Former Manson Family Member Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole For The 14th Time
Patricia Krenwinkel, a former member of the Charles Manson "family," was denied parole on Thursday, reports CNN. This marks the 14th time that Krenwinkel, 69, has been denied, according to the L.A. Times.
Krenwinkel's parole decision was originally set for late 2016. However, that decision was delayed when Krenwinkel's lawyer, Keith Wattley, made new claims saying that she'd been subjected to abuse from Manson. The Board of Parole Hearings found that the allegations were cause for investigation, and decided to postpone the hearing.
Anthony DiMaria, a nephew of one of the victims of the Manson murder spree, told the AP in 2016 that he was shocked that the allegations were being introduced so many years after the killings. “For this investigation to be initiated at this point is mindboggling,” said DiMaria. “I don’t understand where we go from a murder, the killing of eight people (including Tate’s unborn child) to an intimate partner battery victim.”
At Thursday's hearing, however, Wattley claimed that the allegations were not new. "There is no new evidence, no new allegations," Wattley said, according to CNN. "It's just that this time I asked the panel to consider the psychological and physical abuse. The fact is that the board had understood the influence" of the abuse.
As a source told the Times, the lawyer's claims were akin to allegations of battered-spouse syndrome, a psychological state that is suffered by victims of longtime abuse. In 2011, the use of battered women’s syndrome as defense took the spotlight when it helped free two women (in separate cases) who said that they’d been regularly abused for years by their victims. In one of the cases, Gaile Owens of Tennessee had spent almost 26 years in prison for hiring a hitman to kill her husband. She was later freed after evidence was uncovered showing that she was a victim of sustained domestic abuse.
A major difference in Krenwinkel's case, of course, is that her victims were not the abusers.
Krenwinkel, who is the longest-serving female inmate in California’s correctional system, will be eligible again for parole in five years. As the Times notes, being granted parole is a multi-tiered process, and it ultimately must be approved by the state governor. In April, Governor Jerry Brown rejected the a state review board's recommendation of parole for Leslie Van Houten, another member of the Manson group. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge would later uphold the governor’s reversal.
Krenwinkel was present for both nights of the Manson family’s murder spree. She has admitted to stabbing Abigail Ann Folger, heiress of the Folger coffee fortune, at Sharon Tate's home. She also said that, the next night, she’d assisted in killing grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, at their Los Feliz home.