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Manson follower ‘Tex’ Watson, a leader in 1969 cult slayings, seeks parole for 14th time


ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday November 16, 2011

The self-described right-hand man of cult leader Charles Manson, who was convicted of orchestrating the Tate-LaBianca slayings 42 years ago, has his latest parole hearing scheduled Wednesday in a California prison.

Susan LeBerge, daughter of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca — two of Watson’s victims — pleads for his release

The Associated Press reports

Charles “Tex” Watson, 65, has been denied parole 13 times but will try again during a hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, in the Sierra foothills 50 miles southeast of Sacramento.

Four relatives of Watson’s victims plan to ask that his parole be denied for killing actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others at her Beverly Hills home on Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, he helped kill grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

“There’s no question these were some of the most horrific crimes in California history in terms of the brutality, the multiple stab wounds, the gunshots, the large number of victims over a two-day period,” said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira. “For a group of people to just slaughter strangers in hopes of igniting a race war is extremely horrifying.” [...]

Watson married and divorced in prison and has four children from conjugal visits, but his family did not respond to a request for comment that was left through the website that promotes Watson’s prison ministry, http://www.aboundinglove.org.

The website says he was raised in Copeville, Texas, north of Dallas, and headed to California in 1967 after dropping out of college. A brief biographical sketch on the website said Watson believed Manson “offered utopia, but in reality, he had a destructive world view, which Charles ended up believing in and acting upon. His participation in the 1969 Manson murders is a part of history that he deeply regrets.”

A book he wrote while in prison is titled, “Manson’s Right-Hand Man Speaks Out!” In the past, Watson has argued that he is a changed man who has been a model prisoner and no longer is a danger to the public.

A Current Affair, 1990
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