Charles Manson Family News

News Updates on Members of the Manson Family

Charles Manson
Charles Manson. Mug Shot

Members of the Charles Manson Family involved in the infamous Tate-LaBianca Murders were all sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted to life sentences when the U.S. Supreme Court briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972. Although members of the family have been incarcerated since 1969, they still make headlines, like the ones below.

Leslie Van Houten Approved for Parole

April 15, 2016 - After having received 19 rejections over the years, a panel made a preliminary decision that that Van Houten, 66, should be recommended for parole.

Van Houten was convicted of the August 1969 murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Bruce Davis Parole Denied

April 23, 2015 - Former Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis will remain in prison after a California judge upheld Gov. Jerry Brown's reversal of a parole board decision to release him. Davis has been in prison more than 40 years for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald "Shorty" Shea.

Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan said in his ruling that there was evidence that Davis is still a danger to society.

A California parole board voted last year (see below) to grant Davis a parole based on his age and his conduct while in prison, including earning a doctoral degree and being a spiritual minister to other inmates.

Judge Ryan ruled that Gov. Brown's decision to reverse the parole board did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment as alleged by Davis' attorney.

Governor Reverses Davis Parole Again


8, 2014 - Gov. Jerry Brown has once again reverse the decision of a California Parole Board and denied parole to former Charles Manson Family member Bruce Davis, who was convicted for the 1969 murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea.

In March, the parole board voted that Davis was suitable for parole.

Davis became a born-again Christian in prison, ministers to other inmates and earned a doctorate degree in philosophy of religion.

In his five-page decision, Gov. Brown recognized Davis' efforts to improve himself, but said Davis "currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison."

Brown also reversed the board's decision to parole Davis in March 2013, as did former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010.

Brown's decision came on the anniversary date of the Tate-LaBianca murders, although Davis has never been accused of taking part in those slayings.

Earlier Manson Family Headlines

LAPD Now Has 'Tex' Watson Tapes
May 24, 2013
The Los Angeles police now have access to recordings of conversations that one Charles Manson Family member had with his attorney that may contain evidence that the cult members committed other murders. Charles 'Tex' Watson, whose voice is on the tapes, says that no such evidence will be found.

Governor Rejects Bruce Davis Parole
March 1, 2013
Governor Jerry Brown became the second California governor to reject a parole board decision to grant release to a former member of the Charles Manson Family. Gov. Brown rejected the parole board's recommendation to release convicted killer Bruce Davis, who has served more than 40 years in prison.

Attorney: Many More Manson Murders
Feb. 5, 2013
A new decades-old audio tape has surfaced in which at attorney for one of the Charles Manson Family members claims the cult killed many more victims other than the infamous Tate-LiBianca murders. Bill Boyd, attorney for Charles "Tex" Watson, told a writer on tape years ago that Manson Family members killed "a bunch" more people.

D.A. Opposes Bruce Davis' Release
Jan. 30, 2013
The Los Angeles district attorney is fighting to keep one of the Charles Manson Family members behind bars. D.A. Jackie Lacey has asked California Gov. Jerry Brown to overrule a parole board's decision to grant Bruce Davis freedom after more than 40 years of incarceration.

Board Votes Parole for Manson Member Bruce Davis
Oct. 4, 2012
A California Parole Board has again recommended parole for a former Charles Manson follower, but it remains to be seen if he will actually be released.

Bruce Davis was recommended for parole in 2010, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected that recommendation.

Release of Tex Watson Tapes Delayed
June 30, 2012
A federal judge has delayed the release to law enforcement tapes of conversations a member of the Charles Manson Family had with his attorney more than 40 years ago. Judge Richard A. Schell granted Tex Watson's request for a stay order to stop the release of the tapes until his appeal of the bankruptcy court's decision can be heard.

'Tex' Watson Says No Clues on Tapes
June 11, 2012
A former Charles Manson Family member has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to revise an earlier ruling that would allow Los Angeles Police Department detectives to take possession of audio tapes of conversations with his attorney 40 years ago. Charles 'Tex' Watson asked that the investigators be allowed to listen to the tapes, but not be given the cassette recordings.

