Parole board officials turned aside Patricia Krenwinkel's claims of being a changed woman and ordered the Charles Manson follower to remain in prison, saying the deaths of seven people in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders still "remain relevant."
The two member panel said Thursday that the viciousness and notoriety of her crimes outweighs her efforts at rehabilitation behind bars.
"This is a crime children grow up hearing about," said parole commissioner Susan Melanson. She said they had received 80 letters from around the world advocating Krenwinkel's continued incarceration. "These crimes remain relevant."
Melanson and deputy parole commissioner Steven Hernandez not only refused Krenwinkel's parole bid but made her ineligible for reconsideration for another seven years., the longest denial handed down so far to any Manson family convict. Her four decades behind bars has made her the longest incarcerated woman in the California prison system.
Melanson and Deputy Commissioner Steven Hernandez issued their decision after the intense hearing and more than an hour of deliberations .
Krenwinkel, now grey haired and grandmotherly looking at 63, wept and apologized.
"I'm just haunted each and every day by the unending suffering of the victims, the enormity and degree of suffering I've caused," Krenwinkel said.
She was soft spoken and contrite in response to board members' questions, describing the downward spiral of her life after she met Manson and came under his spell. Because of him, she said, "Everything that was good and decent in me I threw away."
The panel had the option to deny parole for up to 15 years. Melanson said they felt that was unnecessary and commended Krenwinkel for her self-improvement and community service in her four decades at the California Institution for Women.
But they dismissed Krenwinkel's explanation that she was seeking approval from Manson by following his orders to kill.
"The panel finds it hard to believe a person can participate in this level of crimes and can't identify anything but 'I wanted him to love me,'" Melanson said.
Krenwinkel's claim that she is rehabilitated was met by anger and opposition from a prosecutor and families of the victims.
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