said you were physically okay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And, um, I was -- I -- I was further along than is probably even legal today because, um, when I went to school, um, I was lactating, you know, I -- I -- I didn't understand a lot of what the process was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You said earlier that you wanted the child, but then you eventually succumbed to your mother.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So the abortion happens and -- and then what do you do? How do you behave?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was not the same after that. You know, I, um, Bobby and both became part of the self-realization fellowship. I sobered up. The --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: About seven months? Is that when you were sobered up for about seven months?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Maybe -- maybe a little longer because my dad ceased on the opportunity to try to get me a vocation when I got out of high school and I went to, um, business school.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And, um, halfway through Sawyer's, I contacted my old friends from Pasadena and they were still using drugs and they came to see me and I started using drugs again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But was there a breakup between you and Bobby right around the same time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I always felt that maybe we would get back together again.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But he had gone a different way.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He was in that self-realization.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: (inaudible) you didn't want to be in it. Is that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I was in it for quite a while, but, you know, I found a reason to not want to be in it anymore. I was --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I felt that the monks at the, um, center I used to go to, uh, were, um, not letting people with long hair and bare feet get into -- go into the place where we would meditate. It was an excuse, you know.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I wanted to go back to my old friends.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And your relationship with Bobby is not happening?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not -- not at all. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He wanted to continue on with that and so you decided to go back to what you knew?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And you started doing drugs again?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you start traveling up and down the coast and at -- at some point you meet Bobby Beausoleil?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Yes. After I finished Sawyer's, um, that was one of the regrettable forks in the road.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I chose not to go the direction that my father offered me and I went instead with my friends and ultimately I ended up in San Francisco and met Beausoleil.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: The idea of helping each other probably lasted about 15 minutes before people started manipulating and using each other. Using each other. So what happens?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So Bobby, um, was stopped off -- I ended up in San Francisco staying at some friend's house that I had known from Pasadena, Deanne Duncan and, um, D had gone somewhere and came back with, uh, Beausoleil and Catherine Share and another woman named Gayle and they were from the ranch, the Spahn's ranch and they were trying to bail people out and I'm not sure about who or what, but that got them up to San Francisco and Gypsy -- I'm sorry, Catherine Share, um, really wanted me to go with them and I was at a point where I was at a real down. I wasn't really put together enough to pursue a job. I could have with my skills, but who I was emotionally, I was identifying with the idea that nine to five jobs were the establishment. You know, I was already on my way of, um, bucking what my parents had been and all of that, questioning things. And, um - -

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Had you told your mother goodbye at this point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, she told, uh, Share said to me "Come with us, you have to cut your past loose." So I called mom and I told her I'm dropping out and I'm going away so don't expect to hear from me again. And I did. And I went with them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How angry are you right now when you have that discussion with your mother, on a scale of 1 to 10, at 10 you're ready to kill somebody, how angry were you right then when you told your mom goodbye?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably -- probably a seven. I didn’t acknowledge it to myself.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- we drive around the California coast, up and down. Um, Bobby and Gayle are fighting all the time because Gayle was with him I think in high school and so the idea that he has more girls with him is driving her nuts and he's arguing with her all the time and Catherine is in the back of the truck with me and talking to me about, um, the ranch, this wonderful commune, uh, Manson and he's Christ-like and we need to go there, we need to get away from Bobby and we need to get there. And there was a busload of people from the ranch that had broken down in I believe San Jose.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Let me back up just for a second. You said that she had stated "We need to get away from Bobby Beausoleil and get there." Is -- what did you mean by that? Or what did she mean by that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She didn't want to be there with Bobby. She wanted to be at the ranch. And, um, she -- I think that's what she meant, you know, like we need to go back to the ranch and get away from all this fighting and everything. That's -- that's what I figured it to be.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because he didn't want to go. He liked being away from him and on his own.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um, so the four of us ended up going to the broken down bus in San Jose to see if they could fix it. They couldn't fix it, so at that point, I left Bobby and hitchhiked down to LA with, um, uh, another woman from the group that was at the bus. I don’t remember her name. And, um, I stayed there. And Catherine also went. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So where are you at right then? You stayed there. You went down -- did you go to the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yes. Yeah. We were at Spahn's ranch then.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. You hitchhiked down there?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What was that experience like?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the other woman and I got picked up by a long-distance diesel truck driver, so, um, it was just the ride you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. All right. So you get down here and you're at the ranch and what do you experience?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At the beginning, it was very, um, welcoming.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: In which way? What attracted you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, other young people.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, I'll be honest with you, 50 years later, it's kind of hard to remember what originally attracted me, but in the beginning, it was people were, um, kind, that we would do embroidery together. It -- the message was, um, getting rid of our inhibition, you know, and then at night we would all gather and smoke marijuana. If there was LSD, we would take it and then Manson would, um, talk to us.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And what did he talk to you about?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Letting go of our parents, turning on the institutions of life that on hindsight create civility. But that it was freeing us to be true human beings.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To let go of all the teachings that, um, to hold onto all of that was to be stuck in your ego. You know, it was all about shedding our own identity. Um, we all shared clothes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He took your clothes, correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And if you wore something too much, then someone else would hurry up and take it so you never had anything specific to identify with or call your own. So I was all about deconstructing who we were as human beings. And also, looking back at times when I would think, uh, that didn’t make much sense, the agenda was that no sense made sense, so if I questioned something, I was thinking too much and I was holding onto my past.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Can you think -- can you think of a particular situation where you asked that question and was told you were thinking too much?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did you see some violence? Did you see somebody --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Later. In -- in the beginning, it wasn't, um, overtly violent.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did you see any kind of domestic violence where -- where men are pushing themselves on -- on women?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That was sort of the norm of the sex that you were -- you know, women were vessels to serve men.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And that, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: When did you see that? After having arrived to the ranch, how soon before you saw that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Very -- I mean, right away. That was sort of the same thing with Bobby. You know, I think that that was just what it was, but at the ranch, there were guys there, so --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: With Bobby, it was just Bobby. I didn't think highly of myself, so I didn't, you know, sexually surrendering myself was not as devastating as it would be had I thought much of myself.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Were you -- were you feeling anything at that time? You said you -- you felt welcomed in this particular environment. You're saying that you -- you're -- you're told to empty yourself, cut your ties with the people that raised you, your family, your beliefs. Uh, you talk about after the abortion that being, I think in past hearings, being numb in a lot of respects. Are you feeling anything when you're being taken (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At that point in my life, I wanted to fit in and I wanted to belong to something.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And that was -- I was incredibly needy and I was -- I was a broken person that really went there and, um, looked for a place to belong.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So when they're taking these past identities that you’ve had and told you to cut the ties there, what are they replacing that with?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: An open hole and a reflection of Manson. That was the goal.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So the homage towards Manson was -- was, uh, talked about or, uh, encouraged?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, with all of us. When we would sit together, it was always to try to stay on, um, his agenda.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And what was it to be on his agenda?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What -- what kind of things did you view as pleasing to be on his agenda and be accepted?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To work at only being one thought, one mind. If someone came up and started moving their hands in a certain way that you -- you know, I would try to reflect it, that we were working to be, um, he had a song about fingers on a hand, that it was to try to dissolve our individuality and become a central whole, one -- one mind, one --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And -- and in that mind is whatever he wants you to reflect?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And at first, it was conversations of love and, you know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then you started seeing some things that weren't (inaudible), is that true?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, in the winter of, um --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In the winter months, some of us were up at the desert.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And he had gone down to the city and when he came back up to the desert he said that things had been changing. I -- I want to say there was a moment that I feel was, uh, pivotal.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And this was when -- well, I can't remember now where it was, but there were a group of us and he said to us "Baa like sheep" and we all did. And, um, you know, I think that's when he realized that we were pretty much bought into him and, um, and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I didn't willingly do this. I did this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. You made the choices.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I -- I think that that was one of the, um, key points. And then some of us were at the desert and he came up and said things had changed and he had kind of sealed who was coming and going for -- in the beginning when I got there, there were people that -- it was open like I -- I went, you know and so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Then all of a sudden you couldn't leave.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Once -- once things had changed.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mine was more mental. I -- I had, um, told him at one point, this was probably in the fall of 68 that I wanted to go, that -- that I was exhausted, you know, I just -- and he said -- he took me on this dune buggy ride and told me to jump off because to leave him was to die. And I had been around him enough that that meant something to me at the time. And then, um, I'm kind of jumping ahead, but right before in July of, uh, I -- I would say July, um, when -- when we came back from the desert and had been preparing for the revolution, um, Manson had bikers coming in, hanging around and, um, I was attracted to one of them and we went up into the hills one night and --




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um, when we came down, um, Manson was beside himself with anger and threw Sammy off the ranch and had talked to Tex and said "We're losing this one." You know, like keep an eye on her, that kind of thing. And then Sammy and some of the other bikers came to get me and I -- I felt like my feet were in cement. By then, I was so convinced that I needed to stay. That -- it -- it was mental. It was mental and emotional that I couldn’t go.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So he drove up there with a few other people in a vehicle to pick you up. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. To the ranch, yeah. Just in case there was problems with getting me in the car.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You're already experiencing some kind of drama within yourself to where you're discussing with him and he takes you out there on a dune buggy ride and says to jump off and kill yourself because without me you're basically nothing.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He's defining who you are and you're cooperating with him. But you -- you felt this attraction to this guy and he comes up there to get you, say "Hey, let's get out of here now" and you tell him no?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was ensnared in Manson's reality. I felt that if I left that when the revolution came, bad, bad things would happen to me. That's what I had been told. It was -- it was fear.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Did who? Manson?


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He would -- he would, um, threaten us with what was to come and that we were obligated to see through what he knew had to happen. It was -- it was all fear-based after, um, he came up to the desert in the -- in the winter time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So he's -- he's telling you what is to come and it's -- it's really outrageous, I -- I would imagine.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mayhem, war, and because it was going to be a race war that whites would be treated the way we had treated slaves. You know, he would detail out the way life was going to be if we left him. And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How would he detail that out to you? What would he say to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That we would be caught and tortured and, you know, the images of what happened in the south.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, if we left him.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, you're right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How far away are you from the next house out there at that ranch? Or the next town?


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Commissioner, uh, I hate to interrupt, but can you clarify which ranch because there was Barker Ranch, Spahn Ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That -- that's true. Uh, you know, and that's her story to tell. I'm thinking Spahn right now.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm thinking Spahn too.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate the question.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we had to go down a road to get to a main road and I think there were houses around there, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So is it miles away from the next town?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't think so. It's been a long time, but no. Chatsworth -- I'm pretty sure Chatsworth was pretty close.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you're seeing less and less people come through and the bikers that came. Did he hang out with bikers a lot?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did Manson hang out with bikers a lot?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He seemed to want them there as part of his army, but I think the bikers were just there because it was an easy place to hang out.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't think that in hindsight they were that moved by him.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was easy girls and a place to park their bikes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you're talking about the psychological effect of that relationship. Was he every physically violent with you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: On -- only once.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we were in the desert. Um, it was after the murders and he slapped me.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I wasn't, um, aware enough of him. I was -- I was just standing there and he walked up. I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And he hit you. He ever force himself on you sexually?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. But my first meeting with him, um, I'm -- he gave us some kind of a drug and I'm not sure what it was. It wasn't one that I identified with in the past. And he sodomized me, you know, when I was half in and half out, but I was there willingly.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believe my value to him was, um, Robert Beausoleil.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Your connection with him. And -- and why is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He always wanted, um, Bobby around and Bobby was always leaving, so he wanted me there so when Bobby came that I could try to get him to stay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What -- what attracted him to Bobby?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don’t know. I, um, discussed it in the last hearing. I -- you know, Bobby was a good musician. Manson wanted to do something with his music and, um, the rest is speculation as far as an attraction goes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So your, uh, your criminal history, you got a few grand theft autos, insufficient evidence, grand theft auto, no disposition, burglary rejected by the DA, grand theft auto. Are you taking -- are you taking cars or are you riding along with other people that are taking cars? What's going on?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm, um, a couple of those were us -- like one of them was us at the ranch and, um, there were, um, dune buggies up there.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One time I was riding in, uh, kind of recycled milk truck and it was stolen. Um, but I did -- I did go with, um, Watson when he went to steal a dune buggy. I -- I didn't know how to hotwire, but I was -- I was there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. Okay. And, uh, and then I don't see any mention of violence prior to the life crimes. So I want you to walk us into the life crime and tell us -- life crimes. Tell us what happens and, uh, you’ve already talked about to a certain degree the assimilation into this cult, into this gang. Um, and I'm -- I'm wondering where are the - - the tipping points for you where you -- you start to think "Hey, I'm getting worn out here. I -- I don't want to be around here" and he keeps you closer and you cooperate with that and you go along with it. There has to be a point to where they're discussing what they're getting ready to do and the crimes they're getting ready to perpetrate and, uh, so as you talk about the life crimes, I, uh, would like you to talk about that. Um, it may have happened quickly, but my guess is it happened over a period of time because there was conversations. You're talking about violence and race wars and things like that. You're talking about killing people. You're talking about treating people into (inaudible). You're being treated, uh, in a way that, uh, that you feel very controlled. Uh, so as you talk about the life crimes, I'd like to know what's going through your mind as it -- as you progress. So I'll ask you questions, uh, but go ahead and -- and start anywhere you want to start and tell us about the life crimes.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. Um, in -- in the winter when we came back to Los Angeles after Manson had said that things had changed and there was going to be a revolution and we needed to prepare for it, I don’t know if he said it that succinctly, but that was the idea. We, um, came back to LA and stayed at a place called Gresham. It was a house in a neighborhood. Um, by this time, I'm committed. You know, the -- the wanting to leave and the dune buggy ride is long gone and I'm part of all the discussion as what I assumed everybody else was because there were probably about 12 of us. And, um, at Gresham, we would listen to the white album -- the Beatles white album over and over and then there was that whole thing of, uh, trying to play it backwards and we all felt that, um, they were trying to give, um, Manson messages and he would have me read him the book of Revelations and when we would leave the house, we would leave two at a time so that the neighbors wouldn’t know that there were so many people living in the house. And then somehow we were able to go back to the ranch and so we left Gresham.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Spahn. So we left Gresham and we went back to the ranch and, um, the -- the whole thing was preparing for the revolution, like he got -- someone got ahold of, um, the -- a walkie-talkie system and we hooked that up from the, um, front of the Spahn ranch movie set and had the wires running through to the back house and he would do drills.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What did the drills look like?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, that the back farmhouse would be told that something was going on and then they would time how quickly we could pack everything up and hide in the little woods there so that it wouldn't look like anyone lived in the back house. It was all geared toward learning to live in fear and he would say things in our evening meals and all of that.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, what would happen to human beings and their losing eyes, limbs.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Happen to human beings because of the revolution? Because of --



