Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Gov. Brown Could Approve Release of Manson Family Member Bruce Davis

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

It's nearing decision time: Governor Jerry Brown will have the final say on the release of Bruce Davis, a onetime disciple of Charles Manson who has been approved for release by the parole board.There's about a month left for Brown to make his determination on Davis' suitability to rejoin the California population, according to L.A. Now.

Davis was granted parole in October 2012, and has been incarcerated for 40 years, serving life sentences for two 1969 murders separate from the more notorious slaying of actress Sharon Tate and several others at her rented hilltop home. His convictions are for the murder of Gary Hinman on July 25, 1969, and for the murder of Donald "Shorty" Shea sometime between August 16 and September 1, 1969, though some believe Davis is tied to at least one other killing.

But this isn't the first time he's been approved for release by the parole board; he was granted parole in early 2010, only to have then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the same position in which Brown now finds himself, deny the release. Davis challenged Schwarzenegger's decision, but the decision was upheld, so it was back to lockup for Davis.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles are hoping Brown rejects the parole board's ruling and keeps Davis behind bars. Manson Family prosecutor Stephen Kay said recently he believes Davis should die in prison. Additionally, "Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey has urged Brown not to release Davis," according to L.A. Now, and has written a letter to Brown describing Davis as Charles Manson's "right hand man," and that he "has been diagnosed with narcissistic and antisocial personality traits," which contribute to why she believes Davis poses an "unreasonable risk of danger to society."

Support for LAist comes from

Davis, who is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, has been active in prison ministries. He is a born-again Christian and has earned a doctorate degree in philosophy of religion while behind bars. If released, Davis would go to transitional housing in Los Angeles County and would try to pursue a career in the ministry.