Feb 3, 2024

Manson family cultist Bruce Davis has parole hearing postponed after appearing on true crime podcast

Bruce Davis did not kill anyone himself but played a role in two Manson family murders

 Michael Ruiz Fox News

 February 2, 2024

FIRST ON FOX: Bruce Davis, a member of Charles Manson's murderous cult "family" that committed a series of California murders in 1969, had his latest parole hearing postponed after appearing on a true crime podcast.

Davis, who wrote in a Christmas card to the interviewer that he was looking forward to the hearing, wound up having it postponed after parole commissioners voiced concerns, he said. 

"I've yet to hear the podcast," Davis told Fox News Digital in an email, before asking about it. "Does it sound as if I'm glorifying Manson or my crimes?"

Davis gave two phone interviews with Keith Rovere, a former prison chaplain and the host of "The Lighter Side of Serial Killers," in February 2023 and April 2023 about his Christian faith in prison and the book he was writing behind bars. 

"He wanted my help and the help of my followers to ask him questions about his past to jog his memory for stories for the book," Rovere told Fox News Digital.

They discussed Davis' first encounter with Manson, life on the cult's Los Angeles ranch and anecdotes about other members and people in Manson's orbit, including the Beach Boys. 

Davis described Manson as a "little, undersized person" with outsize influence over his followers.

"I know from the dark side," Davis told Rovere over the phone from inside San Quentin State Prison. 

Rovere told Fox News Digital the subject of Davis' crimes did not come up. But Davis did discuss how Manson attracted a following and how cult members were frequently high on drugs.

"I know that I don't know everything," Davis said. "And there will be some questions that stimulate something that bring something back that is part of the story that I dismissed."

Davis, 81, has been denied parole dozens of times since his incarceration in 1972 for his role in the murders of Gary Hinman, a 34-year-old musician and friend of several Manson family members, and Donald "Shorty" Shea, a 35-year-old Hollywood stuntman.

He did not kill either of the victims himself and was not accused of taking part in the home invasion murders that killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

Steve Grogan, another Manson family member convicted in Shea's murder, was paroled in 1985 after leading investigators to the victim's remains.

California prison records show the board granted Davis parole in 2021, but Gov. Gavin Newsom overturned the commissioners' decision.

More recently, the board denied him parole in July 2022. He was not supposed to be eligible again until 2025, but the following year his application was approved for an administrative review.

California Department of Corrections records show that, on Jan. 18, parole officials postponed his suitability hearing. Records show Davis received a new hearing date Aug. 8.

Rovere said the postponement came in direct response to the commissioners learning about the podcast interviews. The prison's public information officer could not immediately confirm specific details about the hearing.

"If the parole board felt uneasy about him just doing a podcast, who knows what they'll think," said Rovere, who regularly hosts some of the country's most infamous killers on his podcast, including "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz and the "Happy Face killer" Keith Jesperson.

Rovere believes in positive interactions with the worst of the worst prisoners.

"Most of the people I talk to aren’t believers and aren’t religious. I don’t push it on them, but that’s my personal foundation," he said. "It’s mostly about making a positive change in their lives, because no one else is doing it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to michael.ruiz@fox.com and on Twitter: @mikerreports


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