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, he said that we had to, um, get our minds to a place where when we saw horror we would not freeze. That the human mind can freeze when it sees terrible things.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: When does he start talking about the fact that you're going to do that kind of horror?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, probably after a few months he started that discussion of we're all one. I mean, he'd been talking about us becoming one, but in order words, if you kill me, you're killing yourself, we're all open vessels, that we're just, um, I don't remember his exact words, but that to -- for me to be killed is you are killing yourself and all of that started. And then he began saying, um, and at that point, when things were being discussed that I was battling in my head, I would think that I was still holding on, that, you know, what -- all the red flags that would be coming up I read with criticism, that I wasn't devoted enough and, you know, I -- I still -- I still want to be, um, very involved. You know, I -- I want to belong to this group, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And how often -- when you say the red flags, what were those red flags to you at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, questioning whether I would be able to kill someone.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So he's already got that going -- that conversation going with you and you're questioning that within yourself?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he had us all do that. He -- he would have us all and everyone -- everyone was listening, you know, because in those groups, no one would ever disrupt it, like there were times before it got like too violent, like when I said he wasn't that violent toward me, he was toward others. You know, I watched him beat people up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. Somebody that would question him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, Mary Bruner got beat up a lot. She was older and the mother of her -- his child and she questioned him. This would be like in the early fall and -- and, um --



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Yeah, but what - - what did the beating look like?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, black eyes, bruising.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, different people, different times.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How often did he get violent?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As time went on, more and more.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. What does that mean? Once a year? Once every six months? Once a week? Once a day?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, more like once a week and then, um, as time went on, it was every -- I -- I was walking on eggshells, just -- just the idea of it was more and more. But what -- the point I was going to make was that when we were in our group circles, like this one woman, um, stood up. Her name was Bo. We had to commit that we wouldn't stand or leave the room when we took the LSD, and she stood up and I think he -- I think it was her or it might have been Diane, but anyway, broke a chair. You know, like just thumped her for disrupting. So back to him talking about us asking ourselves if we could kill, if we knew we were all one, you know, everyone listened. We all listened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And that was how long before the life crimes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's hard for me to measure.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But I'm gonna say roughly about a month.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Like -- like it was a progression of preparing for the war, starting to do things to, uh, live in a state of fear and then moving it to we're maybe gonna have to start the -- no, can you kill and then the -- we are going to have to start it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Does anybody leave at any portion of this process? Anybody on the ranch escape?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I believe Paul Watkins and I believe, um, a woman we called Ella, who I have no idea what her true name is.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They were just gone, like in the middle of the night just gone.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you really don't know what happened, whether they ran away or whether they -- is there a possibility they were killed -- somebody was killed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I know Paul Watson wasn't. You know, and I -- I just assumed Ella took off.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So you said earlier, you said I -- I was bought in at that time. And you're talking about killing people. That's going through your mind and that's not phasing you. It's not phasing you to want to do something different. Is that true?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: In fact, it sounds like when you say you're bought in, you want to be a part of that group.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. If it -- if it had to happen, then I wanted to be part of it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And you think it has to happen because -- because Charlie said?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So how does it progress from there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So one evening, um, I was with, uh, Krenwinkel in this little shack taking care of the children and Manson came and called Pat out and then I saw her the next morning and she said that Helter Skelter had started, which meant people had been killed. She said it seemed wrong that the people were young and a woman was pregnant.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right there, how do you feel right then when she says that a young woman was pregnant and killed? How do you feel right then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt like I didn't know what was going on, why they would have been the ones, but I did not feel like I needed to go to the police and report it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: It -- it seemed like -- it said in the record that you stated you felt left out.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That -- I thought you meant right the second I heard.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Yeah, I did. I did. I -- and I'm asking you the subsequent question that --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- at some point in close proximity to that news, you felt left out, that you wanted to be a part of that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Earlier on, Manson had told me to stay close to Krenwinkel. She had been with him a long time. That, um, I was to stay close to her and help her and all of that. And when I knew that Pat had crossed over the line to her commitment to the revolution, I wanted to too. I wanted to go.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Is that what you're saying?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In my head, it was more abstracted.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, my -- in my head, it was more like make the revolution start.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And from the way we were told, it was going to be every night, you know, that everyone would ultimately commit and, um, I looked at it more like that than I want to go kill. I -- it was more like I want to support the revolution. I -- I was not able to be that true with myself at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you knew -- you knew they were dying.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: People were gonna die. I knew that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: People died the night before.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You read on the news probably or through your friends after --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I saw it on the news, yes. But at that point, what I was seeing was that the revolution had started.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Not the innocent people who were killed.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I wasn't -- I wasn't humane enough to know that at that time. I wasn't connected to life enough to know that at that time. And the true meaning of what had happened. And I'm ashamed to say that. That's who I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, that's why I'm asking you about what you thoughts were at that time. It's extremely ugly. It will always be ugly.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That's what we're talking about.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you realize what happened, you realize what you're gonna be asked to do if you want to be a part of that. You say "Hey, I -- I feel left" -- had the feeling that you felt let out -- left out. You weren’t part of that. What's -- what's driving that? You think it's the revolution. Was the revolution supposed to have come? In your mind.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That the, um, repression of the blacks would be overturned and the power would leave the whites and go to the black people in a kind of karma way as -- that’s how it was presented.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: At the same time (inaudible) with a wallet, stories --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, that was the purpose.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Did you know that right then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, about the wallet?





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You wanted to be a part of this and you're understanding that this is going to happen every night and you didn't know why a pregnant woman -- a young pregnant woman and a host of other young people had been killed. That was a part of the revolution and it needed to happen is what I hear you saying and you're -- you're okay with that. Is there any other thing driving you right then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, wanting to be recognized by Manson as completely devoted to him.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At some point in the day, he asks me am I crazy enough to believe in him and I answered yes. And I'm -- I'm not sure if the next thing was -- anyway, bottom line was that evening I was told to go and get a change of clothes and get into, um, that we were going to go out and I got in the car with, um -- do you want me to name everybody or --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: With, um, Manson, Linda Kasabian, Steve Grokin (phonetic), Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, Pat Krenwinkel, and I. We got in the vehicle and, um, Linda Kasabian was driving and Manson was telling her various places to turn and go and this went on for I think hours. And he stopped at one place and went to the windows and saw pictures of children and came back and said we're not going there. We went by a church. He wanted to, um, maybe kill a minister, hang him upside down. Whether he really wanted to or not, you know, I'm -- I'm just saying what he said.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. When he'd come back to the car. Finally, we stopped at a house and he and Tex went in and he came out and he told Pat and I to go into the house and do what Tex says. Pat and I go into the house and we see Mr. and Ms. LaBianca on the sofa. They're --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are they tied up at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I believe so. Yes. I believe so. I believe they tied them up. Tex told Pat and I to go into the kitchen and get knives.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How -- how are the LaBianca's behaving right then? You walk in, you see them --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They're -- they're very afraid. They're saying, you know, what's going on? Um, I can't directly quote, but basically they're pleading for us to leave and what are you doing? What are you doing? That's how I remember it in my looking back.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are they pleading -- are they pleading for their lives at that point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, not at that point. Mainly -- mainly to have us leave. And I think they're beginning to realize that something horrible is going to happen. There's desperation.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are their heads covered at all?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, they both ended up with pillowcases.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But at the time when you first see them, do -- were their heads covered?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I don't think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did you -- did you see their eyes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's the problem. I can't remember Ms. LaBianca's eyes. And it seems like that's something I would never forget. But it said that I'm the one that put the pillowcase on her head, so I'm not contesting it, I just --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are you high at the time or no?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So Pat and I take Ms. LaBianca into the bedroom and I secure the pillowcase with the lamp cord. She's half sitting with her legs stretched out on the bed, starting to really demand to know what's going on.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Has Tex already told you what to do? Tex Watson at that time, has he told you what to do?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, kill her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you got the knives out of the kitchen?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: In response to what he said to do or before?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we already knew that that's what was going to happen.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, when we went in the house, we knew -- we knew.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- that you were going to kill everybody in the house.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I went to hold Ms. LaBianca down for Pat to stab her. At that point, Ms. LaBianca began to hear, um, Mr. LaBianca dying. And she reared up and started to call out "What are you doing to my husband?" And Pat stabbed her in the collarbone and the knife bent. I ran to the doorway of the bedroom and I called out "We can't kill her" and Tex came in. Pat left the bedroom, went into the living room. I stood in the doorway and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Now when you said "We can't kill her" and you're going to Watson, it's not -- it's -- at this point, it's not, uh, it's not because you're having doubts. You -- you're basically saying you need help.



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah. So Tex went in the bedroom. I stared into a den. Tex turned me around, handed me a knife and said "Do something" because Manson had made a point of saying that he wanted everyone to do something. No one would not do something in the house. I, um, stabbed Ms. LaBianca on the lower torso repeatedly. I felt completely out of control. I felt like an animal. I stopped and I began wiping off fingerprints. Pat was in the living room. I didn't know what she was doing until we left. Tex was taking a shower.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did, uh, Watson already, uh, before you started stabbing Rosemary LaBianca, did, uh, Watson stab her?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She was lying on the floor and, um, I assumed she was already dead, but I don't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: The -- the report indicates they utilized a bayonet.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I didn’t. No, I used, uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: No, that Watson utilized a bayonet.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Uh, he -- he took one in the home, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did he use that to stab Rosemary?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't -- I didn't -- I -- I can't -- I assumed he did.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I mean, I didn't watch, but I'm assuming he did because he had it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you were -- you were facing another direction and then --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- he comes up to you and says okay, you --




