Patricia Krenwinkel was a member of the Manson Family, the perpetrators of one of the most notorious crimes in modern U.S. history. Manson was a petty criminal, a white supremacist, who believed that America was headed towards a “post-apocalyptic race war.” Patricia Krenwinkel was a Manson Family member who, with other members of Manson’s cult, went on a killing spree during the summer of 1969. Krenwinkel was convicted of seven murders, including that of Sharon Tate, an actress who was married to Roman Polanski. Tate was pregnant at the time of her murder.
Krenwinkel and other members of the Manson Family were sentenced to death in 1971, but before the sentence could be carried out, the State of California decreed that the death penalty was unconstitutional. Krenwinkel’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and according to Time, she is now California’s longest-serving female inmate.
Krenwinkel was just 21-years-old at the time of the killings, and she has now been in prison for 47 years. As reported by the L.A. Times, Krenwinkel testified that she had broken into Sharon Tate’s home with other members of the Manson Family. Tate and four other people, including coffee heiress Abigail Folger, were shot and stabbed to death. Krenwinkel confessed to chasing Folger around the house and stabbing her 28 times. Krenwinkel used her victims’ blood to write “Death to Pigs” on the walls of her victims’ homes.
Krenwinkel Claims ‘Battered-Spouse Syndrome’ Drove Her Crimes
It is generally accepted that Charles Manson used sex and drugs to exert control over members of the Manson Family cult. According to the New York Daily News, Krenwinkel now claims that “battered-wife syndrome” was the root cause of her crimes. Krenwinkel’s lawyer, Keith Wattley, made the abuse claims, and the California parole board has spent the last six months examining those claims.
Krenwinkel appeared before the parole board yesterday, her 14th parole hearing, and was told that she will remain behind bars. Parole Board Commissioner Susan Melanson, told Krenwinkel that her crimes were “so barbaric,” that they warranted more time in prison.
“This crime remains relevant. The public is in fear. And that just is a fact of the crime and the consequences of the crime.”
Like “Moors Murderers” Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the Manson Family’s crimes were so horrific that they have left an indelible stain on the nation’s conscience. Many believe that Krenwinkel’s crimes were of such gravity that she should die in prison. It seems, at least for now, that the California Parole Board agrees.
[Featured Image by Reed Saxon/AP Images]