Parole panel delays decision on whether or not to release Charles Manson follower

FILE – this Dec. 2, 2014 file photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Patricia Krenwinkel.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A two-member parole panel delayed a decision Thursday whether to release an accomplice of the cult murderer Charles Manson is the longest serving female inmate in California.

After a whole day of hearing, the panel of the Board of Parole Hearings adjourned, a decision on whether to recommend the release of Patricia Krenwinkel “because they felt that the information that is discussed during the hearing was the occasion for an investigation,” spokeswoman Vicky Waters said in an e-mail.

The hearing will be continued once the research is completed,” she said

Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, said the parole officials told her the hearing was likely to be postponed by about six months, while they research to see whether Krenwinkel meets the criteria for battered women with the syndrome.

Krenwinkel’s attorney, Keith Wattley, confirmed that account, but did not comment on the delay.

“She completely minimized her actions and blame everything on other people the whole hearing,” Tate said.

Tate said that they are not buying the concept that Krenwinkel was a victim, because she was, at any time, and took part in killings two nights in a row.

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“We are all responsible for our actions. I don’t buy one of these things. She was, because she wanted to be there. No one held a gun to her head,” Tate said.

Anthony DiMaria, the nephew of the victim Thomas Jay Sebring, said a Los Angeles County prosecutor who attended the hearing told him that the parole officials want to investigate whether Krenwinkel was the victim of an intimate partner battery.

“For this research is to be initiated at this point is mindboggling,” said DiMaria, who attended the hearing, but left before a decision was deferred. “I don’t understand where we go from a murder, the killing of eight people (including Tate’s unborn child) to an intimate partner battery victim. It is absurd …. It seems like the world is turned upside down. How the death of eight people and now you’re the victim?”

Jean Guccione, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors would not comment until the parole panel makes its recommendation after the examination.

The decision to postpone the panel came after the 69-year-old Krenwinkel has been denied parole 13 times, the last in 2011.

Krenwinkel 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, and then wrote: “Helter Skelter” in blood on the couple’s refrigerator.

Wattley successfully petition the state to keep the parole hearing a year early at the Californian Institute for Women, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, where Krenwinkel is caught.

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.

Krenwinkel was a 19-year-old secretary when she met Manson at a party. She said at her previous 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.

Gov. Jerry Brown has the power to block the release of the prisoners as parole is granted. Previously, he was stopped with the early release of 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.

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