Manson family member could be granted parole

A follower of Charles Manson could be granted parole after more than 50 years behind bars.

A California panel has recommended parole for Patricia Krenwinkel, one of the women convicted in the infamous 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others.

Krenwinkel, 74, has been denied parole 14 times, most recently in 2017. In a statement to the Associated Press, her attorney says Krenwinkel is "completely transformed from the person she was when she committed this crime, which is all that it's supposed to take to be granted parole."

The Board of Parole Hearings has up to 120 days to approve the decision and if they do so, Gov. Gavin Newsom will have 30 days to make a final decision. In a statement to CNN, Newsom's office said the decision is under review,

"In all cases that reach him, the Governor carefully reviews parole decisions to determine whether a parole grant is consistent with public safety," the statement said.

Krenwinkel admitted to fatally stabbing coffee heiress Abigail Folger at Tate's home on Aug. 9, 1969, according to the AP. Tate, who was 8-months pregnant, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, and writer Wojciech Frykowski were also killed.

Krenwinkle also admitted to a murder the following night, in which she stabbed grocer Leno LaBianca in the stomach with a fork and then wrote "Helter Skelter," ″Rise" and "Death to Pigs" on the walls with his blood. Rosemary LaBianca was also killed.

Krenwinkel is the longest-serving female inmate in California's prison system. She was convicted in March 1971 of multiple charges, including first-degree murder, and sentenced to death alongside Charles Manson and fellow followers Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten. Charles "Tex" Watson was tried at a later date but received the same punishment. All of their sentences were later reduced to life in prison.

Manson died in 2017. Atkins died in 2009. Van Houten, 72, and Watson, 76, remain in prison.

Krenwinkel's parole is opposed by at least one person: Tate's sister Debra. She started a petition calling for Gov. Newsome to bar Krenwinkle's release, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Each and every time I go into any board meeting, I am painfully aware that it's a very viable possibility that any one of these inmates will get an exit date," Tate told The Times. "I am an extremely forgiving person by nature, but I am not convinced that these people have been rehabilitated one iota."

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