Death Row Built for Tate Trio
Thursday, April 15th, 1971
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Apr. 15 — California is building a “death row” for women to house the three young women under sentence of death for their part in the Tate-LaBianca slayings.
An isolated, six-cell unit is being added to the one-story reception center at the California Institution for women near Frontera for Susan Atkins, 22, Leslie Van Houten, 21, and Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, convicted in the slayings along with their cult leader Charles Manson.
The three women formally will be sentenced to San Quentin’s gas chamber next week in Los Angeles. When they will be transferred to the prison is not known because of their possible involvement in other trials stemming from crimes of the Manson clan.
The State Department of Corrections said the remodeling necessary for the “Death Row” would cost about $8,000 and would include heightening the wire fence around the area, building a concrete wall around a tiny outdoor recreation area, isolating the six-cell unit from the rest of the building and reinforcing the cells.
Each cell will be 9-by-7 feet with a bed, sink, toilet, locker, table and chair.
The “Death Row” will be staffed by one male and five female security officers. A department spokesman said salaries would total about $30,000 to $35,000 a year.
“We picked the reception center because it was best suited for maximum security,” the spokesman said. “We have no such facility now.”
The Manson “family” girls will be joined by another woman, Jean Carver, who was sentenced to death for the slaying of an elderly woman in a Los Angeles robbery.