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Sharon Tate's sister sickened by Manson family killer parole issue

HomicideCrimeCrime, Law and JusticeJerry BrownPolitics

The sister of actress Sharon Tate says she felt sick to her stomach this week after Manson family killer Bruce Davis was issued a grant of parole.

Davis was convicted for his role in the 1969 murders of two men — ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea and aspiring musician Gary Hinman — but was never implicated in the murders of Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon home, nor in the Leno and Rosemary LaBianca killings.

PHOTOS: The Manson family murders

Davis has repeatedly been issued a grant of parole, with review boards citing his good behavior, "positive adjustment" and involvement in other self-help programs since his conviction and incarceration in 1972. But each time, his parole has been blocked by the governor's office.

Reached by phone after the latest recommendation, Tate's sister, Debra, said she believed Davis was a sociopath, psychopath and is not a changed man, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who blocked Davis' release last year, has 150 days to decide if the convicted killer should go free. 

The details of Shea’s killing remain murky, muddled more by Davis' recent account that the ranch hand was taken to a different location and killed — and not the night that prosecutors claimed but the following morning.

Shea was allegedly targeted because Manson believed he was a police informant. 

Another Manson family member, Steve “Clem” Grogan, allegedly cut off Shea’s head. Grogan, the only Manson family member convicted of murder to be set free, won parole in 1985 by leading law enforcement to Shea’s body. California corrections officials said he has since had no criminal offenses in this state.

Hinman was held captive for days, tortured and then killed in July 1969 as part of an extortion plot at the outset of the infamous Manson family murder spree.

"Davis played a central role in these murders," Brown said last year, according to CBS-LA, describing how he "later bragged about how Mr. Shea's body had been dismembered and decapitated."

After the 2012 recommendation for parole, L.A. County's top prosecutor wrote in a letter to Brown that Davis blames everyone but himself for his "criminal and antisocial behavior," including his father for his upbringing and Manson for influencing him to commit the murders.

"It is evident that Davis lacks insight," she wrote, "genuine remorse and understanding of the gravity of his crimes."

In 2010, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also blocked a similar grant for release, saying Davis "would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society."

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

 

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HomicideCrimeCrime, Law and JusticeJerry BrownPolitics
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