August 5, 2014

Patricia Krenwinkel talks feelingly about how she threw her life away for Charles Manson, 45 years ago.


That film, by Olivia Klaus, is published in The New York Times.
Seeking to inspire a race war, Manson ordered Ms. Krenwinkel and other members of his group to commit a series of murders. Over the course of two nights, they savagely murdered seven people, inflicting more than 130 stab wounds. One of them, the actress Sharon Tate, was eight and a half months pregnant. At their trial, the women shamelessly admitted their crimes and flaunted their allegiance to a leader they loved, but who clearly controlled their minds.

76 comments:

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Maybe she threw her life away but I doubt it was worth much to begin with.

RazorSharpSundries said...

I hate that stylized documentary footage of past events that has to create annoying sound and visual effects to emphasize the impact of said events that took place because just showing it with narration would be too slow and boring for the great unwashed masses. Plus, let her rot.

The Drill SGT said...

Ms. Krenwinkel is now the longest serving woman in the California prison system. She says she takes full responsibility for her actions — finally, she says, she is a woman she can accept. But is society ready to accept her back? She is next eligible for parole in 2018.

No, nor will society accept cannibals. Some crimes are unforgiveable.

cubanbob said...

She is haunted by the killings? Good. Now let her stay in prison and continue to do penance. One hopes she will have the decency not to apply for parole.

Fernandinande said...

Crazy people do crazy things. I'd be curious to know something about the life of these ladies before they met the main crazy guy.

I have two songs by Manson (Charles, not Marilyn):
"Dont Do Anything Illegal"
"People Say I'm No Good"

richard mcenroe said...

Call me uncompassionate, but I feel more for all the other peoples' lives she threw away...

traditionalguy said...

Mind controllers are very real. Madison Avenue is very real. Fraudulent hoax science calling traces of CO2 gas climate change warming events is very real.

We are always so disappointed when we wake up to how easy we were to fool.

In 1964 I drove down into death Valley this time week August and it was 118F. This weekend after 50 years of trace gas CO2 emissions it was 79F in Death Valley.

Of course mind controllers at the UN and the Obama EPA will tell the controlled minds that is more proof of Climate Change.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure drugs had nothing to do with it.

Julie C said...

If she is inclined to do good with the remainder of her life, that's great. Let her do it in prison - there are lots of people there who could use the help.

jacksonjay said...

Another idiot woman whose life was ruined by the "bad boy" that stole her heart. The sad thing about this idiot bad boy lover is that she committed murder for him. I've told my daughters over and over that they call him a bad boy for a reason.

Brando said...

What a crazy crime that was--from what I recall of Bugliosi's book on it, the hardest part of the prosecution was pinning the motive on the hippie gang and its leader. Who could believe that brutal mass murders of two groups of victims who had no connection to each other were motivated by a crazy desert preacher's attempt to start a race war, and that he found a group of mostly young women wacked out enough to carry out the killings? If it were fiction I wouldn't believe it.

Out of Manson's spell, I believe Krenwinkel is remorseful, and that's great because I am optimistic about human redemption. But that doesn't mean she shouldn't have to spend the rest of her days in prison for what she did--several innocent lives were snuffed out and she was one of the worst of the killers. She can find ways to do her penance from behind bars.

It is scary to think of how many people can be led to do such horrible things though. It's as though they're all out there, just waiting for another opportunistic cult leader to trigger them.

glenn said...

Ms Krenwinkle and her Manson cohorts should count their blessings. If the majority of Californians had their way she would be taking a permanent dirt nap. And not giving interviews.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Self realization is a good thing, especially for someone in her position. It does not reduce the heinous nature of her crime nor the need to spend the rest of her life in prison.

Big Mike said...

But is society ready to accept her back? She is next eligible for parole in 2018.

No

SJ said...

As a side question: did the murder of Sharon Tate, a pregnant mother, generate two charges of homicide?

