• Manson Associate Davis Denied Parole

Manson Associate Davis Denied Parole

SAN LUIS OBISPO, May 15 – A member of cult leader Charles Manson’s murderous “family” was denied parole for the seventh time, but the parole board told him he’s close to getting a release date.

Bruce Davis, 44, who appeared before a three-person board Wednesday at the California Men’s Colony, also denied allegations that he was part of a satanic cult at the prison chapel.

Davis worked at the San Luis Obispo prison hand in hand with Charles “Tex” Watson, the chief killer in the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others, which propelled Manson to international notoriety.

Board members were wary of the Watson-Davis friendship.

“Here is Tex Watson – member of the Manson gang, ran the slaughter of those people – how in the Lord’s name do you get associated with this guy again?” parole board member Al Leddy asked. Leddy served as Kern County district attorney until 1962, when he decided not to run for re-election. He was appointed to the parole board by Gov. Deukmejian soon after leaving the Kern County district attorney’s office.

Davis admitted that re-establishing his friendship with Watson may have been the result of poor judgment.

Davis was convicted and sentenced to two life terms for the 1969 murders of musician Gary Hinman and ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea, both killed on Manson’s orders. He was uninvolved in the more notorious Tate slayings.

Davis acknowledged Wednesday that he and Watson have been fired from their jobs as ministers in the prison’s Protestant chapel after an investigation by the Department of Corrections.

He also admitted for the first time that Watson was with him in the killing of Shea, who Davis said was slain because Manson was afraid he was a police informant. A group of people, including Manson. Davis and Watson, beat and stabbed Shea to death, Davis said.

Hinman was killed on Manson’s orders after two days of torture. Davis said Wednesday he held a gun on Hinman while Manson sliced the man’s face with a sword. Later, Hinman was killed by another Manson associate, Bobby Beausoleil, who also is serving time at the San Luis Obispo men’s colony.

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