The Manson family: Who are they and where are they now?

UPDATE: Charles Manson, the infamous leader of the cult "family" who killed seven people in a bloody rampage in Los Angeles that shocked the nation in 1969, died Sunday.

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The Manson Family is arguably the most infamous cult in U.S. history.

Charles Manson, leader of the group and mastermind behind the gruesome 1969 murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate and the LaBianca family, sits behind California bars for his crimes.

Manson was convicted for conspiracy to commit murder for his involvement in the bloody summer of 'Helter Skeltor' and has sat in a prison cell for decades.

He was initially sentenced to death in 1971 along with several other members of his commune family for participating in the murders, but their sentences were reduced to life with the possibility of parole in 1972 after the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional.

Manson is currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison after reports of spending a brief time in a Bakersfield hospital in January with an unknown ailment. He's been denied parole 12 times, most recently in 2012. He'll be eligible for parole again in 2027, according to the Mercury News

Manson had reinvented himself as a spiritual guru in 1967 after being released from a prison stint. It was Summer of Love and perfect timing for Manson to recruit young, impressive followers in San Francisco.

The Manson family was born.

Madness and chaos would follow the crew wherever they went, even after the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders.

Where are the Manson Family members today?

All of the core Manson followers served time in prison for their crimes, some longer than others. Here's an update on their status, according to the Mercury News and other various news reports.

Patricia Krenwinkel (born Dec. 3,1947): The 'Manson girl' was convicted of all seven of the Tate-LaBianca murders and was initially sentenced to death. She's now serving life with parole at a women's prison in Chino, California. She's been denied parole 13 times and there was a delayed decision in her 14th parole hearing in Dec. 2016. Krenwinkel is the longest serving female prisoner on record in the state.

Susan Atkins: She was convicted of the Aug. 8, 1969 killings of eight-month pregnant Sharon Tate and the four others in the home with her during the crime. Atkins was present for the Aug. 9, 1969 murders of supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary, but was outside in a car. She was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later dropped to life with parole. Atkins died in a Chowchilla prison in 2009 at the age of 61. She had been denied parole 18 times and also denied compassionate release after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was incarcerated five days before Krewinkel and until her death, was the longest serving woman in the California prison system.

Leslie Van Houten (born Aug. 23, 1949): Van Houten was convicted of the murders of the LaBianca couple. She was sentenced to death, but was retried twice after the death sentence was deemed unconstitutional. After her second trial, she was convicted and sentenced to life and is now serving time in Chino, California. On her 21st parole hearing, the panel voted in Van Houten's favor. However, in 2016 Governor Jerry Brown denied the recommendation. In September 2017, parole was again recommended by the state panel. It's waiting for approval by Gov. Brown.

Charles 'Tex' Watson (born Dec. 2, 1945): Watson was sentenced to death for the Tate-LaBianca murders along with Manson, Krenwinkel, Atkins and Van Houten but just like the other four, his sentence was reduced to life with parole in 1972. Watson was known as Manson's right-hand man. He was tried separately from the other members for the infamous murders. He's currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione and has been denied parole 17 times. He'll be eligible again in 2021. He married, fathered four children and divorced while serving out his sentence and also became an ordained minister.

Linda Kasabian (born June 21, 1949): She was charged with all seven murders, but was granted immunity for her testimony in the killings. She became the star witness during the trial against her former 'family'. She stays out of the spotlight and has sat for interviews but with her image blurred or in disguise. 

Steve 'Clem' Grogan (born May 24, 1952): Grogan was present during the Aug. 9 murders but remained in the car. However, he was later convicted of the Aug. 1969 murder of stunt man Donald 'Shorty' Shea, committed at Spahn Ranch where the family lived. At first he was sentenced to death, but it was later reduced to life with parole when the judge decided Grogan was "too stupid and too hopped on drugs to decide anything of his own". He was paroled in 1985 for agreeing to show authorities where Shea's body was located and buried. He is the only Manson follower involved with murder to ever be paroled.

Bruce Davis (born Oct. 5, 1942): Davis was convicted for killing Gary Hinman, Manson's former music teacher, in July 1969 and Donald 'Shorty' Shea in Aug. 1969. He was not involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders. He is currently behind bars at California Men's Colony near San Luis Obispo. He was recommended for parole four times but was blocked by California governors. He won another recommendation at his 31st hearing in Feb. of this year and is waiting for Gov. Brown's response.

Bobby Beausoleil (born Nov. 6, 1947): The Manson follower was convicted of murdering Gary Hinman and was sentenced to death, although his sentence was later dropped to life in prison. He was in jail at the time of the Tate-LaBianca murders. He joined the Aryan Brotherhood while in prison but hasn't had any disciplinary reports since 2008, according to the Los Angeles TImes. He was transferred to the Oregon State Penitentiary in 1994 and was moved back to California in 2015 where he remains at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. He was denied parole in October of 2016.

Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme (born Oct. 22, 1948): Fromme wasn't involved in any of the 1969 murders but she was convicted for the 1975 attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford. Fromme pointed a pistol at President Ford at close range in front of the Capitol in Sacramento but the gun didn't go off. She was sentenced to life in prison. She was initially incarcerated in a federal prison in Dublin, Calif. but was later moved to a federal prison in West Virginia where she escaped in 1987. She was found two days later. She continued to keep in touch with Manson while she was in prison. Fromme was released on parole in 2009 at the age of 60 after serving 34 years and reportedly lives in New York.

Mary Brunner: She was Manson's first follower. The two met in Berkeley in 1967 and had a child together named Valentine Michael Manson, who the family called 'Pooh Bear'. While Brunner was never convicted of any murder, she reportedly participated in the murder of Gary Hinman with Bobby Beausoleil and Susan Atkins, who also was never convicted in Hinman's murder. However, Brunner was involved in a 1971 armed robbery and shootout at at Western Surplus store. She and a group planned a grand scheme to free Manson and the other incarcerated followers. However, the plan failed and Brunner served nearly seven years in jail. She was released in 1977.

Copyright 2017 KXTV


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