Leno and Rosemary LaBianca

Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murder victims of the Manson Family. In 1958, Leno LaBianca met Rosemary while she was working as a waitress. The two fell in love and were married in 1960 in Carmel, California. In 1968 Leno bought the home at 3301 Waverly Drive that he had grown up in from his mother and settled in with Rosemary and her son, Frank.

In the summer of 1969, a number of odd occurrences frightened the LaBiancas. The couple noticed when they returned from being away, items from their home were missing and their dogs were outside the house when they had been left inside. It was later learned that Manson and the Family had creepy-crawled several houses in the area while the residents were away.

Charles Manson’s Waverly Drive Backstory

1966. While incarcerated at Terminal Island Prison Charles Manson met flamboyant producer Phil Kaufman. After Kaufman’s release from prison he hooked up with Manson. Kaufman spent most of his time crashing at the house of his friend, Harold True. Manson regularly visited Kaufman there, Manson even stayed a week at Harold’s house. Harold lived at 3267 Waverly Drive. The next door neighbors at 3301 Waverly Drive were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Arriving Home

On August 9, 1969, the LaBiancas, along with Rosemary’s daughter, Suzan, drove to Lake Isabella to pick up Rosemary’s son Frank, who was spending a week vacationing with a friend. Frank was having such a good time that the LaBiancas decided to let him stay another day. At around 9 p.m., Leno, Rosemary and Suzan left Lake Isabella and headed back to Los Angeles. Around 1 p.m., the LaBiancas arrived in Los Angeles. After dropping off Suzan at her apartment, they stopped at a newsstand. Leno, a regular customer, was recognized by the newsstand owner, who readied a copy of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. They briefly discussed the Tate murders. Talk of the Tate murders disturbed Rosemary. After arriving home, Rosemary retired to her bedroom, while Leno fell asleep in the living room while reading the sports page.

Murder

In the early morning hours of August 10, 1969, Manson and Watson entered the LaBianca house. They awoke Leno LaBianca at gunpoint and tied his hands. Leno was then asked if there was anyone else in the house. He told them that his wife was in the bedroom. Manson went to the bedroom and awoke Rosemary. Manson and Watson reassured the couple that they wouldn’t be hurt, and were just being robbed. After collecting all the cash in the house, Manson ordered Watson to take Rosemary back to her bedroom where Watson placed a pillowcase over her head, wound a lamp cord around her head, and gagged her. He told her to stay quiet and remain in the room. Watson returned to the living room and Manson then left the house. Manson then send Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel to the residence.

Watson began stabbing Leno repeatedly, only stopping briefly when Leno started screaming. Rosemary, hearing her husband screams, began screaming and flailing around the room. Krenwinkel and Van Houten called Watson for help. Watson left the badly bleeding Leno in the living room and entered the bedroom to find Rosemary swinging the lamp still attached to the cord used to gag her. Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten then stabbed Rosemary to death. Rosemary was stabbed 41 times.

Leno was still alive when Watson came back to the living room and the stabbing resumed. After Watson finished stabbing Leno one of the family members carved the word “WAR” into Leno’s stomach. Krenwinkel then stabbed him a number of times and left a carving fork protruding from his stomach and a steak knife from his throat. The girls then wrote messages in Leno’s blood. “Death to pigs” and “Rise” were written on the living room wall, and “Healter Skelter” (they mispronounced Helter Skelter) was written on the refrigerator door.

After the murders the Family members remained at the house. Some ate food from the LaBianca’s refrigerator, played with the couple’s dogs and showered before hitchhiking back to Spahn Ranch.

Plot Twist

Suzan LaBerge, Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter, has been one of Watson’s closest friends behind bars after bonding over their shared beliefs as born-again Christians. She visits, writes and has even advocated for his release.

Coincidence (or not)

Before the murders Suzan LaBerge and Watson lived an estimated 200 feet apart in nearby apartments in Los Angeles for six months prior to Watson’s move into Spahn Ranch. Suzan’s then boyfriend was a member of the motorcycle gang Straight Satans that often visited Spahn Ranch. Manson Family member Danny DeCarlo also was a member of the Straight Satans.

