Manson Cult Killer Patricia Krenwinkel Seeks Parole After 47 Years

Originally sentenced to death, the former follower of Charles Manson has been in jail since the '70s for the muders of six people. 

By Benjamin H. Smith

It was the case which to many symbolized the death of the hippie dream of peace and love. In the summer of 1969, followers of hirsute cult leader Charles Manson went on a killing spree that would terrorize Los Angeles. “The Family,” was mostly made up of pretty young women, who had fallen under Manson’s spell. Now 69-year-old Patricia Krenwinkel (pictured, center—and, yes, she's laughing with her fellow Manson family members), who helped kill six people, including the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, is once again seeking parole after nearly 50 years behind bars.

Patricia Krenwinkel was 19 when she met Manson at a party, and left her straight life behind three days later to follow him into the depths of druggy madness. In a previous parole hearing, she said under his influence she became a “monster,” saying  “I committed myself fully to him. I committed myself to the act of murder,” and that she was "willing to sacrifice others’ lives for my own.”

At her 1971 trial, Krenwinkel admitted to stabbing to death coffee heiress Abigail Ann Folger, during the August 9, 1969 home invasion of the Tate home. The following night she was present at the killing of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, and admitted to stabbing and mutilating his wife Rosemary.

Krenwinkel was originally convicted and sentenced to death, however, in 1972 the death penalty was abolished in California, resulting in her sentence being commuted to life in prison. She has been denied parole 13 previous times, most recently in 2011. So far, a two-member parole panel has delayed making a decision. If paroled, her release could still be blocked by California Governor Jerry Brown.  [Source: CBS News]

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