California Gov. Gavin Newsom is blocking parole for Patricia Krenwinkel, a supporter of the Charles Manson family

SACRAMENTO, California– California’s governor on Friday blocked the parole of Charles Manson supporter Patricia Krenwinkel more than five decades after she scrawled “Helter Skelter” on a wall in the blood of one of her victims.

The video shown is from a previous report.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Krenwinkel, now 74, was still too great a risk to public safety to be exonerated.

“Ms. Krenwinkel fully embraced Mr. Manson’s racist, apocalyptic ideologies,” Newsom said. “Ms. Krenwinkel was not just a victim of Mr. Manson’s abuse. She was also instrumental in the violence and tragedy that became the Manson family legacy.”

A two-person parole board first recommended Krenwinkel’s release in May after she was previously denied parole 14 times. Newsom has previously rejected parole recommendations for other supporters of Manson, who died in prison in 2017.

Krenwinkel became the state’s longest-serving female inmate when her Manson supporter, Susan Atkins, died in prison from cancer in 2009. Her attorney, Keith Wattley, said he understood that Krenwinkel was the longest-serving woman in the United States.

She and other followers of the cult leader terrorized the state in the late 1960s, committing crimes that Newsom said were “among the most terrifying in California history.”

She was convicted of the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others. She helped kill grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary the next night, in what prosecutors say was an attempt by Manson to start a race war.

Newsom agreed that she behaved well in prison, completed many rehabilitation and educational programs, and “showed exuberant remorse.” But he concluded that “their efforts have not adequately reduced their risk of future dangerousness.”

She still doesn’t have enough insight into the reasons that led her to commit the crimes or her “triggers for antisocial thinking and behavior” during bad relationships, Newsom said.

“Apart from the brutal murders she committed, she played a leading role in the cult and an enforcer of Mr. Manson’s tyranny. She forced the other women in the cult to obey Mr. Manson and prevented them from escaping when they tried to leave,” he said.

Wattley did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment on Newsom’s decision.

But Anthony DiMaria, nephew of Jay Sebring, one of Krenwinkel’s victims, had urged Newsom to block her release “due to the rare, serious and egregious nature of her crimes.” He said their actions “incited the entire Helter-Skelter legacy, which left lasting historical scars” and inspired at least two ritualized killings years later.

New legislation since Krenwinkel was last denied parole in 2017 has obliged the parole board to believe she committed the murders at a young age and is now older.

Also, for the first time, Los Angeles County prosecutors were absent from the parole hearing to raise an objection, in accordance with District Attorney George Gascón’s policy that prosecutors should not be involved in determining whether prisoners are ready for release.

She and other participants were initially sentenced to death. But they were again sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, after California’s death penalty was briefly ruled unconstitutional in 1972.

Krenwinkel was 19 and living with her older sister when she met Manson, then 33, at a party, where she said she felt lost and alone.

“He seemed a little bit larger than life,” she testified in May, and she was beginning to feel “that somehow his view of the world was right, right.”

She said she went with him to have a relationship with “the new man in my life” who, unlike others, told her he loved her and that she was beautiful.

Manson “had answers I wanted to hear … that I could be loved, that I could have the kind of affection that I was looking forward to in my life,” she said.

Instead, she said Manson physically and emotionally abused her and others while demanding that they trust him without question, a statement that led the parole board to conclude that Krenwinkel was a victim of intimate partner battery at the time.

It took about two years of traveling and drug use before he began to emerge as “the Christ-like figure who led the cult,” who began talking about starting a race war and asking his followers, “Would you kill for me?” And I said yes.”

Krenwinkel spoke during her parole hearing in 2016 about how she repeatedly stabbed Abigail Folger, 26, heiress to a coffee fortune, at Tate’s home on August 9, 1969.

The next night, she said Manson and his right-hand man, Charles “Tex” Watson, told her to “do something witchy,” so she stabbed La Bianca in the stomach with a fork, then grabbed a rag and said, “Helter Skelter”, “Rise” and “Death to Pigs” written with his blood on the walls.

The bone-handled fork “was part of a set we used over the holidays … to carve our turkeys,” the couple’s nephew, Louis Smaldino, told the parole officer, calling Krenwinkel “a vicious and callous killer.”

Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, the last surviving member of her immediate family, was among the victims who dismissed Krenwinkel’s explanation that drinking and an unsupportive family led her to growing up with Manson.

“We all come from troubled families and didn’t choose to go out and brutally kill seven strangers,” Tate told parole officers.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is blocking parole for Patricia Krenwinkel, a supporter of the Charles Manson family

Russell Falcon

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