Follower of Charles Manson denied parole for 14th time

LOS ANGELES — Patricia Krenwinkel, a Charles Manson follower convicted in a 1969 killing spree by Manson family members, on Thursday was denied parole for the 14th time.

She will be eligible again for consideration in five years.

Krenwinkel, 69, was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder in the August 1969 Manson family attacks that left seven people dead. Among the victims was pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski, Folger Coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring.

The crimes captivated people during a turbulent time in the nation’s history. Prosecutors say Manson hoped to spark a race war with the grisly murders.

Thursday’s parole hearing was a resumption of a December 2016 meeting, which was suspended after Krenwinkel’s attorney claimed that his client was a victim of “Intimate Partner Battery,” often referred to as “battered wife syndrome,” by Manson. The break allowed for an investigation into the claim.

Krenwinkel’s attorney, Keith Wattley, had declined to predict how the panel would react, but said he was encouraged that they are considering the abuse issue.

“There is no new evidence, no new allegations,” he said. “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” with other members of the Manson group.

Family members of the victims — Sharon Tate’s sister, Sebring’s nephew and the grandson of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca — planned on fighting a parole recommendation. Debra Tate dismissed the claim that Krenwinkel was abused, telling CNN, “She could have cut and run any time. She did it (the murders) because she enjoyed it.”

Tony LaMontagne, the grandson of the LaBiancas, told CNN that he attends these parole hearings to support his grandparents, “but the hearings revictimize us,” by having to listen to the details of the crimes.

Here are some quick facts about Krenwinkel’s case:

— She has been incarcerated for 47 years and is the longest-serving female inmate in the California prison system.

— Krenwinkel was sentenced to death in 1971, but a year later the California death penalty was ruled unconstitutional and her sentence was commuted to life. The death penalty has since been reinstated.

— Krenwinkel has now been denied parole 14 times.

— On the first day of the killing spree, she pursued and stabbed Folger 28 times, Krenwinkel said in court testimony. She later complained her hand hurt from the stabbings, prosecutors said.

— Krenwinkel testified that she stabbed Rosemary LaBianca on the second night while LaBianca pleaded for the life of her husband, Leno. Krenwinkel said she later scrawled “Death to Pigs” on the wall with the blood of Leno LaBianca.

— Krenwinkel claims she met Charles Manson when she was a 19-year-old secretary, and has said that she both feared and loved him.

— Because she was 21 years old at the time of the crimes, she now qualifies for youth parole consideration, based on a 2016 law.

— Convicted Manson followers Leslie Van Houten and Bruce Davis were recommended for parole. Gov. Jerry Brown denied them both.