Ailing Manson Follower, Susan Atkins, Denied Parole
With only months to live, Susan Atkins was denied parole for the 13th and most likely final time yesterday. The San Gabriel-born 61-year-old Charles Manson follower has been behind bars for 38 years after being convicted of murder over a 1969 killing spree left eight people, including Sharon Tate, dead. She has been diagnosed with brain cancer, prompting her and family to ask for a "compassionate release," which was also denied last summer.
Yesterday's denial was for 3 years, meaning her next parole consideration hearing will be in 2012. Her 13 attempts for parole began in 1976. She was initially sentenced to death but that was modified to life in prison with the possibility of parole after a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court that determined the state's death penalty statute at the time was unconstitutional.