Notorious former Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten's bid to get out of prison has resulted in emotional scenes in Los Angeles, as victims' advocates fight desperately to keep her off the streets.
Van Houten was one of a group of seven Manson acolytes who engaged in a killing spree that took seven lives - most infamously including the horrendous murder of heavily pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was stabbed to death in her home, despite her desperate pleas for mercy. The crimes were hoped by the group to incite wide-scale racial violence.
LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey has joined the chorus of outrage, asking Governor Jerry Brown to make sure the onetime hippy-turned-killer is made to pay fully for her appalling crimes - writing in a five-page letter that Van Houten "poses an unreasonable risk to public safety."
The drama follows a controversial April decision by a Board of Parole Hearings panel that found the killer suitable for parole. The DA believes that Van Houten lacks enough contrition for what she did, and therefore should not be set free.
'She clearly lacks insight, genuine remorse, and an understanding of the magnitude of her crimes,' she wrote.
'The viciousness of the murders, the relationship of those murders to the effort to incite the "Helter Skelter" race war, and Van Houten's attempts to minimize her criminal responsibility, make her an unreasonable risk of danger to society.'
Van Houton was convicted of the first degree murder of an innocent couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and has been refused parole a total of 19 times.
Infuriating victims' advocates, the killer has been accused of not displaying enough contrition for her crimes, and for failing to adequately denounce and condemn cult leader Manson.
'She simply does not see him for the brutal megalomaniac that he is,' wrote Lacey, noting that Van Houten has dismissively described Manson as a 'myth' and a 'caricature of horror.'
Van Houten's lawyer claims her words have been taken out of context.