Leslie Van Houten, the one-time Charles Manson follower long seen as the most likely of his ex-acolytes to win freedom someday, was denied parole Tuesday for a 19th time in the killings of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca.

At the conclusion of the emotional three-hour hearing, the chairman of the parole board, Robert Doyle, said Van Houten was not yet suitable for parole because she had failed to gain complete insight into her crime and its motivation.

While commending her for her adjustment to prison and her work on behalf of other prisoners, Doyle and deputy commissioner Carol Bentley said the crimes involved were so atrocious and heinous that they must be considered in the decision.

"She does not look at herself to see what made her capable of this activity," Doyle said. Both he and Bentley said they were disappointed that Van Houten chose not to speak to them directly.

"It's been 15 years since I've seen you," Bentley said, "and commissioner Doyle has never heard from you."

Doyle criticized a report from a psychologist who he said accepted everything Van Houten told her and did not look beneath the surface.

He particularly noted that in the past, Van Houten has suffered from dependence on strong male figures who were able to control her.

He suggested she needs more counseling on how to deal with men.

However, he said the concerns for public safety are not sufficient to give her a 10- or 15-year denial. He scheduled another hearing in three years.

Van Houten, who last appeared before a parole board in 2007, showed no response to the decision and was taken back to her cell.

During the hearing, she read a statement apologizing to the victims' family "for the pain I caused" and saying she understood their grief. She gave them a private written apology.

She said she understood the enormity of her crime and makes no excuses for her actions. She said she has gained insight during her 41 years in prison that is helping her to understand "so it does not happen again."

Louis Smaldino, a member of the La Bianca family, spoke during the hearing of the unending anguish they have experienced and suggested that Van Houten should have been executed. He urged the board to keep her in prison and deny another parole hearing for as long as possible.

"Miss Van Houten is a murdering terrorist, and her character does not change," he said.

Debra Tate, sister of the slain Sharon Tate, whose killing is not involved in this case, appeared on behalf of another La Bianca family member, Angela Smaldino. Tate said Smaldino believes Van Houten should be commended for her growth but thinks her behavior would be unpredictable in a changed world.

"It's not a risk that most of us would want to take," she said.

Van Houten's attorney, Brandie Devall, highlighted her impeccable disciplinary record.

"There is nothing in the record that suggests her dangerousness," she said. "You have a record before you of reform and rehabilitation. People can and do change."

Devall also asked the panel to consider Van Houten's age - 19 - when she joined in the La Bianca killings. She noted Van Houten came under the influence of Manson, "who had a knack for finding lost young people and manipulating them."