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: -- busy stabbing Rosemary LaBianca.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, and handed me the knife. Yeah.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Uh, a kitchen knife.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I just always assumed he used a bayonet.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So he told me to give him my change of clothes and I did and then he said, um, for me to change my clothes and I said that I didn't have anything on me, I didn't need to and he said "Charlie said we're all supposed to change our clothes, so change your clothes" and so I went and got some of Ms. LaBianca's clothes.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As we left the house, um, I walked through the living room and I saw that there were writings on the wall. Um, we left through the kitchen and got milk and cheese out of the refrigerator. We went and hid in bushes until the sunlight.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So after you -- after you kill, you go get something to eat and you get clothes. You (inaudible) clothes.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: My guess is you pass or see Mr. LaBianca as well.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, but I didn't look hard. I didn't look solidly. At that point, I was strictly focused to leaving the house. I saw his body, but I did not see what had happened, that I remember.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't remember.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Most of what was done to Mr. LaBianca, um, came later for me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You said you saw writing on the walls. What was the writing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I know that one of them was helter skelter.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think the other -- and this -- I didn’t --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Is helter skelter -- I -- it's been a long time. Is that a part of the white album?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It was a song on the white album that Manson felt was, you know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you saw that written up on the wall with somebody's blood?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In my memory of putting myself in the house, there are some things that will never leave me. I don't remember reading them, but I know because of all the transcripts, all the testimony, and everything else what exactly they said. So I -- I know that one of them, I believe, was death to pigs, one was helter skelter, but that moment, leaving the house, I don’t -- I can't say that that’s as clear to me as, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But before you leave, you start erasing fingerprints.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You're trying to do what you can. What's going through your mind right then when you're trying to erase fingerprints? What are you doing that for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Manson had wanted us to do mutilations to the people that were there and I focused on fingerprints and I was, um, judging myself for not being quite the person that I thought I would be, the soldier, the person that was up for things, so I focused on fingerprints and not leaving any evidence so they wouldn’t know who had done it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Then what happens after that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We hide in bushes until the sun rises and we hitchhike back to Spahn's ranch. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So the driver and Manson in that vehicle had taken off?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When we entered house, they left. And, um, they were to be looking for another place to go that night.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So you're hiding in bushes, you're waiting until the dawn, you hitchhike back to Spahn ranch and then what happens?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I go back to the back farmhouse and Diane Lake is there and, um, I burn evidence and, um, I talked to Diane and she said that I told her that the more I stabbed her the more fun it was.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don’t remember those exact words, but I certainly think it was possible that I would have said something so callous because --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did it get easier for you the more you stabbed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, and it wasn't fun. But we were from and environment where everything was to be fun and Diane had always been presented as the perfect, um, woman. She was like 13 and there was a part of me that wanted to impress her. That's who I had become. And, um, Tex --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Was the 13-year old a part of that whole scene as far as sexualized and being a part of that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, Manson and I -- I have to be honest with you, the significance of her age didn’t even hit me until years later.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That, you know, he was definitely a pedophile among other things -- everything -- everything. And, um, that's been kind of tough to live with too, the -- I didn't get that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you weren't that old yourself.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, yeah. So Tex saw that I had been talking to Diane and he told me don't -- don't talk to anybody about what happened and that was sort of one of my first indicators of why not, you know. I didn't ask him that because questions weren't asked, but the idea that everybody wasn't involved, that was the first indicator that there was something else. And then they took, uh, he arranged for Pat and I to go to a place that was a couple miles away called the fountain of the world and we were isolated from the rest of the people at the ranch.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, after a while, we went, um, you know, I'm telling you the best I can with what I know from when it happened. I just want to say that. Um, we went back up to now Barker ranch after a couple months and we were up there and that's where we were arrested in October.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: After -- after, uh, you'd entered the LaBianca home and killed the LaBianca's and you went back, was there any congratulatory kind of talk and behavior and high fiving kind of stuff? I mean, I know we weren't doing that at that time, but was there any of that kind of behavior? Any of that kind of talk going on amongst, um, the people in that clique?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, we were pretty much removed.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I really don't remember. I -- I remember Tex saying don't talk about it, so I don't remember others at all. It was like it didn't happen.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The way I remember it. The way I remember it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So how are you feeling right then? The day after or a few days after, what's going through your emotion?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't know how to describe it. Not exactly numb, but detached. Detached.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You start taking drugs again or no?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we always had marijuana.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We never didn't have marijuana.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But Manson issued different drugs to different people. Like when they were working on the dune buggies, there was rumors that the guys had a lot of methamphetamine, so, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. And that’s a different discussion. And I know you've talked about this already to a certain degree, but I just want to ask you why do you believe -- why did you do what you did?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: From the very beginning, as weak of a reason that it is, I wanted to belong.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And that need in me became so desperate that I completely surrendered, um, what I considered anything good in the world.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That need overpowered anything that I had in me. And with each step, I just went deeper.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Any similar emotions between the day after, um, the murders and how you felt the day after the abortion?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. In both of them, I beat myself up that I wasn't made of something to not allow either to happen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: When did you start beating yourself up in regards to that? Or is it the LaBianca's?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say that probably two years after I came to the prison, the -- the -- the removal from the group and the warden at the time at this prison, um, worked with my mom at, um, bringing in family photos. They were extremely selective on who I could communicate with.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um, I would begin to -- it's not -- don't get me wrong, it's not like I blacked out, but I would begin to relive that night with a sober mind. And sober from the justifications of Manson, sober with reintegrating into a conventional society.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Sober in really understanding what I had done. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So -- so given that, how did you impact people with those crimes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I ruined numerous lives, but I'll start with the, um, LaBianca family. In the beginning I was particularly aware of Frank Struthers because over time I found that he was the one that entered the home and that's --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- heartbreaking. Over time, I understood that the LaBianca family would never be the same. That there would always be an empty spot and a horror that went with it. Over time, I realized that while I was not part of the first night, I was part of a group that support it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Yet you could have called the police.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And that -- yes, I could have. And that their lives were all ruined and in the beginning when I was younger, I tried to finds ways to not absorb as much of the damage, you know.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Try to find a little bit of this and a little bit of that to not make me quite be as guilty as I truly was. But who I am now and, um, through all the different therapies I've had and I have to say, my family has been very honest with me. You know, I -- for as tough as mom was with the abortion, I think she ended up helping me rehabilitate myself pretty well. Like --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- don't get too involved in your own stuff, Les. You know, you did this. You did this. And -- and it was good to get that from her. And not allow myself to blame others. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did she go with you through the court process?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My family did not come to court.




INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was too, um --


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a circus. I don’t remember her there. She -- she went -- she and my father came to one hearing and then that was it.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So who else did you impact?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the next layer of people would of course be the friends and loved ones that cared about the victims. And then there are those who came and the police that came and discovered it. The people that had to face it and deal with it. On a larger scale, um, the people that lived in the county of LA were fearful, unsure, insecure. As time went on and we weren’t arrested, it grew to where society as a whole became very afraid. You know, it expanded out. Today, people hear the name Manson and are filled with horrible images.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To be connected to the dark side of humanity is a really hard thing.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's tough. Especially as I rehabilitate and find ways to live with what I did. And how -- how do you make amends for something that will never go away, you know.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One of the things that I decided early on was that I would try to live my life where I never deliberately harmed a human being. That if I said something that I would try to say things that would build a person up and all of that. Of course I made that commitment to myself when I was very young and in growing up, a lot of mistakes are made. So I think I probably fell short now and then. I've certainly made bad decisions through my 20s and 30s. But today, I live a life of, um, what I consider, um, service work, but it's very rewarding for me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And the Deputy Commissioner is gonna go through that. I'm not gonna -- I just posed the question and I'll allow him to cover that with you more specifically, okay? Um, looking back on your life, I know it's a hypothetical, but what changes would you make hypothetically? What would you do different?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was asked this last time and I have to say I would not have left Dad's. You know, I would have used my vocation and become part of society. I would not have used that -- the drugs again halfway through school. I would have done what is expected of people who live in this country.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Anything else you would have done different?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I probably wouldn't have rebelled as hard against my mom. And if I would have done all of that and I would have ended up at the ranch, I wish I would have been someone that would have gone to the police, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Anything else you would have done different?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Need a break? Ma'am? Thank you so much. It's 11:20, uh, a.m. I appreciate your all's patience on this. Let's take a break right now. It's 11:20.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: We're back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And the time is approximately 11:32 a.m. All those that were in the room in regards to Inmate Van Houten, uh, Sub 21 parole consideration hearing are back in the room and we're ready to proceed. Uh, before I get going, uh, Mr. Pfeiffer, you had something you wanted to say.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes, I do. Um, I failed to re -- um, state this at the beginning of the hearing. On Page 9 of the risk assessment, um, in the first full paragraph, uh, the clinician refers back to the 2016 risk assessment, which indicated that, um, when Ms. Van Houten was out on bail that, um, she reported having used substances prior to her resentencing while she lived in the community. At the last hearing, that was, um, an error in the transcripts or in the psych report and, um, it was corrected at the hearing and they incorporated that same error in this psych report and I just want to point out that Ms. Van Houten does not agree with that statement.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And that's -- page number again?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Page 9 at the first full paragraph.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. That's noted for the record.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Uh, would there be any other changes that you would want to make to your life? I think that was my last question to that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So if I could redo it all over, I would be a much better daughter to my mom when my dad left. I guess that's the beginning, isn't it? He left. I rebelled. I -- I -- I guess if I could redo it, I would want to be a supportive daughter.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. Because it seemed like you were up until age 14.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, until he left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So obviously you really wanted to do something right then.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Anything else you'd do different in wanting to be a supportive daughter?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Helping her make it work. You know, with the responsibilities she had, not running wild. You know, if I had my life to do all over, I would start there.





