The youngest member of Charles Manson’s murderous cult is set to ask California authorities on Wednesday to cut short the life sentence she is serving for her role in the gang’s notorious 1969 killing spree.
Manson, who died in prison in 2017 at age 83, directed his mostly young, female followers – known as the Manson Family – to murder seven people in August 1969 in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war between whites and blacks.
Follower Leslie Van Houten, who was 19 when the murders were committed and is now 69, will make her latest of nearly two dozen attempts at persuading the California Board of Parole Hearings to release her, the board said. She is being held at the California Institute for Women in Corona, California.
In recent years, the board has twice recommended that the authorities release Van Houten, but was overruled each time by former Governor Jerry Brown, most recently last January.
If the board again recommends that she be paroled, the ultimate decision will rest with new Governor Gavin Newsom after a review process that can take up to 150 days.
Van Houten was originally sentenced to death for fatally stabbing Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home on Aug. 10, 1969, but that conviction and sentence were overturned on appeal.
She was retried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1978.
Among the other victims of the Manson Family that month was actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. She was stabbed 16 times by cult members.
Earlier this month, local media reported that the board recommended for parole another Manson follower, Robert Beausoleil, 71, who has served nearly half a century for the 1969 slaying of musician Gary Hinman. Newsom has not yet revealed his decision in that case.
Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Frances Kerry
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According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.
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President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.
Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.
"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."
"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.
The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."
There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.
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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Republicans are frustrated over the blitz of Democratic spending in House races, acknowledging they are likely to see their minority shrink even further.
"Bolstered by an enormous cash-on-hand advantage, a series of critical Republican recruitment failures and a wave of liberal enthusiasm, Democrats have fortified their grip on hard-fought seats won in 2018 that allowed them to seize control of the House," reported Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson. "They have trained their firepower and huge campaign coffers on once-solid Republican footholds in affluent suburban districts, where many voters have become disillusioned with Mr. Trump."