But now, due to the dilligence of an unnamed blog reader, the biographies that Bret had compiled on four of the killers (Bruce Davis, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Watson and Susan Atkins) have been recovered. If memory serves me correctly Bret was working on Leslie's bio when he met his untimely demise.
The bios are long, dense and full of great info. Given the length of each, we will present one per week beginning with Bruce Davis.
Rest in peace, Bret. You are sorely missed...
Patricia Dianne Krenwinkel was born on December 3, 1947, in Los Angeles County. She is the only child of Joseph Krenwinkel and former Dorothy Huber, who was a young widow before they met. Dorothy Huber was married to Clyde Lowl, who died in 1943. Together they had one daughter, Charlene Ann who grew up with Patricia and Joseph Krenwinkel raised her as his own. Patricia's parents were married in 1944 and bought a nice house in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood.
Charlene was seven years old when Patricia was born and as half sisters they became very close. Joseph Krenwinkel worked as an insurance agent and Dorothy was a homemaker and very active in civic and religious work. She was on several committees of organizations such as March of Dimes, World Church Women's Council and the Campfire Girls, which Patricia was part of.
By all accounts, Patricia was a homely, quiet and well-adjusted child. Her parents describe her as an "exceedingly normal child," and the family as "normal" family. However, there was trouble in the home and everyone followed a dysfunctional pattern and problems were not discussed. Her parents tried very hard to project an image of a "normal family," and always described everything as rosy. Patricia herself has said that nothing was ever talked about and that her parents tried to mould her into something she wasn't. With time, Patricia grew tired of keeping up with her parents expectations.
Patricia's mother got her involved in Campfire Girls, Bluebirds and Bible School where Dorothy would teach the children. Patricia was very found of animals and would always have one pet or another to care for. She had a dog for many years, hamsters, a goldfish and canary birds. She belonged to the Little Wildlife Society.
Patricia, who was always called Pat by her family and friends, attended University High School where she did very well and got good grades. She was quiet and introspective and enjoyed reading and watching television with the family. Although she had friends and a close relationship with her sister, she was unable to relate to people spontaneously, was very self-conscious about her looks and had low self-esteem. She would often spend time alone in her room throwing herself in her studies. When she was 13 she started eating for comfort and became overweight. That didn't help with her self image and she felt unwanted, unloved and perceived herself as ugly. In her early teens she developed an endocrine hormone problem that caused an excess of body hair. Other people described her as plain looking and a sweet but troubled girl who had rejected herself.
When Pat was 14 she became very depressed which was largely contributed to her weight problem and poor social skills. Her mother took her to see her doctor and he prescribed Benzedrine and Dexemil, which is a form of amphetamine, which was very popular prescription drug in the 60's, set to cure everything from depression, obesity, addiction and narcolepsy. Instead of taking the pills as prescribed she went on a 40-day crash-diet, popping pills and staying up for days. She managed to reduce her size from fourteen to a size eight in only a few weeks. Her feelings of self-rejection were due to her physical appearance, which she tried to correct through various methods. Having lost the weight she felt a little better about herself and the pills would boost her self-esteem. She would use a lot of makeup and dye her hair red.
While attending University High School, Patricia's family life began to crumble. It became more difficult for her parents to keep up the image of the perfect family and they drifted apart. Her mother, Dorothy, started drinking every night during this period and the parents would fight constantly. In 1964 they separated and Dorothy moved out of the home to her native, Alabama. Patricia was 17 at the time and still in school so she decided to live with her father.
Charlene Ann had already left home to pursue a new life with a boyfriend. It was through this boyfriend that she became involved with the drug culture. Charlene soon became a full-blown addict and was arrested for burglary and narcotic possession with intent to supply. She did some time in the LA County Jail and was released on parole. She would meet her probation officer once a week and did well for a couple of months. Then she started using drugs again. This time her addiction spiralled out of control and she started shooting up with heroin and with time developed a very expensive habit. It was this same probation officer that would interview Patricia Krenwinkel when she entered the California Department of Corrections.
DRUG USE & VIETNAM
Patricia's father sold the house in Inglewood to find a smaller place for him and his daughter. They found an apartment in West Los Angeles where they settled in and Patricia enlisted in Westchester High for a short time. It was the same school Lynette Fromme would later attend. They even had the same English teacher. It was during this time that Patricia started using illegal drugs although she was 15 years old when she started drinking and smoking cigarettes.
When she first started drinking, it was the socially accepted thing teenagers did at that time. Patricia has stated that there were many groups that she would have liked to fit in with but didn't, so she accepted the group that accepted her. At first she would be drinking beer at football games and at other social gatherings with her friends. She stated proudly that she would drink anything the liquor store had to sell.
At 16 she was introduced to marijuana by a young man who was in the marines. Through him she got to know a whole new group of friends that would smoke pot and take other drugs. By 1964, when LSD had first made its appearance, Pat, along with a few of her friends decided to drop acid for the first time. It was a mind-blowing experience for her. Becoming involved in the drug culture seemed more acceptable to Patricia because her sister used drugs. When she was younger she always looked up to her sister and they were very close and Patricia would often go and stay with her sister for a few days.
In 1965, she had been dating another marine whom she fell in love with. After going to bed with him, he broke it off. She felt very hurt and rejected and moved to her mother in Alabama where she, on her mother's directive, enlisted in the Catholic religious Jesuit Institution, Springfield College. She only lasted for one semester and wanted to go back to Los Angeles and went back to University High.
The war in Vietnam was going on and the country was in turmoil and seemed to be split. She began to identify with politics of the time, especially the opposition to the war in Vietnam. Many of Patricia's boyfriends at that time were marines and were going of to fight the war in Vietnam. She had lost interest in her studies and felt she was loosing a grip on life and couldn't find any substance or direction. After coming back to LA, her father got her a job as a file clerk at North American Insurance company. She was tired of being inhibited, under her father's control and following his expectations, so she moved in with her sister.
Together they shared an inexpensive two-bedroom apartment in El Porto near Manhattan Beach. Her sister had become pregnant and given birth to a baby boy whom she named Ronny. The boy's father abandoned Charlene as soon as he learned that she was pregnant, so she was living alone with her son when Patricia moved in. Charlene's heroin addiction had totally consumed her life and Patricia was left with paying the bills and most of the rent. Patricia felt trapped and was trying to figure out what to do with her life. Her sister was also gone most of the time and Patricia was left to take care of the child. She has said that she loved Ronny very much and for many months she would take care of him as if he were her own child.
One afternoon when she finished work she went to visit a friend of her sister. In the living room was a man named Charles Manson who was playing the guitar. There were other people sitting in the living room smoking marijuana and Patricia was introduced to Manson and immediately liked him. He said he didn't have a place to stay so Patricia's sister invited him to stay at their place. For Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel was very easy mark. She later said that at that point she was so desperate that she was open to almost anything.
Manson accompanied Patricia and her sister to their apartment in El Porto and later that night they went to bed together. Patricia felt an instant connection and felt really loved by him. He told her she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, tapping into her need to feel desired and loved. Patricia couldn't stop crying and couldn't believe that someone could possibly love her. For many years she had felt so rejected, ugly, an outcast with no place to go. She couldn't believe what she was hearing and for the first time in her life she felt accepted and she never looked back. Charlie invited Patricia to join him and the others to go travel and she immediately accepted and remained in Manson's circle until her imprisonment in 1969. Manson often changed his followers' names. He decided on the name "Katie" for Pat Krenwinkel.
Two days later, on September 12, 1967, she left her job and the apartment. She left all her stuff behind and didn't even bother to pick up her paycheck. Manson introduced her to Mary Brunner and Lynette Fromme who had been staying with him for several weeks. Manson insisted that the girls share the bed together. Patricia was very inhibited and it took her some time before she was willing to let go and have sex with them. There has been speculation that Patricia was a lesbian before she met Manson. However, Patricia herself has said that her first lesbian encounter was with Mary and Lynn.
Patricia's involvement with the Manson Family has been thoroughly documented through the years and I will not go into any extensive details in what the Family was doing during this time unless it relates specifically to Patricia.
Charles Manson was once quoted as saying that Patricia Krenwinkel was his complete reflection and was more like him than any other member of the Family. She was certainly one of the girls who had been with him the longest and became absolutely devoted to him. Of the three Manson girls convicted of murder, she had the strongest bond with Manson and can be said that she was "most under his spell," if there is such a thing. This was the first time in her life she felt free and had a group she belonged to.
Two weeks after running away with Manson, Joseph Krenwinkel received a letter from his daughter from Seattle in which she wrote she had left "to find myself." After another couple of weeks he learned she had travelled to Sacramento when his ex-wife called him to say that Patricia had called from there asking for $ 100. Krenwinkel obtained a phone number for his daughter in Sacramento and offered to send her a plane ticket back to Alabama. She however insisted on the money instead and her father refused to send any. His next contact with her was across a narrow wooden table in the Lanchester, California, jail where she was being held on suspicion of murder.
The group travelled up and down the California coast in their old school bus, painted black. The group continued to grow and more people joined in, mostly young women. Other Family members have described Patricia as a gentle and delicate woman. The women of the group would cater to the men and they adopted Manson's view that women were inferior to men. Manson also used the women as bait to entice other men into the group or when he needed favours. According to many reports, Patricia was often left out of such activity. Manson used the prettiest women for that purpose. There was one instance after the Family had settled down at the Spahn Ranch when an outsider was trying to give oral sex to Patricia. Manson saw that the guy (Clem) wasn't into it and became furious. He directed Patricia to sit on a chair and gave oral lessons for everyone to see.
During Her time with the family, Patricia Krenwinkel used drugs heavily. She has confessed to using 150-200 LSD trips, none of which were bad. She smoked marijuana on a daily basis and at times would take various forms of speed such as Methedrine, Benzedrine and on occasion would smoke opium. For any rational person, it is safe to say that such consumption of LSD would have some serious effect on one's mind and behaviour. Studies have shown that such intense use of hallucinogens like LSD can seriously damage neurotransmitters in humans.
It was Patricia Krenwinkel along with Ella Jo Baily that introduced Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys to Charles Manson. Dennis picked the girls up hitchhiking and took them home. After having sex with them and smoking pot they spent the night there. When Dennis came home the next day Manson and the whole group was waiting for him. The group spent several months with Dennis and cleaned out his wardrobe, kitchen and bank account. Dennis even paid their dental bills. After having wrecked Dennis's Mercedes and taken over his residence, Dennis had had enough. The Beach Boys manager eventually kicked them out. Soon after they arrived at the Spahn Movie Ranch in Chatsworth.
Art the ranch, if the girls were having problems or needed someone to confide in they would turn to Patricia. She was a good listener and was someone they looked up too. At the ranch she would cook and clean and take care of the children. After Leslie Van Houten arrived at the ranch through Catherine Share and Bobby Beausoleil, she and Patricia became instant friends. Considering the fact that they came from very similar backgrounds, they related strongly to one another and remain close to this day. Van Houten looked up to Patricia and wanted to be just like her.
On the evening of August 9, 1969, Los Angeles was in the middle of a heat spell. Patricia was in a trailer at the ranch taking care of the children who were restless because of the heat. She was chatting with Leslie Van Houten when Manson came in and told her to come with him. He told her to get a change of dark clothing, a knife and to do whatever Tex Watson said to do. He gave Linda Kasabian and Susan Atkins the same instructions. Linda Kasabian testified at the 1970 that she did not know what they were going to do. She thought they were going on a creepy crawly mission.
According to Patricia, it wasn't until they were past the gate at the Tate residence that she learned about their intentions to kill everyone on the premises. Susan Atkins claims, Watson told them in the car before they arrived. However, ranch hand Juan Flynn testified that when the group was leaving Spahn Ranch that night, he asked where they were going. At that time Susan Atkins leaned out the window and said, "We're going to get some mother fucking pigs."
It is difficult to say precisely what happened during that time because there are so many accounts. Each of the murderers have their version, the prosecutor has his. Then there is the unprecedented amount of publicity and myth surrounding the case and there will always be people who exaggerate or lie to get attention or get their version of things across, and with the passage of time, these accounts become intertwined with one another. To do complete justice, I feel I need to bring this up.
Tex Watson was driving the car and Linda Kasabian testified that he drove directly to the Tate residence. After shooting Steven Parent in the driveway Tex cut the screen of the window and opened the door for the girls to enter. Each was dressed in black clothing and carrying a knife. Watson kicked Frykowski in the head who was asleep on the sofa and gave his chilling announcement, "I'm the devil, here to do the devils business." Patricia and Susan gathered the victims from the bedrooms and into the living room. After Jay Sebring was shot, all hell broke loose. Abigail Folger, Sharon Tate and Voytek Frykowski were screaming and pleading for their lives. Patricia tried to stab Folger but Folger got hold of her hair and they got into a fight. Watson was stabbing Sebring and Atkins was struggling with Frykowski and stabbed him in the legs several times.
Abigail Folger, who was injured, managed to get herself undone and ran out of the house through Sharon's bedroom door. Patricia chased her out of the house with an upraised knife, leaving her fingerprint at the back door: A fingerprint that would later send her to death row. She caught Folger on the lawn and stabbed her over and over, front and back. Folger still gave up a struggle although she was bleeding profusely. At that point Patricia called Tex, who thrusting the final blows to Frykowski. Tex ran over and stabbed Folger to death.
Patricia has stated that Watson told her to check the backhouse and see if anyone was there and kill him or her. She approached the back house where William Garretson was listening to records under the influence of marijuana and Dexedrine, writing letters to his friends back home. There have been conflicting accounts as to what really happened at the guest house and nobody will ever know for sure. Krenwinkel has stated that she turned the handle but the door was locked and at that time she heard an echo her head that this was wrong and she turned back. On another occasion she has said that she opened the door and looked in and said there was light on from a table lamp but she didn't see anyone so she returned to the main house. In his polygraph examination interview, Garretson claimed he saw someone turn the door handle and trying to get in. Incredibly, he did not investigate it further although it disturbed him and he said he was gripped by fear. At the time he thought it might be side effects of the drugs and he was just being paranoid.
There have been accounts that Patricia witnessed the murder of Sharon Tate and that she hissed "kill her" to Watson when he and Atkins were arguing on what to do with her, "either kill her or let her have her fucking baby," she was supposed to have said. However, Patricia denies witnessing when Sharon Tate was killed. Susan Atkins held Tate down while Watson stabbed her to death. After that, Susan took a towel and dipped in Sharon's wounds and wrote pig on the front door.
Death was everywhere and bodies lying all over the property. Before leaving, Watson went on a rampage, making sure everyone was dead and stabbed each of the victims multiple times. The victims at the Tate house suffered 102 stab wounds and 7 gun shot wounds. In addition, Frykowski was clubbed 13 times over the head with the butt of the revolver. Linda Kasabian never entered the house but witnessed the screams and carnage out on the lawn. The foursome then drove back to the ranch. In the car, Patricia made a comment that her hand hurt because when she was stabbing Folger, she kept hitting her bones. The handle was missing on one of the knives and Patricia bruised her hand while stabbing Folger. When they returned to the ranch, Manson ordered the girls to clean the car and go to bed.