If so, how does this square with the legal theory relating to abortion?

If not, was that a situation that ought to have produced two charges of homicide?

~ Steven said...

Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were all unavailable for comment.

gerry said...

...the women shamelessly...flaunted their allegiance to a leader they loved, but who clearly controlled their minds.

She sounds like a typical female Obama supporter.

MadisonMan said...

Her life is broken beyond repair. Yet she has a life. The same can't be said for people in the past who crossed her path.

The background music -- oh so treacly -- makes me think this is the start of a campaign for parole.

I have some small sympathy for her plight. I can't think that living in prison is enjoyable, but you go down a road that leads to prison and this is what happens.

tim maguire said...

I'm a big supporter of people being more passionate than wise in their youth, but I draw the line at stabbing 7 people 130 times.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Patricia Krenwinkel talks feelingly about how she threw her life away for Charles Manson, 45 years ago."

And now the stupid murderous slut offers us the chance to throw ten minutes of our lives away watching her video. Way to keep on giving, Pat.

SteveR said...

I can't feel sorry for her.

John Lynch said...

She got a "Life After Manson." I seem to remember some other folks who didn't.

Krumhorn said...

Apart from the fact that she is very likely a raging librul moonbat, I have a lot of sympathy for her. A lonely, mixed up 19 year old girl under the influence of a guy like Charles Manson didn't have much of a chance.

I would hate to be judged for the rest of my life for the dumbass things I said and did at that age, although, thankfully, I didn't murder anyone. At least nobody important that I can recall.

- Krumhorn

David said...

My sympathy generator seems to be inoperative. Perhaps in another 10-15 years it will start up again.

Thorley Winston said...

This is a perfect example of why I still support the death penalty. If someone convicted of seven murders doesn’t die in prison then it’s prima facie evidence that despite the assurances of those who say that they favor “life without parole” instead of the death penalty that that is not what we’d get in practice.

Rae said...

Okay, I'm admittedly not up on my Manson trivia, but how would sending white people out to kill other white people inspire a race war? Did they leave watermelon rinds behind at the scene?

Valentine Smith said...

She's still got the look of a killer.

Thorley Winston said...

Life in prison means you die in prison.

clarice said...

I thought this was well done. She's where she deserves to be , but I have some sympathy for her.

Widmerpool said...

I agree with the sentiments expressed by other commenters. I found the video dull and unmoving. She fell in with an evil man and did something unspeakably evil. The circumstances of her upbringing don't seem particularly desperate. I don't doubt that she is full of regret and remorse. But why should she be released?

PackerBronco said...

Would that you had thrown your life away rather than been the ward of the state for the past 45 years.

Dad/Geoff said...

Forgiveness is one thing.

Dying behind bars because you were sentenced to life in prison is another.

bbkingfish said...

Interesting piece. Thanks for posting.

retired said...

Emote away, as long as you are locked up where you belong.

retired said...

From Wiki:

During a 2004 parole hearing, when asked who she would place at the top of the list of people she has harmed, Patricia Krenwinkel responded, "Myself." She was denied parole following that hearing because, according to the panel, Krenwinkel still posed an "unacceptable risk to public safety".

YoungHegelian said...

Just imagine just how far gone a human mind has to be when the sentence 'Hey Patty, let's go stab seven people to death to start a race war" seems like a good idea.

William said...

What we can all learn is that young people should be careful and discriminating in the murderous cults that they join. If she had joined the. Weathermen or been the follower of a charismatic black nationalist, she would have made parole first time up and would now have tenure at a major university.

wildswan said...

I don't think she really explains why she was able to be so brutal. I mean lots of children are unloved without going brutal at eighteen. Probably it was the drugs - but again lots do drugs without going so bad. Not that it matters much why she and the Mansons did their crimes, but I don't think the film is a deep and artistic film if its editors think "I wasn't loved" is deep insight.

It's more like a talk for the parole board - "I have learned to think things through and accept responsibility so please let me go, it's been forty-five years."

gadfly said...

