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Surviving Charles Manson 'Family' member could be freed

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 30/03/2019 Sammi Taylor

It’s been 50 years since the Manson murders shocked the world.

Following the orders of crazed cult leader Charles Manson, and led by his right-hand man Charles “Tex” Watson, a harem of young female devotees unleashed evil on the streets of Los Angeles.

Over two nights they brutally slaughtered seven innocent people - including the stunning and heavily pregnant Hollywood actress, Sharon Tate.

a close up of a man wearing glasses: Murderer Leslie Van Howten: Her parole will be either permitted or denied within weeks. © 60 Minutes Murderer Leslie Van Howten: Her parole will be either permitted or denied within weeks. a group of people posing for the camera: The gruesome murders shocked the world. © 60 Minutes The gruesome murders shocked the world.

And while half a century has passed, time does nothing to ease the horror for those involved; those who feel compelled to speak out as one of the surviving Manson killers, Leslie Van Houten, could be freed.

Van Houten was just 19 years old when she took part in Manson’s unimaginable campaign of terror.

Now, after being denied parole multiple times during her 49 years behind bars, Van Houten could be released.

This Sunday on 60 Minutes, reporter Tara Brown speaks to those fighting for and against Van Houten’s parole, gaining a haunting insight into the Manson cult from the woman who knows best – Charles Manson’s former lover, Catherine Share.

Charles Manson looking at the camera: Manson died in November 2017,. © 60 Minutes Manson died in November 2017,.

“We would do anything for each other, to the point where we would die for each other,” Share tells Brown.

In August 1969, the Manson murderers went on a 48-hour killing spree in Los Angeles.

Van Houten was convicted for her participation in the murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, slaughtered in their home in one of the world’s most gruesome crimes.

Charles Manson entered the La Bianca property with other members of his cult and tied up the husband and wife before setting his disciples onto the couple.

a woman with red hair looking at the camera: Hollywood actress, Sharon Tate. © 60 Minutes Hollywood actress, Sharon Tate.

Manson’s followers strangled and stabbed the pair – Rosemary 41 times – before carving the word ‘war’ into Leno’s stomach and using his blood to write ‘Helter Skelter’, on the fridge door – a reference to the Beatle’s song which Manson believed was an anthem to Armageddon.

These gruesome acts happened only 24 hours after the brutal slaying of five people – including director Roman Polanski’s wife and promising Hollywood actress, Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

a man and woman posing for a picture: Tara Brown with Bob Burbridge, one of the first cops on the scene of the Manson murders in 1969. © 60 Minutes Tara Brown with Bob Burbridge, one of the first cops on the scene of the Manson murders in 1969.

What motivated the Manson women to kill for Charles? How did he turn innocent young women into cold-blooded killers?

And should Leslie Van Houten, who claims to be fully reformed and rehabilitated, be released from prison?


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