Charles Manson shows no signs of rehabilitation, parole board says
In rejecting freedom for Charles Manson, a California parole board Wednesday said the mass killer has made no effort to rehabilitate himself.
Before the hearing, his attorney, DeJon R. Lewis, said he would like to see Manson transferred to Atascadero State Hospital from the state prison near Corcoran. "Charles Manson does not need incarceration at this point in his life," Lewis told CNN. "He needs hospitalization."
But the board decided he should stay in prison.
"This panel can find nothing good as far as suitability factors go," John Peck, a member of the panel, told the Associated Press.
Manson did not attend the hearing, which was the 12th in which state officials concluded Manson was too great a danger to be released. The 77-year-old will be eligible for another hearing in 15 years.
Manson and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area during two August nights in 1969. He is housed at Corcoran State Prison in a special unit for inmates felt to be endangered by other inmates, separate from the general prison population.
Twice in the last few years, Corcoran guards said they found the notorious killer in possession of a cellphone. Manson called people in California, New Jersey and Florida with an LG flip phone discovered under his prison bunk in March 2009, The Times reported in 2011. A second phone was found a year later. Thirty days were added to his sentence for the first offense, officials said.
Earlier, a homemade weapon was found in his possession.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office had said it would vigorously oppose Manson's release. "We consistently [opposed parole] and will continue to do so," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
A new photo released by the California prison system shows Manson with long, gray hair and a beard.
In 2007 at Manson's last parole hearing, the board concluded he "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."
Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles song "Helter Skelter."
Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8½ months pregnant when she was killed at the couple's hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Polanski was out of the country working on a film. Besides Tate, four others were stabbed and shot to death: Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate's caretaker. The word "Pig" was written on the front door in blood.
The next night, Manson rode along with his cohorts to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three of them to commit the murders. "Death to pigs" was written on a wall, and "Healter Skelter," which was misspelled, was written on the refrigerator door.
Manson was also convicted of the earlier murder of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of former stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson had his commune.
Manson initially was sentenced to death. A 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state's death penalty law at the time unconstitutional and his death sentence was changed in 1977 to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Shelby Grad
Photos, from top: Charles Manson in a recent photo; Manson in a 1968 booking photo, left; and at Corcoran State Prison in 2009. Credits: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via KTLA News; Ventura County Sheriff’s Department; Department of Corrections