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Manson loses 12th appeal for freedom

MASS murderer Charles Manson, one of America's most notorious convicts, has been denied parole in his 12th and possibly final bid for release from a California prison.

Manson (77) who has declined to attend his parole hearings in recent years, was not present for the review of his case at Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving life.

The state Corrections and Rehabilitation Department said Manson would next be eligible for parole in 15 years.

The last time he was denied release, in 2007, the board ruled that he "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with".

Following yesterday's two-hour hearing, the board announced its latest rejection in a statement issued through the corrections department without further comment.

But according to pool media accounts from inside the proceeding, parole hearing commissioner John Peck said Manson had accumulated 108 serious disciplinary violations in prison since 1971 and has shown no sign of remorse for his murder convictions.

Plans

Manson also failed to participate in self-help programmes or vocational training, nor had he demonstrated any plans for what he would do if paroled.

Peck cited a statement Manson made to a prison psychologist last autumn, in which the convicted killer described himself as "special" and "not like the average inmate".

"I have put five people in the grave. I've been in prison most of my life. I'm a very dangerous man," Peck quoted Manson as saying.

Manson's state-appointed lawyer, DeJon Lewis, said he did not know why his client had boycotted the hearing and told the panel that Manson had also declined to leave his cell to meet the lawyer a month ago.

"Quite frankly, I don't think he could have helped himself today by speaking on the record," Lewis said.

Twisted

Manson, a charismatic ex-convict, put together a collection of runaways and outcasts known as the Manson Family. In the summer of 1969, he directed his mostly young, female followers to murder seven people in what prosecutors said was part of a twisted plan to incite a race war.

Among the victims was actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of film-maker Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times by members of the cult in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969.

Four other people also were stabbed or shot to death in Tate's home that night by Manson's followers, who scrawled the word "Pig" in blood on the front door before leaving.

The following night, Manson's group stabbed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca to death, using their blood to write "Rise", "Death to Pigs" and "Healter Skelter" - a misspelled reference to the Beatles song "Helter Skelter" - on the walls and fridge.

Manson is serving life for those seven killings and the murder of an acquaintance, Gary Hinman, who was stabbed to death the month before.

A photograph of Manson issued by the prison this week shows the grey-bearded killer as he appeared last June, his face still bearing the scar of a swastika he carved into his forehead during his trial.

hnews@herald.ie


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