Confined to a California prison since 1971, former Manson family member and convicted murderer Patricia Krenwinkel is now the longest-serving female inmate in the state’s correctional system, says the Los Angeles Times. On Thursday, she will have a chance at freedom when a review board considers whether to recommend her for parole. Krenwinkel, now 69, was sent to death row for killing actress Sharon Tate and six others in a two-day rampage intended to trigger a race war. The killings were done at the behest of Charles Manson, leader of a cult-like group living on an old movie ranch near Chatsworth. Her sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 after courts ruled the death penalty unconstitutional.
The hearing at the women’s state prison in Corona will be Krenwinkel’s 15th appearance before the board. At her last, in 2011, the panel recognized Krenwinkel’s efforts, commending her for a clean disciplinary record, for having earned a bachelor’s degree, and for her work training service dogs and counseling fellow inmates. But Commissioner Susan Melanson said the barbarity of the crimes — coupled with Krenwinkel’s failure to fully grasp the global impact of the Manson killings — warranted more time behind bars.