Charles Manson's attorney: Representing killer was difficult
Charles Manson's attorney said this week that it was difficult to represent the mass murderer during his bid for parole.
The parole board ultimately denied Manson's 12th attempt at freedom.
DeJon R. Lewis was appointed by the state to represent Manson. Lewis said the killer would not meet with him and refused to attend the hearing. And the case for parole was made more challenging by the nature of Manson's crimes.
"The murders showed us that anyone could be killed at any time, and no one was safe, not even at home," Lewis told the Associated Press.
"Quite frankly, I don't think he could have helped himself today by speaking on the record," Lewis told reporters after the hearing.
Manson won't be eligible for another parole hearing for 15 years, when he would be 92.
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.
Earlier, a homemade weapon was found in his possession.
Before the hearing, his attorney, 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