More on Suzan LaBerge: Flirt with danger (New York Post)

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3301 Waverly Drive

3301 Waverly Drive was the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. On August 10, 1969, grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary were murdered in their home by members of the Manson Family.

In 1940, Leno’s father Antonio Labianca bought the house on Waverly Drive. In 1951 Leno’s father passed away. In 1968, Leno bought the Waverly Drive house from his mother.

In the summer of 1969 there was a number of break-ins at the Waverly Drive house. Leno and Rosemary desperately wanted to move out of the Waverly Drive house. They never got the chance.

Manson’s Waverly Drive Backstory

1966. While incarcerated at Terminal Island Prison Charles Manson met flamboyant producer Phil Kaufman. After Kaufman’s release from prison he hooked up with Manson. Kaufman spent most of his time crashing at the house of his friend, Harold True.

Manson regularly visited Kaufman there, Manson even stayed a week at Harold’s house. Harold lived at 3267 Waverly Drive. The next door neighbors at 3301 Waverly Drive were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Motive: The LaBianca’s weren’t Manson’s first choice

As for the motive, the LaBianca’s were not Manson’s target. Manson first went to the residence of Harold True. Harold wasn’t at home so Manson went over to the LaBianca’s.

At the murder trial Linda Kasabian testified that after she parked the car in front of the LaBianca house she asked Manson, “Charlie, you’re not going into that house (Labianca’s), are you?”

Manson replied, ‘No, I’m going next door.’ (Harold True’s house)

“He got out of the car. He disappeared up the walkway, the driveway, leading towards Harold’s house, and I couldn’t follow him any longer, he just disappeared.”

Manson agreed to this version of events in 1998:

“And I went to see Harold. Harold wasn’t there, and I looked over and I seen a light over on the other side, and I walked over there and there was a little dog there. So I patted the dog on the head and I opened the door and there was a dude (Leno LaBianca) sitting on the couch. “And when I walked in, I said, ‘Oh, hey. Hi.’

After the Murders

After the murders a Filipino couple bought the Waverly Drive house. The address has been changed from 3301 to 3311 Waverly Drive. The house was back on the market in 1998 and sold for $375,000. Today the house is up for sale again for $1.98 million.

Leslie van Houten

Name: Leslie Louise Van Houten
Date of birth: 08/23/1949
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
AKA: Lulu
Prisoner ID: W13378
Whereabouts: California Institute for Women (life sentence)
Documents: 2016 Parole Board Transcript
Archive: Leslie van Houten
Recent Pictures: Leslie van Houten Today
Image Gallery: Leslie van Houten Gallery

Van Houten, a one-time homecoming princess, participated in the killings of Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary a day after other Manson family members murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.

Van Houten was born on August 23, 1949, in Los Angeles. She grew up in a middle-class family along with an older brother and two adopted siblings. Her mother and father divorced when she was 14. She began taking LSD and hashish around age 15, running away for a time but returning to complete high school. At 17, she became pregnant and was forced by her mother to undergo an abortion. Van Houten’s mother informed her sometime later that the procedure could not be referred to as an abortion as the fetus was too far along. Van Houten stated that after this event, she felt very removed and harbored intense anger toward her mother. She had a period of interest in yoga and took a year-long secretarial course, but became a hippie, living at a commune.

After a few months in a commune in Northern California, Van Houten met Catherine Share and Bobby Beausoleil and moved in with them and another woman during the summer of 1968. The four broke up after jealous arguments, and Share left to join Charles Manson’s commune. Van Houten, then aged 19, followed Share. At this time, she phoned her mother to say she was dropping out and would not be making contact again.

