Leslie Van Houten attended her 20th parole hearing Wednesday (June 5), to see if she would be released after being found guilty for her role in the Manson family murders in 1969. She was just 19 when she was convicted in the deaths of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, who were killed the day after the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others.
Though her parole was ultimately denied, Van Houten addressed the board before the decision was made, according to the Associated Press. “I know I did something that is unforgivable, but I can create a world where I make amends,” she says. As for Charles Manson, Van Houten admits, “He could never have done what he did without people like me.”
Patrick Sequiera, the Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, argued against Van Houten’s release from custody, saying, “There are certain crimes that are so heinous, so atrocious, so horrible that it should cause denial of parole.”
Van Houten, who has been in jail for 44 years, was convicted of murder and conspiracy for her part in the La Bianca killings. During her trial, Van Houten claimed she wasn’t part of the actual murders, but admitted to joining in on stabbing Mrs. La Bianca after she was dead.
Van Houten will be eligible for parole again in five years. Manson, now 78, no longer attends his parole hearings and wishes to remain in prison.