According to Susan Atkins, Patricia was very silent following the Tate murders and looked troubled. Patricia told Leslie Van Houten about what had happened and said "they were so young, they were just like us:" Van Houten has said that Patricia looked troubled and commented that she didn't understand why. According to Atkins and Barbara Hoyt, they along with Patricia, Van Houten and Watson, watched television news accounts of the Tate murders. That was the first time Patricia learned the names of the 5 victims. Later in the day, Patricia split an acid tab with another Family woman. She said that it was a very unpleasant experience and she couldn't get the picture of dead bodies and blood out of her head. She was coming down of the acid experience when Manson asked her to go out again.
Patricia is the only woman who went along and participated in both nights of murder. The next night she accompanied Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Steve Grogan, Linda Kasabian and Leslie Van Houten.
Kasabian drove the car, following Manson's apparently random directions for about four hours, selecting and discarding possible victims, until Manson told her to stop in front of the residence of Harold True on Waverly Drive. Manson was acquainted with the residence. Kasabian knew Harold True, who was known to some of the Family, and told Manson he could not go there. Manson said he was going to the house next door, which was on 3301 Waverly Drive and belonged to the LaBiancas. Manson and Watson went inside first and surprised and tied up the LaBiancas. Manson returned alone several minutes later reporting that he had tied up a man and a woman and "got their wallet." Speaking directly to Krenwinkel and Van Houten, Manson told them to go into the house and do what Watson told them to. He also told them not to let the victims know they would be murdered. The purpose of this advice was to avoid the chaos of the Tate murders. Krenwinkel and Van Houten went into the residence and found Watson holding the LaBiancas at the point of his bayonet. While Krenwinkel and Van Houten went into the La Bianca residence, Manson and the others drove away.
Manson had Kasabian plant the LaBiancas' wallet in a gas station restroom hoping that it would be discovered by a Black person who would use the credit card and be blamed for the theft and murder. At the La Bianca residence, Watson asked the victims if they had any money. Mrs. LaBianca's hands were untied and she brought out a small box of money. Watson told Van Houten and Krenwinkel to take Mrs. La Bianca into her bedroom and kill her. Van Houten and Krenwinkel took Mrs. La Bianca to her bedroom. At some point Krenwinkel went into the kitchen and brought back some knives and gave Van Houten one. Van Houten then put a pillowcase over Mrs. La Bianca's head and wrapped a lamp cord still attached to the lamp around her neck. Mrs. La Bianca heard "the gurgling sound of her husband being stabbed and a guttural sound of his breathing" in the living room, and she forced her way up from the bed, yelling her husband's name. Mrs. La Bianca grabbed the lamp attached to the cord around her neck and swung the lamp at Van Houten. Van Houten knocked the lamp out of Mrs. LaBianca's hand and wrestled her back onto the bed where she pinned her down so that Krenwinkel could stab her. Krenwinkel plunged a knife taken earlier from the La Bianca kitchen with such force down on Mrs. La Bianca's collarbone that the knife blade bent.
Van Houten ran to the hallway calling for Watson, who came into Mrs. LaBianca's bedroom with the bayonet. According to Van Houten, she turned away from Mrs. LaBianca, and Watson stabbed Mrs. La Bianca with the bayonet eight times. Each of the eight stab wounds was made by a bayonet probably wielded by Watson because of the force required to produce the deep wounds. Each of the eight stab wounds alone could have been fatal, seven of which were in the back. Then Watson turned Van Houten around, handed her a knife, and told her to do something. At that moment, Van Houten saw Mrs. La Bianca lying still on the floor. She said that she "felt" Mrs. La Bianca was dead, but she "didn't know for sure." Van Houten then used the knife Watson gave her to stab Mrs. LaBianca. She admitted at one point stabbing her in the lower back 16 times, and at another point she said she stabbed her 14 times. Mrs. La Bianca was stabbed a total of 42 times.
According to Diane Lake, another Family member, Van Houten told her "she had stabbed a woman who was already dead, and that the more she did it the more fun it was." After the stabbing, Van Houten thoroughly wiped away the perpetrators' fingerprints while Krenwinkel wrote in blood on various surfaces in the residence. Mr. LaBianca was stabbed 12 times and had 14 puncture wounds by a carving fork. It was Patricia Krenwinkel who added the famously macabre touch after stabbing the already dead Mr. LaBianca with the fork. She left the fork embedded in his stomach. She also carved the word "WAR" on his chest, although Patricia has denied doing this in recent years. She admits to stabbing him with the fork several times and writing all the words on the walls in the victim's blood. She used a paper she found on the dining room table, which she rolled up and drenched it in blood from Mr. LaBianca's wounds. When Mr. LaBianca was found the next day, police discovered a knife left embedded in his throat. In fact, the knife went completely through his neck, sticking out the other side.
Both Patricia Krenwinkel and Tex Watson claim that it was Watson who tied up the couple and placed the pillowcases over their heads. Both Krenwinkel and Van Houten have stated they never saw their faces. In Watson's autobiography "Will You Die For Me", he states that Van Houten was much more hesitant and not nearly as enthusiastic as Krenwinkel was in killing the couple. According to some of the earlier testimonies, both girls participated in stabbing Mrs. LaBianca after she was lifeless on the floor and took turns stabbing her in the exposed lower back and buttocks. Later, when Krenwinkel was telling Susan Atkins about what happened in the house she said that it was a surreal experience and she would carry with her to eternity when the woman was screaming out for her husband.
After the murders, they showered, took some food from the refrigerator, changed clothes and hid in the bushes in the area until dawn. Then they hitchhiked back to the ranch. They stopped at a diner and bought the driver some breakfast and coffee. Several days later, Manson sent Pat, Susan and Leslie to live in the woods in Devils Canyon with some of the other Manson women. He wanted them away from the others. Then he sent them to stay at the Fountain of the World, an abandoned religious site in Box Canyon. Fountain members let them stay there for a while but eventually kicked them out because they were disturbed by their attitude, drug use and the fact they would carry weapons.
On August 16, Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies, in full combat gear, raided the Spahn Movie Ranch in a massive pre dawn operation. Patricia Krenwinkel probably woke up to the sound of helicopters swarming over the ranch and officers kicking down the doors. Authorities were looking for stolen automobiles, dune buggies and ammunition. Patricia was arrested along with 25 other members of the Manson Family. The case was dismissed because the search warrant was incorrectly dated and everybody was released within 48 hours.
Charles Manson and the group were becoming increasingly paranoid, with the law on their backs so they decided to split town and return to Barker Ranch in Death Valley. People in the Death Valley area became increasingly suspicious about this group of hippies who would race in dune buggies, walk around nude, breastfeed their babies in public, smoking marijuana, shoplifting and dealing drugs. These were things that were not accepted by the conservative residents in Inyo County.
After certain Family members had burned down an earthmoving machine, a senseless act of vandalism, authorities were quick to trace the arson to Barker Ranch.
On October 9-12, 1969, officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Inyo County Sheriff's Office and National park Rangers assembled near Barker for a massive raid on the ranch. Patricia Krenwinkel was arrested in the first raid along with 12 other persons and two infants belonging to Sandra Good and Susan Atkins. Charles Manson was arrested on second raid on October 12 along with 7 others. The prisoners were taken to Independence and booked at the Inyo County Jail where they were cleaned up and placed in separate cells.
Patricia Krenwinkel was booked under the name Marnie Kay Reeves and had a prior arrest under the name of Mary Scott, which caused concern for the detectives working on the Hinman case. They were still trying to figure out the identity of the "Mary" who had been at Gary Hinman's house. Therefore she was taken down to Los Angeles on October 14 as a possible murder suspect. After arriving in Los Angeles, Patricia quickly told the police that it was Mary Brunner, not she, who had gone to Hinman's house. Patricia was held along with Sadie and Squeaky in the Los Angeles sheriff's facility in Lancaster. At this time, the police were beginning to link the murders together but it was not clear who was involved.
In the afternoon of October 17, the sheriff's office in Lancaster called Patricia Krenwinkel's father and Mr. Krenwinkel drove to pick her up. He had not seen his daughter in months and was very concerned. Since no serious charges had been brought against Patricia, she was released to her father's custody. According to Mr. Krenwinkel; he demanded to know what was going on but Patricia remained silent the whole drive to Inglewood. She stayed with her father for 5 days and according to him she started becoming her old self again and visited old friends from the area. On October 23, Mr. Krenwinkel bought a plane ticket for his daughter because she wanted to go and stay with her mother in Alabama. Patricia would later say that she knew that something was wrong and that the authorities were closing in on the murders and she wanted to get away.
Patricia's mother, Dorothy was now a single divorced woman and living with her sister in Alabama, on the outskirts of Mobile. In the afternoon of October 23, Patricia flew to Mobile via National Airlines, Patricia spent her time visiting old friends and writing letters. Her mother described her at times as jumpy and somewhat paranoid. It would turn out to be for good reason, as it turned out she was being monitored by several detectives who were staking out her aunt's house. In Los Angeles murder cases had broke open following Sadie's confession and other leads. By November 19, the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets had general knowledge of the Manson Family and that they had committed the Tate-LaBianca-Hinman murders and had the page one story already written a week before Ed Davis announced the breaking of the case on December 1.
The detectives found Patricia after Sergeant Mike Nielsen of the LAPD robbery-homicide division called Joseph Krenwinkel and asked him where his daughter was. Joseph told him she was staying with her aunt in Mobile. Joseph Krenwinkle immediately knew that she was in trouble and that it had something to do with Manson. He was asked not to say anything to Patricia. The detectives followed Patricia for two days until the indictment was issued on December 1. Patricia, wearing a big floppy hat, large sunglasses, jeans and a baggy checkered shirt, borrowed her aunt's car and went to see a friend she once went to school with. The boy was a teenager, several years younger than Patricia. They were driving back to her aunt's house after smoking some marijuana when they noticed they were being followed by the police. Patricia tried to hide her identity by pulling the hat over her face. They were pulled over by a detective named McKeller and Patricia was arrested and taken to local police station where she was booked, photographed and placed in an isolation cell.
Patricia's family was shocked by the charges as they watched the drama unfold on television. The local media picked up on the story and reporters from all over descended on the police station and the courthouse where she appeared the following day for arraignment. But problems arose over the fugitive warrant and it became clear she would resist extradition to California. Through her attorney, retained by her father she was able to contact several of the Family girls back in California who forwarded the message to Charlie. Patricia's aunt was interviewed by the local press and insisted that the girl "just liked people too much to do anything like this." She also told them she was very interested in the bible and would read it all the time and study it. Patricia's lawyer described her as "a very nervous, frightened and confused young woman." Her lawyers wanted to anything they could to help her fight the charges and separate her from the group. The attorneys arranged for a psychiatric examination. The psychiatrist that examined her reported that she was acutely psychotic, suffering from hallucinations, extremely anxious, confused, and altogether inappropriate in her affect and her behaviour. This report would be discredited during her subsequent murder trial.
As Patricia's lawyers were fighting extradition to California, when Charles Manson wrote to Pat, asking that she join the others in the trial and they would put together a united defence. Just like that, Patricia was gone. The bond between Manson and Patricia was very strong, she was among the first women to join him and very dependant upon him. Immediately, she sent a determined note to the district attorney in Mobile, stating she wished to sign extradition papers and return to California immediately. In that instance she fired her lawyers and joined Leslie and Susan at Sybil Brand.
Paul Fitzgerald came to offer his assistance to Patricia and the other defendants. He became Patricia's attorney at the trial and was the only one of the whole group who had any real trial experience. Fitzgerald left a well paid job at the public defenders office to represent Patricia. His work was strictly pro-bono and he never got a dime. This case almost ruined him financially. It became obvious to Fitzgerald that he was allowed to put on a proper defence as Manson was pulling all the strings. All the attorneys aside from Paul Fitzgerald had little or no trial experience and had never done a murder case. It was as if Manson had given up and resigned himself to a life in prison and decided to take these girls with him. Any suggestions made to separate the girls from the case or hints that Manson was remotely responsible would get the lawyers fired and incompetent lawyers were hired by Manson to take their places. Lawyers like Day Shinn and Ronald Hughes.
Manson ordered the girls to confess to the murders and say that Manson was not involved. The trial had lasted for good nine months when Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten were all convicted of first degree murder. The actions and atmosphere at trial is thoroughly described in many books and other forums. Good accounts can be found in Helter Skelter, The Garbage People, Witness to Evil and the revised edition of The Family. I will not reiterate.
Following the conviction and subsequent death sentence, Patricia had shaved off her long thick hair along with the other girls. During trial the Manson girls were very fashion conscious, wearing multicoloured mini-dresses, freshly stolen by other Family woman from psychedelic shops on the Sunset Strip and but throughout the trial they constantly changed their appearance. During the last part of the trial they wore the outfit of defiance, blue prison drab and often barefoot. When Linda Kasabian was on the witness stand the girls would try to intimidate her by copying her looks. When she would wear her hair in ponytails, the girls would all copy and stare at her. During the last phase of the trial, Charles Manson started cutting his hair and changing his appearance. Each day the girls would appear in court with their hair a little shorter, until finally they shaved it completely off when Manson shaved his. Patricia's parents tried to talk to their daughter several times during the trial but they couldn't get through to her. Her father described her as having a different personality. Patricia would write letters to her father telling him she still loved him very much.
Patricia, known as Pat by her friends and fellow inmates, has kept a low profile since her incarceration, even during the notorious trial she was less talked about, less flamboyant than her companions in crime. She's been a resident of the California Institution for Women for nearly 40 years and answers letters only to those who are close to her and has refused to give interviews. Patricia has resigned herself to her situation and today holds little hope of ever being released on parole. Following the death penalty verdict, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were immediately sent to the California Institution for Women to await execution.
Patricia Krenwinkel was received into the Department of Corrections on April 28, 1971 for seven counts of murder, first degree, a violation Penal Code 187 PC. Susan Atkins remained at Sybil Brand to go on trial for the murder of Gary Hinman. Patricia and Leslie were first placed in an isolation cell for a few days while they were finishing the new Death Row unit that was being built especially for them. The girls had developed a very strong bond through the years, much stronger than either one had with Susan which is not surprising when you consider their backgrounds are almost identical. Both have been described as perfect children who grew up within perfectly well adjusted families. Both are the younger of two children, both were very close to their fathers. Both families were broken up by their parents' divorces when they were in their teens. They remain very close friends today.
On Death Row. The girls would stay in their separate cells 23 hours a day and for the first few weeks there were no visitors and no privileges. Patricia's parents had remained supportive the whole time and still refused to believe that she was responsible for these murders. They were in denial for years. Her father started visiting her on death row and they became very close. He was still working in the Los Angeles area as an insurance agent. Her mother remained in Alabama with her sister and their relationship was not good for many years. During her early years of incarceration, Patricia's father would visit her twice a week and tried to do everything he could to ease her situation. He would send her money, books, clothes and whatever she needed.
Susan joined Patricia and Leslie during the summer of 1971 after she had been convicted of the murder of Gary Hinman and sentenced again to death. The girls remained loyal to Manson and the philosophy practiced at the ranch. Their contacts were extremely limited and they were only allowed to write their immediate families and all letters and phone calls were strictly monitored by the prison staff. They were allowed to be in contact with their attorneys and it was through Fitzgerald that Patricia was able to stay in touch with the Manson girls on the outside. For the first two years she would correspond with Lynn Fromme, Nancy Pitman and Sandy Good and smuggle the letters through her attorney.
