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Manson follower Charles 'Tex' Watson denied parole

Charles Tex WatsonThe self-described right-hand man of cult leader Charles Manson was denied parole Wednesday for the 14th time after decades behind bars. He will be considered for another parole review in five years.

Charles "Tex" Watson, 65, appeared before a parole panel at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, southeast of Sacramento, seeking to be released some 42 years after the Manson Family killings.

Relatives of Watson's victims requested that the panel again deny his parole for killing actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months' pregnant, and four others at her Beverly Hills home on Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, Watson helped kill grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Watson was given the death penalty for his role in the murders, but that sentence was later overturned.

While in prison, he married and divorced and fathered four children. He also started a prison ministry and became an author and ordained minister.

On Watson's ministry website, he says he believed Manson "offered utopia, but in reality, he had a destructive world view, which Charles ended up believing in and acting upon. His participation in the 1969 Manson murders is a part of history that [Watson] deeply regrets."

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Charles Manson follower Charles "Tex" Watson in the early 1970s. Credit:  Los Angeles Times

 
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