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The youngest member of the infamous Charles Manson cult has been recommended for release by a California parole board. Leslie Van Houten was convicted of fatally stabbing grocer, Leno LaBianca, and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969, when Van Houten was 19. Those killings took place a day after she and other members of Manson's mostly female family of followers stabbed and killed a pregnant actress, Sharon Tate, and four other people.
Van Houten spent four decades in prison, serving a life sentence for the cult's killing spree. Wednesday marked the third time the panel has recommended Van Houten for parole. And the latest of 22 attempts to persuade that panel she be released early. Her attorney is optimistic.>> The fact that they said her parole suitability was overwhelming is gonna make it a lot easier to get past the Governor.
>> Van Houten's release was blocked twice by former Governor, Jerry Brown. However, now after a review, the decision will fall to new Governor, Gavin Newsom. He may also send the grant back for re-review or take no action, in which case it will move forward. While Bianca's grandson spoke to local TV on Wednesday.
>> So yesterday I get off the phone at the parole hearing, and the first thing I did was I just laid on my couch and start bawling.>> Manson himself died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83. Prosecutors in 1969 said the murders were part of a plan to incite a race war.
Though he is one of the 20th century's most notorious criminals, he did not personally kill any of the cult's victims. Instead he was found guilty of ordering their murders.