LaBianca Murders

On Manson’s orders, Van Houten participated in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Along with Manson, Watson, Atkins, Grogan, Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian, Van Houten went to the home of Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, on Waverly Drive. After Manson and Watson tied up the couple, Manson left, giving orders to Van Houten and Krenwinkel to go with Watson and to do whatever he said. Watson told Van Houten and Krenwinkel to take Mrs. LaBianca into a bedroom and kill her. Leaving Manson, Atkins, Grogan and Kasabian in the car outside, the trio proceeded to kill the couple.

Van Houten and Krenwinkel tied up Mrs. LaBianca with a lamp cord and put a pillowcase over her head. Mrs. LaBianca, who was being held in the master bedroom, could hear the screams and struggling of her husband who was being held in the living room as Watson began stabbing him while he pleaded for his life. She began to struggle. Van Houten ran for Watson in the other room; he told her “to do something.” Krenwinkel got a fork from the kitchen and stabbed Mr. LaBianca with it. Once again wielding the knife, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca while Van Houten held her down. However, the knife bent and she was unable to actually stab the struggling woman. Van Houten and Krenwinkel called to Watson, who came into the master bedroom and gave Van Houten a knife. Van Houten then repeatedly stabbed Rosemary LaBianca in the back. According to testimony from the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, Mr. LaBianca suffered 47 stab wounds.

Van Houten stabbed Rosemary’s lower back over a dozen times. Van Houten later told Dianne Lake that she had stabbed someone who was already dead. The autopsy indicated that some of the 47 stab wounds Rosemary suffered had been inflicted post-mortem.

Van Houten was arrested in December 1969. Unlike other members of the Family, Van Houten provided a great deal of information. Using the Manson family nicknames during interviews with police, Van Houten helped identify who had actively participated in the Tate and LaBianca murders, and who had been there but not killed anyone, thereby indicating that Kasabian was a crucial witness. Van Houten implicitly admitted to direct knowledge of the LaBianca murders in police interviews.

Van Houten’s lawyer Ronald Hughes disappeared while on a camping trip during a recess from the Tate/LaBianca trial in November 1970. His body was found in March 1971, but due to the severe decomposition of his body the cause of death could not be determined. No one has been charged in connection with his death.

Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his book Helter Skelter that Sandra Good claimed that Manson family members had killed 35 to 40 people and that Hughes was the first of the retaliation murders. Attorney Stephen Kay stated that the last thing Manson said to Hughes was “I don’t want to see you in the courtroom again” and Hughes was never seen again alive.

On March 29, 1971, Van Houten was convicted of murder. Van Houten was sentenced to death. she was the youngest woman ever condemned to death in California. No death row for female prisoners existed so a special unit was built. The death sentences were automatically commuted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court’s People v. Anderson decision resulted in the invalidation of all death sentences imposed in California prior to 1972.

Charles Manson

Name: Charles Milles Manson
Date of birth: 11/11/1934
Date of death: 11/19/2017
Cause of death: natural causes
AKA: The Wizard, Jesus Christ, The Devil
Children: Charles Mansons Children

Charles Milles Manson led a commune what became known as the Manson Family, that arose in California in the late 1960s. Manson and his followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969.

Manson was admitted to state prison from Los Angeles County on April 22, 1971, for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski, Jay Sebring and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

On December 13, 1971, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder in Los Angeles County Court for the July 25, 1969 death of musician Gary Hinman. He was also convicted of first-degree murder for the August 1969 death of Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea.

He was sentenced to death. When the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in 1972, he was resentenced to life with the possibility of parole. His original death sentence was modified to life on February 2, 1977.

He is currently serving nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California. Manson died Sunday night at 8:13 p.m. local time at Kern County Hospital, California. He was 83. The cause of death was listed as natural causes.

Motive

The mainstream narrative is that Manson wanted to start a race war. This “Helter Skelter” motive was adopted by all major media outlets, however if you dig deeper it’s pretty clear that the motive for these murders were either residential related or just hate crimes combined with a copycat murder to try and get Beausoleil out of jail for the Hinman murder. Manson was a manipulator, someone who could influence others to do his dirty work. A manipulator with a failed music career combined with a hate for society fueled by a criminal mind led to these murders.

