A cousin of Gary Hinman – the Manson Family’s first victim – has spoken out against the release of cult member Leslie Van Houten, calling it an injustice and an insult to the memory of his late loved one.
Labeling Van Houten a ‘psychopath’, Kay Hinman, 86, made these and other statements while discussing the controversial release of the convicted killer with News Nation, more than 50 years after his relative’s brutal stabbing.
Van Houten – who was a lonely and emotionally damaged 19-year-old from Los Angeles when she met Manson – was serving 53 years to life in prison for participating in two notorious murders and was the youngest member of the ‘family’.
Now 73, Manson was ‘released under parole supervision’, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed, after escaping the death penalty in the ’70s – when the state Supreme Court overturned the death penalty.
In addition to seeing Van Houten and several other murderers spared, the move was reinforced by the fact that officials decided to put parole on the table for death row recipients — a decision now felt more than 50 years later by the victims’ families.
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Kay Hinman, 86, made the comments during an interview Wednesday with News Nation, which focused on the situation surrounding the controversial release of convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten on Tuesday.
Now 73, Van Houten — who was a lonely and emotionally damaged 19-year-old from Los Angeles when she met Manson — served 53 years to life in prison for her part in two notorious murders, and was the youngest member. The ‘Manson Family’ Cult
Gary Hinman – who introduced then-aspiring musician Charles Manson to the Beach Boys in the late ’60s – was stabbed to death by Manson follower Bobby Beausoleil in 1969, and would be 88 years old if he were alive today.
‘Do you buy the argument that Leslie Van Houten is a model prisoner and fully rehabilitated and not a danger to society?’ News Nation’ Ashley Banfield asked Hinman at one point during a five-minute sitdown.
‘No, I don’t,’ the California senior responded, before providing what he billed as evidence of Van Houten’s lack of humanity – citing a jailhouse interview in which he was asked if he felt sad or ashamed for the death of his two One of the victims, Rosemary LaBianca.
‘In 1976, Leslie was asked if she had any regrets,’ recalls Senior, visibly emotional.
‘His reply was ‘sorry is just a five letter word.’
He added: ‘Leslie is a psychopath’.
Elsewhere, Hinman mentions other characteristics of Van Houten that he saw as reprehensible – such as how he was unrepentant during his trial in 1971, and his now infamous smile when testifying about his part in the 1969 murder of a 44-year-old LA man. Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.
‘In one of his examinations the psychiatrist said he was a schizotype who repressed his emotions and exhibited a joyless coldness and sense of isolation,’ Hinman says.
‘Psychopaths cannot be cured.’
Van Houten’s victims included L.A. couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca (above), who were killed by Van Houten, Manson and four other associates on August 9, 1969.
Van Houten (right) was the youngest of the Manson family — a white-supremacist cult that struck fear into the hearts of millions of Californians in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Van Houten was convicted of first degree murder in 1971 and initially sentenced to death, but, after the California Supreme Court found the sentence unconstitutional in 1972, it was reduced to life imprisonment with parole eligibility.
After his 13th parole rejection, already in 2008, Van Houten took legal action based on the decision based on the evidence of his guilt.
However, he was not recommended for parole until 2016.
His fifth recommendation, in November 2021, was rejected like the previous four, and a request for a review the following year was rejected.
But on 30 May 2023, an appeals court ruled in Van Houten’s favor and set aside the parole denial.
The decision was based on his ‘extraordinary rehabilitative efforts, insight, remorse, realistic parole planning, support from family and friends, favorable institutional reports and the governor’s decision to grant four consecutive paroles.’