A friend was kind enough to allow this posted. I happen to agree with every word. He wrote it on that day of what they call a parole hear
"Creating Our Own Martyrs"
By: John Birr
The absolutely detestable and disingenuous nature of the parole board should and will be exposed.
It's heartless disregard of its own rules and its flaunting of its own untouchable superiority
is evident in its arbitrary and capricious decision making.
They selectively apply whichever aspect of a case they wish, focusing on the progress of an inmate when their whim tells them to, and concentrating on
the heinousness of the crime when their agenda dictates they do so. In this case, the life crime could be focused on. With others less "hated," I'm sure an inmate's wonderful rehabilitation and prison accomplishments will testify to his or her parole eligibility. Ah, to worry about such things. The wonderful feeling of power.
For Miss Van Houten, it has become a shameful spectacle of the absurd, America's own shush and whisper version of Neuremberg. The Court of Phony Appeals remains committed to the idea of foisting the sins of the other criminals - now released- onto the back of a more well-known inmate, so that the American public, looking up from eating breakfast
or dinner at the mention of the name Van Houten, feels the reassurance that it's wonderful judicial system is working to protect them once again. And we dare not look deep for consistency or honesty, because none of that exists. As evidence of this, it was Stephen Kay himself who said back in the 1970's that one day Leslie Van Houten would be ready for parole. When he attended her 2002 hearing, he showed flagrant disregard for his earlier beliefs and said that her "vicious" acts make parole for Van Houten at any time unwise. Stunningly arrogant.
Leslie Van Houten could have never realized in 1970 that striking a crucifixion pose in the courtroom would ever have this much significance 43 years later. What was once a pose of defiance - the blind
adherent gesture done to satisfy the whims of lunatic - has become now a haunting iconic prophecy.
One can only now draw references to that pose in the courtroom so long ago and see the meaning actually come into focus now. Where before it was Manson making her do it, it is now the unexplained relentless hatred that puts her back there again -her arms out - carrying the shameful weight of her own actions, but mostly baring the repeated assaults of an unforgiving system, thrown at her like stones, gleefully and without commensurate measure.
Now it's happened again, as the prosecution and the victims' families sit down at the table to satiate their desire for dark retribution. And as they do, unfit to recognize the irony, the lights will dim, the candles will be lit, and yes, as George Harrison said, they will grab their forks and knives to eat their bacon.
So now, Leslie moves back to her cell, relegated to five more years of spiritual mentoring, practical
assisting, and more long nights of wonder and dreaming. Leslie, you will help several dozen more women recognize the errors of their ways, so that they will free themselves of the legal binds they've put upon themselves. You will continue to set the example of what an inmate should be, and tease the rest of the world with what you were not allowed to give.
We could not have known in 1969 how, so many years later, the depths of depravity would be on display more by your tormentors than by anything you'd ever done. But we just didn't know - about you or about them.
Coming full circle to the obvious analogy, we must realize it is one we've created, by denying you
your freedom. Thus, maybe soon, it will become apparent to all that maybe we do need to cut holes in your clothes to allow your wings to pop out.
Leslie, we just couldn't understand then. We do now.
In December, 1969, Leslie's father, Paul, visited his sadly delusional daughter in prison for the first time after her arrest. In their conversation, Leslie admitted to thinking she had "wings" growing out of her
back. It was with this in mind that the imagery and her fate seemed inextricably linked. In my mind, Whether real or not, it doesn't matter. Because I so wish I could give her those wings and let her fly.
CASE UPDATES AND INFO
-Trial of the Century
-Susan Atkins-Patricia Krenwinkel
-Parole Transcripts 1985-2017
Franklin Hearing transcript 2017
-Tex Watson Tapes
-Criteria Parole Suitability
-Rich Pfeiffer's letter to the DA
-Parole Reversed 2016