Mass murderer Manson has another parole review in California

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2012 2:03 PM
Mass murderer Manson has another parole review in California

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Aging mass murderer Charles Manson, one of America's most notorious convicts, was scheduled for his latest parole review on Wednesday in California, where he has been serving a life prison term since the 1970s.

Manson, 77, has been denied release on parole 11 times before, most recently in 2007, when the state Board of Parole Hearings ruled that he "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."

The parole hearing began on Wednesday morning, but state Corrections and Rehabilitation Department spokesman Luis Patino declined to say whether Manson was present.

"I can't give you any details of what's going on inside until after everybody exits the room," he said.

Manson has made a habit of skipping his parole board hearings in recent years and was not expected to attend his latest session.

He is incarcerated at the Corcoran State Prison, about 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Manson became one of the 20th century's most infamous criminals during the summer of 1969, when the Beatles-obsessed ex-con directed his mostly young, female followers to murder seven people.

Among the victims was actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times by members of the "Manson family" cult in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969.

Four other people were also stabbed or shot to death in Tate's home that night by the group, who scrawled the word "Pig" in blood on the front door before leaving.

The following night, Manson followers stabbed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca to death, using their blood to write "Rise," "Death to Pigs and "Healter Skelter" - a misspelled reference to the Beatles song "Helter Skelter" - on the walls and refrigerator door.

Manson was convicted and sentenced to death in 1971 but was spared execution after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. In 1977, his sentence was commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

California later resumed executions, but Manson remains eligible for parole hearings at least once every five years.

A new photograph of Manson released last month shows the balding, gray-bearded killer at age 74, his face still bearing the scar of a swastika he carved into his forehead during his sensational 1970 murder trial.

(Reporting the writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Christopher Wilson)