Sharon Tate's sister doesn't want Manson family member Leslie Van Houten released: 'Criminals do not retire'
Sharon Tate's family is doing everything they can to oppose the proposed release of one of the Manson Family members, who slaughtered the tragic Hollywood star and her unborn child in cold blood. As reported by TMZ, Debra Tate is said to be lobbying California Governor Gavin Newsom in a bid to have the California Parole Board's recommendation to release Leslie Van Houten rejected. The outlet obtained a letter Debra wrote to the Governor, in which she listed all the reasons why the Manson Family murderer must remain in police custody for the rest of her life. 70-year-old Leslie has recently been deemed suitable for release after she was jailed for the murders of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca back in 1969. The double homicide took place just a day after the slaughter at Sharon's house, per reports.
Debra's letter raised questions about whether Leslie has been truly rehabilitated. "The danger of letting these people out of prison is ever-present and real," Debra wrote. "I am scared, not just for myself and other family members who may be targeted, but for society." That said, Debra is not convinced that Manson Family members "don't pose a risk to society now that they're septuagenarians," per TMZ. "Age is immaterial to psychopathology. There is no cure for the sociopath," Debra added. "The disposition to committing violent crime does not have an expiration date. And criminals do not retire."
This is the fourth time the parole board has recommended Leslie's release. Previously, three parole attempts were rejected outright by the state's top leadership. However, the parole board's conclusions are now headed for a 120-day legal review, after which Newsom will have a month to make the final decision on Leslie's fate.
Debra has spent her life fighting to keep her sister's killers in prison. And despite her best efforts to stay out of the spotlight, she is often confronted by random strangers fascinated with the case. In April, Debra recounted an episode that occurred shortly before the 50th anniversary of the murders when a man walked up to her Southern California residence and asked if she was related to Sharon, saying he had a message from Manson. She immediately grabbed her shotgun and made him aware she was armed. While the stranger walked away, Debra said she was left shaken by the incident. “I have death threats on Facebook, I have people breaching my gate, I’ve got weirdos on my own personal site,” she said. “It’s very alarming and I would be a fool if I didn’t pay attention to it and treat it as credible.”
On August 9, 1969, police found the bodies of 8-months-pregnant actress Tate, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent at Tate’s house in Benedict Canyon. The following day, they discovered the bodies of Los Angeles grocer LaBianca and his wife about nine miles away in their Los Feliz residence. The gruesome murders have inspired a plethora of TV shows, books, and movies, including the summer blockbuster 'Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood', starring Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate and Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring, as well as the recent Netflix series 'Mindhunter'. However, families of the victims are forced to grieve with every new portrayal.