Notorious cult leader Charles Manson's most notable follower could be released from prison before the end of the year.

Leslie Van Houten, 72, is serving a life sentence for helping Manson's cult followers murder Leno LaBianca and wife Rosemary with knives and forks in 1969.

She was just 19 when the couple were murdered the words “Death To Pigs” drawn on the walls of their Los Angeles home in blood.

But now, a two-person parole board panel in California has recommended that Ms Van Houten be released.

She was sentenced to death in 1971, but the conviction and punishment were reversed on appeal and she was subsequently sentenced to life.

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It is the fifth time officials have called for her to be released – but the previous times have all been overturned by various Governors of State.

The latest one, Gavin Newsom, has 120 days to review and approve, or reject the release.

According to the New York Post, the Democrat has twice vetoed Ms Van Houten’s release, on the grounds that she “poses an unreasonable danger to society,” and his last rejection is being reviewed by two courts, her lawyer said.

Attorney Rich Pfeiffer said: “I predict he will reverse this grant as well.”

Manson was known for plying his followers with “psychedelic drugs” and ordering them to commit random killings to spark a “race war” that he envisioned.

Van Houten was the youngest member of the Manson Family when she joined, and has previously taken full responsibility for what she said amounting to “Manson being able to do what he did to all of us”.

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She added: “I allowed it.

“I accept responsibility that – I allowed him to conduct my life in that way.”

Manson died in prison in 2017, from natural causes.

Despite his death, a morbid fascination with Manson continues, as a couple from New York last month paid over £1,100 to get portraits him on their legs, with some of Manson's ashes mixed into ink.

Patrick Boos told TMZ that his wife, Deanne, initially wanted to be the first woman with a tattoo that had the cult leader's ashes in, and he didn't want her to be alone so he got one himself.

The pair opted to get a portrait of the leader on their legs, with Boos already having an X on his forehead to match Manson's own tattoo he carved into his head every day during his trial.

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