A follower of Charles Manson who has been imprisoned longer than any other woman in California is facing a parole hearing on her conviction in the Sharon Tate killings.
Grey haired Patricia Krenwinkel, 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 appear slim following the parole officials’ rejections in other Manson cases.
Krenwinkel, 63, was convicted along with Manson and two other female followers in seven 1969 murders, considered among the most notorious crimes of the 20th Century.
None of those convicted has ever been paroled and one of them, Susan Atkins, died in prison last year after being denied compassionate release when she was terminally ill with cancer.
Leslie Van Houten, 61, the youngest of the women convicted was long thought to be the most likely to win eventual release. But she was denied a parole date last summer by officials who said she had not gained sufficient insight into her crimes.
Parole boards have repeatedly cited the callousness, viciousness and calculation of the seven murders committed by members of the Manson Family.
Krenwinkel admitted during her trial that she chased down and stabbed heiress Abigail Folger at the Tate home on Aug. 9, 1969 and participated in the stabbing deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca the following night, Both homes were defaced with bloody scrawlings. She was convicted along with Manson, Van Houten and Atkins. Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson was convicted in a separate trial.
All were sentenced to death but their sentences were commuted to life when the U.S. Supreme Court briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972.
The crime scene photo tells it all.
One of the Sharon Tate murder crime scene photos