Manson told his followers to kill. His plan to let others do the killing for him backfired when he was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Scroll down to read about all the murders.

Donald Shorty Shea Murder

Somewhere between August 26 and 28, Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Steve Grogan, Bill Vance, Larry Bailey, and Bruce Davis asked Donald Shea to come with them to get some auto parts. Shea was in the drivers seat, Grogan sat behind Shea, Watson sat next to Shea in the passenger seat and Davis sat behind Watson. Manson, Vance and Bailey followed them in another car. After Watson gave a sign, Grogan hit Shea over the head with a pipe wrench and Watson stabbed Shea several times. Shea managed to get out of the car. He then was surrounded by the gang and they brutally stabbed him to death. Grogan later said that Shea was so strong it took all of them to kill him.

According to Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan, both Bill Vance and Larry Bailey were participants in Shea’s murder. However Vance and Bailey were never prosecuted for Shea’s death.

The Hinman Murder

On July 25, 1969, Manson told Robert Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner to pay Gary Hinman a visit. According to Beausoleil they went to Hinman because Hinman had sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and Beausoleil wanted his money back.

However according to statements made to the police the motive to visit Hinman was because the Manson Family needed money for their move to the desert and Manson thought Hinman had money.

Someone in the group suggested going to Santa Monica and kidnap Terry Melcher and holding him for Ransom.

At this time, the name of Gary Hinman was brought up and Charles Manson stated, “Yeah, he’s single and owns that house and probably has stocks and lots of money.”

When Beausoleil asked Gary Hinman for money, Gary told Beausoleil that he didn’t have any money. Gary then was held captive for 3 days. According to Danny Decarlo Beausoleil had knocked Gary around for 3 or 4 hours. Later on Charles Manson and Bruce Davis stopped by. Manson had a sword on him and struck Gary in the head, slicing of a piece of his ear while Davis pointed a gun at Hinman. Atkins and Brunner tried to stitch up Gary’s face with a needle and dental floss.

The ordeal finally ended when Beausoleil stabbed Gary twice in the chest. Gary didn’t die immediately and made loud gurgling sounds so Atkins and Brunner took turns smothering Gary with a pillow.

After Gary died Beausoleil wrote the words “Political Piggy” and drew a paw print on the wall in Gary’s blood, in an attempt to make authorities think the Black Panthers committed the murder.

Before the trio left they covered Gary’s body with a blanket, took his bagpipes and two pink slips for his cars and took the cars to Spahn Ranch.

When the cops later examined the crime scene they found blood in the living-room, on the hall floor between the living-room, bath and kitchen, and on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the kitchen.

The Tate Murders

On the night of August 8, 1969, Manson told Tex Watson to take some of the girls and to go to “that house where Melcher used to live” and to “totally destroy everyone inside, as gruesome as you can” and Manson told Watson to “leave a sign, something witchy”. Tex Watson took Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to 10050 Cielo Drive.

When they arrived at the entrance of the Cielo Drive property, Watson climbed a telephone pole near the gate and cut the phone line to prevent telephone access from the house. At this point it was after midnight, August 9, 1969.
Telephone Pole Near The Gate

Just then, headlights approached. Watson ordered the women to lie in the bushes. He then stepped out and ordered the approaching driver to halt. Eighteen-year-old student Steven Parent had been visiting the property’s caretaker, William Garretson, who lived in the property’s guest house. Watson first lunged at Parent with a knife, giving him a defensive slash wound on the palm of his hand, then shot him four times in the chest and abdomen.

The group then proceeded to the main house. Watson told Kasabian to keep watch down by the gate. Watson cut the screen of a window and entered through the window, and let Atkins and Krenwinkel in through the front door.

They found Wojciech Frykowski sleeping on the living room couch. Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked him who he was and what he was doing there, Watson replied: “I’m the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business.”