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You just would have been a more supportive daughter.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, if I were a more supportive daughter, I wouldn't have smoked marijuana, I wouldn't have gotten pregnant, I wouldn't have done all the things that I did. You know, I would have had goals.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would have made plans for college. You know, I would have done things differently had I stayed in the group I was with before Dad left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Deputy Commissioner, any questions?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Yes, thank you. Just briefly. I’m looking at the, um, governor's reversal of your grant and it's dated January 19th, 2018. On the third page, second paragraph down, and I'll just read it "The murders alone are not the only evidence that Van Houten remains unsuitable for parole. She has long downplayed her role in these murders and in the Manson family. Her minimization of her role continues today. At her 2017 parole hearing, Van Houten claimed full responsibility for her crimes. However, she still shifted blame of her own actions onto Manson to some extent, saying 'I take responsibility for the entire crime. I take responsibility going back to Manson being able to do what he did to all of us. I allowed it.' She later stated 'I accept responsibility that I allowed (Manson) to conduct my life in that way.'" So the question is what do you take responsibility for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I take responsibility -- this is -- I don't -- I don't blame him or anyone else for what I have done. And that was the best -- the best way I can figure to try and explain it was, um, when I was reading a lot of books on relationships, there was one that said that there are people that need to control and there are people that need to be controlled and in that becomes a relationship. I didn’t think up the revolution. It's enmeshed, but I in no way minimize what I did. I went, I participated, I have done what I can to make right on what I did. There is nothing in that night of murder that I don't take the responsibility for or all that came before. I was a willing kid that jumped in that truck with Robert Beausoleil. I sat and listened to Catherine Share. I went to the ranch. I became a participant in the group at the ranch. I wanted to be part of the revolution and the murders that were going to happen to spark it. There's no part of me that says it was his fault that I did all that. I willingly sat and listened. I let myself let go of who I had been and become the whole one thought, one group, one mind. Just like the other people. And I know that they didn't go and I did. That I -- I -- I feel like it's kind of a -- it's an interpretation, I guess, of what's being said. I don't minimize. I feel like if I minimized, I would find easy ways to live with the guilt of what happened because I'm passing the buck onto somebody else so my conscience doesn't have to deal with it. But that's not who I am and it's not what I do with my life. Knowing him has never eased the shame and how -- how I attempt to even make right what happened. So I suppose it's always there to say I'm blaming him. You know, it's the story as it stands on its own. He was convicted for controlling us and we were convicted for doing what we did in the houses. I don't -- I don't let myself off from personal responsibility. I don't -- I don't know how else to answer that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. I think you've answered it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Real quick, um, I did want to put on the record that, you know, it doesn't show over the, uh, microphones, but I do want to note the expression of remorse I saw on your face when you talked about the abortion and when you talked about the murders and the realization of -- of -- of how awful, how horrific it was. Sir.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: So tell us about your character defects at the time. You've mentioned a little bit, but in a few words, what were your character defects that led you to join this group and then commit these murders?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One was I was, um, needy to belong. That would be, to me, the greatest one. That I, um, wanted to please someone. I was male dependent. I was, um, unsure of who I was as a -- I didn’t have a - - I didn’t have a strong character to fall back on and I really wanted to belong to something.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: So low self-esteem is --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I think low self-esteem covers the whole thing.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. When you were talking to the Commissioner regarding the actual -- how you felt right after the murders, you said that you -- you really didn't, you just -- it wasn't humane at the time, you didn't care about the life. Why is that?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: What was in you that you wouldn't care about life of these innocent people?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The, um, the -- that whole I -- I joined in on that whole thing that we were all vessels and, you know, I'm sure that there's a part of me that in hindsight was not capable of really understanding what I had done. I don't mean that like in a legal diminished capacity. I'm talking about denying inside of myself the realness of what had happened that I feel today. Does that -- that -- that I was disengaged.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. Commissioner, I don't have any further questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Let go on to post-conviction.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. Let's talk about what you've been doing -- uh, more or less since your last hearing. Uh, everything else has been part of the record. Uh, you're at a Level 2, 19 level custody level points. You're in general population. You are 69 years old. Your last hearing was September 6th, 2017, which you had grant -- you were granted and it was reversed by the governor. We've already talked about your education. No need to go there. You're currently working as an inmate chairperson, advisory committee chairperson.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. And you're also as -- as well as a tutor?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I volunteer at night for that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Volunteer. Okay. And your work supervisor reports have been above-average and exceptional. Tell us about your, uh, work as a chairperson for the advisory committee. What do you do there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's, uh, more or less being a liaison between the women on the yard and the administration. So in the position that I'm in, there's six other women -- or five other women that go to committee, so we find out things that need to be addressed to help the women inside the prison and the administration make a more peaceful place to live. And so I pretty much troubleshoot all day long.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. You've had other work experiences, but that's part of the record. That's already been covered. Vocational training, you haven’t updated vocational training since your last hearing?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: No. Okay. There was previous things that you've done that's part of the record. I won't go over that. As far as your self help, um, most recently -- again, you've had lots of self-help in the past. That's part of the record. But more recently, you've done the different types of substance abuse, including NA, Smart Recovery. Uh, you've done Victim's Impact/Awareness, Victim Offender Education Group. You facilitated that?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Uh, as well as, uh, Actors' Gang Prison Project.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: You facilitated that. Leadership workshop. Women's Way through the 12 Steps. Uh, Native American spiritual leader. Are you Native -- part Native American?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I'm not, but they invited me and, um, I attend.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. All right. And so tell us how you've dealt with your codependency, your self -- your low self-esteem issue.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I have had -- over the years, I have had a lot of therapy, some, um, one-on-one, some in groups, and in the beginning, the Board was pretty specific that they wanted it to be geared toward dependent personality, so I've, um, watched myself. I know my, um, shortcomings. I pay attention to them and I have a network set up of people that I deal with and I've challenged myself to see where I'm at with things, certainly being the chairperson of the advisory council requires an independent person.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: And what are your shortcomings?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My -- my shortcomings would be to want to please people, to want to not deal with confrontation when it comes up, um, rescue other people instead of letting them learn and grown on their own. Um, certainly in the past it's been having people like me, you know.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Yeah, I see that in your -- the relapse prevention plan that you submitted. You said your shortcoming was trying to please someone like you just said, becoming overly critical of yourself, putting someone else before me, feeling dependent on someone else. Do you still feel that way?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: But you know that could be a trigger?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But I know -- I know that those tendencies, you know, that's why I have people that I talk to. If I -- if an event happens in the morning and I'm still thinking about it in the afternoon, I know that that's something I have to take care of. You know, I -- I really try to keep up on things like that and, um --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. Kind of out of order, but your relapse prevention plan since we're on this topic, so how do you go about that? So if you do feel needy or it's still dwelling on you all day long --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I'll go talk to the person, if it was a, um, a discussion, I'll go talk with them until I'm comfortable with it. Um, I have a couple of friends in here that I feel good about that I'll go run it by them that will give me a clear picture of what's going on. I might talk to my supervisor if it's something that has to do with work. You know, I use the tools that I have available to me.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Have you had intimate relationships while incarcerated?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: No? Okay. Because that -- that was something you mentioned on your insight statement here.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: No, no, not that you did. That -- that these are the steps you would follow whether it's an intimate relationship or a casual relationship.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, I thought you meant -- well, I've written guys and stuff like that over the years, you know. Which I stopped.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. Tell us how you've, uh, dealt with -- well -- well, strike that. When was the last time you used any substances, alcohol, drugs, or something that wasn't prescribed to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, on, um, in, uh, I believe it was 76.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. And why was that the last time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I got in trouble for it and I made my mind up I needed to quit and then as time went on, I, um, realized that my sobriety is part of my recompense for having been involved in drugs that led to the crime.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: This was in the county jail?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Uh, no, here.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: But you weren't written up for it.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. And that takes us to your, uh, disciplinaries. You -- you don't have any since you've been here. Well, you had one counseling in 81 for unauthorized communications. But tell me, as far as your -- your -- the drug abuse that you had, so you stopped in 76. How have you kept yourself from continuing to use or having cravings to use?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I, um, was told by the Board a long time ago to AA/NA and I started that. Um, I had my dad at the time, who's a member of AA. I, um, didn't put myself around people that used. Um, I practice the 12 Steps and now I've been sober and comfortable sober. I like my lifestyle, so --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Do you ever get cravings?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not really, but I know they could come up. I -- I -- I really, um, I'm going to be trained on the new, um, approach to addiction through the Smart Program and I'm looking forward to that. I feel like it's just part of my life to have, uh, addiction therapy or whatever you want to call it. I -- I will never feel like I've got it beat. You know, I think that’s one of the tricks to relapse, to think you don't have to worry about it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Do you think you can be, uh, codependent again?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no. Because I have a similar setup to make sure that I have that going. I have -- I have tools and people to make sure that I don’t lose myself along the way with whatever I do.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Have you done anything against the rules that you haven't been caught for?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: All the years? Um, if I did, I was young and it's not coming to me, but I really do try to follow the rules.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: So nothing within the last 10 years, 20 years.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not that I would say, no.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: How did you feel when you heard, uh, Charles Manson died?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Relieved. Relieved.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: That was your first --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, I -- I -- I --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: How did you hear about it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I had, um, I think a friend told me they had heard it on the news. I'm not sure if I head it on the news or not. You know, years ago, I developed an indifference to him because I felt if I hated him he still was part of my world and, um, every time his name was brought up, you know, he was so disrespectful of anything that had happened and relished the negative attention that I was -- I was very relieved that he died. That he's gone.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Tell me about -- I looked at your visitation history.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: You got a lot of people visiting you. Yeah, your brother. But you have a lot of friends.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Who -- who are all these people? Lawrence O'Reilly.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Lawrence, he visits me. He was more of a clinician. He visits me about every year, sometimes twice a year.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She -- I met her when I was working on my Bachelor's degree back in the 80s. Half of the people were students and the other half were inmates and I met her then and we stayed friends.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: So is there any codependency with any of these people?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. All right. And you -- just to mention, you do have lot of laudatory chronos. I'm not gonna go all -- over them all. But commending you for -- for a lot of different things and your participation in work and suicide outreach prevention community, women's advisory council as well as being a tutor and education helper. So let's talk about your parole plans. We do have a lot of letters, which again is part of the record, so I'm not gonna go over them just based on time, but we do have a letter from A New Way of Life. Is that your intention to go to that transitional house?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I want to go to a placed called Roxy Rose.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But that letter didn’t get here.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Can I say something?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: We were trying to get a letter from, uh, the facilitator of Roxy Rose and last night I found out that, um, uh, the lady who runs the place, um, had a medical, uh, procedure done and she didn't get a letter done. She said to use her past letters, they're still good.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. And where is this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This is in, um, San Bernardino.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: And how long do you intend on staying there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, as long as I, um, number one would be required to and -- and I -- until I would feel comfortable leaving.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I -- I'm thinking close to a year.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Okay. And what's your plan thereafter?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I would probably live with one of my friends. I think that will kind of reveal itself, which is why I'd like to stay a year at Roxy Rose.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Any friends particularly in mind?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Uh, Constance. Constance Turner has offered. Um, a woman named Linda Nochiolo (phonetic) has offered. Both of my brothers have offered. You know, I think that I need to be out to see which is the healthiest place and also which is a place that actually would, um, work.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: yeah, and we do have letters from all of these people. What kind of difficulties do you think you're gonna face?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, in the beginning, I think that I will face, um, the -- the problem of, um, my notoriety. I think that will be a problem in the beginning.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, going into a world that didn't exist in 1970. Um, I sort of see problems as just challenges to figure out what's best. You know, I -- I, um, I picture being able to, um, write grants. That's what I would like to do for rehabilitative programs. And, um --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Is that how you're planning on supporting yourself?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm hoping. You know, I don't think I'll make enough. I'll always live with other people. I will never, at my age, make enough money to live in a home. That's what people start with in their 20s and 30s. I will always live with a friend, so it will be lower rent, that kind of thing. And, um, depending on how, um, the notoriety goes, I really would like to work with education and I know that the Chaffey Community College support me and I have training and really my expertise is tutoring. I've had lots and lots of training on how to be a mentor and a tutor and I know that the community college program is changing where they're going to want more people to work with students in, um, challenged environments to gain their education and that's something that's very important to me. I think that it leads to independence both for women that are in bad relationships and for people who don't have the upbringing that I had. It's a -- it's a way to -- it's a pathway to a whole different life.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: What is it that you tutor?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mainly English.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: And that's what your -- your degree is in?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Tell us about your relapse prevention plan.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, when I go -- if I go to Roxy Rose, I'll be able to, um, go to -- I think that when you're on parole you go to AA and NA programs. My hope will be that I'll find a home group. I like the home groups that are smaller and I'll meet someone and have a sponsor strictly that deals with me with that. I -- I don’t want people that don’t know what it is to, you know, not understand. My friends understand that I'm gonna need to have that. And, um, I have, uh, a good spiritual advisor here. I've been rekindling my, uh, relationship with my church from when I was a young girl. They've been supportive of me. So I'll put together those that I need in my life. I'll have, um, therapy hopefully, one-on-one therapy. I -- I feel -- well, I've had a lifetime of it. I'm -- I appreciate what I learn about myself and talking things out. We have it here now. I don’t know. I don’t think it's indicated that you don’t have to be on CCCMS and also be able to have three one-on-one therapy groups. So that's, uh, unique I think to CIW and I take advantage of that, so I'll do the same thing. I'll --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: So do you have a sponsor already lined up or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I did, but she lives in, um, the -- Central California, so I'll -- I can -- I can talk to her and use her, but I would want someone that I would have close by that we could have lunch together and, um, talk that would be able to read me, not long distance.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Anything else you want to tell us about your parole plans?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I want to, um, spend time with my family.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: All right. Thank you, Commissioner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, sir. All right, I'm gonna take you through the Comprehensive Risk Assessment, Ms. Van Houten. It was done by, uh, Dr. Athans on 11/01/2018. She takes you through, uh, the time that, uh, you were young, in your early adult life and she covers that and we've gone over that, so I'm not gonna cover that again. Goes through the juvenile record as well as your life crime. Uh, then on Page, uh, 7 of the Comprehensive Risk Assessment she talks about it was done -- one done by Dr. Kropf in 2016 and felt that you were a low risk for violence. Also in 2007, uh, Dr. Kropf felt that you were a low risk for violence if returned to the free community. Dr. Larmer in 2013, uh, I think in 2010 opined that Ms. Van Houten appeared to have maintained the gains she's made since the last evaluation. There was a Dr. Carrera in 2010 that said that, uh, you -- you had a low risk, uh, of violence if returned to the free community and found -- also gave you a diagnosis as far as polysubstance abuse or substance dependence. When Dr. Athans talks with you, he, uh, he states that your grooming and hygiene were within normal limits. That your clothing was clean. You were aware of person, place, time, and purpose of the evaluation. You maintained appropriate eye contact and we saw -- we saw that here today. You were cooperative throughout the evaluation. You were pleasant and well-spoken. You seemed invested in the interview process. You appeared to be making an effort to be forthcoming with information and took time to provide thoughtful responses. Your thoughts were logical, coherent, goal-directed, and linear. Your long-term memory appeared intact. You had an average mood is what, uh, she said. Then she goes over substance abuse history. We already talked about that. And then under major, uh, mental disorder or personality disorder, uh, she makes the statement that, uh, you made an effort to understand what contributed to the violence she perpetrated at age 19. Institutional adjustments have been gone over by the Deputy Commissioner already and your parole plans as well. The HCR-20, which is a - - a tool that the doctor uses to assess risk for violence, uh, she -- she says that you got a total PCLR score that's below the mean of North American male inmates and below the cutoff or threshold commonly used to identify dissocial or psychopathic personality and in -- in the analysis of clinical factors on Page 12, uh, she basically goes through the life crime and, uh, and we've covered that today. Um, other risk considerations, uh, I do note that, um, I don't see it in the report, but I know that you have a youthful offender date of 04/14/1989, which requires we give great weight to that fact and -- and she does that on Page 15. She talks about that. Uh, she said, uh, she assumed full responsibility for her behavior without externalizing blame. And it says, uh, in the present -- at present, her risk for violent reoffending is in the low range and it does not appear as though age-related concerns will impact her ability to parole successfully. Then she concludes the report by saying that you present a low risk for violence. Uh, and it states that, uh, you've accepted responsibility for your behavior without minimizing your role or externalizing blame and although she recognizes the impact of her emotional functioning on her behavior, she wished to clarify that she alone was responsible for her involvement in the crime. She appears to represent a low risk of violent recidivism. And that's Dr. Athans. You've had a chance to read this probably numerous times prior to the hearing, is that correct?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. What's your thought -- thoughts on this, Van Houten? Do you -- do you agree with it? Do you disagree? Uh, I note that you -- you saw one thing that you disagreed with. Now is an opportunity for you to speak to that if there is anything you want to say.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The -- the report as a whole?


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I thought she did a really good job of, um, making a statement about me. You know, I -- I read it and I thought that, you know, sometimes in psych evals, they'll get a name wrong or something or misinterpret, but when I read it, I felt that she, um, was spot on.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Other than that one that's now coming through different psych evals. She didn't talk to me about that. She just pulled it.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And also she mentioned that I had a 115 or something like that and, you know, that to me is not, um, content.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm more -- I -- I felt in content that she represented me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So you agree with the assessment then?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. She could have ranked you high, moderate, or low. She ranked you a low. Do you agree with that assessment?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Um, yeah, close to, uh, close to 50 years with no 115s. That's quite a statement on your (inaudible). All right. Uh, Deputy Commissioner, any questions before I go into clarifying questions?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: Do you think that you're suitable for parole?