You can call her Pat or you can call her Katie or you can call her Marnie Reeves but you cannot call her innocent of the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and Abigail Folger.

May she live a long life behind bars waking up every morning remembering her deadly deeds.

DanTheMan said...

How exactly does one "control" another's mind? I think the concept is meaningless if you take more than a few seconds to consider it.
"Mind control" implies the Manson had some sort of remote access to her brain, and could control her physical body without her consent. Obviously this did not happen
Manson *convinced* her to kill, and *she* killed. It was her mind in control of her hand with the knife in every sense.
Saying "mind control" transfers the responsibilty to someone else for her actions.

Drago said...

Rae: "Okay, I'm admittedly not up on my Manson trivia, but how would sending white people out to kill other white people inspire a race war? Did they leave watermelon rinds behind at the scene?"

The plan, apparently, was to take artifacts from the victims and dump them in black neighborhoods in LA.

How would this start a race war?

It wouldn't. But we're not talking about rocket scientists here.

Lydia said...

Life in prison is no picnic, but it's life. Which is what she deprived her victims of. Not to mention the manner in which she took it away.

Listening to her in that video, I didn't find the thing uppermost with her is that she did that, but rather that she hurt herself all those years ago. Just look at her final statement in the video: "I learned choice at the most horrific cost."

That's ambiguous, to say the least.

The Drill SGT said...

Steven said...
Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were all unavailable for comment.


and Baby Tate. Whether you believe life begins at conception or not, Baby Tate was at 8.5 months and clearly viable.

phx said...

I'm glad nobody ever asks me to make decisions about situations like this. But I'm grateful for people who feel a sense of compassion and mercy even for the worst of us.

Anonymous said...

Let her stay in prison until she dies.
Speaking of death, I really wish Charles Manson would hurry up and take a dirt nap.

Peter

David said...

How many times does she say "I"?

I noticed this time.

"I started using drugs. I was using marajuana and hash."

No matter. They are not dangerous, right?

Big Mike said...

I was wondering why Krenwinkel was the "longest-serving woman in the California prison." Turns out she's tied with Leslie Van Houten, another Manson family murderess, and also tied with Tex Watson, yet another Manson family killer, not to mention good old Charley himself. Susan Atkins died behind bars.

Carol said...

why she was able to be so brutal.

Trying to impress Manson how she was all-in on his trip.

glenn said...

Just so you know, lined up right behind the anti death penalty movement is the anti life W/O parole movement they sense the death penalty being tossed and want to put the Mansons and Krenwinkles back on the street.

Gahrie said...

You guys give Patty a break...after all while she is rotting in prison, she has to watch Bill Ayers and Kathy Boudin not only get out, but get rich with fancy academic jobs. That has to hurt.

Todd Grimson said...

One thing that's being missed here is how powerful LSD is. Another is what life felt like in 1969.

I'm absolutely pro-death penalty, by the way.

Here's a book recommendation: the novel SWAY by Zachary Lazar. Touches on Charlie Manson as well as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones.

I knew two kids from my high school in Portland who were arrested in the first big round-up of the Manson family late '69. Ed Bailey and Sue Bartel.

The only one of the Manson girls I have any sympathy whatsoever for has always been Leslie Van Houten. She wasn't at the Tate house, and at Lobianca's all she did was stick a fork into someone already dead.

Of course, she's also was far from a skank. She was the prettiest. And before i'd ever parole her I'd like to ask her what she knows about the death of Shorty Shea.

Babs said...

No parol. I doubt the families of the murdered people are over it. I won't watch the gimme sympathy documentary. I read Bugliosi's book years ago and I'm not over it either.

avwh said...

"During a 2004 parole hearing, when asked who she would place at the top of the list of people she has harmed, Patricia Krenwinkel responded, "Myself." She was denied parole following that hearing because, according to the panel, Krenwinkel still posed an "unacceptable risk to public safety".

