• Patricia Krenwinkel’s 1978 Parole Hearing

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Patricia Krenwinkel’s 1978 Parole Hearing

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014


Statement made by Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kay at Patricia Krenwinkel’s first parole hearing.

I have spent the past two years prosecuting one of Miss Krenwinkel’s co-defendants, Leslie Van Houten for the LaBianca murder. And as such, I have had numerous occasions recently to review Miss Krenwinkel’s role in both the LaBianca and so-called Tate murders. In my opinion, Miss Krenwinkel was well aware of the gravity of her acts of murder on August 9th and August 10th, 1969. She knew that participating in murder was wrong, but she decided that her loyalty to the Manson family was more important. Miss Krenwinkel had made her decision to participate in the murder even before she and the other members of the family left Spahn Ranch in the late evening hours of August 8th, 1969. Miss Krenwinkel was a very willing participant in the killings at the home of Sharon Tate, and by her own admission at the penalty phase of her trial, stabbed Abigail Folger to death.

Miss Krenwinkel had such a deep remorse for participating in the five murders at Sharon Tate’s home that, when she returned to the getaway car, the only thing she had to say was her hand hurt because, when she stabbed the victim, she kept hitting her bones.

The next day after the Tate murders, Patricia Krenwinkel spent part of the day watching TV news accounts of the murders so she could see what a good job she had done. That night, even knowing of the brutality and destruction of human life that she participated in the night before, she went out on the second night of the murders and participated in the LaBianca murders, actually stabbing both Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Before she left the LaBianca residence, she carved the word “War” w-a-r on the abdomen of Leno LaBianca and also stuck a carving for in his abdomen. She then, in Mr. LaBianca’s blood, wrote the words, “Death to pigs,” “Arise,” and “Helter Skelter,” inside the LaBianca home.

Leslie Van Houten testified at her trial in 1977 that Charles Manson told her that Patricia Krenwinkel was a complete reflection of him, that she was more like him than anyone else in the family.

In my opinion, the main purpose of our prison system is to benefit and protect society. I think we owe it to society not to turn loose a member of the Manson family such as Patricia Krenwinkel who has participated in seven of the most vicious, brutal murders in the history of American crime. The public is very concerned about Patricia Krenwinkel and her co-defendants getting out on parole. I think it would be a great deterrent value to show the public that not everybody who commits murder can automatically get out on parole. The public will certainly feel that if Patricia Krenwinkel gets out on parole, that anybody who commits murder will certainly be paroled. For it is almost impossible to conceive of more vicious murders than those knowingly participated in by Patricia Krenwinkel.

Her seven victims cannot expect parole and neither should she.

Click here to read full transcript

Sharon Will Always Be Very Special

Thursday, March 27th, 2014


Mar. 27 – On August 9 every year a Los Angeles florist arrives at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City and piles a simple white grave under a cedar tree with bunch after bunch after bunch of red roses.

The flowers are always the same and so is the card that goes with them: “I love you. R” It is 45 years this year since 26-year-old Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of maverick movie-maker Roman Polanski was murdered by Charles Manson and three women, but Polanski, now a frail 80, has never allowed himself to forget.

Now married to French actress Emmanuelle Seigner with whom he has two children, Polanski makes no secret of the fact that Sharon Tate was the love of his life.

Barred from the US after a series of sex scandals, he has to entrust others to put flowers on the grave in which Sharon Tate lies, their unborn son Paul, who also died in the attack, in her womb.

The fact that he was away from their house in the Bel Air hills on the night Sharon was murdered remains the greatest regret of his life, Polanski said recently. “The times spent with Sharon were the best years of my life.”


Bruce Davis Granted Parole For The Third Time

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


Mar. 12 – Despite efforts from the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Sharon Tate’s sister Debra Tate, and former Manson family member Barbara Hoyt, a California parole board has for the third consecutive time, recommended Bruce Davis for parole.

The parole board’s decision will undergo a 120-day review, after which the Governor will have 30 days to reverse, modify, affirm or decline to review the decision.

Davis, serving a life term for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea, appeared before the parole board for the 28th time today. It was the second consecutive hearing attended by Debra Tate and Barbara Hoyt, both of whom spoke on behalf of the Shea and Hinman families.

“The public needs to know this man is very dangerous now as he was in 1969,” Tate told CNN before Davis’ last hearing.

Hoyt, a former member of the Manson family who has opposed Davis’ release for years, has described Bruce as a leader within the group whom the girls all feared.

However, according to attorney Michael Beckman, Davis is a rehabilitated man and has been for decades.

“By no conceivable stretch of anyone’s imagination has Bruce Davis not rehabilitated himself,” Beckman told the board in 2012. “No one, not even the District Attorney from Los Angeles County said anything negative about his prison program.”

Davis has only two rules infractions in over four decades of incarceration, the last one occurring over 25 parole hearings ago. Davis has received a Master’s degree from Borean School of the Bible and a Doctorate degree in philosophy and religion from Bethany Seminary, graduating summa cum laude.

Davis was recommended for parole in 2010, but was later denied by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In October of 2012, a California Parole Board recommended Davis for parole for the second consecutive time. After the decision passed its initial review District Attorney Jackie Lacey pleaded to California Governor Jerry Brown to reverse the decision.

