Charles Manson: Sharon Tate's sister hopes never to face him again
A state prison board's decision to reject parole for 77-year-old mass murderer Charles Manson brought hope to the sister of one of his victim's that he would no long be a part of her life.
For decades, Debra Tate has been an outspoken opponent of Manson's release from prison. Her sister, actress Sharon Tate, was one of the Manson family's victims.
Tate spoke out against Manson at the parole hearing Wednesday and told reporters afterward that she hoped she had made her last trip to the Central California's Corcoran State Prison.
"I was very pleased that we will never hear from Charlie Manson again," Tate said, according to CNN. "I don't have to see him again. For this one, it's over."
Manson won't be eligible for another parole hearing for 15 years, when he would be 92.
As for her activism against Manson, Tate told the Associated Press: "I've been doing it for Sharon and the other victims of him for the last 40 years."
Debra Tate attended several previous parole hearings and was not sure if she would face Manson in person on Wednesday. In the end, Manson did not attend Wednesday's hearing. Tate told reporters she felt he didn't want to face her.
Parole board member John Peck said Wednesday that the board was swayed in part by comments Manson made to prison psychologists.
Peck quoted Manson, from the statements provided by the psychologists. " 'I'm special. I'm not like the average inmate,' " Peck said, according to the Associated Press. " 'I have spent my life in prison. I have put five people in the grave. I am a very dangerous man.' "
Peck said the board saw no signs of rehabilitation.
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.
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.
But the board decided he should stay in prison.
Manson's absence was not unusual for the hearing, the 12th in which state officials concluded Manson was too great a danger to be released.
Before the hearing, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said it would vigorously oppose Manson's release. "We consistently [opposed parole] and will continue to do so," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
A photo released by the California prison system, above, 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