I'd say that parole board made the right decision. She thinks she harmed herself more than those 7 victims (& their families) who she stabbed to death, over & over?
35 years in prison, and she was still that egocentric?

Deb said...

I wonder when, if it ever truly has, it dawned on them just exactly what they had done. I don't get the sense that she really gets it even to this day.

John said...

Why are these folks still in jail?

Isn't it pretty rare to have a murderer, even a mass murderer, serve more than 20-25 years? Even in CA?

Aren't these people in jail more for who they killed than for the actually killing?

Suppose they had done the same thing to some winos off the street. Instead of glamorous white folks with money and press agents.

Would they still be in jail 44 years later?

Ditto Sirhan Sirhan. Though he did kill St Bob of the Kennedys. Many people feel that any offense against a Kennedy merits special treatment.

Or John Hinckly. He didn't even kill anyone. Oh, yeah, I forgot. He is technically in a hospital.

Crack has made the point before that there are different standards of justice that seem to revolve around race and fame. I think he may be right.

John Henry

John said...

Just to be clear, my objection is not to her, and Sirhan and Hinckly rotting in prison.

My objection is that so many others that deserve it just as much do not.

John Henry

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Lydia said...

John said..."Why are these folks still in jail? Isn't it pretty rare to have a murderer, even a mass murderer, serve more than 20-25 years?"

I think you're thinking of Europe, not the U.S. The Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz, for example, has been in prison since 1977, and will more than likely never get out.

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Kim Cunningham said...

I'm utterly impressed with Krenwinkle's sincere remorse and self discovery. She is by no means a threat. But what I find terrifying is the utter lack of understanding or compassion on the part of most of the people posting here. Are you serious? EVERY ONE OF YOU COULD DO WHAT SHE DID UNDER THE RIGHT PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES. How dare you judge this person.

Barbara said...

B.S. It's still all about her. "Finding out who I am." "Knowing it's about my choices." She sounds like a participant in a Women's Studies' seminar. Disgusting. Sharon's Tate's son did not have one choice about anything, ever. All of the Manson group should die in prison and be grateful they had the long lives they stole from their victims.

Brando said...

The "race war" that Manson was apparently trying to start would work like this:

1) Murder a bunch of wealthy white people in their homes, writing certain words (like "pig") at the crime scene that could imply that black radical groups were behind the killings.

2) Leave evidence from the killings (in one case, a victim's wallet) in a black part of town.

3) The police and media would assume black people did it, and white people would then overreact by striking back at black people.

4) Blacks would then rise up against the whites, wiping out white people.

5) Manson's group would survive in the wilderness, and come out to take charge once the blacks were dominant.

The plan of course was absurd at almost every level--why would blacks, who were 12% of the population, win a race war? Why would the blacks then want an all-white group like the Manson family to be in charge? And of course in execution it didn't work at all--the words "pig" and "helter skelter" pointed to counterculture types, but not necessarily black people. The wallet left in the gas station bathroom in the black neighborhood wasn't even found until one of the Family turned witness and told the cops where to find it. So of course at no point did the police or media suspect that these were black nationalist killings.

Fen said...

So how come the Left didn't give this princess a tenured position teaching our kids, like with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn?

Big Mike said...

EVERY ONE OF YOU COULD DO WHAT SHE DID UNDER THE RIGHT PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES

@Kim, may you would have. I would never have joined the Manson "family" in the first place, and I certainly would never have been another Tex Watson.

Let me go farther. I really despise your sort of soft-headed crap. All of your sympathies go to the murderer, none that you've mentioned are oriented towards the pregnant woman crying, trying to protect her unborn child from a pack of thrill-killers.

Quaestor said...

Kim Cunningham wrote: I'm utterly impressed with Krenwinkle's sincere remorse and self discovery...

Isn't pop psychology wonderful? It can make anyone an authority on everyone else.