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. All right. District Attorney, any clarifying questions, ma'am?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I have no clarifying questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Counsel, any clarifying questions?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I do have some. Um, you credited your mom with, um, being an important part of your rehabilitation. When were you first able to talk to your mom after the murders? And when did that start?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In the, um, the county jail.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And how did that happen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A lawyer came and brought Mom in because I was using, uh, an alias.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um, and what did she say to you then? And did that start your rehabilitation or did it happen later on?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, it -- I -- it -- it didn't happen until I separated -- I was separated from Manson because I -- I acted terribly during court. I -- I felt bad when I saw Mom, but I wasn't -- I wasn't that quick to start rehabilitating.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Now I know a few days after the murders, there was this big raid on the Spahn ranch. Were you present for those -- that raid?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Were you arrested at that raid?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Do you know what you were arrested for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Grand theft auto, I think. Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, I mean, there was a machine gun at the ranch, wasn't there?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did they find that at the raid?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Do you know if you were going to be charged with that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I didn’t -- I didn’t think about that. I didn't think about what would happen with all the weapons or anything like that.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did they have a lot of weapons at the ranch?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Besides the machine gun, what did they have?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I -- I can't tell you now. Just weapons. I -- I don't really know weapons. I know they had an Uzi and, um, with no ammunition and, um, Danny -- Danny DeCarlo (phonetic) just had a bunch of, uh, weapons that he gathered and I don't -- I don’t know what they are.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Did, um, and what happened after you got arrested?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We went to the jail and within two or three days we were released.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you know there was a confidential informant at the ranch?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, while you were with Manson and -- and the cult, did you ever hear that in, uh, the -- the Tate murders were in any way related, uh, to Terry Melcher or a rejection of Manson's music career?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you ever hear that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not at the ranch, no.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you ever hear of it after the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Eventually when people were theorizing things and trying to find out what happened, but --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. When you were arrested it looks like three times for, uh, auto theft and one time for burglary, how long did you spend in jail?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The three days before arraignment.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: On each one of those?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, yeah. I think so.


INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I never was charged, so however long they hold you, that's --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Were you good for those crimes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: What do you mean by that?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Were you -- in your mind, were you guilty of those, um, arrests -- the -- the crimes that you were charged or -- you're facing at the time of your arrest?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I knew -- I knew what we were doing was wrong, you know, like we stole car -- we stole dune buggies. I knew they were stolen.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And you were doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn’t -- I mean, I was with them. I think we talked about that. I -- I didn’t actually hotwire it, but I was there. And the burglary was a credit card and another woman and I were buying, um, nuts and stuff like that to store in bins for the revolution, so it wasn't like an in-house burglary, but I -- you know.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Do you know why you were never charged?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I assume lack of evidence. That's usually the --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, you were -- you described today that, um, Catherine Share described Manson as a Christ-like figure. When you met Manson, did you view him that way?


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did he portray himself as a Christ-like figure or as Christ?



INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, he didn't come right out, but he would say "My name backwards is son of man", you know, that kind of thing, so he alluded to it as, you know --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you believe he was a God or a God-like figure?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, yeah. Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did that help in you following his directions? Did it have an impact on that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It made me feel obligated to him and who he was.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: No further questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, at this time, we'll move into closing statements. Ms. Lebowitz, if you -- if you would, please, ma'am.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Thank you. The District Attorney's Office submits to this Panel that the inmate is not suitable for parole and requests a finding against suitability. In the case of In Re Lawrence, in rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole, even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. I would like to submit arguments that support this case and also argue that the inmate has shown here that there is a nexus to current dangerousness. Under the Lawrence standard, this is one of those rare cases. This was a history-making, life changing case on several levels. As the inmate discussed in her testimony, it affected not only the people that were immediately connected to the crime, but this affected society. This changed the way neighbors related to neighbors. It changed the entertainment industry. It changed society's belief that they were safe in their own homes. There are thousands of inmates in the California Penal Code -- in the California Penal System at this time. I don't think that we here in this room can name 100 of them. They're all pretty much anonymous convicted felons. But if you ask people on the street to name famous murders, the names come up Charles Manson, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, Bruce Davis, and Bobby Beausoleil. Why? Because they are Manson family members and this crime was not an isolated crime in the LaBianca home. This crime, as the inmate told you, started off as a revolution. Killing in the name of an ideology. Today, we call then terrorists. This was a terrorist organization into which the inmate told you today and from reading prior transcripts she bought into in her own words hook, line, and sinker. Now there was a -- a situation that preceded all of these murders where there was an incident where Charles Manson believed that he had killed a drug dealer that was providing drugs to the family, Bernard Crowe, and as you will read in the -- in the prior transcripts, that sort of precipitated the change in when the revolution was going to start. And what happened after the revolution was going to start? Well, they needed money. They needed money to -- to find, uh, a place, a hole in the desert to survive and so what did they do? They sent people to Gary Hinman's house to try to shake him down for money and when he didn’t have the money and didn't give them the money, they killed him. Then there was the massacre at the Tate residence. Five people and an unborn son were murdered in a blood bath. And it was so significant to this revolution that Manson specifically instructed the people -- the participants on the next day, including the inmate, that it was too bloody, it was too messy, it was -- don't -- don't scare them like they were scared the night before, and that's why he and Tex Watson went in to begin with to see if they could calm then down before the massacre was supposed to hit in the LaBianca home. They trained for months. If you do consider these transcripts that the defense put forward to you and you do consider the testimony of Catherine Share, she talked about the boot camp that was occurring at the ranch, how they were training to prepare for this revolution. And as part of the boot camp, Charles Watson would teach the family members how to put the knife into the body and adjust it so that it would cause immediate death. If you do read the transcript of Catherine Share, she will tell you that it did become more important and that the -- that the -- the, um, I'm trying to think of the word -- that the -- the tone of the family had changed. Now when the massacre at the LaBianca house occurred, as the inmate told you, Manson and Kasabian and Grogan left the house and where did they go? They drove out to the beach and they were looking for more people to kill. Another -- and as the inmate told you, this was not going to happen just one night or two nights. This was going to happen every night. And this was the plan. And so what did they do? They drove out to the beach and Linda Kasabian -- Charles Manson told her "Hey, what about that actor that you know?" And so Linda Kasabian -- they drove to this apartment building where the actor lived and but for the fact that Linda Kasabian deliberately went to the wrong floor there would have been another murder on behalf of the revolution, on behalf of the ideology, on behalf of the terrorist group. But she deliberately did not go to the right apartment and that man thank goodness was not killed. The next murder, the murder of Donald Shea, the murder to cover up what Manson thought he knew because he thought that Donald Shea was a snitch. Now you may think well, these murders didn't have anything to do with the inmate, but the inmate said up to two years after she was convicted, she still bought into this philosophy. And so the act of the whole terrorist organization and all of those acts are imputed to her because this was her belief. This is what she did. This is what she wanted. Now it was a little interesting to me that in her statements to the Panel, she said she -- she appeared to take responsibility, but at the same time, she said -- and let me look at exactly what she said -- she said in -- in terms of the murder, I, meaning the inmate, I looked at it like it was supporting the revolution, not that I was going to kill and to me -- and I would like to argue to you that that is ludicrous. Even though she told you she was detached and that her emotions were detached, she came from a good family. She came from a church-bearing, church going family where she grew up in a religious family where she learned what the rules were. And so for her to tell you that she was detached, I submit that she simply disregarded what the moral ramification of this was. Not that she was detached. And if -- and if that were the case that she didn't really look at it as a killing, that is a minimization of her actions and her responsibility in these crimes. The inmate submitted to you an insight statement and I would like to incorporate all of the arguments that I made during the December 2017 hearing to address those statements in the insight statement because not only are they -- do they, to me, defy logic and reason and common sense, but they also contradict what she said here today to this Panel in this room. And the Deputy Commissioner asked her about taking responsibility for this crime, but by submitting the -- the insight statement, which she did in the last hearing, it's still more of the statements about what I allowed Manson to do to me and that I did this solely to please Manson. So it's very contradictory what her statements here today were and those statements in the insight statement. I would also like to address the inmate's statements to the Deputy Commissioner about her relationships while in prison. And the inmate told the Deputy Commissioner that she didn't have any relationships while in prison, but she wrote to a couple guys. Now that is the understatement of the year because as was discussed in the last hearing and I think maybe the hearing before, she married in prison a man named Bill Cywyn, C-Y-W-Y-N, and Bill Cywyn was a parolee and Bill Cywyn, uh, had in his car a -- a guard uniform and a map of the prison and it was inferred that the inmate was trying to break out. But that -- the -- the -- the charge of escape is not what's important here. The charge of escape is, is that while the causative factor for this crime was her dependence upon men, her poor judgment, her -- her desire to be accepted that she just sort of glossed over the fact that she married a parolee who it would be unlawful to associate with a parolee when she herself is a parolee, but who he was, that she didn’t have the judgment to know who he was and that he was causing her harm. So couple that with her relationship with one of the men that she wrote to whose name was Michael Vines, V-I-N-E-S, and Michael Vines was a double murderer in two states. And the inmate had a -- what she called in previous hearings, a fantasy about Mr. Vines, uh, and had communicated with him for just under two decades. And but for the fact that Mr. Vines died she might still be communicating with him. So when she tells the Panel "Yeah, well, I wrote to a couple guys", that shows that she has no insight into the causative factors of this crime and that she is minimizing her dependence upon men, her dependent -- her dependence and her willing -- her desire to be accepted. Now I know Mr. Pfeiffer is going to address some of the exhibits that he presented, so I would just like to address them briefly as well. The answer to the petition for review that my office submitted as a response to one of the habeas, uh, uh, petitions that the inmate filed, Mr. Pfeiffer's purpose in submitting this to you is to show that the District Attorney's Office relied upon the evidnce that Manson controlled everybody in the group and that's pretty much why the inmate did what she did. But if you actually read what -- through what the arguments really were and number one, I would like to just say that the purpose for using certain information in a trial is different than the purpose for using information here in the parole hearing. But if you actually read through what the entry, uh, talks about, everyone that has talked about Manson said A, he was God-like, B, he was Christ like, C, he was loving, B, he was caring when everyone first joined the ranch. Now in this excerpt on Page 7 or in the answer on Page 7, it has a description that Linda Kasabian was told by the others "We never questioned Charlie. We know what he is doing is right." It also talks about the family member Danny DeCarlo testified each co-appellant, meaning of the Manson family defendants at the time, said that "Charlie" -- strike that "Charlie sees all and knows all." Now these people are talking about somebody who they revere. They're not talking about someone who they fear. And at the beginning when they began to -- when they joined the ranch and joined the family, this is what they believed. And so to twist it to say that everybody was under Manson control, it was, but they did it willingly. And it wasn't until the end that the violence started to become an issue. If you do read Catherine Share's testimony in the Franklin hearing, um, testimony, she will corroborate what Barbara Hoyt said, and that is that several people did leave the ranch. That it -- that there was an ability to leave the ranch. The inmate discussed here today a situation where she was with Charles Manson and they were in a dune buggy and Manson said "Well, if you want to leave the revolution, this is what's going to happen to you." In prior hearings, she described it as happening on the top of a cliff and that Manson told her "Well, just jump off the cliff, uh, because you'll get caught in the revolution." So it's a minor detail, but she remembers the situation in a completely different way today than she did in past hearings. May I just have one moment, please?


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Based on Lawrence, it is the People's position that this is one of those rare cases. Just recently before the last hearing in 2017, I drove into a commercial parking lot and I saw a man with a tattoo of Charles Manson up his arm. That is the kind of impact that these crimes had upon society. You don't have people -- random people with tattoos of other random inmates on their arms. As the sentencing judge said, "This case is a special one. It will burn in the public consciousness for a long period of time." These are the types of cases -- cases that Lawrence addresses. This is the type of case here. And if the Panel does not find that this is such a rare case, then the Panel -- I -- I submit to the Panel that they do look at the inmate's insight into the causative factors of this crime and what she said about them here in this room today and deny parole for this inmate. Thank you.


ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Thank you. Um, I'd like to address Ms. Lebowitz's argument first. Um, Lawrence does say indicative that in rare circumstances the aggravated, um, nature of the crime is sufficient to deny parole. But since Lawrence, there's been not one single published opinion that has described a crime that is sufficiently bad to deny parole. I submit that what Charles Manson did might be sufficiently bad enough to be denied parole based on the crime alone, even though he personally didn't kill anybody. It doesn't matter. Without him, none of these murders would have happened. If you're gonna use Ms. Van Houten's crimes to try to get to this level that nobody else has gotten to, you have to look at what she did and what her actions were, not what Charles Manson's were, not what Tex Watson's was, but what Ms. Van Houten actually did. Um, and you have to look at the context of those actions. The pressures that she was put in. You have to give great weight to the youthful offender, which, um, talks about the adolescent brain development and pre-fron -- uh, pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Um, when I did the Franklin hearing, I -- I put on a psychologist who worked with Dr. Steinberg in doing these, um, youthful offender, um, and brain development studies to try to teach the court and the Board, um, what these -- these youthful offender criteria were and how they came about. And at that time, when I would go to parole hearings, the Board would just reiterate -- reiterate the little paragraph that the psychs would put in their report and I didn’t think that the Board understood it. That's changed. I -- I know that the Board is fully aware and educated on the adolescent brain development and how that impacts the decision making. Um, one of the things, um, the youthful offender characteristics are a failure to appreciate consequences. Um, and when you -- when you use that one criteria, you look at Ms. Van Houten, besides the crimes was arrested four other times and then after the raid another time. Never charged. There were no consequences for breaking the law. There were consequences for disobeying Charlie Manson. Um, so society has changed due to this crime. I agree. It ended the whole hippie movement. Charles Manson ended that hippie movement. Leslie Van Houten didn’t. Um, and -- and as Ms. Lebowitz correctly pointed out, it's, um, why was society changing? It was because they were, um, parts of the Manson family members, but nobody in society changed because of, um, one of the lower players in -- in the Manson cult. Um, there were a lot of them. Some of them didn’t go on these crimes, but they were about to the next night as Ms. Van Houten said, they expected to go every night. This was going to be a race war that was going to start up. Um, Ms. Lebowitz, you know, supports her argument with "Well, this guy at this, you know, parking or this supermarket had a Charles Manson tattoo." That's correct. He had Charles Manson. He didn't have Leslie Van Houten on his arm, he had Charles Manson. And that needs to be separated. She is not Charles Manson. She did not even know of the Tate murders until the day after. Um, uh, Ms. Van Houten said she takes responsibility for what, uh, she allowed Manson to do to her. That's true. Um, she's the one who volun -- she told you today, voluntarily went to the ranch, voluntarily followed him, um, wanted to be recognized by him, part of him. Um, there was one point where that was waning and, um, Manson had Tex Watson keep an eye on her, "I'm gonna lose this one." Um, so -- but with those pressures, she voluntarily did it. Were they coerced? To some degree. Um, filed a -- a writ petition challenging the, um, the last governor's reversal and in that, um, in the Superior Court, they -- they denied it. They found that there was some modicum of evidence to support the governor's decision that she casted some blame on Manson. But, um, on Page 14 of that Superior Court opinion, the judge wrote "The governor states petitioner downplayed her role in the murders by shifting blame for her own actions to Manson. Petitioner does -- does appear unable to discuss the commitment offense without imputing some responsibility on Manson, although it's unclear to what degree petitioner is minimizing her role in the commitment offense and what degree is she simply recounting the events as she perceives them." To answer the -- the Panel's questions today, she had to describe what Manson did and her understanding of what Manson did is the reason why she's not a current unreasonable risk to public safety. If she didn't understand that, then somebody else could possibly take her under their control and make her do things that she didn't want to do. But because she understands that, um, that's unlikely. I mean, nothing is impossible, but that's highly unlikely. You heard what she thinks of Manson. She didn't even want to hate him because that would give him too much of herself to him. She just washed herself of him, discredited him and was relieved when he was gone. Um, and -- and again, Ms. Lebowitz says, uh, I -- I agree with her. While under her -- his control, she did willingly follow his direction and do these things. The -- this Page 7 of their -- um, DA's answer to the Supreme Court is an admission that everybody was compliant to Manson's orders. Um, Charlie sees all and knows all. We never questioned Charlie. We know what he's doing is right. This is not just Ms. Van Houten, this is the entire cult. Um, the family's willingness to follow Manson's direction is salient to the People's theory of the case. The establishment and retention of his position as the unquestioned leader, uh, was one of design. This is the DA's argument to the Supreme Court and now they want to say "Well, wait a minute, no, she was willing doing this." But it was under -- Manson had his part in it and it has to get recognized and it's unfair that when Ms. Van Houten's recognizes that control that it be used against her by not taking full responsibility. It's a catch 22. You can't have it both ways. Um, be -- the second trial ended in a hung jury. Five jurors deliberated for 30 days and could not come to the conclusion that Ms. Van Houten intended to kill anybody. After the third trial after Ms. Van Houten was out on bail for six and a half months working in the community with no problems whatsoever, the judge seriously considered probation and then stated that no judge in California has given a first degree murderer probation and he couldn't do it. But he gave her the next lowest sentence, which was seven years to life on two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy. He could have run those consecutive. He didn’t. He ran them concurrently. At that time, Ms. Van Houten had over eight years of credit served already. She was eligible for parole at the time of sentencing. And this was before youthful offender criteria, elderly parole criteria, or the intimate battered partner, uh, was recognized as mitigating factors. Um, if the judge had those and that same judge was here more than 40 years later and sees that she was good in prison -- better than good, she was just extraordinarily exceptional and not in helping herself but others, and I'll get to that, um, I think the -- the judge would be appalled to find out she's still here. Palmer was a -- a case that the, um, recently got depublished a couple of weeks ago by the Supreme Court and it dealt with how do you measure and how do you deal with great weight on these three criteria that Ms. Van Houten qualifies for in all three and although Palmer can't be used, Palmer relied on a case, People v. Martin, which is a 1986 case, 42 Cal 3rd 437, and, uh, what it -- what happened in Martin was the court rejected the view that a trial court will have met its obligation according to the Board's finding of disparity of great weight if the record shows that the court seriously considered the information provided by the Board and attempted to discern whether compared to sentenced imposed by colleagues the sentence was imposed was disparate. Um, instead Martin said great weight, um, is entitled -- must be followed in the absence of substantial evidence of countervailing considerations of sufficient weight to overcome the recommendation. And so it has to be not just any -- some evidence, which is any modicum of evidence which exists in every single parole hearing. I mean, there's always something you can find. Um, you just -- the way, you know, maybe an inmate answered questions to the Board or maybe they hesitated. There's something. You can always find something. But it has to be substantial evidence that to release her today would be, uh, an unreasonable risk to public safety. Um, there was two letters that I wanted to address that are in the file. One of them is from Dawn Murphy and Ms. Murphy was in prison here for a DUI and she says that Ms. Van Houten has not only served as a role model for many other women, but because of, um, her continued love and support, I have turned my entire life around. I have been free from incarceration and addiction for eight years and a productive member of society. There are multiple letters from different people who were former inmates that Ms. Van Houten has influenced by -- and -- and I've talked to these inmates. What they say is Ms. Van Houten says you need to look deep inside to your core and you need to look at what got you here and you need to address that. And then not only that, but then she's leading them by example by following the prison rules, even when it's not easy or fun to do it, even when some of the rules might not be fair, but she's an example, a living example after she gives them the ingredients and it's up to them. She doesn’t force this on anyone because she can't. In Dawn Murphy's case, this, um, this particular former inmate was impacted so much by Ms. Van Houten she has a daughter. Her daughter is Destiny Isaac. She also wrote a letter to the Board and she said, um, and she met Leslie in visiting when she was visiting her mother and she says "Leslie has done nothing but supported me in my education, supported my growth into a respectable young lady. If my mom did not have Leslie as a supporter, I'm sure she would not be out of jail and about to get her Bachelor's degree. If it wasn't for Leslie, I wouldn't be where I am today and I would not have a mom as a role model, a great role model." So not only is Ms. Van Houten impacting the other inmates that she's serving time with, but that spills over into other people and like Destiny Isaac, she's gonna live her life and it's going to spill over and it's going to be a ripple effect of good into the world. I agree that these murders were a ripple effect of bad, but Ms. Van Houten has turned that around. Those murders were 50 years ago. Um, now there's -- for years there's this ripple effect of all the good that Ms. Van Houten has been doing with all of these inmates, staying the course. It's not an easy thing. Um, she felt at the time of the murders she was needy, she was a broken person, she needed to fit in. And when you're young, that's part of the youthful characteristics that had a big impact on all of this. Um, Tex was watching her because Manson didn’t want to lose this one. Manson -- when you look at the Franklin hearing transcripts, um, Catherine Share testified that some people were free to come and go. Catherine Share wasn't. Catherine Share testified that, um, Steven Grogan and Manson got with her and he -- he asked Steve Grogan "Will you do anything for me, brother?" And Steven Grogan says "Yes. What do you want me to do?" He says "If she tries to leave, you're good at hunting people down. I want you to hunt her down. I want you to not kill her. I want you to tie her up and I want you to drag her behind your car slowly back to the ranch. Make sure she doesn't die. Make sure she has to live through that." And then he turned to Catherine Share and asked her "Are you going anywhere?" Some people were not free to leave. Catherine Share testified Leslie was in her position where she was not free to leave. Um, as far as Barbara Hoyt, um, she -- Barbara Hoyt made these statements that "Yeah, I was free to leave at any time." Well, it took her six or seven attempts to leave and then she had to hide out at her grandparents' house so Manson wouldn't come get her. That's how afraid she was. She had to go through, uh, I think it was 24 miles of desert in August with another person who was escaping with her with one canteen of water. It wasn't an easy escape. Um, then there's all of these crimes that all these Manson cult members were doing. There was a confidential informant at the ranch for at least a month before the murders. And when I went to do the Franklin hearing, I -- I chose a clinician who was involved with the adolescent brain development who could instruct the Board. The other person I -- I needed another witness, someone who was part of the cult who could describe what was going on and I -- I talked to several cult members. Every -- and I asked them "How many times were you arrested and never charged?" And I talked to three of them and they were all arrested an average of four times each before the murders. Never charged. After the murders, they did the largest law enforcement raid in California history. They found seven stolen vehicles, a bunch of guns, drugs, and stolen credit cards in Manson's pocket. Everybody was arrested, nobody was charged. I heard that the police deemed that the search warrant, which I have, it's 16 pages long, is no good. It was the best search warrant I've ever seen. I do this for a living. And besides that, Manson was on parole. They didn't need a search warrant. Why are they letting him go? Um, one thing they're doing is they're teaching these cult members it's okay to do criminal actions. And had the police done their job and started making these people face consequences just maybe the cult wouldn't have been there. They had -- and I'm blaming the police. Police science is not exact. They make their best judgment. You can't judge them in hindsight. That's unfair to them. They might let things go to get bigger fish. But when it backfires, don't try to cover it up, and that's what they're doing in this case. Um, an analogy would be we have a -- a doctor who gets a patient and he's got a tumor and the patient comes in a few months later and has some more tumors and there's the next door neighbor has the same tumors and in the small community there's a bunch of people with all these tumors and the doctor chooses not to treat any of them. Next thing you know, there's a lethal epidemic going on in this community because it was never treated in the beginning. That's sort of what happened with the police. The police are there to help people. How many crimes were committed by this cult? Um, and -- and -- and I get it, it was their best guess at the time, but it was part of what enabled Ms. Van Houten and Charles Manson to do what they did in -- in their respective different parts of this crime, which were very different. I mean, Charles Manson was the leader. Everybody -- according to the DA's Office, nobody questioned him. They did what he said. So you -- I just ask that you put all of that into context and to Ms. Van Houten's credit, one of the things she takes responsibility for was allowing him to do that and she went along. She just happened to be one chosen for that night. Not everybody was chosen. Did she go willingly? Yes. Because she was a part of this. She wanted to be a part of this. She thought he was a Christ-like figure, a God-like figure, son of man. And, um, so I ask that you just look at who she is today. I think -- I think everybody can see she's not a current unreasonable risk to public safety. When you look at the good she's done in here, her Master's thesis was on sustained rehabilitation, she's looked into this hard and careful. Um, I just ask you to follow the law and do the right thing and grant her parole. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, sir. All right, Ms. Van Houten, now is your opportunity to address the Panel if you would like to.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Um, first of all, I want to thank you for allowing me to express myself with you and answer the questions that you had. What I want to say is that I present myself the best way I can under these circumstances for who I am today. I hope that it was clear that I don't diminish my responsibilities or regrets and my deep remorse for what happened in 1969 in the LaBianca home. I deeply apologize to those whose lives I had such a deep and painful impact and still do. And, um, this is a process that seems to be part of my life now as well as everyone else's that comes here. And, um, each time I try to let it be known, um, the way that I can articulate what my heart feels, particularly as I age. There's a lot to look back on and be very regretful of. And, um, I hope that you have had a sense of who I am. At the same time, I'm very thankful that the prison system gives me opportunities to do a form of recompense and, um, I don't know what else to say other than thank you and that I am deeply, deeply sorry.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, ma'am. Okay, at this time, um, we're gonna hear from victim's next of kin and if -- if we could, to the gentleman that's going to be speaking and then needs to get out of here because of time constraints, if that person could speak first, so I know that person has the longest period of time possible before he has to leave. Go ahead and introduce yourself, sir, and your relationship again and take your time.