On July 30, 1971, Bartek Frykowski, the young son of Voitek Frykowski, filed and won a civil judgement of $500.000 from Manson, Krenwinkel, Atkins, Watson and Kasabian. When talking to a probation officer the following month, Patricia made fun of it and said he would never get a penny out of her. She also justified the murders by telling the probation officer that the victims were better off dead, "it's seven less cars to pollute."
Most of their days on death row, prior to the reversal of the death penalty were spent in isolation in their cells. They were able to chat through the bars with each other and the prison staff. Before Susan arrived, the girls decided to give her the could shoulder and ignore her, blaming her for their current situation. Leslie was much more harsh with Susan than Patricia was, having obviously forgotten about the fact that some of the initial information about the murders was given by Leslie herself to the homicide detectives. A television set was placed in the hall in front of their cells and each was allowed to have their own radio. Patricia spent her days reading, doing embroidery and staring into space. Each was allowed one hour of exercise in a small yard outside the unit. They had no contact with other inmates during this time.
On February 18, 1972, the Supreme Court of the state of California voted six to one to abolish the death penalty in a case titled Firman Vs. Georgia. Every inmate on death row at that time got his sentence reversed to life imprisonment. Patricia was listening to the radio when the verdict was announced and all the girls cheered from their cells. This was not a surprise to Pat or the other girls because they had received word from their attorneys that this was about to happen. Several days later, Patricia was taken to court where a judge reversed her death sentence and re-sentenced her to 8 life terms. During this time in California, all life sentences had the possibility of parole attached to it. The judge set her minimum eligible parole date on February 16 1977.
The change in the sentence brought about many changes for Patricia and the other girls. Now that they were not headed for the gas chamber, the warden at the prison, Virginia Carlson was now responsible for the Manson girls and their rehabilitation. She had to ensure that their mental and physical health would not be destroyed by the sterile, isolated conditions of their confinement, year after year. She looked at them as model prisoners despite their condemned condition. She gave them permission to plant a little garden in the small narrow, double-fenced strip of dirt alongside their small brick building, the same yard they used for exercise. She also encouraged their needlework skills and allowed them to keep their cell's open and grant access to other rooms in the unit. She also wanted to help them break away from Manson's influence and brought in several teachers to tutor the women in everything from philosophy to women's lib.
Patricia was given her own television set into her cell to help pass the time in SSU but she rarely watched it and even asked for it to be removed because it took up space in her small cell. She and Leslie would meditate together and do needlework. Karlene Faith was one of the tutors that came to SSU to tutor the girls and through her Patricia would order books, threads and artwork supplies. Karlene would teach them history, literature and women's studies. Occasionally, performers came in to give them private concerts, standing in the passage in front of their cells with open bars. Among performers that came in were Cris Williamson, Holly Near and Country Joe McDonald.
Journalist and poet Paul Krassner also came in to tutor the women. The staff was also very supportive and went out of their way in helping the women in any way they could. They were basically the people they had to deal with on a daily basis and slowly they began to identify more with them than their old lifestyle.
Up until this point, the girls would often sit around talking about the old days and their life with Manson, play music and sing Manson's songs. When Mary Brunner and Catherine Share were sent to CIW, the warden decided to place them with in SSU with the girls. It was at this time that the girls realized that they had progressed from their old life but at the same time it was a breath of fresh air in their sterile little environment. Mary and Catherine were only in SSU for a year and then they were moved to the main campus. Both were released on parole several years later.
By 1973, of the three girls, Patricia was the most loyal to Manson and kept a large photograph of him on her wall. Although she did not correspond with him in any way, she was not able to let go. Manson had formulated a new religion called nuness, or the order of the rainbow. He assigned colours to present and former Family people, "like the spectrum of light in thought," as he wrote in a letter. He assigned Patricia the colour yellow, Leslie became green and Susan violet. The girls had not been communicating with Manson for several years and had, in fact, broken with him, so they sent word back to Squeaky, a.k.a. Red that they didn't want to be queens of anything. It was during this time when they stopped responding to the letters from the girls on the outside. Patricia however, smuggled letters every now and then through her attorney.
Patricia was on death row for four-and-a-half-years. Even after the death penalty was reversed the institution didn't really know what to do with them so for security reasons they were kept in maximum security, 24-7. The last 6 months she was allowed to work. In late 1973, she was allowed to participate in hobby craft, painting and was given access to art supplies in a special craft room. Patricia was responsible for mopping the floors and cleaning the showers. She would always be alone with an armed prison guard and occasionally, the girls were allowed to go together. In SSU, for security reasons, there were three staff members monitoring them during the day but only one during the graveyard shift. Patricia became very close to some of the staff members and would send Christmas presents to their families and children.
In 1974, Patricia and Leslie corroborated on a wall hanging handwork that was appraised at $1500 during display at a gallery that was set up at the prison where inmates showed their artwork. The embroidery piece was hand stitched with multi coloured threads which the girls worked relentlessly on for months. Despite the offers, they eventually gave it Patricia's father.
For the last 6 months, Patricia was allowed a few hours out on campus under tight security. In October 1975, the girls were transferred to the Psychiatric Treatment Unit, or PTU as it is called at the prison. This opened up more opportunities and Patricia set a goal for herself to move towards a Bachelors of Arts degree and in January of she enrolled in Chaffey college. The PTU unit was very restricted compared to the main campus but for Patricia, it was freedom after being locked up on death row for 4 years. This opened up many academic opportunities and for the first time she got a real job assignment. Leslie and Susan also enrolled in school to pursue their education.
In a psychiatric report dated 8/28/75 prepared by Randall L. Black, he writes; "I have seen no residual of any symptoms related to her previous abuse of hallucinogens. Since going from the Special Security Unit to the Psychiatric Treatment Unit, she has adjusted well. During her CIW incarceration, psychiatric treatment is not indicated and would not be indicated upon her ultimate parole. This woman has given no indication of being a danger to herself or to other people. She does suffer from low self esteem, has somewhat poor social skills and tends to be rather drawn into herself."
Before she got accepted into Chaffey college, Patricia had tried extensively to get accepted into Antioch collage but had trouble getting accepted at first because of her notoriety and prisoner status. At Chaffey collage she took English history, psychology and enrolled in a Shakespearian course. In 1976 she took three courses in criminology and additional courses in philosophy and science. Although Patricia had taken drastic steps to rehabilitate herself and change, the prison staff reported that during a search of her prison cell they found photographs of Charles Manson, doodles, poems and artwork with his name on it.
In the spring of 1976, Patricia learned through her counsellor that a few inmates were reading for blind adolescent girls who lived in the San Bernardino area. She wanted to participate and was introduced to a 14 year old girl who was completely blind. The girl would come regularly into the prison and Patricia would read books for her.
In September of 1976, after endless requests, Patricia was placed the main campus (prison mainline). This gave her much more freedom and during the day she was allowed to walk unescorted within the campus, like any other inmate. Because of her crimes and notoriety she was on 'Closed Custody' which meant that she was monitored and had to sign in wherever she went and she had to be locked in her unit after 6 PM and therefore not able top participate in evening activities. Leslie had also moved to the main campus a month earlier.
Patricia's institutional assignment was working at the Clarion which was the prison newspaper. There she wrote articles, gathered articles, printed and helped with the distribution. When she started there were two other inmates working there who taught her the printing process. One was editor, one did the artwork and Patricia soon became the associate editor. It was a full time job. She had to gather material, do research, read and do book reviews, find out new laws and print those in the newspaper, put together crossword puzzles and look toward different things that might interest the prison population. It was published once every two months and for a while they tried to get it into a monthly newsletter but it was too much work.
Leslie Van Houten was the editor of the paper and it was she who recommended Patricia for the job.
Following the conviction. Death penalty and subsequent reversal, Patricia and the other defendants were following up on their appeal remedies. By the end of July, 1976, their cases had reached the California Court of Appeals. After the trial, Paul Fitzgerald and the other defence attorneys had prepared an extensive appeal of the conviction, raising at least sixty five points the attorneys felt were reversible errors. Patricia was disappointed when all the appeals were denied except for Leslie Van Houten. Her sentence was reversed and she was granted a new trial.
The eighty-four page court of appeal opinion was written by Judge J. Vogel for the three judge panel. Among the points rejected by the court of appeal was the claim that a change of venue should have been granted because of the adverse publicity. "Even if the venue had changed," Judge Vogel wrote, "nothing could have prevented the public media from swinging its attention to that place." Nor did the court of appeal find disturbing the prosecution's premise that communal sexual activities could tend to prep a perp for murder. In the section dealing with Leslie Van Houten the judge wrote that she should have been granted a mistrial at the time when her attorney disappeared. In December, Leslie was brought from the California Institution for Women at Frontera to the Sybil Brand jail in Los Angeles, in preparation for her re-trial.
Shortly after her appeal had been denied, Patricia started tutoring other women in the institution learning center and helped open a special program in the cafeteria. When she finished her courses at Chaffey collage she was accepted into LaVerne University and was able to transfer her credits and began working towards an AA degree in correspondence from LaVerne.
In December of 1976, shortly before Leslie was transferred to Sybil Brand, she and Patricia had a falling out. Patricia refused to testify on behalf of her best friend and sister in crime. She refused to have anything to do with Leslie's defence strategy. It has been said that she was still very emotionally involved with Manson and consequently resented Leslie's defence plea which incriminated him. She also disagreed with Leslie's account of what happened. She was also afraid to go out and face the public and she did not want to jeopardize her own chances for parole. Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good still maintained that Pat was one of them and she was the only one who would respond to any of their letters.
In 1977, for a short time, Patricia took over Leslie's position as editor of the Clarion newspaper, after Leslie left the institution, but the position later went to another inmate. She continued to design the covers and print them. Her work with the Clarion was only part time and she was given a job in the Village cafeteria.
It was time for Patricia to have a psychiatric evaluation prepared for the Community Release Board as she was set to appear before the parole board for an evaluation hearing to document her incarceration. Patricia told the psychiatrist that the Manson days were the happiest times of her life and had great memories from that period. It was at this hearing where the photographs of Manson in her cell were documented. The board members were impressed with her record and told her to keep up the good work. This was not a actual parole hearing but an appearance to prepare for her first parole hearing scheduled for February 1978.
During 1977, Patricia was living on the main campus but on closed custody. She was living in the Latham housing unit in a cell all by herself. In those days, before the prisons in California became over crowded, prisoners serving lengthy sentences did not have call mates. It would change in the 80's. During this time Patricia would occasionally smoke marijuana which was prevalent on the campus. She and Leslie even took LSD several times in the early 70's.
In August 1977, Patricia and her girlfriend got dead drunk with other fellow inmates on hooch alcohol. Patricia has said that it was terrible and she was sick for days afterwards. The girlfriend whom she was romantically involved with lived in the same housing unit. She was serving a lesser sentence but they were together until she was paroled in the 80's.
The re-trial of Leslie Van Houten began in March of 1977 and lasted four months. Steven Kay asked for the case since Vincent Bugliosi was pursuing a career in politics. The jury went out in July and after nine days of deliberations, was deadlocked, seven for first degree murder and five for manslaughter. The judge immediately declared a mistrial. Patricia had followed Leslie's trial through the newspapers and television reports. She has stated that although she was very jealous of Leslie's situation, she was also ecstatic about the outcome. Patricia and Leslie started writing each other as Patricia wanted to know what freedom was like after Leslie was released on a $200.000 bail, raised by friends and family.
In 1978, Patricia was looking at a lifetime in prison. Although her first parole hearing was coming up her chances were not good. Even if she were to get a parole date, according to the rules, her minimum sentence she would have to serve would be 49 years, her parole date would be so far off in the future that she would be an old woman by the time she would be released from prison. Also, in California, for each murder you commit, you get seven years extra added on to your sentence, at the time when the parole board sets your term. Patricia is in custody for 7 murders which means she would have to do an additional 49 years on top of her minimum sentence.
In 1978, when it became time to prepare for her parole hearing, Patricia and her attorney discovered that a large part of her central file was gone. Someone had purged out all her records prior to 1977 and very little information is available from those years. Not in her file. It is not clear whether it was done by mistake by the staff at the institution or it was stolen to be sold some collector.
PAROLE HEARINGS AND THE 1980'S
On July 17, 1978, nine years after the crime and 12 days after Leslie Van Houten was convicted of first degree murder in her third trial, Patricia Krenwinkel came up for parole. To assist her, an attorney was appointed to represent her by the name of Dana Gilbert. On his own, without instructions from the district attorney, Steven Kay made an appearance at the hearing. The board was then called the Community Release Board. Kay had recently refreshed himself on the facts of the case in Leslie's trial and could therefore deliver a knife-by-slash-by-knife recitation of the murders, which horrified the Community Release Board. Kay became angry when Patricia excused herself and put the whole blame of Atkins and Watson and almost maintained she was an innocent bystander.
It took Steven Kay about two hours to recount Patricia's involvement in the murders. Patricia couldn't control herself as she saw her chances fly out the window as she stood up and called him the "F" word right in front of the board. In the hall afterward, Kay said she swore at him and said, "Why'd you do that!?" Needless to say, she was denied parole. In those days, life prisoners had annual parole reviews and her next hearing was scheduled on July 3, 1979.
Steven Kay began appearing at virtually all the Manson group's parole hearings. His resume indicates that he was the first district attorney in the state of California to attend a parole hearing to oppose release of a defendant serving a life sentence. Over the next 25 years he would attend over 60 Manson related parole hearing all over California.
Patricia had been involved with a woman named Bobbie in the prison who was found with escape plans. She had already escaped twice from the institution and authorities believed Patricia was involved in it because they spent their free time walking around the prison grounds whispering and talking. Patricia was walking from the unit where the parole hearing was held when a guard approached her and she was told to go see the assistant warden, Mr. Pircunier in his office. He confronted her and asked her about her involvement with the escape plans which Patricia adamantly denied. Because she was denied parole, Mr. Pircunier was concerned that she might try to escape and for security reasons decided to place her back in PTU, the psychiatric treatment unit where Susan Atkins still remained.
Needless to say, Patricia was very unhappy with the transfer after being on the main campus for two years. She was placed first in lockup for 48 hours and then she was sent to ICC which is the Inmate Classification Committee and they sent her to PTU. Patricia's girlfriend was later shot after another escape. The woman was a lesbian and she and Patricia had been intimately involved for over a year.
Here is the original chrono from her C-file dated 7/18/78:
"Patricia was placed in administrative segregation on 7/18/78 immediately following her appearance before the Community Release Board at which time she was denied parole consideration. The case was evaluated this day regarding her housing and program needs. It is the decision of this committee to continue her with closed custody but to change her program and housing to the PTU unit for the following reasons:"This meant that Patricia lost all her privileges, her prison job and to roam around the prison grounds. Now she was stuck with Susan Atkins back in PTU. On several occasions she tried to appeal the decision but lost each time. She also tried to apply for a 'green pass' so she could go to campus and attend activities and library classes during the daylight hours which was eventually denied, even after several appeals.
