‘Floodgates … Will Be Unhinged’: Family Member Of Manson Family Victim Slams Van Houten’s Release


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A family member of one of the victims of the Manson Family murders has slammed the release of Leslie Van Houten, saying it will set a dangerous precedent for other notorious criminals. 

Anthony DiMaria, the nephew of Manson family victim Jay Sebring, told CNN that he fears “a very dangerous, pernicious precedent” has been established with the release of Van Houten, a woman convicted in 1971 for her part in the brutal murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

In August of 1969, one day after Sebring was murdered alongside his heavily pregnant friend Sharon Tate, Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, Tex Watson and Charles Manson traveled to the Los Feliz home of the LaBianca’s. While Watson murdered Leno in the living room, Van Houten and Krenwinkel murdered Rosemary, with Van Houten holding a pillowcase over the woman’s head while Krenwinkle stabbed her in the chest. Afterward, Van Houten stabbed Rosemary more than a dozen times herself.

After the murders, the group used the victims’ blood to write harrowing messages on the walls, including the infamous “Helter Skelter.”

The perpetrators of the murders were sentenced to death in 1971, a sentence that was commuted to life the following year after California banned capital punishment.

“[Van Houten] is a cold-blooded killer in one of the most notorious murder rampages in United States history, so with her release now,” DiMaria explained, “any other violent criminal or killer whose crimes fall beneath the bar of Leslie Van Houten’s very extreme crimes” could be released. He fears that “floodgates in the California penal system will be unhinged.”

Krenwinkel, who took part in the murders of Sebring, Tate, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and 18-year-old Steven Parent, was recommended for parole in 2022. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected her request, ultimately keeping her imprisoned. (RELATED: Board Recommends Parole For Charles Manson Follower Who Murdered Several People)

While Van Houten was not part of the group that murdered his uncle, DiMaria told CNN the families of those murdered by The Manson Family are “collectively bound by the loss and suffering” of the murders.

DiMaria stated that while he has respect for Newsom and the Attorney General, he “strongly, vehemently disagree with their decision not file an appeal” to keep Van Houten in prison.