MR. LOUIS SMALDINO: Uh, hello. Um, yeah, I'll try to make this brief. Um, uh, I originally addressed it good morning, but I guess it's this afternoon now. Um, I want to thank you for allowing me, uh, to speak before you, uh, today. Uh, I'm Lou Smaldino, and I'm the oldest nephew of Leno and, uh, Rosemary LaBianca. Uh, this is my 14th or 15th attendance at one of these hearings, uh, regarding, uh, Ms. Van Houten since the year 2000. Um, during these hearings, I've heard, uh, one misstatement or lie or whatever you want to call it after another about her -- her participation in these gruesome murders. Uh, almost always minimizing her role or mis -- uh, misconstruing it. Her claims for spousal abuse. Uh, her claim that Rosemary was dead, uh, when she stabbed her 17 times. I mean, this stuff just goes on. It's like today, you know, we were hearing that, you know, now it's the overpowering influence of, uh, Manson on her. I mean, many people walked away. She didn't. This is -- you know, she knew what she was doing. Um, I can tell you at 19 I was almost ready to get married and, uh, you can say, uh, de minimis mind, but, uh, you know, in retrospect, it was probably the best decision of my life to get married. So, you know, and I grew up very much in the same area that, uh, Ms. Van Houten did, uh, in the San Gabriel Valley there and, uh, uh, I can tell you that the, uh, the culture in that area was happy days. You can go and watch that program on TV even today or on Netflix or wherever you'd go to see it and, uh, that was truly. I mean, we had, uh, Bob's and Gwen's drive-in up on Colorado and, uh, we used to go there for malts and hamburgers and all that kind of stuff and she was off, uh, doing drugs, uh, having abortions, and, you know, involved in, uh, in murder. So I -- I just -- you know, I can't even conceive of these coexisting in -- in the same, uh, community, but they did. Um, so I ask what kind of a person is Ms. Van Houten to abuse the parole process in this manner? Um, I have tried to put myself in her shoes and frankly, uh, it's almost impossible and difficult at best. However, if I had participated and conspired to kill all these innocent young people and even an unborn child, I could never ask for parole because I could never make up for the lives I was responsible for taking, you know, and the impact thereafter. I would consider incarceration as just punishment and serve my time. But that is not what you have here in front of you today. You have someone who things they deserve -- in their twisted mind that they deserve to be set free because they have served some time. Ms. Van Houten was already paroled when she was given a life sentence instead of the death penalty. That's my take on it. The impact, you know, uh, which is really why we're here today, on my family has been enormous. Uh, Leno and Rosemary's, um, five children, uh, are still paralyzed as adults and have sought refuge and anonymity and can't even bring themselves to stand in front of you and confront this person. Uh, I recently visited with Corey, uh, over the holidays and, you know, tried to convince her that she should, you know, at this time -- point in her life, you know, should address this Board and, uh, I mean, as a 60-yearold, uh, she just -- it's just too painful and frightening for her. I mean, she is still scared, uh, for life -- scarred for life as a 60-year-old woman. Um, her grandson, who was supposed to be here today, the To -- Tony, uh, Lemontane (phonetic) that you see on there, uh, I had a nice conversation with him yesterday and asked him "Well, why aren't you coming?" And he had one word for it. He says "I'm -- I -- I feel" -- he's been here two or three times and says "I feel like I'm victimized repeatedly by going to those parole hearings. It's like I have to relive this all over and I'm trying to" -- you know, he's 20, 30 years younger than me, so he's in a point in his life where it's very difficult to -- to deal with that and, you know, pursue their life. I'm an old guy at this point in time so I can come here and, you know, uh, you know, I -- you know, on many prior occasions, I've, uh, I've balled my eyes out in here, but, uh, I think I'm to the point where I can deal with it. I've compartmentalized it enough where, uh, I see it for what it is and, uh, you know, we need to deal with this. Uh, and I know you gentlemen will honestly do the best you can to -- to do what's right by both parties, but I mean, what -- what -- the devastation that wreaked in my family was just, uh, pretty bad. Um, I can't even give a voice to my family as the oldest living kin. My mother was Leno's older sister and my grandmother, Leno's mother, have passed, uh, before you but were never emotionally, uh, the same or psychically the same after these murders. Um, they both lost their joy in living and suffered immensely with the loss until they died. Um, the family's grocery business failed, uh, due to the loss of its CEO and leader. As, uh, business had been business for over 50 years and, uh, Leno was the CEO and, uh, relatively successful, but, you know, it was a family business and with his passing, uh, others tried to step in, but, you know, it's not the same. You know, anybody that's run a business understands that. Uh, so the family suffered a large financial loss, uh, as well. Personally, I'm disgusted with Ms. Van Houten. She feigns remorse, but is really calculating. She wants to beat the system. Her goal is to get released from prison because she thinks she has paid her dues. I am here to let her know and I'll continue to be here to let her know she can never pay in this life what she did to those I love and cherish. You will hear from others, uh, of our relatives in the future. I mean, uh, a couple of the grandkids are already talking about, uh, stepping up if it -- if the case comes to -- to that. Um, Leno and Rosemary were in their mid-40s. Uh, it's just hard to believe that when they -- when we lost them, uh, which means we lost half their lives. They'd be in their 80s today, early 90s. We lost their joy, spontaneity, wisdom, guidance, intelligence, and most of all, their love in our lives. Uh, I would like to drive -- dwell on the crime a bit. This was not a crime of passion or an accident, uh, or revenge or anything like that. This was a cold, deliberate, and premed -- and premeditated acts of murder. Ms. Van Houten's role was no accident or a forced act. She knew what she was -- going to happen that night and was a willing participant. She knew what happened at the Tate murders and was upset that she did not participate. She volunteered for Leno and Rosemary. But what gets lost in all of this is that the whole Manson family are guilty for all the murders because they conspired to start a race war by killing a bunch of people and blaming it on African Americans. This is pure perverse and pure evil. It -- it -- it just boggles my mind that, you know, somebody could even conjure this up and participate in it. Ms. Van Houten is the poster child for what is wrong in society today. People taking a lack of responsibility for their actions. Very narcissistic. This Board should not allow her outside of the prison walls because she sends a strong message that you can murder someone, serve some time, and then go on like nothing ever happened. Unfortunately for her, something did happen. Justice demands accountability. She is no less dangerous today than she -- when she participated in all these murders. As my dad used to say, you don't change spots on a leopard. Are you willing to let her live in your home when, uh, the stresses of everyday life occur and she -- hope she doesn't snap? I sure don’t want her in mine. I don’t want her as my neighbor either. I didn't think so. She is a nightmare waiting to happen. I know that’s pretty strong, but, you know, uh, I know people pretty well and, uh, you don't listen to what people say, you listen to what they do. Okay. Her mindset is a danger to society and I say mindset is a danger to society at large. Keep her safe and keep us safe by keeping her in prison. I believe it is your duty to protect us. You took an oath to do that. Please do so today. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, sir. Ms. Tate, were you going to speak next?



VICTIM REPRESENTATIVE TATE: Can I take one second and ask you for your name again because I can't - - I didn't catch it and I would like to address you?






