Showing posts with label Anthony DiMaria's Impact Statement at Leslie Van Houten's Parole Hearing 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthony DiMaria's Impact Statement at Leslie Van Houten's Parole Hearing 2017. Show all posts

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Anthony DiMaria's Impact Statement at Leslie Van Houten's Parole Hearing on 9/6/17

Venus sent me Anthony DiMaria's statement at Leslie Van Houten's parole hearing on Wednesday.  

As usual, it's very powerful, and full of emotion about these horrific murders!

Thanks Venus!!

My name is Anthony DiMaria- nephew of Jay Sebring, who was killed in the Manson murders on August 8, 1969. 

I have been asked by Lou Smaldino, nephew of Leno LaBianca, to speak as a LaBianca family representative. 

To be clear, our families involvement in these hearings has nothing to do with feelings of anger, revenge or hatred towards Leslie Van Houten. Rather, we come out of love to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

The victim’s families present today have attended dozens of parole hearings regarding Leslie Van Houten’s crimes and crimes of the Manson family. For nearly half a century- death sentences, legislation, defense attorneys and commissioners- have come and gone.

Yet what remains, is- Leslie Van Houten, her victims, our families. 

On July 27, 2017 the Los Angeles Times reported a shift in THE NEW ERA FOR CALIFORNIA’S PAROLE BOARD stating that Parole Board Executive Officer Jennifer Shaffer “has been at the helm of major initiatives…spurred by court cases and state laws, that have developed new processes to speed up and increase parole hearings, as well as release young and elderly offenders…that approach is part of a pendulum swing in California, coming after decades of tough sentencing policies that lead to overflowing prisons and a court ordered cap on the state inmate population.”

-But today, we are not here to enforce prison population caps or balance California state budget. We are here because Leslie Van Houten killed people.  

Part of what continues to disrupt and impact our families are these endless parole hearings and what occurs in them. 

In today's, and previous parole hearings – there has been much discussion of drug influence, mind control, threat to society, rehabilitation and suitability of parole. 

We appreciate the opportunity to address these issues.  

Just as the Manson clan collectively conspired, targeted, subdued, held hostage, butchered, mutilated and taunted society as a crime conglomerate- so too our families are bound by collective loss and suffering. 

We stand for justice together,  just as the Manson clan killed together. 

We must acknowledge Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Woytech
Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and Donald Shea in these proceedings today, because had Ms. Van Houten contacted authorities after Leslie’s boyfriend/husband, Robert Beausiliel, murdered Gary Hinman on July 27, 1969- we wouldn’t be in this room today…and ten people would have lived their lives fully.

Ms. Van Houten and her attorneys would have you believe the inmate’s crimes occurred exclusively in a vacuum at the LaBianca residence. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Ms. Van Houten shared the intentions and full knowledge of Manson "family" criminal activity for months leading up to the killings. At a recent parole hearing, Ms. Van Houten's attorney states,  "We are talking about one night of horrible violence in her life when she was clearly not in her right mind.” This is a misstatement of gargantuan disconnect and minimization. 

Last year, Ms. Van Houten’s present attorney Richard Pfeiffer states “There’s no doubt that if the word ‘Manson’ was not involved in her crimes, she would have been paroled 20 years ago.”  

I wonder, does it occur to anyone who shares this sentiment, that the word “Manson” has become  synonymous with evil worldwide because of Leslie Van Houten’s actions?… and her perverted behavior during the trial? 

Leslie Van Houten is a prime and prominent butcher in one of the most notorious killing organizations in United States history. This is not by association, this is directly due to the inmate’s inhumane actions and behavior.


At hearings in 2006 and 2007,  Ms. Van Houten's attorney
Christie Webb asserted her client was rendered mentally incapacitated from chronic LSD abuse and Manson control. Ms. Webb states, "Leslie was vulnerable and she was controlled by drugs and Manson's brainwashing…All that LSD changed the chemistry of her brain.” At the petitioner's 2010 parole hearing, her then attorney, Brandie Devall states, "It is abundantly clear that Ms. Van Houten has never used drugs as a crutch or a reason to justify this life crime.” Then,  the flip flop at last year’s hearing:

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: You said drugs played a role. You wouldn't have committed these crimes but for the drugs? 
INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No. I wouldn't have committed them.[pp.119 LL 19-23]
Today, she says Manson used LSD to “indoctrinate” her.

These contradictions made in distant, and close, proximity of each other, gives one pause to realize genuine accountability gives way to tactical strategy.

