California Gov. Gavin Newsom has blocked the parole of Patricia Krenwinkel, a former follower of Charles Manson and convicted killer in a notorious 1969 killing spree, saying she “now poses an imminent risk to public safety.”
A parole board first recommended Krenwinkel be released in May. He had been denied parole 14 times since being sentenced.
“After a thorough independent review, the evidence establishes that Ms. Krenwinkel is not eligible for parole and cannot be safely released from prison at this time,” Newsom said in his Friday review of the parole decision.
Krenwinkel, 74, was convicted of first-degree murder in the August 1969 Manson family bombings that killed seven people. Among the victims were pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski, Folger Coffee heiress Abigail Folger and celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring.
During the 1969 killing spree, Krenwinkel chased and stabbed Folger 28 times, Krenwinkel said in court testimony.
Newsom said that despite his age at the time of the murders, his positive behavior in prison and his current age, Krenwinkel remains eligible for parole.
“Mrs. Krenwinkel was not only a victim of Mr. Manson’s abuse. She was also a major contributor to the violence and tragedy that became the legacy of the Manson family,” Newsom said in his decision to revoke parole. “Beyond the brutal murders he committed, he played a leadership role in the cult, and an enforcer of Mr. Manson’s tyranny.”
The review cited the lack of “causative factors for his crime and triggers for antisocial thinking” as grounds for denying him parole for the fifteenth time.
“While Ms. Krenwinkel has matured in prison and made commendable rehabilitation efforts, her efforts have not sufficiently reduced her risk of future harm,” the review said.
Krenwinkel was originally sentenced to death in 1971. A year later, California’s death penalty was found unconstitutional and his sentence was commuted to life. The death penalty has since been reinstated.
Krenwinkel has served approximately 53 years in prison, according to the governor’s office.