Patricia Krenwinkel should spend the rest of her life in prison. The California Parole Board concurs at least for another seven years.
In a decision suggesting that the brutal Sharon Tate murders are unforgivable, a parole board panel refused to consider releasing Patricia Krenwinkel, who told the board she killed for the love of Charles Manson.
The two-member panel made clear Thursday that it was the horror of the killings, one of the most notorious of the 20th century, that led them to reject the bid for parole in spite of Krenwinkel’s efforts to change her life.
They said that the murders of seven people in an extremely atrocious manner had impacted the entire world as evidenced by letters which came in from around the globe urging that she be kept behind bars.
“These crimes remain relevant,” said parole commissioner Susan Melanson. “The public is in fear.”
Melanson and Deputy Commissioner Steven Hernandez issued their decision after a four-hour hearing and more than an hour of deliberations at which Krenwinkel wept, apologized for her murderous deeds and said she was ashamed of her actions.
Members of victims’ families also cried and recalled their suffering after the murders and called for her to be kept behind bars. Melanson said the notoriety of the crimes and their viciousness weighed heavily in the decision.
Cult leader Manson, now 75, refused to appear at his most recent parole hearings where he was denied a release date. His multiple disciplinary violations and refusals to participate in rehabilitation activities make it likely that he will never be released.
At times he has said that he does not want his freedom and considers prison his home.
Krenwinkel, who has been imprisoned longer than any other woman in California, told the parole board earlier Thursday that she threw away everything good in herself and became a “monster” after she met Manson.
Krenwinkel, 63, one of Manson’s two surviving female followers, has maintained a clean prison record in her four decades behind bars, but her chances for release appeared slim following parole rejections in other Manson cases.
Krenwinkel was convicted along with Manson and two other female followers in seven 1969 murders, considered among the most notorious crimes of the 20th century.
Leslie Van Houten is the youngest of the Manson followers at 61 and is considered the only likely one to ever be released from prison. She was denied parole last summer.
The two-member parole board said after a Thursday hearing in Los Angeles that the 63-year-old Krenwinkel will not be eligible for parole again for seven years, the longest such period handed down to any of the Manson Family convicts.
The panel said they were swayed by the memory and of the crimes, along with 80 letters which came from all over the world urging Krenwinkel’s continued incarceration.
As far as I am concerned, Krenwinkel can rot in prison and should be thankful that she was NOT duly executed decades ago.