Newsom blocks Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel’s 15th bid for parole

A woman with gray hair and glasses.
Convicted murderer Patricia Krenwinkel at a 2011 parole hearing.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Patricia Krenwinkel, California’s longest-serving female inmate and former follower of Charles Manson, will not be paroled after Gov. Gavin Newsom ruled against her release Friday.

In a signed ruling, Newsom said Krenwinkel “still poses an unreasonable danger to society if paroled at this time.”

The governor’s decision comes months after the state Board of Parole Hearings recommended Krenwinkel for release in May.


Krenwinkel, 74, was sent to death row in 1971 after a Los Angeles jury convicted her of killing actress Sharon Tate and six others in the Manson followers’ two-day rampage across Los Angeles.

Her sentence, along with those of the group’s other members, was commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole after California’s highest court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972.

In his decision, Newsom said he considered several factors, including Krenwinkel’s young age, 21, at the time of the killings, evidence of her growth and maturity since being incarcerated, her good behavior while behind bars and her overall efforts to improve herself while imprisoned.

Patricia Krenwinkel, a follower of Charles Manson who participated in the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate, was tentatively granted parole, state prison officials announced Thursday.

May 27, 2022

But those factors were not enough to sway the governor.

“Specifically, Ms. Krenwinkel has not developed sufficient insight into the causative factors of her crime and her triggers for antisocial thinking and conduct in the context of maladaptive relationships,” Newsom wrote.

Krenwinkel, he added, “fully accepted Mr. Manson’s racist, apocalyptical ideologies, and told the psychologist, ‘He was a survivalist to the max ... racist to the max ... we all accepted that. I believed in him.... I was in it completely.’”


She was both a victim of and a significant contributor to the violent legacy of the so-called Manson family, according to the decision.

“At her parole hearing, Ms. Krenwinkel accepted responsibility for her direct crimes, yet she continued to shift disproportionate blame to Mr. Manson for decisions and conduct within her control,” Newsom wrote.

Her latest appearance before the parole panel was her 15th.