VICTIM REPRESENTATIVE TATE: Okay. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I -- uh, it's a pleasure to be in this parole room and have the opportunity to speak my peace as well as the peace of other LaBianca murders. You see, we are kin. As, uh, Mr. Smaldino stated, these people are all tentacles on the same octopus. Uh, it was stated in this room that there was a lot of mention of Charlie. Well, Charlie couldn't have implemented these crimes upon our family members and/or society without these particular individuals. I happen to believe that he had a great talent shared with another man in history called Adolf Hitler. They had the ability to spot and unify sociopaths. Commissioner, you yourself said that she had a -- a concerned and remorseful look in her eye when she made the correlation, which by the way I observed you having to go fish for, between the abortion and the killings of these strange to her, uh, people that had never offended her in any way. Strangers, not strange. I should say strangers to her and -- and took their lives in the way that she did. And she was perfectly on board with it and everything that I say, I have read every word for the last 50 years in every parole hearing as well as court transcripts written and then notes taken that were not used, so I have a pretty good take on things. That statement alone shows her narcissistic personality, which in itself may not necessarily be a sign of danger. But in order to be a sociopath, you have to be a narcissist. In order to be a psychopath, you have to be a sociopath. And all of these factors and the testimony today attest to that. And yes, it is extremely damaging to all of us, the victims' families, those that are in this room with me today to hear what you gentlemen in the course of this particular conversation and Mr. Pfeiffer's, um, uh, additives and takes on things, um, as well as things that have gone on in other hearing rooms before us. We collectively would like you to consider -- I know that you have to step within the confines of, as Mr. Pfeiffer said, the new laws. Well, he's even asking you to consider new laws that have not even yet been heard, which I'm quite sure you're very -- both very astute men, uh, realize that. But what we would like you to consider is what is the right thing to do here? What is the right thing to do by society in general as well as the very large pool of -- of survivors of the first wave? First wave being our -- our dead loved ones. Not only for ourselves but the entire victims' communities. I -- it boggles my mind that this could be okay. In the world I was raised in, none of this could okay. And I -- I just -- I have to question -- I wish somebody would give me something that could let me wrap my mind around how and in what world this is okay. We can take a small group -- even if it's a large group of five million people and pull them and say at 24 years old your brain is not hatched and you don't know the difference between right or wrong. Well, guess what? I think you and you and myself and most of us in this room knew the difference between right and wrong a lot earlier. What I heard today is Ms. Van Houten's unwillingness to abide by the rules of right and wrong, not only the ones that her parents put before her, but what society put before her and even above that, what God had -- requires all of us to do in this - - in any society. Those are the laws in which most of humanity abide and I'm sorry, I don't see any evidence of that today. I really wish I could because I'm a very fair person, but I just don't get it. And I'm asking you both -- both Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, please make sense of this for -- for us. Us being the rest of the world. But us in particular being the survivors of -- of this nightmare. Please. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, ma'am. Okay. Anymore, uh, anymore discussion? Okay. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: My cousin said it all.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. We're gonna take a break at this time for deliberation. Thank you.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: We're back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, the date is January 30th, 2019 and the time is approximately 2:30 p.m. All the parties that were present have returned for pronouncement of the Panel's decision. Inmate, uh, was received CDCR 08/17/1978 from Los Angeles County. The controlling offense of murder first, two counts conspiracy, PC 187 two counts conspiracy noted on both counts. Case number is A253156. She has a minimum eligible parole date of 08/17/1978. The sentence is seven years to life. And the victims are Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. According to the California Supreme Court in making a parole eligibility decision, this Panel must not act arbitrarily or capriciously, and must consider all relative and information available. In this case, the Panel reviewed the Central File, the FAD risk assessment, additional documents submitted to the Panel, and all written responses received from the public. The Panel also considered the statements of District Attorney Lebowitz, Counsel for Inmate, Pfeiffer, and the testimony of you, Ms. Van Houten. Uh, we also looked at, uh, the testimony -- or the comments of the victims' next of kin and noted the, uh, numerous signatures that have been, uh, supplied, thousands in, uh, as far as petition signatures and, uh, the comments. The confidential portion of the Central File was reviewed and the Panel did not consider the information related in nexus to current dangerous. The fundamental consideration in making a parole eligibility decision is the potential threat to public safety upon inmate's release. A denial must be based on evidence of Inmate Van Houten's current dangerousness. Having these legal standards in mind, the Panel finds that Inmate Van Houten does not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety and is suitable for parole. Now the record reflects, um, that you're a youthful offender and we took that into consideration. Um, you qualified and you had a YPED date of 04/14/1989. Part of the brain involved in behavior control continue to mature through late adolescence. Adolescent brains are not yet fully mature in regions and systems related to higher order functions, such as impulse control, planning ahead, and risk avoidance. Van Houten demonstrated this immature thinking as indicated by impulsivity, uh, not planning ahead, risk avoidance, leaving home, uh, doing drugs, uh, and then hanging out with people that you just came to meet along the way in a very, uh, dangerous way and a -- and a very impulsive way. Uh, brain science research has shown that when youth are subjected to negative, abusive, or neglectful environments, the brain's mental and emotional development is significantly impaired -- or -- significantly physically impaired, further limiting the youth's ability to engage in higher order function, uh, thinking. We note that, uh, entered drugs, a breakup of your parents -- your parents and family at a significant time in your life, attachment to individuals like, uh, like Bobby Beausoleil and Manson, Davis, and Watson, uh, you found yourself in a very negative environment, a violent environment, very controlling environment. Furthermore, this environment appears to have substantially impacted, uh, you in that you eventually moved towards the discussion of and participation in violent events and the culmination of numerous murders. Even youths with positive family relationships still generally have limited control over the type of environment in which they are living, including their family's financial means, the neighborhood in which they live, the schools they attend, or other environmental factors that can subject youth to other negative influences. Your low self esteem, your participation with extremely violent people in order to be accepted, um, you started -- you changed your environment as far as your friends were concerned at age 14. You just started shifting. You went from one bad decision to another and, uh, the relationships that you chose to -- when you left your home, your mother or your father, led you down an extremely destructive and violent path. Um, youths who find themselves in dysfunctional homes, schools, or social circles generally lack the ability to extricate themselves from horrific crime-producing settings because they are unable to relocate to a different neighborhood, acquire different family, change schools, or make other necessary changes without intervention from other sources. You continued to stay with Manson and -- and that cult even when an attempt was made to remove you. Uh, you were so enmeshed in that way of thinking. Uh, I'm not saying it started out immediately, but your decisions to, uh, to be rebellious, to leave your -- your family, to leave -- at least you graduated from high school, but you did that under the influence of drugs to get you through, uh, reflected extremely, uh, negative behavior and dysfunction within your own life. Um, youths are less susceptible to deterrence than adults because of their lack of maturity and underdeveloped sense of responsibility often results in impetuous and ill considered actions and decisions. Consequently, youths are less likely to take a possible punishment into consideration when making decisions. Uh, as stated, you bought totally the cult's outrageous plans and beliefs, um, culminating in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, Sharon Tate, and many others. You could have had an impact in -- in helping solve and stop that, but you didn't. You made choices and, uh, those choices, uh, um, were -- a portion of that was a result of your inability to weigh all that. Uh, you would think it would be staring you in the face, but it wasn't. You -- you exhibited the hallmark features of youth at the time of the crime. Youth's actions leading to and throughout the commissions of their crimes often demonstrate significant immaturity in thinking and decision-making. Demonstrated the -- you demonstrated this immature thinking and decision-making, uh, with your inability to think on your own. You joined a cult and then you don't extricate yourself from that -- that cult and you think -- when you see things starting to, um, flags -- red flags as you said starting to surface, you make a choice to -- to stay. And you had plenty -- plenty of options to -- to turn around, but your immature -- immaturity I think contributed to that. Youths often have an underdeveloped understanding of their own responsibility for their actions and decisions. you -- you didn't see what you were doing when you removed yourself from your family. You didn't understand the catastrophic effects there was going to be leaving, but you made the decision. You did. Uh, due to limitations of higher order brain functions, youth's actions and decisions often demonstrate impulsive and impetuous thinking. And just -- just taking the drugs, going wherever with whomever just showed extreme recklessness. And finally, (inaudible) psychedelics and affecting your own ability, then you're culminating that with the, uh, with the traumatic event of being pregnant and your -- your own (inaudible) changes and then -- and then the abortion. You -- you were in a position where you're -- you're key to make some real dangerous decisions that don't make a lot of sense, that bring much echo, uh, a youth's inability to break that down and think. You had recklessness and heedless risk-taking. Just thumbing down the state of California led you to the position where you could have been victimized, killed, left on the side of the road. You got no understanding of that, no realization of what the world is really like. You indicate that you -- you, uh, you thought it was going to be something different when you went to the Spahn ranch, uh, and you quickly understood that was changing. But you didn't have the, uh, ability or sensitivity to, like I said, to extricate yourself. Um, you left a loving family to follow people who were violent and controlling. Um, I see that often. I see that hundreds of times. I see young, uh, young man, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 years old raised in a good family go join a gang and they pledge their allegiance to that gang and they do whatever the gang wants to have some kind of notoriety within the gang in the community. They want the gang -- they want to be feared, so they try and -- and, uh, exercise their violence to a degree that they are feared and they are respected and they are accepted. Or they come to prison and they're asked to put in work and, uh, I see that time and time again. That's the reason why I referred to this, although, I know it -- it was much more, you know, it -- it was horrific just like those crimes are horrific, where people get gunned down in the street for no reason at all. Just six-year-old bystander and stray bullets happening. It happens over and over again and it's a slow genocide and someone needs to talk about that and stop that. You were a part of it. It was a very, uh, very well-known. I can remember being 14 and it terrorized, uh, contrary to what you said, Counsel, it wasn't a ripple effect, it was a tsunami. Youths are more capable of change than are adults and their actions are less likely to be evidence of irretrievable depraved character than are the actions of adults. Over the period of four years, uh, you went from being in a broken family, but a lot of us have broken families. But, uh, you went from a period of time to where you day after day got, uh, you indoctrinated and you participated and you stated "Hey, I wanted to be accepted" and I want to tell you straight, I can think of a lot of other ways to be accepted, but you chose that and it was horrific. So you went gradually from a home with -- that wasn't as controlling and you felt it was controlling to, uh, a place that was very controlling and violent and insinuated violence. And they started talking about violence to others and I think it -- I think your youth played a part in being able to change so radically in such a short period of time. You have, uh, your maturity has led to, uh, considered reflection, which I think is the foundation to remorse, renewal, and rehabilitation. You demonstrated that you've engaged in considerable reflection as indicated by decades of prosocial work and -- and positive programming. You've demonstrated positive behavior. Your words today demonstrated insight. The two mirror each other in prosocial change. A few years ago, I -- I attended a graduation not knowing that you were going to be there. Um, but, um, I wanted to see the program that, uh, the institution was doing. And what I was amazed at was the accolades that you received for helping other people. I, uh, it wasn't because of the notoriety. It was, uh, because of the relationships that you have established slow -- slowly one day at a time over decades of time. So I saw it as authentic. I got a little snapshot. Rehabilitation can also lead to maturity in the prisoner's judgment, including improved impulse control and development of prosocial relationships or independence from negative influences. You surrounded yourself with prosocial people, therapists, and you put into place safeguards, both within the -- the context of the institution and your thought processes for release. Considered reflection will often lead the prisoner to an enhanced self-recognition of human worth and potential, which can be a protective factor against future violence. We saw that today. We see that your words and your behavior, uh, mirror each other. But more importantly your behavior. Considered reflection can also lead to development of remorse for a prisoner's actions, which can be an additional protective factor against future violence. I, uh, I saw the words that you spoke in regards to how do I deal with the weight of having been a part of one of society's most, uh, heinous crimes. How do I start to make amends for something so egregious, so horrible? You know, and I -- and I looked at Lawrence and I thought about that. We thought about it for a long time. And I -- I think that Lawrence and -- and the commitment offense itself, as offense as it is, uh, leads more towards Manson, Davis, Beausoleil, and, uh, Watson. But you -- you were a leader in there too with your behavior and your actions. I just didn't see it as I do to the extent of Manson. And then like the Eme that goes on with the violence or the Northern Structure or what they call the new family, Nuestra Familia, that family still perpetrates violence and I don't call it a family at all. You can look at the Texas Syndicate, you can look at the -- the AB, the Aryan Brother. We had 26 deaths in, uh, at CDCR in the prisons just last year. Twenty-six homicides. So I didn't see you -- the Panel didn't see you raising to the same level as them. And Manson has since died and gone on to his final life. So I think I saw a recognition of human worth with you and it's mirrored by your -- your behavior. But it doesn't take away the pain and you're gonna have to live with that until the day you died. Just like everybody else has to live with that. And I can't even begin to speak to the LaBianca family. I -- I know it's rough. So a prisoner's growth can lead a prisoner to engage in positive institutional conduct and enhance their ability to understand the reasons for and effects of their crimes and their ability to function within the law upon release. Your, uh, your behavior is probably one of the most exemplary I've seen. The record reflects some circumstances showing unsuitability for parole, and we considered that during deliberations. The Panel finds that they're outweighed by other circumstances suggesting suitability. This decision does not diminish the fact that the life crimes committed by -- by you were heinous, cruel, and inexplicably disturbing and dispassionate. Your actions resulted in -- in the torturous death of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Your reason for committing those offenses, your -- your greed, your selfishness, your substance abuse, your anger, your lack of self-worth, and an extreme callous disregard for other people's lives in no way justifies your actions. In reaching this decision, we also looked at your prior criminality, which was lacking as far as violence is concerned. And we also considered what we believed to be prior unstable social history, which included tumultuous relationships with others, problematic relationships with your parents, drug use, addiction, and -- and running away. However, the Panel recognizes that after a long period of time, (inaudible) factors such as the commitment offense, your prior criminality, or unstable social history may no longer indicate a current risk of danger to society in length - - in considering a lengthy period of rehabilitation. In this case, close to 50 years have passed and some of the circumstances that tend to show unsuitability per Title 15 Section 2402 Subdivision D are present. Specifically, you do not possess a significant history of violent crime while a juvenile or an adult. That's reflective in the CI&I and the POR. You had a stable social history before and while incarcerated, as evidenced by many self-help programs, your many facilitating, leading those programs, and work and positive behavior combined. You've shown signs of remorse, accepted responsibility for your criminal actions as evidenced by your -- by your life -- you basically turned your life around. Very shortly after the life crime, you turned your life around. Your behavior, uh, lines up with your testimony today. You've engaged in institutional behavior suggesting an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release, including lack of serious misconduct while in prison as evidenced by laudatory chronos, self-help, vocational upgrades. You distanced yourself from gang or cult activity. Substance abuse programs and stable relationships with inmates and staff. Very positive work reports and significant educational upgrades. You got realistic residential plans. You've developed marketable skills that can be put to use and that's going to be a chore, but you can do it. The hearing panel notes that in response to PC 3042 notices indicate an opposition to a finding of suitability for parole, specifically from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, uh, a petition with 161,282 petition signatures, and 27,487 comments submitted from worldwide. We also note that the Comprehensive Risk Assessment prepared by Dr. Athans on 11/01/2018 found that Ms. Van Houten presents a statistically low risk of, uh, violence in the free community. And I did want to read just a -- a brief portion of that report. I'll note that, uh, I think you've had 17 or 18 of those reports and they've -- they've ranked you as being low risk of violence recidivism. "She accepted responsibility for her behavior without minimizing her role or externalizing blame and although she recognizes the impact of her emotional functioning on her behavior, she wished to clarify that she alone was responsible for her involvement in the crime. At present, she appears to represent a low risk for violent recidivism." The Deputy Commissioner and I conducted our own hearing, our own independent finding concerning your suitability. However, we do note that in the years 2017 and 2016, previous Panels also conducted independent hearings that you would not pose an unreasonable risk of danger if released from prison. Deputy Commissioner, do you have anything you'd like to add?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER CHAKUR: No, nothing additional.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I do note that we, uh, took into consideration not only the, uh, District Attorney's comments and the many signatures, we also looked at the, uh, governor's letter from January 9th, 2018 and he cites the crimes being horrific, the minimization, uh, shifting blame to Manson, and still not coming to terms with your central role. Uh, I -- I think in your testimony, uh, I think you've answered those -- those questions in the Panel's opinion. The crimes remain what they are. So we recommend that you stay disciplinary-free, continue to earn positive chronos, continue to get self-help. You're not in therapy tradition, but you are. You talk with people. We want to recommend that that continues, so I'd like to order you to Parole Outpatient Clinic upon release so that you have, uh, at least a contact there.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So you can reach out and start a relationship. Not possess or consume alcoholic beverages, submit to random narcotic testing, maintain an approved residence, and abstain from all gang activities as enumerated in Penal Code Section 186.22. You may not have been found as being in a gang, but to me, it had all the trappings of a leader who imposes violence and said "Hey, this is where we're gonna go, this is what we're gonna do to wager war on whoever."


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And, uh, so I want to put that in there that you be very careful with the groups that you're a part of. Not knowingly associate with any gang member unless you're doing work out there. If you're doing -- doing work and you're talking to women that are in violent environments like that, that's a further way to show amends, to work for the rest of your life in regards to Leno and Rosemary, to steer people away from places like this and violent confrontations like this for the rest of your life. In some small way, it might help society out in a way that you didn't back in 1969. Your voice is needed. I know it's heard inside. I know it's also needed outside, especially in this day and age.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Before the Panel loses jurisdiction, I would like to just, um, request that if the Panel is not ordering her into, um - -


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay. But we do need to comply with the 35 mile rule and with so many VNOKs, it may be hard. So I would like to just direct - -





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: We are ordering her into a, uh, transitional placement and you made mention of Rose.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You know, that ideally would be -- be good because you've established that relationship. I won't tie the hands of the parole agent. Make sure, though, that if you're working -- I want to go back to that. If you're working with anybody involved in any kind of destructive group, make sure your parole agent is aware of that on the front side.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay? And, uh, and I'll let the parole agent work out the terms of, uh, of mileage parameters because you're not to have any contact with the victims' next of kin.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: This decision is not final. This decision will become final after 120 days and only after review by the Decision Review Unit. This decision will become effective after 30 additional days during which time the governor may review the decision and I -- I knew the Governor Brown would review every one of them. Uh, so Governor Gavin Newsome will do the same. You'll be notified in writing if this decision is changed. Uh, with that, I want to thank everybody for their participation today. This hearing is adjourned.