Regardless, consider Dr. Barbara Fries MD, Senior Examiner for the Board of Neurology and Psychiatry- "It is not defensible to say Leslie Van Houten was influenced immediately, or chronically changed, by LSD. No drug has ever produced a sustained psychotic state that cause a person to carry out organized activity – as in these murders – with regard to the planning, the targeting, murdering, painting messages in blood- not to mention escaping capture and hiding from authorities. Psychedelic drugs and speed do not make people do psychotic deeds." 

“Psychedelic drugs and speed do not make people do psychotic deeds.”


Attorney Devall referred to Manson as a "master manipulator" who [QUOTE] "...had a knack for finding lost, young people and manipulating them." [END QUOTE] For decades our families are impacted as certain facets of media have fashioned a narrative on Manson and the so called "Family". But in light of the historical destruction of these crimes, it is imperative that we see things for what they are-
The so called "family" was not a cult. It was a group of people who chose to avoid work, have indiscriminate sex and get high. But in the months leading to Ms. Van Houten’s murders August 10, 1969, they committed extensive crimes involving: 

drug trafficking

credit card fraud

grand auto theft




and child molestation at Spawn Ranch (revealed at inmate Krenwinkel’s last hearing p.208, LL 18-20) 

Then, the torture murder of Gary Hinman. 

Then, the drug deal burn of Bernard Crowe.

Days later, the attempted murder of Mr. Crowe after he was shot in the chest.

August 8- the murders of six people on Cielo Drive.

August 10- the murders of two people on Waverly Drive.

August 28- the murder Donald Shea.

Numerous attempts to frame African Americans for murder

September 9, 1970 the attempted murder of Barbara Hoyt.

August 21, 1971 the robbery of firearms from a supply store and subsequent shootout with 30 police officers in Hawthorne.

September 5, 1975 the attempted assassination of United States President Gerald Ford. 

There is no hippie cult. These are not exploited, brainwashed teens. This is an extremely sophisticated, deadly crime organization.

Charles Manson is not a mastermind, or a counter culture demigod with mystical powers to control. He is an angry, frustrated man who lashed out at a society in which he was a complete failure.

Leslie Van Houten is not a Charles Manson “follower”. Nor is she a victim. She, too, was an angry individual who identified with an organization bent on mayhem, rebellion and destruction. Her zealous loyalty, choices and actions for nearly two years clearly define her as as a cruel hearted sociopath. A killer.

Even Manson family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly... These women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity.”


I sadly call to your attention the murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeny. The Pennsylvania teenager was killed by four teenagers, ages 15-17. The weapons used to massacre the young man were a hammer, a hatchet and several large rocks. At one point during the attack the hammer was struck so severely it remained stuck in the victim's scull while he continued to struggle for life.

During the trial, the teenaged killers testified listening to "Helter Skelter" over and over for several hours before committing the
murder. "Helter Skelter". The same words written in blood on a wall at Leslie Van Houten's crime scene. Judge Seamus McCaffrey, after viewing Jason Sweeney's crime scene photos said,  "This is something out of the Dark Ages. I'm not sure we can call ourselves a civilized society when this happens." 

I bring to your attention that 3 of the 4 teenagers were sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

Is there anyone in this room that would suggest that these convicted teenagers will be paroled after 20 years?… even though the word Manson was NOT involved in their crimes?

Prosecuting District Attorney, Jude Conroy, states, "It is really amazing that teenagers in Philadelphia, Memorial Day weekend, is attuned to the whole HelterSkelter and Manson mythology. It's a sad testament to the twisted, brutal legacy the Manson murders have left behind such that attracts 15, 16, 17 year olds. Forty years later. 3,000 miles across the country. It is a powerful legacy." 

The threat of Leslie Van Houten and her crimes to society- direct, symbolic and repercussive- is current and deadly.


It’s no coincidence the teenaged murderers of Jason Sweeny were excited and inspired by HELTER SKELTER lore. Ms. Van Houten’s crimes have left a historical wound on American culture.
Her decisions and behavior have profound consequences- and are the reason the murderer today- is perceived by many, as a rock star killer.

If there is any question of this reality, I submit the following:

These films produced in recent years- LESLIE, MY NAME IS EVIL (2009), BLEEDING HEARTS (2015), MANSON’S LOST GIRLS (2016), PRETTY FACE (2016), BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES (2017) - all depictions in which Ms. Van Houten is portrayed as a lead ingenue character. 

There also is a Facebook page titled “FREE LESLIE VAN HOUTEN 2017” with 1,150 followers worldwide and the website where a line of LESLIE VAN HOUTEN T-shirts are sold on the internet. I submit these, and other, samples from the internet for your reference.  

This is not random. The inmate has been active in a wide variety of media formats throughout her incarceration.

There are book interviews with Michael Farquhar, Nicky Meredith, Carlene Faith and Jeff Guinn. 