"One, she has just received a denial of parole consideration on 7/17/78, and we need a period of close evaluation of her attitude and behaviour following this denial."
"Two, over the past six months, Subject has been observed in a close, personal association with a known homosexual inmate. This known homosexual inmate has previously escaped CIW on three separate occasions and escape plans were found on her body"
"Because of this association combined with the recent denial of parole consideration, closer observation of her attitude and behaviour is necessary. This closer supervision and control of her movements can be provided by placement in the PTU unit."
During her second stay in PTU, Patricia was given a job within the unit. She was responsible for cleaning half the PTU house; She would sweep, wax and buff the floor of the large dayroom. Because of her placement she was not able to attend all classes as she did before. She was only able to attend three classes at LaVerne. There were only between 30 and 40 women in PTU and each had their own cell. During this time, Patricia and Susan Atkins became closer and would often sit in the dayroom and talk. Patricia has said that there was still a gap there, mainly because of Susan's religious experience and practices. In those days Patricia did not consider herself religious.
In 1979, Patricia started attending Creative Dynamics and worked with Lioyd Edwards who was the originator. Creative Dynamics deals with positive thinking and trying to create self esteem and become goal oriented. During this time, Patricia's closest friend on the outside aside from her father was her cousin Sandy who lives in Oakland. Because of her location she would come and visit every other month and sometimes every month. Patricia's relationship with her mother was strained and she and her sister would only come and visit once every two years or so. After Patricia's sister, Charlene died, her mother and her sister took care of little Ronnie who was Charlene's son.
In May of 1979, Patricia was given a destination pass which differs a little from a green pass. A green pass allows you to attend, unescorted, activities and classes on the main campus during daylight hours. A destination pass is more restricted and structured around particular programs. Whenever she goes to attend a class on campus, she has to sign in with the guards and they telephone the collage unit to let them know she is on her way and when she gets there the guards call back to let them know she has arrived and vice versa.
On July 3, 1979, Patricia went before the Community Release Board again and was denied a release date. In denying parole, they stated that the "dispassionate nature of the offense shocks the public conscience." The board commanded her for her good programming in the last few years but stated it did not outweigh the enormity and gravity of her shocking crimes. Patricia was represented again by Dana Gilbert who also represented her the previous year.
Patricia's psychiatric evaluation dated 6/11/79, prepared for the parole board by Dr. Joseph F. Roh was very positive. The doctor wrote: "The presumptive diagnosis showed no evidence of psychosis, neurosis, organic brain syndrome, effective disorder, or personality pattern disorder. She showed history of drug abuse. She showed improvement since her last evaluation by the undersigned on May 18, 1978."
Patricia would remain in the Psychiatric Treatment Unit for two years but during the last year she was allowed to attend all school activities and work towards her degree. In May of 1980, Patricia was allowed to move back to the main campus. She had just been denied parole again and the parole board made the recommendation to the prison that she be moved to the mainline. Her behaviour in the prison had been excellent during the time she was in PTU. Patricia was placed in Latham B unit and although she had more freedom on the main campus she was still kept on closed custody and therefore not able to participate in evening activities. During those first weeks on campus she was working in the janitorial area of her unit. She later went on to do clerical work for the program administrator.
On May 25th, 1980, Patricia completed her Associate of Arts Degree where she majored in Human Services. She was a very good student and her teachers commanded her for her excellent grades. One teacher said she was one of his best students and highly motivated. She received only grades of A's and B's. Patricia's parents and relatives came to celebrate her graduation. Through involvement in music therapy classes, Patricia started learning to play the guitar and quickly became proficient. To this day the guitar is one of her number one hobbies, one which she is known for around the prison.
In early 1981, Patricia along with Leslie Van Houten and several other long termers put together and started attending the Long Termers Association group which had been defunct for several years. The group provided support for inmates serving lengthy sentences. The inmates would help each other deal with the tedium of prison life and motivate each other to use their time productively.
It was during this time that the inmate population in California started going through the roof and it would continue to grow steadfastly to the present day. For the first time on campus Patricia was provided with a cell mate and the Institution went through some construction and changes to take on the large number of women that were coming in.
In 1981, Patricia had been doing clerical work but was tired of it and wanted to do something different. She was assigned a new job working in the prison yard, doing maintenance and landscaping. She was living in Latham cottage and became their representative on the Woman's Advisory Council.
Patricia was very active during those years after being restricted for a long time. She began contemplating completing a Bachelors of Science Degree and attempted to initiate a master program in the area of counselling. On September 18, 1980, a few months earlier, Patricia in association with Mr. Goya started a peer counselling program and worked as a parole counsellor under Mr. Goya, to help women find interests and plan for the future and achieving goals to succeed on parole.
Patricia also became involved in "AWARE," a program that deals with women's interests in furthering their education. It sponsors scholarships for women who don't have a pay slots to go ahead with their education. Usually, collage education was provided by the prison but if the inmates wanted to go beyond that they had to pay for it themselves. They also had to contact the universities themselves and the education would be conducted through correspondence. Patricia's father paid for his daughter's education.
On July 8, 1981, only two days before she went before the parole board, Patricia met with the staff psychiatrist who evaluated her. His findings were devastating for Patricia. This has become somewhat a pattern for Patricia Krenwinkel where she goes along on a good path and psychiatrists are impressed by her and write positive reports but then she always gets very bad reviews, about once every five years. The report was done by Dr. H. Rellinger Stafford, staff psychiatrist, and his diagnoses are:
"Aggressive conduct disorder under socialized type. Hallucinogen abuse, antisocial personality disorder with sociopathic tendencies, passive aggressive personality disorder, suppressed anger and deep seated personality disorders."The psychiatrist then asks this question, "Would society ever become tolerant enough to permit this woman to live again as a free agent?"
"This subject is very unusual. After a period of very intense antisocial behaviour and conviction of involvement in criminal acts which took the lives of several people who had never harmed her in any way, she settles down in prison to be very intensive, self cultivating and changing in her life pattern."
"Violence potential remains very high because of the past history of violence. Deep-seated personality disorders at present remain close, but at rest, in a rigidly controlled environment, but still carry the potential of breaking out again if she should be transferred to the very less rigidly controlled actions of the free world."
Patricia was undoubtedly nervous as she entered the room to meet with the Board of Prison Terms as they were now called. For the first time there were reporters attending her hearings. Only the wire services and newspaper reporters were allowed to monitor parole hearings. The media laws would be adjusted the following year to include television media, cameras and sound equipment. A new attorney was representing Patricia this time, Mr. Charles Peer.
Steven Kay jumped on the report and said Patricia was extremely angry and very dangerous, "I feel she's suppressing a lot of anger. If you just look at her in the way she talks here today and the sharpness of her face. She's almost vibrating." The parole board agreed with Mr. Kay and denied her application for parole for one year. Up until 1982, annual parole hearings were mandatory and parole was never denied for more than one year.
I an interview with AP reporter Linda Deutsch following the hearing, Patricia's attorney said, "It stinks," adding that the evaluation was the first unfavourable of 16 prior evaluations conducted in the last 10 years. Linda Deutsch contacted the psychiatrist who agreed to be interviewed. He said, "She presents a very pleasing picture, soft spoken, very pleasant, but what she's doing now may just be the prisoners game." He said he considered her still dangerous in part because of his own philosophy on human development.
In December of 1981, Patricia decided to obtain a certificate in Electronics, a skill she could put at use once released on parole. Also, the parole board had encouraged her to do it and she had always been interested in the field electronics. She was not interested in vocational household repair but rather electronics that deal with televisions and radios. She also became proficient in repairing larger kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and microwave ovens.
In 1982, the California Institution for Women and the CDC suffered severe cutbacks in finances and a lot of the programs dealing with rehabilitation went defunct. Most inmates were taken of the pay slots and Patricia didn't get paid for her work for almost two years. The politics in California had changed as well and the focus of the Department of Corrections became on punishment instead of rehabilitation. Less and less lifers were receiving parole dates and sentencing became much harsher which resulted in overcrowding in the prison.
Patricia has been the most athletic of the three Manson women. In 1982, she became a good swimmer and trained to be a life guard in the prison swimming pool. She would also play volleyball, baseball and was a member of the prison softball team. She also lifted weights and did a lot of jogging.
On August 8, 1982, 13 years after the murders, it was time to go before the parole board again for her annual review, but this time would be different. Patricia who was now 34 years old refused to attend the hearing because for the first time there would be television cameras and still photographers at the hearing. The media laws had been modified to include cameras. Also, Doris Tate, the mother of Sharon Tate had been collecting signatures and letters against all the murderers and presented the board with 350.000 letters from people all over the world, protesting the release of anyone in the Manson Family.
There was one other setback, the panel could now invoke a new rule that allows it to reject a lifer for three years rather than giving annual parole reviews which are very costly for the department. Leslie Van Houten, who earlier in the year had set her hopes on a parole date following a long crusade by her supporters who gathered hundreds of letters, had been subject to this new rule and denied for three years. Leslie reportedly listened without emotion, then walked into the hallway, put her head against the wall and broke down crying.
Patricia thought she and her crime partners were being unfairly treated by the new rules and the media and she wrote a letter of protest to the board which was read at the hearing. Her attorney Ramon Gomez attended the hearing for her. Patricia said she didn't want to make a circus out of a very sensitive thing by sitting on display before the pool camera. Reporters and technicians from LA's Channel 4 were present as well as AP, UPI and LA Times photographer.
Steven Kay was present and said, "these crimes are amongst the most vicious, diabolical in the history of American crimes." He said Patricia's absence from the hearing and letter of protest indicates her inability to handle stress. "Instead of facing up to it, she elected not to come." Mr. Kay reminded the board of the most gruesome details of the crimes. He reminded them that Krenwinkel complained that her hand hurt after stabbing through bones and that after she mutilated one body she proceeded to eat food from the victim's refrigerator. The board members were absolutely horrified and said her actions were "distorted and demented," and "incredibly cruel crimes." The chairman of the board said, "The seven random murders of strangers was so shocking and bizarre as to leave the world incredulous. Can a person like this ever walk the streets again?" The three member panel deliberated for less than 30 minutes following a 90 minute hearing before denying Krenwinkel's 5th bid for release. Parole was denied for three years.
Patricia's job assignment at that time was with the yard crew, then on Sept 2, 1982 her job was changed to life guard where she would receive above average work reports. On May 23, 1983, Patricia was accepted into group therapy under the supervision of Dr. M. Jimakas, clinical psychologist. He described Patricia as showing significant self understanding and maturation. Because of her electronics training, Patricia was often asked to repair equipment in her unit and the administrative building.
On April 28, 1984, Patricia's custody level was finally changed. She had been on closed custody for her entire time on campus but now it was reduced to Medium A, which can't get any lower because of her commitment offence. This meant that she was now allowed to participate in evening activities and other benefits.
On June 1st, 1984, Patricia completed a course in basic life support and cardio-pulmonary with resuscitation. After that she was allowed to train inmates in the swimming pool in addition to being a life guard. She would train inmates in becoming life guards and teach others how to swim. She continued in group therapy with Dr. Jimakas, who described her as showing good insight and coping with the problems of being institutionalized while showing care and concern for others in the group.
Because of the huge increase in the prison population, group therapy became very limited. Patricia was only allowed to attend her therapy group for three months at a time and after that there is an 8 month waiting list. Strangely enough, Dr. Jimakas never asked Patricia about her crimes.
Since her incarceration, Patricia has remained very close with her father, Joseph who came to visit her every Sunday. Her mother was living out of state and was having medical problems which made it hard for her to travel much. During this time, Patricia only had a handful of friends, mostly structured around her family. She has said that she often struggled with loneliness. Among the people that would visit her at the prison were several M2 sponsors. M2 sponsors are volunteers and social workers that come and visit inmates who don't have many visitors for whatever reason. A list of M2 sponsors are kept at the prison and inmates can select a sponsor from the list. In 1985, Patricia developed deep friendship with one of those sponsors who still visits her to this day.
On March 21, 1985, Patricia's institutional assignment was changed. The prison passed a new rule which states that inmates can't work in the same work area for more than two years. The new job assignment was working in the mini-canteen which is basically a store that sells candy, tobacco, cokes and beauty products.
On August 13, 1985, the institution experiences a sit-in where the inmates were protesting the lack of proper medical care and food. There was a large protest where the majority of the inmates participated and many were put in lock up. Patricia however, did not participate in it. During the outbreak, she walked quietly back to her cell to avoid any trouble.
1985 PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION
Patricia was scheduled to appear before the parole board in September and on May 22, 1985 she was evaluated by a psychiatrist, Dr. Dov Arbelwho had this to say:
"Ms. Krenwinkel has definite deep seated emotional problems. At one point during the interview, a discussion about values, morals and social ideals was initiated. She was critical of some social set of beliefs and values which she pointed out that the way she personally intends to pursue social changes is by means of educating the public about other alternative points of view or providing more information. She added that every person has to make decisions for himself, herself, and no one can impose his/her will on others. Her beliefs and ideas seem to be well-thought out and thorough."Another doctor was brought in to do a supplementary report to address the points that the previous doctor brought up.
"One of the common denominators of those who join cults or similar groups is their state of emotional vulnerability. That is, lack of solid identity family or social dissatisfaction and she used idealism and a deep need for acceptance. Ms. Krenwinkel seemed to have been emotionally vulnerable in the manner just described prior to joining the Manson Group. The basic question, of course, is can that happen again to Ms. Krenwinkel. Ms. Krenwinkel presents herself as a person with deep convictions about her values, social beliefs and her own self, she appeared very committed to social change which she explained that part of her belief system is the change needs to occur through education rather than imposition of others."
"At some point, it was pointed out to her that her ideals about society and the need for change which have been consolidated in recent years are, at least in form, reminiscent of her social and political idealism during the time of being part of the Manson Group. To that, she responded, that the difference between her beliefs now and then, is that I earned it through self examination rather than taking from others, (Manson). She said that her beliefs and ideas are not rigid and that they change continually assesses her reality. Undersigned does get the feeling that she avoids certain topics when pushed and there is an underlying rebellion reminiscent of her Manson days. I get the feeling she is conforming to meet certain expectations of prison."
"Intellectually, she presented herself very clearly and was somewhat accessible. At the same time, it seems that she was less accessible emotionally. At times, she seemed somewhat angry and lost her composure by becoming upset but she quickly subdued such reaction. She gave the impression of being self-controlled and subdued emotionally. Intellectually, she was expressive and frank whereas emotionally she was less expressive and less revealing. It seems that these restrictions are deep seated and she sometimes looks troubled and somewhat nervous and seems to drift away loosing track of the conversation. I can't help but feeling that there is something missing about this person."
"She stated in a response to comment that she would like to become more assertive and more extroverted."
"Ms. Krenwinkel's behaviour and attitude have most likely improved substantial since her incarceration in 1971. Her behaviour and performance at CIW have been exceptional. Her views about her social environment preoccupy her mind and are very much related to her vigilance about unfairness and injustice ' which may arouse her anger'. She also becomes angry when discussing her childhood and avoids discussions relating to the commitment offence."