Atkins and Krenwinkel searched the house and found Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger and forced them to the living room. Watson began to tie Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope and slung the rope up over one of the living room’s ceiling beams. Sebring’s protested to the rough treatment of the pregnant Tate. Watson then shot Sebring and stabbed him seven times.

Frykowski’s hands had been bound with a towel. Freeing himself, Frykowski began struggling with Atkins, who stabbed at his legs with the knife with which she had been guarding him. As he fought his way toward and out the front door, onto the porch, Watson caught up with Frykowski and struck him over the head with the gun multiple times, stabbed him repeatedly, and shot him twice.

Around this time, Kasabian was drawn up from the driveway by “horrifying sounds”. In an effort to stop the massacre, she falsely told Atkins that someone was coming.

Meanwhile, Folger had escaped from Krenwinkel and fled out a bedroom door to the pool area. Krenwinkel ran after Folger, caught her, stabbed her, and tackled her to the ground. Watson joined Krenwinkel and they stabbed Folger 28 times. In the meantime Frykowski struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.

In the house, Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child. Susan Atkins told Tate as she begged, “Look, bitch, I don’t care about you. I don’t care if you are having a baby. You are going to die and I don’t feel a thing about it.” At this point either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate (testimonies vary). Tate was stabbed 16 times. Watson later wrote that as Tate was being killed, she cried for her mother.

Using the towel that had bound Frykowski’s hands, Atkins wrote “pig” on the house’s front door in Tate’s blood.

LaBianca Murders

In the early morning hours of August 10, 1969, Manson and Watson entered the LaBianca house. They awoke Leno LaBianca at gunpoint and tied his hands. Leno was then asked if there was anyone else in the house. He told them that his wife was in the bedroom. Manson went to the bedroom and awoke Rosemary. Manson and Watson reassured the couple that they wouldn’t be hurt, and were just being robbed. After collecting all the cash in the house, Manson ordered Watson to take Rosemary back to her bedroom where Watson placed a pillowcase over her head, wound a lamp cord around her head, and gagged her. He told her to stay quiet and remain in the room. Watson returned to the living room and Manson then left the house. Manson then send Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel to the residence.

Watson began stabbing Leno repeatedly, only stopping briefly when Leno started screaming. Rosemary, hearing her husband screams, began screaming and flailing around the room. Krenwinkel and Van Houten called Watson for help. Watson left the badly bleeding Leno in the living room, and entered the bedroom to find Rosemary swinging the lamp still attached to the cord used to gag her. Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten sthen stabbed Rosemary to death. Rosemary was stabbed 41 times.

Leno was still alive when Watson came back to the living room and the stabbing resumed. After Watson finished stabbing Leno, one of the family members carved the word “WAR” into Leno’s stomach. Krenwinkel then stabbed him a number of times and left a carving fork protruding from his stomach, and a steak knife from his throat. The girls then wrote messages in Leno’s blood. “Death to pigs” and “Rise” were written on the living room wall, and “Healter Skelter” (they mispronounced Helter Skelter) was written on the refrigerator door.

After the murders, the Family members remained at the house. Some ate food from the LaBianca’s refrigerator, played with the couple’s dogs and showered before hitchhiking back to Spahn Ranch.

Death

On January 1, 2017, Manson was suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. He was rushed to Mercy Hospital in downtown Bakersfield. A source told the Los Angeles Times that Manson was seriously ill and that the doctors considered him “too weak” for surgery. On November 15, 2017, Manson returned to a hospital in Bakersfield. He died from cardiac arrest resulting from respiratory failure and colon cancer at the hospital four days later on November 19.

Funeral

Nearly four months after Manson’s death his remains were cremated following a private funeral that featured songs by the Beach Boys and Guns ‘N Roses.

Mark Pitcher, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene who presided over the service, told the Associated Press that 20 to 25 of Manson’s friends and family members attended the service, held at a funeral and cremation center in Porterville, California. Manson’s ashes were later scattered in a nearby creek bed.