CALIFORNIA (USA): MURDEROUS CULT LEADER CHARLES MANSON DIES AT
November 19, 2017:
Charles Manson has died. He was 83 years old. (Source: CNN, NBC News, 19/11/2017)
Manson was at the center of one of the most notorious mass murders in U.S. History.
Manson was put on trial in 1970 and convicted in 1971 for orchestrating the murders of nine people at the hands of his cult followers, the “Manson Family.” Manson had ordered the killings, but didn't participate. Prosecutors said that Manson wanted to start a race war and had hoped the Black Panthers would be blamed for the deaths.
His trial ended in a death sentence, but California was embroiled in a fight over the death penalty at the time. That fight ended with the State Supreme Court abolishing execution in 1972, a ruling which only lasted a few months before voters reinstated the penalty, but long enough for Manson to be granted a life sentence instead. Manson’s sentence was never reconsidered after California reinstated capital punishment, and he lived in a state prison for over 45 years until he was rushed to the hospital last week, dying on Sunday. Manson applied for and was denied parole 12 times during his 45 years in prison.
Several of his followers were also sentenced to death, but had their terms commuted to life sentences when the California's death penalty was briefly abolished. Here's what happened to the rest of Manson's followers: Patricia Krenwinkel, 21 at the time, was arrested on December 1, 1969. The now 69-year-old remains at the California Institution for Women. She was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder.
On the first day of the killing spree, she stabbed Abigail Folger 28 times, she said in court testimony. During the second night, Krenwinkel testified that she stabbed Rosemary LaBianca. She was denied parole for the 14th time in June. She'll be eligible for consideration again in five years. Charles "Tex" Watson was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder. He was involved in both killings at Tate's and the LaBianca's residences.
At age 71, Watson remains in prison and has been denied parole 17 times. Leslie Van Houten had been the youngest of Manson's followers, at age 19 when she participated in the killings of the LaBiancas. She was not involved in the murder at the Tate residence.
Van Houten, now 68, has been denied parole 19 times and remains at the California Institution for Women. In September, a two-person state commission panel granted Van Houten parole for what would be the second time. But that decision requires legal review and a decision by California Governor Jerry Brown. He had rejected parole for her last year saying she "currently poses an unreasonable danger to society."
Bruce Davis is serving two life sentences for the slayings of Gary Hinman and Donald Shea.
Davis was not involved in the Tate and LaBianca murders. Although he was recommended for parole, it was denied by Gov. Brown in June. Bobby Beausoleil, was convicted of the murder of Gary Hinman. Beausoleil, 70, is serving a life sentence and at a Vacaville, California, medical facility. Susan "Sadie" Denise Atkins, who was involved in the Tate and LaBianca deaths, had been California's longest-serving female inmate until her 2009 death in prison. She had terminal brain cancer.
By her own admission, Atkins held down and stabbed Tate, who was then eight months pregnant. Atkins also was convicted in the killings of the LaBiancas and the earlier murder of Gary Hinman. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was convicted in 1975 of pointing a gun at then-President Gerald Ford. She was sentenced to life in prison and was released on parole after serving 34 years in 2009. Steven "Clem" Grogan was released on parole in 1985 after revealing the location of the body of Donald Shea, who was killed in 1969.