"Ms. Krenwinkel seems to have a streak of rebellious attitude which in itself is not of an adverse nature if channelled in a constructive and socially accepted way. However there is something unusual about this subject. Ms. Krenwinkel said that she has used the appeal process at CIW extensively and that is probably how she channelled her energy of discontent. This writer is of the opinion that because of some discrepancy in the degree of accessibility between the intellectual and the emotional aspects of her personality, that a more extensive and in depth process of evaluation is required in Ms. Krenwinkel case. A woman that has been convicted of heinous and sadistic crimes must be confronted with therapy."
"About Ms. Krenwinkel's intellectualization and the inegragation between intellectual and emotional aspects of her personality, she was questioned in the current interview. Her response showed a sincere attempt to explain and understand as was previously noted in older psychological psychiatric reports, Ms. Krenwinkel was introverted and shy and those qualities are still notable in how she projects herself. Ms. Krenwinkel also admitted to being self-protective of her feelings and considering the environment in which she's placed, this was a reality based answer. Her use of intellect as her main guide in an institution with criminally oriented peers, appears to be appropriate behaviour she openly acknowledges that she continues to maintain good behaviour through the use of these faculties."On September 4, 1985, Patricia met with the parole board for the 6th time. She had been having trouble sticking with the same attorney and a new one was appointed by the board. This time it was woman named Wendy Putnam Park, a middle aged, no nonsense ambitious attorney and mother of two teenagers. She is not shy to say whatever is on her mind and she's a relentless objectionist and if she senses injustice or arrogance from attorneys or parole board members, she makes sure that she causes as much trouble as she can, using every method possible. She and Patricia are similar in age and became very good friends along the way. She would stay with Pat for over 15 years as her attorney. After meeting Patricia for the first time, she had this to say about her, "She minds her own business. She does not just step into an office just to chit-chat. She appears to be a little reserved. She appears to be open and honest when I talk to her although I see that she's a little shy, I see her being a little reserved. I expect that. She doesn't know me."
"Overall, Ms. Krenwinkel has consistently appeared to be reflective, contemplative quietly maintaining her general cautiousness does not appear to be mainly a cover for a strong emotional under layer, but rather a development elicited out of her past and current experiences and situations. However, there did appear to be indication that Ms. Krenwinkel was putting on an act withholding information and feelings in some areas in the current interview. Some areas appear to be more sensitive than others."
This was the first time Patricia herself had to face television cameras in 15 years, since she opted not to attend her last hearing in 1982. A crew from Channel 7 had set up a pool camera, sound equipment and artificial lighting in the room before filming. Patricia and her attorney objected to the media being present and the additional lighting fixtures. According to BPT rules, no modifications to lighting fixtures are allowed in the board room so the crew was forced to turn off the lights. This was the first time the public got to see footage of Patricia Krenwinkel in 15 years. The hearing was a let down and Patricia hardly said a word the entire time. She sat emotionless throughout the entire proceedings, at times appearing nervous. During the prosecutor's argument, she would smile, shake her head and pass notes and whisper to her attorney.
In denying parole, the board first and foremost cited the gravity and brutal nature of the crimes but they also raised serious questions regarding the need for further psychotherapy. Parole was denied for a period of three years. Although they commended her for her excellent programming and lack of disciplinary infractions, they also criticized her for not attending self help groups such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.
On August 25, 1985, Patricia was given a new job as a Mural Arts Clerk. She had been working in the mini-canteen, the prison store where she received above average work reports.
Around this time she was involved in a number of college classes, including Peculiarities of US Social History, Liberalism and Conservatism in Crisis and Skills for Women Achievers.
On November 14, 1985, Patricia was scheduled for a re-evaluation of hormonal problems. She had suffered from an endocrine hormone imbalance her whole life. Her body produces too much testosterone which causes excessive hair growth all over the body, a deep voice and other medical conditions. She was put on hormone therapy to reduce symptoms.
On December 18, 1985, Patricia completed one successful term with the full body of the Women's Advisory Council for a period of six months. The council helps other less experienced inmates to file appeals, inform them about their rights and guide them through the complex prison system in solving all kinds of problems. In early 1986, she also served on two committees, the canteen and mail committee and was a chairperson on the canteen committee.
On July 7, 1986, Patricia completed several American Red Cross classes, multi-media standard for state and basic life support course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. She received appropriate credit for it. This was a result of her job life guard and fitness instructor. That summer she also enlisted in a 12 week course titled 'Coping with Stress Seminar.'
During the Christmas holidays in 1986, Patricia offered her assistance with the Christmas festivities, preparing the food and doing the decorations for the Christmas tree in her housing unit. She received commendation and thanks from the staff for her initiative. She also received thanks for helping set up the LTO Christmas Project for Paro Los Ninos.
In 1987, Patricia also became involved with the Want Institute which is a psychological group sponsored by outsiders. She had been criticized by the parole board for not getting involved with AA/NA and they recommended that she start attending meetings as soon as possible. Patricia had only attended the meetings for one month when she was offered to participate in the 'Want Institute,' so she chose to attend those instead. When she was later asked by her councelor why she hadn't followed the recommendations from the parole board, she just said that AA/NA had a low priority for her and that she wasn't interested.
On March 27, 1987, Patricia completed a three month session of Long Termers Group Therapy under the supervision of Dr. L. Cata who described her as, "open in group discussion, considerate, less defensive, open in discussing personal concerns and offering support, positive solution to other group members." During the whole year of 1987, Patricia received excellent work reports like usual and remained on Medium "A" custody, still living in Latham B housing unit.
On November 6, 1987, Patricia was transferred to another housing unit within the prison. She had a bed move to Walker cottage from Latham B unit where she had been since she arrived on campus several years ago. Her job assignment during that time was in Mural Arts where she received above average and excellent work reports.
During Leslie Van Houten's 1987 parole hearing, the board was doing a review of her C-file when the commissioner read from a document containing Leslie's social contacts within the prison. Patricia Krenwinkel was at the top of that list and a report had been done outlining the extent of their communication. However, when asked, both Leslie and Patricia deny this to the parole board and claim there is no real communication going on between them. Patricia however, has told many people through the years that she and Leslie are extremely close.
In 1987, a researcher named Judy Hanson started writing Patricia and gathering information from her for Doris Tate. Judy Hanson was a researcher without the benefit of a Private Investigator license. She had worked for the defence team for Jeffrey MacDonald and also on the Randy Kraft case. After some time, Patricia was able to open up to Judy and she gave her very intimate accounts of the murders and her life with Manson. Patricia however, did not know that everything she told Judy went back to Doris Tate.
Judy Hanson gathered a lot of information from Patricia; she would tape their conversations and transcribe them by hand. Judy was contemplating writing a book about Patricia. She was also working with author named Maury Terry who was writing his book on the satanic underground titled Ultimate Evil. Judy never received a dime for her work on the book. Her financial situation was bad following the divorce from her husband after a 20 year marriage. Her vehicles were usually in bad repair thus prohibiting her from getting out to see Patricia as often as she wanted to. Bill Nelson also used Judy as a source for his first book, 'Tex Watson: The Man, The Madness, the Manipulation.' That way he was able to use Patricia as a source at both murder scenes without her knowing about it.
When Patricia was talking to Judy about the Tate murders, she was very specific about what she did in visiting the guest house behind the swimming pool. Patricia told Judy, "I went inside, I looked around, and there was no one there. If there had been, they would be dead today! Questioning more, Judy pushed and it must have irritated Patricia because she responded, "I may be a killer but I am not a liar!"
She also told Judy, "You know, I wish they would just take me out of here, take me to a school and put me in a cage. Place me behind a curtain, then open the curtain and have me just sit in that cage. Let the students see what can happen to you. I wouldn't have to say anything. Let them just see me." According to Judy, this was said in utter disgust for the life she had once chosen.
On March 15, 1988, Patricia's institutional assignment was changed to Program and Service Unit Two Clerk where she got average to above average work reports. From March 28-June 26, 1988, Patricia participated in group therapy under the supervision of Dr. Arbel Ph. D. psychologist. He described Patricia as sharing personal experiences, offering others support and sharing in a meaningful way. He also said, "she showed good insight about submission discussed in a group, her maturity and inside helped set the tone for a productive group."
On April 15, 1988, Geraldo Rivera presented to the American public his trashy murder special MURDER: Live From Death Row, featuring interviews with notorious killers such as Charles Manson. Patricia along with her cellmate and lover, watched the interview with disgust. She told her prison councillor Ms. Tanner that she became furious and had to change the station. Questioned why she didn't watch it, she stated he disgusts me. "He lied about what happened in the commitment offense and his role in the crime. I think he really believes that he'd never get caught. Both Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten also watched the show from their cells. This program was syndicated all over the country and several other countries and it had been fiercely promoted.
Patricia's councillor, Ms. Tanner wrote a report on her for the board, indicating that Patricia's been on her work load for approximately three years since her last hearing in 1985. "Interaction remains sporadic, on those occasions that we do have an opportunity to speak, she is constantly polite, soft spoken and follows instructions." She said Patricia spent over 5 hours investigating her C-file. "Ms. Krenwinkel is commanded for her continued above average programming at CIW during some 17 years of incarceration. She is currently assigned to Program Service Unit Two Clerk.
Notwithstanding the seriousness of the commitment offense, prior record and prison adjustment, I feel the prisoner would pose a low degree of threat to the public at this time if released."
Patricia was scheduled to go before the board in November of 1988 so she decided to get involved in AA/NA again since it was after all the number one recommendation by the board. However she again, only attended a month and again got involved with the Want Institue instead. Their meetings was at the same as AA/NA. Since recently, due to a Watson decision in the courts, the board could only deny parole for one year for lifers that were sentenced prior to 1978. Charles "Tex" Watson through his attorneys filed an appeal that stating that the parole board was violating his constitutional rights and expose facto law by giving multiple year denials. Since annual parole reviews were the law when he and the others were sentenced, the courts agreed that it was indeed a violation and forced the board to grant annual reviews. (The board appealed the decision and eventually won.)
It was time for Patricia to have psychiatric evaluation and this time the results were disastrous. The report was done by Dr. Jay Frances, Ph.D. clinical psychologist who was obviously troubled by some things Patricia had to say about her victims. Here are some excerpts from the report:
"She described the events of the offence which brought her conviction and accepted somewhat limited responsibility for it. That is, she accepted responsibility for the murder of Abigail Folger, whom she directly stabbed. But, she did not accept group responsibility for the murder of seven people of which she was a part. In addition, she is somewhat ambivalent about the person of her victim, stating that Ms. Folger, quote, "Could have been something more than she was, more than a drug abuser," quote, unquote. And the murder, quote, "May have been a tragedy."Ms. Krenwinkel is not flooded by remorse for the senseless murders of seven people. Rationalizing that there was a heavy drug involvement, and therefore a diminished social validity to the lives of these individuals."
"Ms. Krenwinkel is still somewhat emotionally constrained in her acceptance of remorse but in articulating her value system, she also affirms her own commitment to non-use of alcohol and drugs by advocation."On November 7, 1988, Patricia went before the parole board. At the hearing, she told the board that she knows she is not getting out anytime soon, one board member then advised her that she should figure out her social security benefits because she would be so old by the time she would be released that she would not be able to work. Regardless, Patricia's parole plans at that time were to move out of state, preferable to Ohio where her mother was living at the time. She had been accepted into a program called Alternative Lifestyles which specializes in helping inmates and all kinds of patients make the transition from incarceration or hospitalization to the free world.
"MMPI scores indicated a profile, characteristic of a conventional person who pursues narrow interests, free of undue stress, therein manifesting good judgement. She has effective defences to her angry tendencies and her bright, average intelligence. The rebellion inherent in her is modified by her intellectual ability. Conveying an easy manner of good social techniques. Whereas this level of anger and psychopathic deviance in an individual of lesser intelligence would be less curbed by their inability to reflect as fully as brighter individuals, Ms. Krenwinkel's bright average I.Q. counter-indicates an impulse controlled deficit that might otherwise be considered."
"Cat examination underlined her intellectual tendencies. Her love for beauty and harmony and her reflectiveness. Impulse control is important to her and anger as she perceives it as consistently sublimated into a useful and creative goal. The main question that has to be addressed in view of this inmate's past violent conduct which lead to her conviction 17 years ago, is the diagnose of her potential dangerousness."
"While remorse is seen to be more shallow and intellectualized than it could be, she nevertheless has good control over her actions, that would predict adequate social adjustment and harmonious pro-social behaviour should she be released from the confines of this prison to the outside world. She is introspective and non-impulsive. Where dissatisfaction and anger surfaces, she uses sublimation rather than repression to deal with it."
"Ms. Krenwinkel was an extremely dangerous person who's devotion to a communal style of life and counter culture philosophy could have subjected her to a confusing domination of a cult leader. However, in the 17 years in which she has been incarcerated, there has been a market evolution in her such that she is a violent criminal only by history and does not pose a threat to her present level of functioning in this setting, and it is predicted that she would not, if released into the community at this time."
Patricia's attorney, Wendy Park, demanded that the television and sound crew from Channel 4 be removed from the room, her objections were overruled but the board members forced them to shut off the artificial lighting that lit up the room. Park also demanded that Steven Kay be removed from the prison grounds but that was overruled also. Forty-year-old Patricia was denied parole for the 7th time. The board felt that more counseling and therapy was required. "This degree of barbaric, violent behaviour has no equal," Commissioner Rudolph Castro said after the two-hour hearing. He criticized her for not participating in self-help programs such as AA/NA and said it was a large hole in her otherwise excellent programming. Due to the recent 'Watson decision,' Patricia was denied parole for one year.
Steven Kay who was accompanied by Doris Tate, told the board, "what she needs is not psychiatric treatment, but she needs to receive a medical implant of a heart and soul." Doris Tate was not allowed to attend the hearing but she watched from the monitor outside the prison with the rest of the media. After the hearing, Doris Tate and Steven Kay held a press conference where they were promoting and supporting Proposition 89, a referendum item that would grant the governor the power to overturn decisions made by the Board of Prison Terms. During the press conference, Steven Kay said, "She's probably the most cold-blooded murderess I've ever met in my twenty-one years in the DA's office. This is a person without a heart and without a soul." Doris stated that the public "would not stand for this woman ever being set free." Mrs. Tate was successful with Proposition 89 which passed in the fall of 1988.
Doris Tate stated in an interview with Ed Sanders that Patricia Krenwinkel was the only one who seemed somewhat repentant for her actions. Although Doris was not able to attend her parole hearings, she kept a very close eye on her and what she was up to. She told Sanders that Patricia was in a romantic relationship with her cell mate and there was no group lobbying for her release. Doris was serving on the California State Advisory Committee on Correctional services, to represent the viewpoints of victims, which gave her detailed access to current events in the prison system. She had the private numbers of prison wardens and knew all the current details of her daughter's killer.
In January of 1989, Patricia completed a Vocational Data Processing course and received a certificate of completion. She was very proficient with computers because of her experience and knowledge in electronics. This was something she would be able to put to use on the outside but mostly, she completed all these programs to fill her time at the prison and keep busy.
