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Patricia Krenwinkel's Attorney Is Not Optimistic About Parole Happening For Manson Family Follower

Krenwinkel is in a sleeveless plaid dress with long hair past her shoulders. Two L.A. County deputies are at her right.
Patricia Krenwinkel being escorted to court in February 1970.
(Herald Examiner Collection
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A California parole panel has — for the first time — recommended the release of former Charles Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel. Krenwinkel was among members of the so-called Manson Family convicted of taking part in a 1969 killing spree.

She'd previously been denied parole at least 10 times.

Krenwinkel, now 74, is the state's longest-serving female inmate.

She was 21 at the time of the infamous Helter Skelter murder spree. Here's a summary of her participation from LAist's Your Guide To The Manson Family Members — And Where They Are Now.

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Krenwinkel was present for the murders on Cielo Drive. In particular, she testified that she was the one to murder Abigail Folger. She first stabbed her in the living room of the house, then chased her outside and stabbed her several more times. According to Women Criminals: An Encyclopedia of People and Issues, Krenwinkel said she felt nothing when she killed her. "Nothing, I mean, what is there to describe? It was just there, and it was right." She also participated in the LaBianca murders the following night, assisting Van Houten and Watson in the murder of Rosemary. Krenwinkel has admitted to stabbing Leno with a fork and writing "DEATH TO PIGS" on the wall of their home with the LaBiancas' blood.

Her attorney, Keith Whattley, says California now requires the parole panel to consider his client's current age, her age at the time of the crimes and her allegations that she suffered from "intimate partner battery."

"People just don't like it. But this is the law," Whattley told us on Friday. "And the fact that the parole board has been unwilling to follow it up to now doesn't mean that they shouldn't follow it now. I'm glad that they finally decided to set politics aside and make the right decision. We just need the governor to do the same thing."

Whattley says he's not optimistic Gov. Gavin Newsom will grant Krenwinkel's release. Newsom recently rejected parole for another former Manson follower, Leslie Van Houten.

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