SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California parole panel recommended the release of Patricia Krenwinkel for the first time Thursday, more than five decades after she and other followers of cult leader Charles Manson terrorized the state and she wrote “Helter Skelter” on a wall using the blood of one of their victims.
Krenwinkel, 74, was previously denied parole 14 times for the slayings of pregnant actor Sharon Tate and four other people in 1969. She helped kill grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary the next night in what prosecutors say was an attempt by Manson to start a race war.
The parole recommendation will be reviewed by the state parole board’s legal division before likely going to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a decision within five months. He has previously rejected parole recommendations for other followers of Manson, who died in prison in 2017.
New laws since Krenwinkel was last denied parole in 2017 required the parole panel to consider that she committed the murders at a young age and is now an elderly prisoner.
Also, for the first time, Los Angeles County prosecutors weren’t at the parole hearing to object, under District Attorney George Gascón’s policy that prosecutors should not be involved in deciding whether prisoners are ready for release.