Patricia Krenwinkel, by 1989, according to Judy Hanson, was real "real anti-drug and incredibly anti Charlie." She accepted the fact that she may never get out and talked frequently about doing something to alert children and parents about the dangers of drugs. In August of 1989, Judy tried to convince Patricia to do a television interview to tell her side. Patricia had approached many times in the past by authors and television reporters. So far she had said no to Geraldo Rivera, Barbara Walters, Bob Banfield and several others. She was very uncomfortable with her notoriety that surrounded her case.
In July of 1989, after a medical examination, Patricia learned that she suffered from a medical condition and was not able to have any children and she probably never was able to have children. Patricia has developed into a full blown lesbian behind bars, a natural progression for inmates serving lengthy sentences. Most inmates do it for the companionship and emotional support and others just for the sex. Leslie Van Houten has also had countless encounters and relationships with women in the prison. Susan Atkins claims she has not, mainly due to her religious beliefs.
On November 22, 1989, Patricia went before the board again. Board members Rudolph Castro, Joe Aceto and Monica Smith conducted almost all lifer hearings at CIW in the late 1980's and were known for grilling the inmates and trying to get them to loose their temper. They hardly never gave any parole dates and were very tricky with their questioning and their approach to the inmates. This time Patricia discussed the facts of the crime in detail. She steadfastly denied carving the word WAR on Mr. LaBianca's abdomen and said she only had a hand in the actual killing Abigail Folger.
Patricia, wearing a white long sleeved shirt and a knee length brown skirt, with her long brown hair resting on her shoulders, sat stoically throughout the proceeding, speaking about herself mostly in general terms. "I am not a violent person. I don't respond in a violent manner." she said. "I don't even like screaming at people." She blamed the Tate-LaBianca murders on a combination of drugs, Manson's influence and the need to feel accepted by the Manson family. "It was a horror,....We had gone too far and there was no turning back, no matter where I looked, it wasn't going to stop." she said of the murders, "It is something that I live with now."
Board members Rudolph Castro and Joe Aceto both got mad at her for not attending any AA/NA meetings in the last year despite their repeated recommendations through the years. Patricia responded that she was involved in many other programs and this one just had a low priority for her. Her psychiatric report was somewhat positive although the doctor stated, "there is something missing about this person." The Watson decision had been overturned by the appeals court and the board could now again give multiple year denials, up to three years.
The Board, after deliberating for about 30 minutes, cited the brutality and heinousness of the murders in deciding to deny parole. They denied parole for only one year, which outraged Mr. Kay. "She hasn't changed that much," said Los Angeles County District Attorney Steven Kay at a press conference after the hearing. "I think she has ice water running through her veins." Sharon Tate's mother, Doris, also spoke with reporters at a press conference outside the prison, "She has no remorse for killing seven people, I hope she dies in prison."
Following the 1989 parole hearing, Joseph Krenwinkel had a stroke and suffered a heart attack. He had been having health problems for a few years and was now 80 years old. He was not working anymore and had retired the previous year. Patricia's mother, Dorothy had also recently turned 80 year old and was also suffering from health problems which prevented her from coming to visit Pat at the prison. Her mother never re-married after the divorce and was still living with her sister in Ohio. Her father had visited her every Thursday for 20 years, like clockwork, but now somebody else had to bring him and he was only able to come down once every three months following the stroke.
Patricia's father was in the hospital for several weeks and Pat was devastated. He was the closest person she had in her life and had always stuck by his daughter, no matter what. Being incarcerated, Patricia wasn't able to make much money at CIW. In 1990, she was making about $32.00 a month. In addition to that, her father sent her about $100 each month that he deposited to her prison account. Inmates are not allowed to carry any cash but they are allowed to use the money in their accounts to buy from the prison canteens and order specific items through the mail.
It was in late 1989 when Patricia decided to finally follow the recommendation by the parole board and get involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. For several years she had been defiant and down played her need for it because she wasn't interested in drugs anymore. Drug abuse was also dealt with in psychological groups and at the time she felt that was sufficient.
She started attending AA/NA meetings on Thursday evenings where about 190 women would be attendance and outside speakers would come in and share their stories. Both Leslie and Susan were participating in AA/NA and they would always meet there once a week. After attending AA/NA for several months, Patricia signed up for 12 Steps which is a continuation of AA/NA where the inmates can work together and share their experiences and discuss each step. Being incarcerated, the women are not able to have sponsors and have to work the steps themselves. She attended AA/NA meetings from November 1989 to February 1990 when she moved on to 12 Steps which she completed in August.
In 1990, Patricia participated in a lot of groups including the Longtermers Organisation where she received a chrono of gratitude and participation signed by the groups sponsor, E. Sheldon. She also completed a course put on by Victims Services where she learned about the cost of crime to the victims. She also completed a 12 week course in group therapy, from January – April 1990. From that she received excellent reports.
On May 3, 1990, Patricia participated in the Children at Risk Walkathon where they raised money for the charity. She also completed a second course in Vocational Data Processing where she was described as an excellent student and hardworking. Patricia also completed a course in Spanish and was the coach on the prison softball team.
In April 1990, Patricia was assigned to the Data Processing station where she became a recreational clerk. That was her new institution assignment and for that she received about $32 a month. Later in the year, Patricia began training the female fire-fighter team at the prison. She was picket from a long list of inmates because of her athletic abilities with the swimming and softball teams and also because of her model prisoner status. For the first few months she was an assistant to the trainers while she was learning.
On August 31, 1990. Patricia went to meet the staff psychiatrist for an evaluation for the Board of Prison Terms. Everyone was really surprised that she received only a one year denial. Leslie Van Houten received a two year denial and Susan Atkins a three year denial so this was unexpected. The doctor evaluating her at this time was Dr. R. A. Armstrong who had this to say:
AXIS 1: No diagnosis.Although the psychiatric report was somewhat positive, the doctor seemed to think that she needed more therapy.
AXIS 2: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder in remission.
"Mental status examination describes her as being a well nourished, well developed woman who is 44 year of age, fully cooperative. Has underlying depression but showed true feelings and displayed cheerfulness. Has gone through considerable improvement since one year ago and is much less defensive. Starting to show more emotion and more trust."
"When Ms. Krenwinkel entered the room she was somewhat nervous but when the doctor started talking about baseball she started to show interest and opened up. Insight into herself could be improved and expressions of remorse appear rehearsed and contrived."
"Ms. Krenwinkel is by nature a quiet, inwardly looking woman who experienced much early life trauma. In general she has continued to keep a low profile at CIW and does not seem to have many friends or close social contacts. Although she has achieved academic qualifications and furthered her education and gained recognition of her peers. It is this writer's opinion that she has attempted to avoid asserting herself but her recent baseball activities are a step in the right direction."
"Mental examination shows significant improvement and her self expression and ability to carry on an informal, unemotional dialogue, while she is encouraged to pursue appropriate self help groups as available and it is also suggested that she seeks help from her peers, to assume a more assertive role, both in her physical activities and career goals."
"Ms. Krenwinkel has a low level of dangerousness, provided that she finds a suitable outlet for her considerable underlying energy."
On November 5, 1990, at 1:55 PM, Patricia Krenwinkel and her attorney, Wendy Putnam-Park attended Patricia's eighth parole hearing before the Board of Prison Terms. Patricia had been very sick with the flu and lying in bed the whole morning. She had fever and had been excused from work for two days. She and her attorney discussed asking for a continuance but because of the one year denial and favourable outcome the previous year, they decided to attend.
Patricia, who had recently cut her thick, shoulder length hair, short, was wearing a purple sweater and a long brown skirt, looked pale and unresponsive as she sat poker faced throughout the proceedings. A crew from KCBS captured the video and sent a feed out to the media trucks. Patricia appears uncooperative and defiant during the questioning by the board members. Her attorney again objected to the media being present and the additional artificial lighting provided by the media but for the first time the board overruled the objection and did not ask that the lights be removed.
Independent producer, author and researcher Bill Nelson was present in the press pool outside the prison to plug into the pool feed and video tape the hearing for a documentary he was working on at the time. He had just released the 1990 parole hearing for Tex Watson commercially under the title "Serial Killer Denied." In his second book he writes about sitting outside at the news table watching the hearing live from a monitor, when the commissioner indicated that if that pesky little fly comes around me again, "I don't want to alarm you but I am going to kill it" as he rolled up a piece of paper. Seated across from Bill Nelson was KNBC-4 personality Conan Nolan who said, in a low steady voice, "Why not let Pat kill it?"
Patricia's trial council Paul Fitzgerald was very supportive and wrote a letter to the parole board where he stated, "In over 25 years of criminal practice I have encountered many defendants who's conduct was far more hideous, deliberate and culpable who have served far less time. Miss Krenwinkel has applied herself well in prison with an excellent record, developed skills to support herself upon release."
Patricia was asked the following questions during the hearing:
Q: Have you had any contact with your crime partners?Patricia was denied parole for the maximum time allowed under the law at that time, which was three years. The following year, the board imposed a new rule that allowed them to deny multiple murderers for up to 5 years at a time. Those who had been convicted of more than two murders were now subject to a 5 year denial.
A: Yes, I have. Leslie and Susan are both here and I see them in AA and other groups but none of us are close really. We each have our own things we are doing.
Q: What is your attitude about Charles Manson now?
A: I try to live my life without thinking about him. At times I am angry at him, at times I hate him. At times I just try to look objectively at the situation and the reasons why I even allowed myself to get involved with such a man.
Q: Who should share the most responsibility for your involvement in the crime?
A: It would be myself.
By 1991, Patricia had completed her own training to become a personal physical fitness trainer. In the late 80's, the warden at CIW implemented this program in association with the Malibu and San Diego fire departments where inmates train to become fire-fighters. After several months of rigorous training, the inmates are on standby to go out and fight fires. Only model inmates who are a few years short of going home are accepted into the program. Patricia trains them to meet a physical fitness standard that they must have in order for them to fight fires and they have to meet certain fire requirement physical fitness tests before they are ready.
The training consists of both mental and physical training where Patricia along with three other trainers teach them teamwork, endurance training and physical fitness. The women also have to develop strong bonds within each team because their life relies on each other in a fire situation.
When Patricia became a physical fitness trainer, it became her job classification in addition to a part time position as a recreation clerk. Pat Kirschner, her supervisor at the time, hired her as a recreation clerk. At the time she was also the head of the training program and it was she who encouraged Pat to become a trainer. Patricia was also involved in the weight training group for women, jogging, aerobics and swimming.
In 1991, as a result of participating in the 12 step program, Patricia became really active at the prison and experienced a confidence boost, helping her to become more assertive. She later told a psychologist that she experienced a wake-up call of some sorts and wanted to contribute her time and effort into helping the other inmates bettering themselves. She said it was a way for her to give back to society and atone for her crimes.
Amongst the many programs she became involved in during this time was Ameri-Can, the Lifer's Orientation, Life Plan for Recovery, and Dr. Grimes Psychotherapy Program where she attended group therapy for three months. Patricia's favourite program was Life Plan for Recovery which focuses on the 12 steps, incorporated with education and setting goals for the future.
Patricia along with Leslie Van Houten and several other women that were in their 40's were asked to become dance consultants, teaching dance steps from the 60's for a fun day at the prison. They would teach the women in their 20's and 30's how to do the "mashed potatoes," and "the twist."
In December of 1991, Patricia became involved in a literary program called READ, where she helped women who were illiterate or next to that, learn how to read. Many of the inmates could not read a cue and Patricia would help them develop word skills and reading skills on a very basic level and many of them are on the 5th grade educational level. They work with the Challenger Series, which is what's used on the streets in almost every Literacy Program.
In February of 1992, Patricia also became involved in a another tutoring program called YES I CAN, which helps women who are pursuing their education, prepare for their G.E.D.'s. Patricia also helped with the Labor Day Barbecue and the Annual Christmas banquet and also served on the Women's Advisory Counsel as the Parliamentarian.
In 1992, Patricia also became involved in the Outreach Diversion which is a program that speaks to youth about drug use. The program works two ways, there are women that are allowed to go out into the community and speak at schools and other places where young people attend. Lifers like Patricia can not get gate passes so they handle cases that are called PC-1000, where the courts send youths and sometimes adults that are in trouble. They meet in the prison visiting room and Patricia speaks with them about the dangers of drug use, prison life and the cost and consequences of one's actions and tries to steer them into the right direction. Normally the children go anywhere from 13 years old and up.
ABC's TURNING POINT & ANOTHER PAROLE HEARING
In March of 1993, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten were approached by ABC producer Denise Schreiner for a possible interview because of the 25th year anniversary of the murders. Patricia had never done any interviews or television appearances and had no interest in doing so. Schreiner however, offered them a unique opportunity to address their progress in prison and warn young people about Charles Manson and it would give them an opportunity to present themselves to the public as mature non-threatening middle aged women. During this time, rock band Guns N'Roses had recorded a song written by Manson and kids were wearing "Charlie Don't Surf" Manson t-shirts.
In the early 1990's, a 60's and 70's music and fashion revival was spreading around the world, bringing new attention to the almost forgotten crimes of the Manson Family. Patricia had begun to receive more mail from young people claiming to have read Helter Skelter and asking about Manson, speaking about him in glowing terms. Patricia rarely responded to such letters but every now and then she would write back.
After learning that Dianne Sawyer would be doing the interviews and after conferring with each other, Patricia and Leslie eventually decided that they would go on camera for the interview, citing that they wanted to educate the younger generations about the dangers of Charles Manson and what he was really all about. They also thought it would be a good opportunity to address many of the misconceptions people had about them and to show the public that they were non-threatening and rehabilitated. Susan Atkins declined participation, after conferring with her husband and attorney. She had bad experiences with reporters in the past and didn't want to be re-united with Charlie as a Manson girl.
Later that year, Vincent Bugliosi was approached do participate in the program and told that Dianne Sawyer wanted to interview him the following month. After a brief discussion with the producers, Bugliosi became troubled by how sympathetic they were towards the Patricia and Leslie and their eventual release from prison. Sawyer – who just re-signed with ABC for $ 30 million over five years – spoke with Vincent Bugliosi for the program in November of 1993. She was so sympathetic to Krenwinkel and Van Houten that he asked her point blank if she was trying to get them off the hook.
Patricia and Leslie went on camera in November of 1993 and the program was set to air in March the following year. The interviews caused a brainstorm of controversy and many believed the producers were trying get them released from prison. Patti Tate was interviewed by one of the producers, Denise Schreiner, who told her that the voice of Dianne Sawyer would be dubbed in later. But based on the questions Patti was asked, she was worried that Sawyer will strive to make viewers feel sorry for the women. "ABC kept asking, 'Isn't it time you dropped this vendetta,'" Tate said later to the National Enquirer. "How long can you keep pursuing vengeance? These girls have been locked up long enough. They are rehabilitated. They need to get on with their lives." Patti was understandably concerned and stated, "I confronted them, asking if the show was going to be sympathetic towards the prisoners. They were evasive and wouldn't give me a straight answer."
Patti Tate had contacted the National Enquirer whom that Tate family had had a good working relationship with in the past in gathering letters for her mother. "Diane Sawyer has tremenous influence and she is using it to get these cold blooded killers out of jail. She is willing to risk letting them out just to pick up ratings." The Equirer also interviewed Vincent Bugliosi who was anxious to respond. "I would not want ABC to suggest that it is time to let these people go," said Bugliosi. "ABC and Diane Sawyer are prestigious and would get the ear of prominent and influental people. I am concerned that ABC may be taking that slant."