LAPD to Get Tex Watson Tapes
May 29, 2012
A bankruptcy court judge has agreed to turn over audio tapes of conversations between Manson Family member Charles 'Tex' Watson and his former attorney to the Los Angeles Police Department. The tape recordings are part of the estate of deceased attorney Bill Boyd whose law firm is in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.

Charles Manson Denied Parole Again
April 12, 2012
Saying he shows no signs of rehabilitation, a California Parole Board has denied parole for Charles Manson, leader of a 60s cult responsible for the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969.

It was the 12th time that Manson has been denied parole since his death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1977.

Tex Watson Denied Parole Again
Nov. 17, 2011
A California parole board has denied parole for the 16th time to Charles 'Tex' Watson, once known as Charles Manson's right-hand man. The two member panel also voted that Watson, 65, cannot seek another parole hearing for another five years.

Parole Recommended for Manson Family Member
Jan. 28, 2010
After 38 years and 26 previous parole hearings, a member of the Charles Manson family has gained a parole recommendation from a California parole panel. But Bruce Davis is not on the street yet. The recommendation must be approved by the full parole board and the governor.

Leslie Van Houten Denied Parole Again
July 7, 2010
Armed with two recent California Supreme Court rulings favoring her cause, Leslie Van Houten hoped to become the first of Charles Manson's followers convicted of murder to make parole, but she was turned down again by a parole board. It was the 19th time that Van Houten has been denied parole.

Dying Susan Atkins Denied Compassionate Release
July 15, 2008
Manson Family member Susan Atkins, who has been given less than three months to live due to her deteriorating health, has been denied an early compassionate release from prison by the California Board of Paroles. The board voted unanimously to deny the request of the woman who admitted her role in stabbing actress Sharon Tate as she pleaded for the life of her unborn child.

Manson Dig Finds No Bodies
May 22, 2008
A search for graves at Barker Ranch in Death Valley National Park for possible gravesites of victims of Charles Manson and his followers has been called off without any remains being found. More than 20 searchers were scheduled to dig for three days, but the dig went faster than planned, with no graves uncovered.

'Limited' Excavation Set for Manson Hideout
May 12, 2008
Almost four decades after Charles Manson and his followers committed their "Helter Skelter" murders, authorities plan to search for more possible victims at the group's hideout at Barker Ranch in Death Valley National Park. But Manson's top lieutenant, Charles (Tex) Watson, says their are no more bodies to be found.

Forensic Scientists Seek Graves of Manson Victims
March 17, 2008
For years rumors have persisted that many other victims may have fallen prey to Charles Manson and his followers in the high desert in California. Now a group of forensic scientists believe they have found evidence of buried remains in the parched ground near one-time Manson hideout Barker Ranch.

Charles Manson Denied Parole 11 Times
May 29, 2007
For the 11th time since 1978 when he first became eligible, cult leader Charles Manson was denied parole by the California Board of Paroles. The board voted to deny Manson parole for five more years, making the convicted killer next eligible for release in 2012.

Leslie Van Houten Denied Parole
Sept. 12, 2006
Former Charles Manson family member and convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten was denied parole again last week for the 16th time after the California Parole Board voted that she was an "unacceptable public safety risk and a danger to society," in spite of her exemplary record in prison. More than 37 years after the 1969 murders at the Sharon Tate and La Bianca homes, all but two participants in the crimes remain in prison.

Manson Family Member Bruce Davis Denied Parole
Sept. 25, 2005
A former member of the Charles Manson Family, who never killed anyone but was present at the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald (Shorty) Shea, has been turned down for parole once again.


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Montaldo, Charles. "Charles Manson Family News." ThoughtCo, Apr. 29, 2016, Montaldo, Charles. (2016, April 29). Charles Manson Family News. Retrieved from Montaldo, Charles. "Charles Manson Family News." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 21, 2017).