“Davis has been diagnosed with narcissistic and antisocial personality traits. He consistently blames everyone but himself for his criminal and antisocial behavior,” wrote Lacey. “It is evident that Davis lacks insight, genuine remorse and understanding of the gravity of his crimes.”

On March 1, 2013, Governor Brown reversed the parole board’s decision stating Davis was still unsuitable for release into society because of the heinous nature of the crimes. Brown’s reversal highlighted areas where, over the years, he felt Davis had minimized his role in both the Manson family and their crimes. The governor also questioned how truthful Davis had been, stating as an example, that Davis hadn’t mentioned Larry Jones being present during the Shea murder until his 2010 parole hearing.

“Davis’s choice to withhold information regarding the crimes and the identity of a potential crime partner indicates to me that his commitment to the Manson Family still exceeds his commitment to the community,” wrote Brown.

Following the reversal, Davis unsuccessfully challenged Governor Brown’s decision in court and according to Beckman, they are waiting to be heard by the Circuit Court of Appeals.

In July, Governor Brown will once again have to make the final call on whether or not the board’s decision will stand.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Shorty Shea Files

Friday, February 21st, 2014



Feb. 21 – Donald Jerome Shea, aka Shorty (born 9/18/33 in Massachusetts, male Caucasian, 5-11, 190 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes) grew up in the Boston area. Shorty is the son of John and Elizabeth Shea. Records indicate that Shorty has four other brothers, John J. (1927), Robert L. (1929), Dennis G. (1935) and Francis (1937)

Shea enters the service and is sent to Korea where his military career is cut short after a parachute accident in 1951 crushes his pelvis and hips.

Back in the States, Shea, 25, marries Phyllis Gaston, 19, in Los Angeles County in May of 1959. In November of the same year, Shorty becomes a first time father when Phyllis gives birth to their daughter, Karen Arline Shea. The marriage, however, ends shortly thereafter.

In February of 1961, Shea now 27, marries Sandra L. Adams, 16, again in Los Angeles County. In September of the same year, the couple has their first child, Elizabet M. Shea.

In October of 1962, Sandra gives birth to Shorty’s first son, William J. Shea. Around this time, Shea and his family move to the Spahn Ranch where they live and work training horses. Sandra gives birth to the couple’s third child, another daughter.

In 1965, Donald moves his family to Massachusetts, moving in with his youngest brother, Francis. The following year, Sandra divorces Donald and moves to Ohio with the couple’s three children.

Shorty moves back west, and in March of 1969, takes a job at the Cab Inn Beer Bar in Carson, California. There he meets, Magdalene Velma Fuery, a topless dancer also known as Nicki. The two marry in Las Vegas in July.

In the early morning hours of August 16, 1969, Shorty and Magdalene have a fight and he leaves their Hollywood apartment. He calls her later that day to tell her that everyone at Spahn Ranch has been arrested and he needs to look after it for George. Magdalene never sees Shorty again.

That summer, Shorty, is reportedly hired by Frank Retz to run the Manson family off of the Spahn Ranch property. Retz owns the neighboring property and is in negotiations to purchase a portion of Spahn Ranch. Retz doesn’t like the family on either of the properties and calls the police on them on several occasions. Charles Manson reportedly places blame on Shorty and is convinced he has been working with the police.

Sometime around the end of August, or early September, Charles “Tex” Watson, along with Manson family members Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan, take a ride with Donald Shea. Shea is driving, with Watson sitting beside him. Watson instructs him to pull over, but Shea refuses. Watson stabs Shea and he finally pulls over. From the backseat, Grogan strikes Shea with a pipe wrench. Another car containing Bill Vance, Larry Bailey, and Charles Manson pulls up behind them. The group takes Shorty out of the car, bring him down a hill behind Spahn’s Ranch and stab him to death.

During the course of investigating the murder of Gary Hinman, witnesses tell homicide detectives from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that several persons within the Manson family have spoken about the murder of Shorty.

After the Tate-LaBianca murders are connected to the Manson family in December of 1969, Magdalene Shea officially files a missing person report on Shorty.

In December, authorities begin conducting searches at Spahn Ranch, trying to find Shorty’s remains. Although their searches are unsuccessful, the county charges and successfully convicts Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan and Charles Manson on first degree murder counts for Shorty’s slaying.

Donald Jerome Shea’s body isn’t found until December of 1977. From prison, Steve Grogan draws a map leading authorities to Shortys remains in an effort to prove to them that Shea hadn’t been, as previously rumored, cut into nine pieces.

LAPD Interview Transcript of Virginia Graham, November 26, 1969

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


Jan. 28 – On Wednesday, November 26, 1969, the Homicide division of LAPD received a phone call from prison officials in Corona, after an inmate, Virginia Graham, had informed them she had information about the Tate murders.

Graham, who had been recently transferred from the Sybil Brand Institute, told authorities that her former dorm mate, Sadie Glutz, had told her she was among a group of people who had committed the Tate-LaBianca murders. In response, LAPD sent Sergeant Michael Nielsen, one of the homicide detectives investigating the LaBianca murders.