California Gov. Gavin Newsom blocked the parole of Patricia Krenwinkel, a former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer in a notorious 1969 killing spree, saying “she currently poses an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.”
A parole board had in May recommended for the first time that Krenwinkel be released. She had been denied parole 14 times since her conviction.
“After an independent and thorough review, the evidence establishes that Ms. Krenwinkel is not suitable for parole and cannot be safely released from prison at this time,” Newsom said in his review Friday reversing the parole decision.
Krenwinkel, 74, was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder in the August 1969 Manson family attacks that left seven people dead. Among the victims was pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski, Folger Coffee heiress Abigail Folger and celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring.
During the 1969 killing spree, Krenwinkel pursued and stabbed Folger 28 times, Krenwinkel said in court testimony.
Newsom said that despite her age at the time of the killings, her positive behavior in prison and current age, Krenwinkel remains unsuitable for parole.
“Ms. Krenwinkel was not only a victim of Mr. Manson’s abuse. She was also a significant contributor to the violence and tragedy that became the Manson Family’s legacy,” Newsom said in his parole reversal decision. “Beyond the brutal murders she committed, she played a leadership role in the cult, and an enforcer of Mr. Manson’s tyranny.”
The review cited her lack of insight into “the causative factors of her crime and her triggers for antisocial thinking” as reasons for denying her parole for a fifteenth time.
“While Ms. Krenwinkel has matured in prison and engaged in commendable rehabilitative efforts, her efforts have not sufficiently reduced her risk for future dangerousness,” the review said.
Krenwinkel was initially sentenced to death in 1971. A year later, the California death penalty was ruled unconstitutional and her sentence was commuted to life. The death penalty has since been reinstated.
Krenwinkel has served approximately 53 years in prison, according to the governor’s office.