But Patti doesn't buy the duo's conversions for a minute. "They will say anything to get out. It's all a lie," Tate said. Patti even pleaded to Diane: "Don't show these demonic killers in a good light. "If you help them, how can you live with yourself? Please, just turn your back on these killers and walk away." Terry McDevitt, publicist for "Turning Point, and a spokesman for Diane sawyer, both declined to comment on the upcoming program or Patti Tate's charges. Reportedly, the producers did make last minute changes and toned down the program to make it more balanced.
On November 25, 1993, Patricia met with the prison psychiatrist, Dr. Clabel who was hired by the board to do an evaluation on future dangerousness. In the report the doctor gave no diagnosis on Axis 1 and on Axis 2, she was diagnosed with Polysubstance abuse in remission with passive agressive tendencies. The report was very positive and Patricia's best psychiatric evaluation to date.
The doctor indicates that MMPI results describe a person who responses rather conventionally to the question, who uses her intelligence to control her rebellious past, and who has achieved a good balance in her emotional functioning. Neither given to depression or being overly active, she's able to lead a rather stable life and has developed appropriate feminine interests in guiding her progress. Overall, no mental disorder is expressed in this profile and it has been stable over the years.
And under the psychological consideration, he says this interview focused mainly on the relationship Inmate Krenwinkel had with Charles Manson, on her understanding of her crime and on her present awareness of her life. It is apparent that the understanding of her role in the, quote, "Manson Family," unquote, has helped Inmate Krenwinkel to clearly see her dependency on this manipulator and her subservient role at the time. Her improved understanding and her newly found assertiveness and activities have helped her to change her understanding her responsibility in the shocking and horrendous criminal activity, especially as her innocent victims are concerned.
And he refers to Dr. Francis' report in 1988, it is described that she still tried to excuse the crime with the lifestyle of the victims but the inmate claims those statements were taken out of context but she was at the time trying to find excuses for her participation. Dr. Clabel goes on to say, that she certainly does not, at this time, and she's fully aware of her totally unwarranted and senseless crime. As a matter of fact, when describing your crime, she became emotionally involved in a manner that proves her remorse and understanding.
Under the mental status examination, it indicates during the interview, several issues became clear to the doctor, while in previous casual encounters, she always appeared as a person who avoided contact and tried to disappear among her fellow inmates. She now is able to present herself on her own and as a full participant in discussions. She was very cooperative during the interview and open about her feelings and not at all ambivalent and defensive as described in prior reports. While previously, the report by Dr. Armstrong appealing prevailed that there is something missing about this person. This time, the impression was the opposite. It can clearly be stated that the improvement this inmate has made over the last three years is substantial and positively affecting her personality.
Her major progress is in her ability to gain insight into herself and in being informative and aware of herself. She has learned to communicate this new understanding and present herself in a positive, clear manner even when she has to talk about the worst aspects of herself, such as her involvement in the crime. From this new understanding, her expressions, remorse and compassion becomes believable.
There was no sign of mental disorder presented in the interview and she appeared fully functionable and able to conduct her life. She presents herself as functioning on a higher than average intellectual level and as being in control emotionally, well balanced and having gained insight into her prior problems. She is able function well in any social setting that she's placed in.
And under the general conclusions, the doctor said that there is no significant relationship between the crime and the present diagnosis. During observation in the institution, especially during the last three years, she has significantly psychologically improved and is still improving. And in a less controlled environment, this inmate is expected to improve further. Suggested action is that she continues in her therapy and her therapeutic activities. And under parole release it says violence potential outside a controlled setting at the time of her crime, is considered to have been extreme due to her total dependency and drug addiction. At present, her violence potential is estimated to be well below average.
Dr. Clabel goes on to repeat the conclusion of Dr. Francis that she is a violent criminal only by history and does not pose a threat at the present level of functioning in this setting. And it is predicted that she would not present a threat in the uncontrolled setting if released into the community at this time. It is to be added that her present functioning has further improved since these conclusions were made in 1988, so they can be restated now with a higher level of certainty.
Patricia must have been very happy with the results of the evaluation because she and her attorney, Wendy Putnam Park came very well prepared to Patricia's 9th parole hearing taking place on December 29, 1993. Both Patricia and Leslie had their hearings on the same day, Patricia was scheduled at 9 am and Leslie in the afternoon. This was very convenient for the media as they could report on both cases in one setup. Television crews from ABC News handled the pool feed and permission was granted for two TV pool cameras instead of the usual one. The second camera was used to capture the panel for additional coverage for the Turning Point special set to air the following March.
In addition to ABC News, Court TV did live coverage from hearings and this was the first time that a parole hearing for Patricia Krenwinkel was broadcast live on television. Many other media outlets were in attendance including BBC, the British Broadcasting Company who had gained permission to interview Patricia the following month.
The 1993 hearing for Patricia market the first time she would have to face family members of her victims. In 1991, Doris Tate had gained permission to attend Patricia's next hearing but she became seriously ill the following year and died from a brain tumour in 1992. Patti Tate took over her mother's crusade and attended the hearing with Steven Kay. She later said that Patricia appeared confused and cold hearted.
In 1991, the Board of Prison Terms invoked a new rule for lifers convicted of multiple murders. Lifers convicted of more than two murders were now subject to a five year denial instead of three years as the maximum denial. Patricia probably expected a 5 year denial during the reading of the decision because she looked at her attorney surprised when the board announced that it was a three year denial. It was because of the extensive participation in self help and educational programs, her spotless record and recent progress psychologically.
In early 1994, Patricia was interviewed by BBC Television for a program titled Court TV, dealing with crime and justice. Patricia set limitations to the interview and they were not allowed to ask questions about the murders. The focus of the program was on the parole system and incarceration and Patricia was interviewed in a special visiting room and the crew was allowed to film her prison cell and the training facilities where Patricia trained the fire-fighter inmates. Prosecutor Steven Kay, Wendy Park and Patti Tate were also interviewed for the program. The program aired on the BBC around the same time as Turning Point did in the States. This was the only other extensive interview she did. In 1995, the state of California banned television interviews with convicted murderers and specific inmates.
The premier broadcast of Turning Point aired on March 18, 1994, to mixed reviews and smashing ratings. Almost 20% of all American homes were tuned in for the broadcast. Patricia, Leslie and Susan watched the program from their individual cells. The Manson show drew a smashing 18.1 rating (meaning 18.1% of all U.S. TV homes were tuned in), and landed in the weekly top 5. ABC executives came under heavy criticism after the broadcast for exploiting a notorious murder case to bring in ratings. At a press conference, ABC News president Roone Arledge described the in-house debate over whether to launch Turning Point with the Manson show or with another, softer program about a couple who gave birth to sextuplets. Picking Manson, said Arledge with unusual candor, was a matter of "pragmatism" -- a way to draw immediate attention to the new series. ABC executives defended the Manson show, pointing out that Krenwinkel and Van Houten had not been interviewed since their murder convictions in 1971. "If TIME magazine or the New York Times had a chance to do the first interview in 25 years with the Manson girls, would they turn it down?" asked ABC News vice president Joanna Bistany.
During the show, when interviewing Krenwinkel, Dianne Sawyer counted the stab wounds to each victim and asked, "I think the most inconceivable thing for most people, aside from murder, the savagery of it. Who are you! they would say, that this savagery could live in you?" Patricia responded, "I don't believe any of us had any concept of really what we were doing. If I just keep doing this, (stabbing) somehow this will bring death" Patricia was also alarmed by letters she was receiving from young people who seemed to think that Manson was cool and what they did was all right. "If there is anything that I can say to those children, is that he's not the man to follow."
After the broadcast, both Leslie and Patricia received hundreds of letters of support from people all over the United States, filled with encouragement and support. Both were happy with the outcome although they were not told that Manson would be interviewed for the program. Shortly after the broadcast, more requests for interviews came in and Patricia was offered a book deal and considerable freedom to write an autobiography but she eventually declined.
Recommendations at her 1993 parole hearing were to remain disciplinary free, participate in self help and therapy programs, upgrade vocationally and educationally. Patricia followed all these recommendations in the following three years. Her classification score in 1995 continued to be at zero and neither disciplinaries nor counselling chronos were counted.
On June 2 of 1994, Patricia was tested and had a grade point level of 10,9 and she enrolled in several collage classes through correspondence. In June and July of 1994, she attended a psychotherapy group with Dr. Burg where she received excellent reports. During 1994 to 1996, Patricia was working in the prison as a physical fitness trainer, as recreation clerk and hobby craft clerk and all her work reports were consistently one's which means excellent. She is described as attentive, hard working, resourceful and helpful to her fellow workers.
During these years she continued to participate extensively in AA/NA as well as CODA, which is a self help program dealing with co-dependency and family dynamics within alcoholic families and relationships. In November of 1996, she completed a psychotherapy group concerning 'abuse on bonding.' Throughout 1995 and 1996 she participated regularly in weekly therapy groups with Dr. Ponath and Dr. Janish.
In 1995, Patricia began participating with Leslie Van Houten in SOS, or Saving our Stitches where she participates in sewing quilts for the homeless. The women would meet for three hours one night a week under supervision from an officer willing to donate his time. In April of 1995, Patricia became the secretary for the SOS group. Some of the other activities during this time was continuing playing on the softball team. She also participated extensively in the Long termers Organisation where she has been a moving force for many years and still is.
In April of 1996, Patricia signed up for literacy tutor training where she was trained professionally to educate other inmates and teach them how to read and write. In June of 1996, she participated in the Children's Walkathon for child abuse where the women raised money for the organisation. That same month she was also involved in the annual banquet of MARROW which is the Mexican-American research association where she received thanks for donating her free time to help prepare the banquet.
On January 16, 1997, Patricia was scheduled for a psychiatric evaluation with Dr. Robert D McDaniel, who was a controversial doctor recently hired by the Board of Prison Terms. He has been accused of being a misogynist and having little respect for women. All three of the Manson women received devastating psychiatric reports from Dr. McDaniel and some inmates were terrified and some refused to see him. He was also hired by the CDC because they saw his reports as valuable, very thorough and insightful.
Patricia's 1997 evaluation was a disaster and no parole board, after reading that report would ever consider releasing her on parole, ever! Dr. McDaniel wrote the following in his report:
INMATE'S VERSION OF THE CRIME
When asked what her role in the crime was, the inmate stated that she was responsible for the stabbing of Abigail Folger. She indicated that she later got Tex Watson to help her in the killing as the woman was not yet dead. When asked how she knew, she indicated that the woman was still crying uncontrollably and making loud noises.
In the second set of murders, the inmate indicated that she attempted to stab Rosemary LaBianca. I asked the inmate if she stabbed the woman's husband, the inmate indicates that she stabbed the woman's husband in the stomach with a fork. I asked the inmate if she left the fork in the body, the inmate replayed, "I think so, yes." When asked if there was a lot of blood, the inmate states, "Not that I remember."
MENTAL STATUS EVALUATION
The mental status evaluation indicates that insight appears to be somewhat limited regarding relationships to other people which will be discussed further in depth in the discussion section of this report. Judgement appears good and she has a good work ethic and has remained disciplinary free.
The diagnosis is that there is no diagnosis on Axis one and there is no diagnosis on Axis two.
The inmate is a 49 year old woman who indicates that Charles Manson essentially took over her identity and that she was not allowed to formulate any opinions. She took part in the stabbing of Abigail Folger and later Rosemary LaBianca. She later admits stabbing the woman's husband with a fork that she later admits leaving in the stomach. At the time it appeared that she was willing to consider herself at the expense of others. She considered herself in that she wanted the approval of those around her and apparently felt little for her victims. I would find notable that the bloodletting of Abigail Folger did not cause any degree of revulsion such that the second murder became impossible.
I believe the inmate still to some degree considers herself at the expense of others. She fails to appreciate the safety of others and will place her own needs ahead of theirs.
In addition, the inmate describes an incident in which another inmate became terrified after she accidentally splashed inmate Krenwinkel with water. The inmate will use this event to illustrate how she herself now takes things easy and does not become easily upset. This event relates how the inmate did not feel compelled to re-assure the woman who was terrified but instead felt that the situation was something she could use to illustrate her own improvement.
When I (the doctor) hear this myself however, I wonder what look of fear she saw upon her victim's faces, what look of fear she saw upon this other woman and how easily it is for this inmate to see the look of fear on other people without feeling the need to re-assure them in some way. While the inmate states she laughed and turned away, thereby indicating to the other woman that no offence was taken. I wonder if this is how the other person felt.
In this I see a common thread where the inmate tends to use others for her own purposes. Clearly, the inmate is not with murderous rages like before but her style of thinking, in my opinion, remains somewhat similar. While this inmate has good disciplinary record and appears to be someone who uniformly impresses others with good work ethic. She is also someone who does not share the horror of bloodletting as might be expected by the typical person.
Clearly, to some degree, the diagnosis psychopathology has been related to criminal behaviour historically, and there must have been a great deal of sociopathy to be able to inflict such murderous behaviour on multiple people. There is no current evidence of over sociopathy currently demonstrated by this inmate although I indicated a tendency on viewing her own needs at the expense of others. This is not necessarily psychopathology but rather a character logic trait.
In observation in the institution, inmate Krenwinkel has improved psychiatrically perhaps slightly in the internal period and she seems to be attending more group therapy and becoming more introspective than in the years past. Other examiners who have evaluated this prisoner over the years have commented verbally that the inmate historically has been somewhat drawn into herself. She is much different at the present time, at the time of this evaluation. In a less controlled setting, such as a return to the community, this inmate can be considered whole present gains, based upon her disciplinary record and good work ethic. I am unsure however, how she considers the needs of others as compared to her own and express some certainty as to her future behaviour.
Violence potential has been considered to have been greater than average in past due to the viciousness of the crime and the initial murder did not deter her from further bloodletting. I believe it has now perhaps decreased, due to more positive influences in her life and her willingness to adhere to societal norms within the institution. I am less certain weather she poses a violent potential in the community as I continue to see a style of thinking that is reminiscent of her crime
In the remaining period the inmate should continue her present rehabilitation period which perhaps may need to focus more on how her behaviour affects other individuals and what her responsibilities is to someone whom she induces fear and weather she should place her own needs ahead of someone else's.
Patricia and her attorney were furious and felt she was being misjudged by doctor. The doctor also went into extensive details about her lesbian activities in the prison and her role in such relationships. Patricia's attorney, Wendy Park wanted to investigate the report further and obtain the curriculum-veto of the doctor and look into weather he was licensed to practice in the state of California. Mrs. Webb claimed that there was damaging speculations in the report about her relationship with Patricia. The doctor also mentioned in the report that Patricia did not feel she was placing anyone at risk by demanding to know the addresses and phone numbers of her victims.
Wendy Park prolonged the investigation into the doctor's career because they were trying to get a continuance of the upcoming parole hearing. However, the board members had already been scheduled to appear and Mrs. Webb was told that she had to appear before the board and ask them for a continuance. In trying to look after Patricia's best interests, Mrs. Park advised her to not appear before the board with her. A camera crew and reporter, Mary Jane Stevenson from Court TV had been approved to conduct live television coverage of the hearing and in the event that the postponement would not be granted, Patricia wouldn't have sit under the damaging psychiatric report with her face on live television.
