Ex-Manson Follower Denied Parole — for the 19th Time

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Reed Saxon / AP

For ex-Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houton, the 19th time isn’t the charm.

Van Houton, 60, who was convicted for the 1969 stabbing deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, was told by a two-member panel at the California Institution for Women that she wouldn’t be going free this time and that she should come back in three years. She spoke only in a prepared statement written to family members of her victims.

“I apologize for the pain I caused,” said Van Houten.

The Manson gang which she ran with killed actress Sharon Tate and four others the night before, though the then 19-year-old Van Houten was not part of that particular killing. The collective spree is still seen as among the most gruesome of the 20th century.

Her attorney argued that her model behavior as a prisoner — she has earned college degrees and participated in self-help groups and even tutored other prisoners — shows that she is not dangerous and ready for release.

But parole board chairman Robert Doyle disagrees. “She does not look to herself to see what made her capable of this activity.”

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney cosigned heavily, insisting she stay behind bars: “There’s just something about this woman, something about her that led her to cross a very heavy line and become involved in these brutal, savage murders.”

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