Charles Manson follower wants parole 47 years after the murder


Patricia Krenwinkel, once a devout follower of the cult murderer Charles Manson and now the longest-serving female inmate in California, appeared Thursday before a parole board-47 years after they helped kill pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people.


Krenwinkel, 69, has been denied parole 13 times since her conviction in 1969, the massacre.

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Patricia Krenwinkel in 2014.

(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP, File)

She acknowledged during her trial that she chased down and repeatedly stabbed Abigail Ann Folger, the 26-year-old heiress to a coffee fortune, in the Tate home and helped kill grocer Leno la bianca and his wife, Rosemary, the following night.


Los Angeles County prosecutors say Krenwinkel carved the word “war” in Leno la bianca’s stomach, wrote “Helter Skelter” in blood on the couple’s refrigerator.

Krenwinkel’s attorney, Keith Wattley, a successful petition of the state to hold the hearing to a year to early in the Californian Institute for Women, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, where Krenwinkel is caught.

“Ms. Krenwinkel is fully aware of the difficulties that they faced,” Wattley told The Associated Press in an e-mail. “But the law of California officially recognizes a person’s capacity to change and to focus on the factors that have contributed to their earlier behavior, so that they can be safely paroled.”

Krenwinkel fought with her previous parole hearing in 2011 that she is a different woman. She has a clean disciplinary record, received a bachelor’s degree behind bars, taught illiterate inmates to read and trained dogs for people with disabilities.

Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, said earlier Thursday to hear that murderers such as Krenwinkel, can not be restored.

“She was a very prolific killer,” Debra Tate said recently. “They can behave properly in a controlled environment, but we can’t rely on that, given the pressures of life, that they will be able to stay straight” out of the prison.

Krenwinkel was a 19-year-old secretary when she met Manson at a party. She said at her last parole hearing that they all left three days later to pursue what they believed was a budding romance with him.

She cried and apologized, saying she was a “monster” after she met Manson.

“I committed myself fully to him. I committed myself to the ‘murder’, she said. “I was willing to sacrifice others’ lives for my own.”

Prosecutors say the slayings were an attempt to ignite a race war after which Manson and his followers would rise from the rubble to rule the world.

Krenwinkel was initially sentenced to death, but the California Supreme court invalidated the death penalty in 1972. If the parole panel recommends release, Gov. Jerry Brown could still block.

Earlier this year, the Democratic governor destroyed recommendations to free Manson followers Leslie Van Houten, 67, and Bruce Davis, 74.

Krenwinkel was the state’s longest-serving female inmate when fellow Manson follower Susan Atkins, died of cancer in prison in 2009.

Anthony DiMaria, the nephew of the victim Thomas Jay Sebring, said Krenwinkel of the age and long stay in prison should have no impact on the parole board decision.

DiMaria noted that Krenwinkel lived a long time, but to deny that the chance to its victims.

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