Wendy Park appeared before the Board of Prison Terms on March 19, 1997, while Patricia waited in the adjoining room for the word. Although Mrs. Webb seemed confident that a continuance would be granted, the board denied the request and proceeded with the hearing. Mrs. Webb tried every trick in the book to object and obstruct the proceedings and the board members eventually got mad at her for not being properly prepared for the hearing. The board members had pretty much made up their mind before the hearing started, after reading the report and they dismissed everything that Mrs. Webb had to say and ignored what she had to say. They seemed to be in a hurry to conclude the hearing and when they left for deliberations, they even indicated they would be back in 10 minutes, which they did and denied her for the maximum of 5 years and she placed on the 2002 calendar.
In November of 1998, Patricia was assigned to a new job as mural painter. She still continued to train the inmates and working part time as hobby craft clerk. In 1999, she completed an updating on her electronics certificate, now called vocational electronics. She also received a certificate for updating her computer skills and word processing.
NEW MILLENIUM AND NO PAROLE
In 2000, Patricia began to read the bible and seek a spiritual life. Throughout the 80's and 90's, she had always claimed that she was not religious and did not believe in God or the bible and she would often patronise those who were deeply religious. Patricia started seeking God through working the 12 steps which requires that members seek a higher power and a conscious contact with God. Patricia has also said that she needed to seek forgiveness for her crimes and through religion she was able to experience the type of forgiveness she had craved for many years. She became an active member in bible study groups at the prison.
On October 1, 2001, Patricia's original trial attorney and good friend Paul Fitzgerald died at his Beverly Hills home of a heart attack. He was only 64. He was found dead by an associate on a Tuesday at his Hollywood home. He had suffered from heart problems for many years and died of an apparent heart attack, his family said. Fitzgerald was legendary in the legal defense community. As a Los Angeles County public defender in the mid-1960s, he wrote training manuals that led to enduring practices in such key areas as the questioning of prospective jurors. He and Patricia had remained good friends for all these years. In fact, he remained on good terms and corresponded with all the three women.
Patricia was scheduled for a parole hearing on May 23, 2002, but she waived her hearing for two years, stipulating to her unsuitability. She gave two reasons for the stipulation; her attorney since 1985 and good friend Wendy Park had recently moved from California to Nevada and retired from practicing law. She was also concerned about the last psychiatric evaluation by Dr. Robert McDaniel from 1997, which was very unfavourable and the doctor was still working at the prison. There was also speculation that she was waiting to see the outcome of Leslie Van Houten's appeal, who went out to court the previous week, in front of Judge Bob Krug.
In 2001 to 2003, Patricia participated in a variety of programs, including Voices from Within where her attitude was described as, "exceptional, demonstrates considerable diligence, organised and conscientious." In 2002, she became the clerk for that program. She also participated in AA/NA extensively and Women in Anger where she attended seven sections in 2001. That same year she was also the co-facilitator for Co-Dependents Anonymous Twelve Step study group and an active participant in the African American Woman's Business Association. Other programs included Convicted Women Against Abuse, Domestic Violence and Toxic Relationships.
In September 2002, Patricia became involved in the Puppy CTS Program. This was a new experimental program being implemented at the CIW on a trial basis. Patricia went through training on how to train service dogs for people with various disabilities. Each inmate participating in the program was assigned a puppy to keep with them at all times, 24 hours a day and training them to assist their future owners. Patricia was interviewed by the San Bernardino Sun about the program. The reporter was present as she was given her first puppy. She said she had not seen a puppy in over 30 years. In 2003, Patricia became the chairperson for the puppy program, a position she would hold for 5 years.
In 2003, Patricia became a drug counsellor in Drug Awareness Counselling where she would try to reach the younger inmates and deter them from a life of crime and drug abuse. That year she was also involved in Relapse Prevention which is a 12 step self help group. She received special thanks from the program administrator for her work with Voices from Within which is a community based service program to assist people with visual impairments. She was acknowledged for producing audiotapes for the blind and visually impaired people in the free world. In November 2003, she also participated in a Victims Services seminar.
On March 23, 2004, correctional counsellor R. Aguirre wrote the following in his board report:
"Inmate Krenwinkel was received into the institution on April 28, 1971. Since that time, during the 34 years of confinement she's worked in various job assignments. Worked in culinary, painter, janitorial services, clerk, teacher's aid, hobby craft clerk, recreation clerk, inmate assignment yard worker, and various volunteer assignments. All her work supervisors' reports are exceptional, dating back to her first work evaluation report. She is very capable, self-motivated worker, she shares a talent with participants by instructing various book binding techniques."On July 4, 2004, Patricia started studying graphic arts. Since Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California, rehabilitation had been brought back into the department and now a variety of educational programs were being provided by the Department of Corrections and the CDC was now called Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. For almost 15 years, parole for prisoners serving life sentences was impossible and virtually no lifers had been released on parole during that time. Less than one percent of all lifers during that period were given dates by the board but all were later blocked by governor Wilson and Gray Davis. . Since Schwarzenegger took office, the situation changed dramatically and more than hundred lifers were released within his first year in office. This meant a ray of hope for Patricia, Leslie and Susan, that perhaps they would be able to live out their last few years in free society.
"Miss Krenwinkel's institutional adjustment had been excellent. She's remained disciplinary-free since her reception and has utilized her time and talent in a productive manner by helping others while in prison. She has no enemies at CIW, there are no holds or warrants, her excellent institutional adjustment is an indication of a favourable adjustment in the community. In reviewing her archives and C-File, Miss Krenwinkel should be commended for positive behaviour."
"It appears that during her incarceration she's taken steps to be productive and develop alternatives to cope with her crime. This writer believes the prisoner would probably pose a low degree of threat to the public if released from prison. Prior to release Inmate Krenwinkel could benefit from remaining disciplinary free and continuing to participate in self-help therapy programs."
"Miss Krenwinkel's institutional adjustment could be considered exceptional. During the interview she displayed a mature attitude in dealing with the crime. She's considered an excellent student, worker in her assignments. The work reports indicate that she's dependable and she gets along well with staff and peers. One can say that Miss Krenwinkel's prison behaviour can be considered above average and continues to be a role model at California Institution for Women."
"During the interview on 3/10/04 she appeared to be honest and sincerely accepted responsibility for her involvement in the crimes. Her recent laudatory chronos and certificates of participation demonstrate her commitment to better other inmates and herself."
Patricia's father, Joseph Krenwinkel passed away during the summer of 2004. He had been ill for many years from heart complications and he died of a heart attack. He had several strokes in the past and because of his illness, he was not able to visit his daughter for the last year and a half. When he was in good health he visited his daughter once a week for over 20 years. He then moved from California to Idaho.
Patricia's mother, Dorothy Huber, had also been ill for several years and because of her location they had not been in much contact with each other. The relationship had been strained for many years from her younger days but they had begun to talk more frequently and when her mother finally moved back to California, their relationship became very good. Her mother now lived in San Bernardino county, not far from the prison with her cousin, Sandra Reeves. Together they visited Patricia frequently.
Patricia's 2004 psychiatric evaluation was again very unfavourable. She met with the staff psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Hu, on March 30, 2004. In this report the doctor stated the following:
"diagnosis": Axis I and Axis II, no diagnosis.Patricia then appeared before the board late in the afternoon of July 7, 2004. Since Wendy Park had moved to Nevada, a new attorney was appointed named Donald Bartell, a middle aged Riverside attorney who has mainly been in private practice but took Patricia's case on a pro-bono basis. He tried his best to explain away the unfavourable psychiatric evaluation and pointing out the factors in favour of suitability. The hearing lasted only for about one hour, including deliberations.
"Throughout the description of the crimes that lead to her incarceration, the inmate demonstrated no emotion. Although she acknowledged the fact that she accepted responsibility for endangering the victims' lives and that she was in part responsible for the numerous injuries that the victims incurred, I am unable to detect any remorse or regret expressed by this inmate regarding the crime. The inmate acknowledged that she knew the difference between right and wrong at the time of the commission of the crime; however, she felt overwhelmed and mortified by Mr. Charles Manson such that she felt that she had not committed the crime she would have been killed for refusing Mr. Manson's directive."
"Inmate demonstrated good grasp of her abstinent skills and demonstrated her vigilance in the prevention of a relapse."
"The inmate is a 56-year-old Caucasian female who indicated that she had been brainwashed by Charles Manson and who in essence took over control of her actions. She stated that despite her mortal fear that she would be killed by Mr. Manson, she was still unable to accomplish the instructions he gave her regarding killing the victims. Although she has not demonstrated herself to be dangerous within the past interval, I have some concerns with respect to her ability for parole. She has yet to demonstrate an insight regarding her actions. She has yet to demonstrate remorse or regret for her actions and has not been able to recognize the loss that the victims' families suffered over the years. It is my opinion that she has maintained a habitual pattern of diffusing the intensity and severity of the crime by acknowledging in a subtle manner that it was Mr. Manson who was ultimately responsible for the commission of these crimes. There is no current evidence of cult behaviour or predatory type of the like relationships that she had in the past. I do believe that her violence potential outside of controlled setting is less in comparison to the time of the instant offense. I believe her willingness to adhere to the rules and regulations of society and the years of maturity that causes risk factor to decrease."
For the first time, Patricia was faced with members of the LaBianca and Sebring families. At the hearing were Debra Tate, Luis Smaldino, John Desentis and Anthony DiMaria who is the nephew of Jay Sebring. Patricia appeared meek and remorseful and tried to apologise to the family members of the victims. In her closing statement she gave the following statement:
"I just -- words cannot express the sorrow that I feel in having filled so many lives with unspeakable grief. To each family member and friend who is denied the love, companionship and devotion of those they held so dear, I apologize. With deepest regret by the acts of my own hands, and the cowardice to stay the acts of others, I know I have created unending pain and anguish. I am ashamed. I'm sorry. I am so terribly sorry. I violated the innermost law of my own being: to do no harm. My heart is haunted by the unforgivable events of my past. Let me assure you with this that no morning comes that I do not awaken and remember the death. Steven Parent, Wojicieck Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Sharon Polanski, Jay Sebring, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. Each name is etched upon my soul. I have no way to make the morally reprehensible acts which I committed right. I can only offer my sincere apology for the crushing sorrow that I caused."Patricia was asked if she had worked Step Eight in the 12 Step program and who had been at the top of her list of people she had harmed. Patricia stunned everyone in the room by stating bluntly, "probably myself, first." In denying parole, commissioner Al Angele stated is response, "I frankly was surprised at your answer. That does indicate to me lack of insight and it does indicate a lack of remorse. Therefore, a longer period of observation and evaluation of the prisoner is required before the Board to find that she is suitable for parole."
The board only denied her parole for a period of three years. An unusual step in today's standards compared to Watson and Atkins who both received a 4 and 5 year denial. The board members recommended that she continue her exemplary prison adjustment, continue to be disciplinary free and participate is self help and therapy programming. In addition, they also ordered her to undergo an extensive psychiatric tests and psychological examinations focusing on risk assessment if she were released into the community.
PATRICIA KRENWINKEL TODAY
Since 2005, Patricia has continued be a model prisoner at CIW and continues to help her fellow inmates, being a teacher and a role model for the other prisoners. She continues to be very active in the prison puppy program and does janitorial work in her housing unit.
Patricia was scheduled to attend her 13th parole hearing in July of 2007. However, her previous attorney Donald Bartell was busy in private practice and Wendy Park had now relocated to Las Vegas where she had begun to practicing law again on a part time basis. Therefore she asked for 6 month postponement. Also, according to a source within the department said she wanted to see the result of Leslie's hearing that was scheduled the following month. Leslie had been given a one year denial after a very positive review in September of 2006. However, Leslie was denied parole for two years which was another setback.
Patricia has said that both she and Susan have been waiting to see what happens in Leslie's case because she realizes that her chances are very slim and Leslie will have to clear the way and then she and Susan would have a better chance. With each year passing, Patricia's hopes for parole have faded and she has resigned herself to the fact that she will most likely spend the rest of her life in custody. In the last few years she has been working in therapy to learn to accept that fact and plan her life accordingly. However, each hearing and review offers just a glimmer of hope that she can't afford to pass by.
Patricia has developed friendships with several people on the outside and she now has a small group of people who are willing to offer her whatever support she needs. Most of these people are educators and other people she has met through her work in the prison. Her mother is now in her 90's her cousins bring her to visit every other week.
In November 2007, a crew from Channel 7, Eyewitness News came into the institution to do a story on the puppy program. Patricia was interviewed for the program, sitting next to her dog. "It gives you a reason to wake every morning, I can't change my past. I can't change anything that happened yesterday. I can just try making a positive difference." Since the initial four, more than 100 dogs have been trained to do the simple tasks many people take for granted, like getting mail or turning on and off the lights.
After training, the dogs leave the prison to be with their new family, never to be seen again by the inmates. But on the night Eyewitness News was there, a slideshow allowed Pat to see her dog, Allison, at a home in New Jersey with Liam, a young boy with cerebral palsy. The images moved her to tears. "Doing what I do with this little dog, or with Allison -- that dog can carry, and maybe make somebody's future different and better and wonderful," said Krenwinkel. She's now training her seventh dog, and says the program allows her to know what she's doing in life has some worth.
Patricia's current plans if she were to be released in the near future are to live in a halfway house in Claremont, San Bernardino. She has been accepted into Crossroads halfway house which is run by sister Terry Dodge. That is not far from where she is incarcerated and not far from where her mother and cousin live. At this point, her mother is too old to be able to offer any real support. Patricia also has her BA degree from LaVerne University in Human Services and several certificates and degrees in electronics and computer work and graphic arts. She would be able to put those skills to use upon release. Patricia has also indicated that she is interested in furthering her education and obtaining a masters degree in business administration. Interestingly, Leslie Van Houten has indicated interest in the same thing.
Patricia's parole hearing was scheduled for January 2008 but her new attorney asked for a postponement until the next available board date because he had not been involved with this case before and needs time to prepare. The hearing will be rescheduled in the next few months.
On December 3, 2008, Patricia turned 60 years old.
(This biography article will be updated in the future.)
NOTES & RESOURCES
Probation report, 1971
Court of Appeals Decision, 1981,
People Vs. Manson, Trial transcript
1982 Psychiatric Report
1985 Psychiatric Report
1977 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1978 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1979 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1980 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1981 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1982 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1985 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1988 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1989 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1990 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1993 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
1997 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
2004 Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing Transcript
5 To Die, Davis & LeBlanc
Helter Skelter, Bugliosi
The Family, Sanders
The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten, Faith
Manson In His Own Words, Emmons
My Life with Charles Manson, Watkins
Alone With the Devil, Markman
The Manson Women, Livsey
Judy Hanson personal interview, transcripts
Eyewittness News, KABC
British Broadcasting Company, BBC
Mary Jane Stevenson, Court TV
Deborah Fraser, personal interview
ABC News footage
*** Many articles, documents, prison reports, books and other works were also used. It would take forever to list.