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                                                                                                                                   Saturday 16 April 2016

Panel recommends parole for ex-Manson follower Van Houten

Associated Press              for a long time,” Pfeiffer      Former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten confers with her attorney Rich Pfeiffer during
CHINO, Calif. (AP) — Les-     said outside the prison. “It    a break from her hearing before the California Board of Parole Hearings at the California
lie Van Houten sat before     really should have hap-         Institution for Women in Chino, Calif.
the California panel that     pened a long time ago.”
would soon recommend          Van Houten participated                                                                                                                           (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
her parole as a slight wom-   in the killings of Leno La
an with shoulder-length       Bianca and his wife Rose-       a hole in the desert, Van     family began stabbing the      find parts in any of this that
gray hair, a wrinkled face    mary a day after other          Houten told the panel.        woman in her home.             makes me feel the slight-
and glasses, a far cry to     so-called “Manson family”       At the hearing, Van Houten    Van Houten said she had        est bit good about myself,”
from the rebellious teen      members murdered preg-          described how she helped      looked off into the dis-       she told the panel. The La
she was when she joined       nant actress Sharon Tate        secure a pillow over the      tance until another Man-       Biancas were stabbed nu-
the cult of Charles Manson    and four others in 1969.        head of Rosemary La Bian-     son follower told her to do    merous times and the word
more than 40 years ago        Thursday’s decision makes       ca with a lamp cord and       something and she joined       “WAR” was carved on the
and helped kill a wealthy     her the first Manson follow-    held her down while anoth-    in the stabbing. “I don’t let  stomach of Leno La Bian-
grocer and his wife. At a     er involved in the Tate or      er member of the Manson       myself off the hook. I don’t   ca. q
five-hour hearing she de-     La Bianca killings to reach
scribed in detail how she     this stage in the parole pro-
descended from an idyllic     cess. Family member Bruce
childhood into psychedel-     Davis, who was not in-
ic drug use and eventually    volved in those killings, has
found Manson, whom she        been recommended for
described as a “Christ-like   parole, but it was blocked
man that had all the an-      by the governor.
swers” for a young woman      At 19, Van Houten was
whose parents’ divorce        the youngest Manson fol-
had left her feeling aban-    lower to take part in the
doned and angry.              killings after she joined the
On Thursday she con-          cult in the 1960s. The mur-
vinced the state panel        ders were the start of what
that the murderous young      Manson believed was a
woman she had been was        coming race war that he
a long-distant memory         dubbed “Helter Skelter”
and that she was now fit to   after a Beatles song. Man-
be paroled. She has com-      son had his followers pre-
pleted college degrees        pare to fight and learn to
and been a model inmate.      can food so they could go
“Your behavior in prison      underground and live in
speaks for itself. Forty-six
years and not a single se-    Lawyers:
rious rule violation,” Com-   Inmate in terror case in coma after suicide attempt 
missioner Ali Zarrinnam told
Van Houten at the close of    JENNIFER PELTZ                  cording to his lawyers.       happened, but details are      peals courts concluded,
her 20th parole hearing.      Associated Press                “He was neither protected     unclear.                       wasn’t truly a terrorist —
The decision will now un-     NEW YORK (AP) — A man           nor acknowledged” in pris-    Ferhani’s suicide attempt      before Ferhani and a co-
dergo administrative re-      who admitted plotting to        on, lawyer Lamis Deek said,   is a somber afterword to a     defendant were arrested in
view by the parole board.     bomb New York City syna-        calling Ferhani’s treatment   case freighted with the rise   May 2011.
If upheld it goes to Gov.     gogues has tried to kill him-   “an outrage.”                 of homegrown terrorists,       An undercover investigator
Jerry Brown, who has fi-      self in prison after guards     The state Corrections De-     the legal legacy of Sept.      recorded Ferhani, an Alge-
nal say on whether Van        tormented him because of        partment would say only       11, complaints about po-       rian who came to the  U.S.
Houten is released.           his terror case, his lawyers    that Ferhani, 31, has been    lice tactics and questions     as a child, disparaging
Brown spokeswoman Deb-        said.                           taken from Attica to an out-  about his mental health.       Jews and talking about at-
orah Hoffman on Friday        Ahmed Ferhani, who is half-     side hospital and officials   While most terror cases are    tacking synagogues in re-
said it would be premature    way through a 10-year sen-      were investigating, though    handled by federal pros-       taliation for what he saw as
to comment.                   tence in a rare state-level     the agency wouldn’t say       ecutors, New York created      the mistreatment of Muslims
The now-66-year-old Van       terror case, is in a medically  what was being investi-       its own anti-terror law days   worldwide. Then Ferhani
Houten was “numb” after       induced coma after try-         gated. Deek said a Buffalo    after 9/11. It had been        bought guns, ammunition
the panel announced its       ing to hang himself in New      hospital informed Ferhani’s   used only once — against       and an inert grenade in a
decision, said her attorney   York’s Attica prison, ac-       family April 7 of what had    a gang leader who, ap-         police sting.q
Rich Pfeiffer.
“She’s been ready for this
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