An internet search reveals Leslie’s television interviews with:

Barbara Walters (1977)
Barbara Walters (1987)
Diane Sawyer ABC (1993)
Larry King CNN (1994)
Larry King CNN (2002)
film director John Waters (2009)

At a recent hearing, Commissioner Jeffrey Ferguson asked Ms. Van Houten “What do you think your obstacles are going to be once you’re released?”

Her answer: “Maintaining anonymity.”

I can certainly understand why.


At a recent hearing, Leslie Van Houten stated that she accepts responsibility for what she termed [QUOTE] "superficial, post mortem wounds" {END QUOTE] to Rosemary LaBianca. This statement is shocking and alarming, especially when we consider it was made after years of reflection and rehabilitation. It is deplorable to candy coat this in any way whatsoever…yesterday. Today. Ever. 

The first fatal blow occurred at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she held Rosemary LaBianca hostage and prepared her for slaughter. 

The next fatal blow was dealt at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she wrestled her victim to the ground as she attempted to escape. The next fatal blow, when she called out for Watson and Krenwinkel to slaughter her victim. The next fatal blow when she restrained Rosemary's arms as she was stabbed dozens of times. Then, stab 1. Stab 2. Stab 3. Stab 4... Stab 18.

There is not one thing about this inmate's crimes that are "superficial" or "post mortem”.


To be clear, we certainly do not discount Ms. Van Houten's accomplishments behind bars. They are commendable. 

But in comparison to the severe, grave dimensions of her crimes- the diplomas, letters and certificates become paper…

…and yet, after nearly 50 years of rehabilitation Leslie made a revealing, disturbing statement just last year at her hearing. It involves the word “allowed”. She said, “I hope you’re not understanding that I know it’s my responsibility that I allowed this to happen to me.” [p.65 LL23-24]

“… that it’s my responsibility that I ALLOWED this to HAPPEN to ME.” That’s a helluva way to characterize these crimes. Today she says, “I take responsibility for what I ALLOWED Manson to do to us.” 

But it reveals who the individual is and how she minimizes her crimes. So what is it? Minimization or sociopathic revisionism? Or both. That statement is the cunning manipulation of a sociopath.

I’m struck that Ms. Van Houten becomes emotional in this hearing reminiscing on when she quoted Revelation passages to Charles Manson… and yet not one tear as she discusses her victims, her crimes and how her victims suffered.

Leslie Van Houten and her attorneys assert that Ms. Van Houten is a changed, rehabilitated individual. One attorney states, "Ms. Van Houten is the most modeled prisoner in the system and has been for a long, long time... She cannot change her offenses, but she has changed herself.”

While the petitioner and her attorneys maintain Leslie Van Houten has changed, Leno and Rosemary La Bianca remain unchanged. 

Unrehabilitated. Unparolled. And they will remain so for eternity. 

They are just as dead today as the night Leslie Van Houten sent them to their graves. 

From the LA Times article referenced at the beginning of this statement, “Parole Executive Officer Jennifer Shaffer describes the changing philosophies in recent California hearings as a shift from “You did what? Tell me about the crime” to “Who were you then? 

Who are you today and what’s the difference?”

-These are relevant questions. So I ask the same…. to those most impacted by Leslie Van Houten-

“Rosemary LaBianca, who were you before August 10,1969? Who
are you today? And what’s the difference…What’s the difference of spending a peaceful Sunday evening with your husband and being held against your will with a cord thrown around your neck, hood over your head, hearing your husband slaughtered in the next room…with a butcher knife? How does it feel to know you too, will be restrained, and stabbed 41 times?”

“Leno, where were you on August 10, 1969? Where are you now? What’s the difference?…Tell us, how does it feel to have carving instruments shoved into your abdomen and throat over two dozen times? What’s the difference living fifty
years with your children- playing with your grandson Tony, your grandchildren, your nephew Lou, great grandchildren… or lying mutilated and dead eighteen thousand, two hundred fifty days in a cold, black coffin? Who were you then? Who are you today? What’s the difference?” 

Tell us Leno. Tell us Rosemary.

How can we make amends for Leslie Van Houten, when none of us can make amends for her dead?

After her conviction in 1971, petitioner Van Houten defiantly said, “Your whole system is a game. You blind, stupid people.” 

Commissioner Brian Roberts, Commissioner Pomerantz-

Today you will determine how prophetic this statement is.

Considering the profound gravity of her crimes, the cruel and sadistic nature, the unspeakable suffering of her victims, the permanent loss to our families, the poisonous repercussions of her crimes to society even today, the inexplicable disconnected minimization exhibited in her statements and the behavioral evidence defining an entrenched sociopath despite decades of rehabilitation – it is only just to deny parole to Leslie Van Houten for the longest period of time permitted by law…the longest period of time permitted by law.