The Manson ‘family’: A look at key players and victims in the cult leader’s killings

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — In 1969, Charles Manson dispatched a group of disaffected young followers on a two-night killing rampage that terrorized Los Angeles. The killings remain etched in the American consciousness.

On Tuesday, Leslie Van Houten was released after spending more than 50 years in prison for two of those murders. She’s the only one of Manson’s followers who participated in the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders to go free.

Members of the Manson “family” arrived at the Hollywood Hills home of Sharon Tate on Aug. 8, 1969, where they stabbed, beat and shot to death the young actress and her friends — celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski. As they made their way to the house, they encountered a teenager, Steven Parent, who had been visiting an acquaintance at the estate’s guesthouse, and shot him to death.

The next night, Manson led a handful of followers, including Van Houten, to the home of wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. Manson tied up the couple and left the others to kill them.

Manson and his followers also killed two others — musician Gary Hinman and Hollywood stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea — in separate, unrelated attacks

In the decades since, some of Manson’s followers have died while others remain behind bars.

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