Wednesday, 6 Jul 2022

Manson cultist who wrote on wall with victim’s blood up for parole

A Manson family cultist who used her victim's blood to write on walls is set for parole after spending 50 years in prison.

A parole panel in California has recommended the release of Patricia Krenwinkel, 74, for the first time in five decades.

She had previously been denied parole a whopping 14 times for her role in the murders of Sharon Tate and four other people.

She also helped kill Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary the following night in 1969, stabbing him in the stomach with a fork, before taking a rag and writing "Helter Skelter", "Rise" and "Death to Pigs" on the walls with his blood, under the reported instructions of Charles "Tex" Watson to "do something witchy".

The parole recommendation will be reviewed by the state parole board's legal division before going to Governor Gavin Newsom, who has previously rejected parole recommendations for other followers of Manson.

Her last parole request was made in 2017 and since then new laws have come in which require the parole panel to consider that she committed the murders at a young age and is now an elderly prisoner.

Also, for the first time, Los Angeles County prosecutors weren’t at the parole hearing to object, under District Attorney George Gascón’s policy that prosecutors should not be involved in deciding whether prisoners are ready for release.

Relatives of the victims however were still there to offer the same objections at the hearing as prosecutors had made in the past.

Krenwinkel's lawyer Keith Wattley said that what was different this time was that the parole panel was willing to follow the law, he said, recognising that she has had no disciplinary violations and is no longer a danger to society.

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He said: “She’s completely transformed from the person she was when she committed this crime, which is all that it’s supposed to take to be granted parole.

“I’m hopeful that the governor recognises that he shouldn’t be playing political games with people’s lives.

“The governor would be blocking her parole not because he’s afraid of her, but because he doesn’t like her. And the law doesn’t allow that.”

Krenwinkel became California's longest-serving female inmate when fellow Manson follower Susan Atkins died of cancer in prison in 2009, with her lawyer saying he understands she is the longest-serving woman in the US.

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