Parole Unit Refuses to Free Manson
Thursday, November 5th, 1981
VACAVILLE, Calif., Nov. 5 — Mass murderer Charles Manson, saying “I ain’t got no mind” after eight years in “the nut ward,” was refused parole Wednesday by a state parole.
The three-man panel from the state Board of Prison Terms said that Manson is an “unreasonable risk to the public.” It called his crimes “so atrocious, reprehensible and repugnant as to leave the observer incredulous.”
Bearded and long-haired, a swastika on his forehead, the leader of the cult that hacked up or shot actress Sharon Tate and eight other people in 1969 admitted he was not ready for parole.
“I don’t particularly care to go out on parole. Not if I’m not going to be left alone. I’ve got some cleaning up to do,” he told the parole board.
“I’ve been in solitary for 10 years, I’ve been in the nut ward for almost eight. I ain’t got no mind. It’s gone, man. I don’t understand half the things you’re saying,” said the 46-year-old killer, now in his 12th year in prison.
Manson’s attorney, Glen DeRonde, did not even argue for parole. He asked instead that Manson be granted his wish to be moved from a protective custody unit to the prison’s main line.
Manson admitted involvement in the bloody slayings but said he killed no one. He said he and his followers were “peaking on psychotic episodes and when you do that, you go completely crazy.”
Manson in a T-shirt with a small skull and crossed bones, seemed nervous as he rolled white marbles in hand and played with a beaded necklace. He repeatedly stood, sat down, paced and interrupted the hearing, carrying on a running dialogue with the three panelists — sometimes almost at a scream.
He explained his life by saying, “I never really grew up. I went to prison at 9. I don’t read or write too good and I’ve stayed like a little kid. I stopped thinking in 1954.” He listed as heroes Adolf Hitler, the late Shah of Iran, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni and Benito Mussolini.
Stephen Kay, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, referred to Manson as a “blood-thirsty murderer” and said it was “absolutely clear” that he is unsuitable for parole.
“The ease with which he can get other people to commit violence for him is frightening,” Kay said.
He said Manson does have a mind, “a demented and frightening mind; he should never be paroled.”