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A Member Of The Manson Family Has Been Granted Parole

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Bruce Davis, a former member of the Manson family, has been granted parole after over 40 years in prison. He was sentenced to life in prison in April of 1972. Davis, now 72, was a member of the infamous Manson family, and was convicted of murdering two men in 1969. He has been up for parole 30 times before today's hearing. There will now be a 120-day review period, then Governor Jerry Brown will have 30 days to step in and reverse the decision if he chooses to, according to a release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In March of 2014, Davis was granted parole, but that was reversed by Brown in August of 2014. Davis was again denied parole on April 23, 2015, according to CNN.

Since his imprisonment, Davis has gotten married, had a kid and received a Ph.D in religion, according to the L.A. Times. He is currently housed in the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. Davis would be the first Manson family member to be released for good behavior.

Davis was not involved in the infamous 1969 killings at a Cielo Drive home, which included pregnant actress Sharon Tate, and but he was convicted of murdering Donald "Shortly" Shea and Gary Hinman. Shea was 35 years old and a stuntman who worked as a ranch hand at Spahn Ranch, where the Manson family lived for a time. While Shea experienced no real issues with the group at first, Manson eventually got it in his head that Shea was a snitch.

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Davis testified at a parole hearing, saying that in August of 1969, Tex Watson and Clem Grogan asked Shea to drive them to a car parts yard, to which Shea agreed. Davis said he sat in the backseat with Grogan, while Watson sat in the front seat. He said that Grogan hit Shea with a pipe wrench before Watson stabbed him. Then, he said that Grogan and Watson took Shea to the bottom of a hill where they tortured and stabbed him until he was dead. Davis said that he only cut Shea with a knife after Shea was incapacitated—possibly dead—to appease Manson.

"…I cut him right about here on the shoulder just with the tip of the blade. Sort of like saying, 'Are you satisfied, Charlie?' And I turned around and walked away. And I was sick for about two or three days. I mean, I couldn't even think about what I had done," he said at one parole hearing.

Grogan was released in 1985 after telling authorities where to find Shea's body.

As for Hinman, he was a musician who had a home in Topanga Canyon, where he frequently allowed various members of the Manson family to crash there. In July of 1969, Manson decided that he wanted Hinman's money and cars. Various family members held him hostage in his own home and tormented him for days, including Davis. Finally, family member Bobby Beausoleil stabbed Hinman to death and either he, Mary Brunner or Susan Atkins wrote "political piggy" and drew a Black Panther symbol on the wall in Hinman's blood in an attempt to make it look like Hinman had been killed by the political group. Beausoleil was arrested in August after he was caught snoozing in Hinman's car on the side of the freeway.

Related:
Where Are Manson's Children Now?