Apr 17, 2016

What Ever Happened to the Other Manson Family Cult Members?

NBC News
April 15, 2016

Manson Family murderer Leslie Van Houten was deemed "suitable for parole" on Thursday, a stunning decision that may be good news for another of "Charlie's Girls."

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Patricia Krenwinkel
Patricia Krenwinkel
Patricia Krenwinkel, who is serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women in Chino, is up for parole in 2018.


Three co-defendants in the Sharon Tate murder case, from left, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, laugh as they walk to court in Los Angeles for sentencing, March 29, 1971. AP file
And while Van Houten is not a lock to get out — she still has to get the approval of the full parole board and California Gov. Jerry Brown — the fact that she got this far may represent a faint bit of hope for 68-year-old Krenwinkel.

The longest serving woman behind bars in California, Krenwinkel has been denied parole 13 times.

Like Van Houten, who is 66, Krenwinkel has been a model prisoner. She has expressed remorse for falling under the spell of Charles Manson and taking part in the 1969 thrill killings that horrified the nation.

"What I am today is not what I was at 19," Krenwinkel said in the 2014 documentary "My Life After Manson."

But Krenwinkel's crime was even more gruesome than that of Van Houten, who was convicted of helping stab Rosemary LaBianca to death.

Krenwinkel was also part of the crew that broke into the rented home of actress Sharon Tate — the wife of Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski — and killed her and three others. She chased down coffee heiress Abigail Folger and stabbed her so many times cops thought her white nightgown was red.

Here is what happened to some of the other Manson Family members:

Charles Manson — At 81, the ringleader of the killer cult remains unrepentant as he serves nine life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in California. He has been denied parole a dozen times and will be 92 when — and if — he goes before the board again in 2027. But he still appears to be able to enchant women. Two years ago, he and 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, also known as "Star," got a marriage license. It expired before they could tie the knot.

Susan Atkins — She was the third member of the twisted sorority that were "Charlie's Girls," and the first member of the cult to die behind bars in 2009. She was 61. Once known as "Sexy Sadie," she married twice after she was jailed and her second husband represented her at several of her 18 parole board hearings. She was denied an exit every time.

Charles "Tex" Watson — One of Manson's henchmen, Watson is now 70 and has been serving a life sentence. Behind bars, Watson became an ordained minister and fathered four children during conjugal visits. When California ended that perk in 1996 for prisoners serving life sentences, Watson's wife left him for another man.

Bruce Davis — Once considered Manson's "right hand man," Davis is 73 and imprisoned at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. Like Watson, he too became a preacher behind bars.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme — She was a member of the cult but never charged with the murders. In 1975, Fromme was nabbed while trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Now 67, she served 34 years in prison before she was paroled in 2009.

Linda Kasabian — She was the getaway driver when Manson's minions went on their murder spree. Horrified, Kasabian later abandoned her cohorts and was granted immunity after testifying against Manson and his followers. She is 61 and believed to be living quietly in New Hampshire.

Bobby Beausoliel — Nicknamed "Cupid" because of his good looks, Beausoliel is serving a life sentence for stabbing to death Gary Hinman. He was the first of the victims. Manson claimed Hinman owed him money and sliced off part of his ear with a sword. Then he ordered Beausoliel to finish him off. Now 68, Beausoliel is serving his sentence in the Oregon State Prison.

Mary Brunner — She was one the first members of the Manson Family and bore the cult leader a son named Michael Valentine. Although she played no role in the murders, Brunner was busted in 1971 for robbing a gun store as part of a hare-brained scheme to bust Manson out of jail. She was wounded in a shootout with cops. Now 72, she was paroled in 1977.

Steve "Clem" Grogan — Manson called Grogan "Scramblehead" because he was so dim. Originally sentenced to death for his role in the murders. Grogan got life instead after a judge deemed him "too stupid and too hopped on drugs" to have orchestrated the slaughter. He was sprung from prison in 1985 — the only convicted Manson family killer to be released. He is 64. 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-ever-happened-other-manson-family-cult-members-n556561
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