Manson wannbes take note. The well of potential recruits is far from dry.

John said...

Lydia, you are making my point for me.

The Son of Sam killer was also famous, or infamous. That infamy in the public eye will keep him in jail. It will be noticed if he is released.

Another except to the rule of life imprisonment, in the US, often not meaning imprisonment for life.

As for the other commenter who said that any one of us could be in her position, well, yes. We could.

I look back at my life and all the really, really REALLY stupid things I have done and wonder why I am not dead or in jail. Not that I have done anything seriously illegal but I can see how I might, at certain points, slipped over the line.

But still, murder should be punished severely. I am not a big believer in life imprisonment. I think she should have been executed back in the day along with Manson and the others.

John Henry

TosaGuy said...

Kim Cunningham was being sarcastic, right?

"How dare you judge this person" -- we as a society have already judged her when we as a society sent her to prison for the rest of her life.

"I'm utterly impressed with Krenwinkle's sincere remorse and self discovery." -- Sharon Tate and others are unable to provide a rebuttal.

Fen said...

I really despise your sort of soft-headed crap. All of your sympathies go to the murderer, none that you've mentioned are oriented towards the pregnant woman crying, trying to protect her unborn child from a pack of thrill-killers.

You're dealing with the type of female that swoons over mass murderers in prison and sends them love letters.

Remember all the marriage requests the Menendez brothers got? We caught one of those types here.

Seeing Red said...

Kim's willing to be her sponsor and guardian. Under those circumstances...it comes down to character and strength, or human nature.

Brando said...

"EVERY ONE OF YOU COULD DO WHAT SHE DID UNDER THE RIGHT PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES. How dare you judge this person."

If you can't judge a person who cold bloodedly murdered several innocent people, then you can't judge anything.

Different people react to various things--and understanding why they did what they did in order to prevent such things in the future doesn't mean we shouldn't judge people. People are the products of their choices, and the choices she made caused her to murder. She may have been under Manson's "spell" but I refuse to believe that she had no agency here. Consider how many people were in Manson's gang that never did anything like this.

Micha Elyi said...

"How exactly does one 'control' another's mind? I think the concept is meaningless if you take more than a few seconds to consider it."--DanTheMan (4:20 PM)

That weak female minds are easily mastered by the powerful masculine will is a common folk psychology belief among females, especially ones wishing for that 'swept away' experience. And wishing to be relieved of self-responsibility.

DanTheMan said...

Micha,
I concur of course that the desired outcome is transfer of responsiblity.
The same people that would laugh if you said "the devil made her do it" would nod when you say "Manson was controlling her mind".
Manson may have tricked her, or convinced her, but it was her mind that controlled her body.

I know I'm treading on AA's pedantic territory here....
Maybe she's controlling my mind?

Sigivald said...

... feelingly?

Michael said...

There is nothing that would create more sincerity than being in the slammer for life. She probably held the very views she expresses in the video days after she was convicted and incarcerated.

The fact that she is "not a danger to anyone" is totally irrelevant. Neither is any average murderer who kills out of passion. Once the object of his rage is gone he is not likely to be a danger to anyone.

Anonymous said...
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seekonk senior said...

I have read most of your comments and read that you don't believe that people can be brainwashed, that she still should be put in the iron maiden till she bleeds to death. What she did was Horrible (she admits and accepts that she has done horrible).
Her only explanation is that she needed to be in a place she felt secure and loved.
To those that have never felt unloved, left out, worthless in your own family, you can't know the desperation or the fight you fight every day for your own self esteem.
Victims of sexual abuse, emotional abuse and child molestation are easy marks for predators because their need for love can be exploited and used to the predators advantage.
Patricia Krenwinkel was a victim of Charles Manson, just not a dead one. She should serve out the rest of her life in jail, but let's all give her a break, she has walked a long hard, cold road since she put on death row.
While we should never forget what she did, lets not ignore where she is now. it is very difficult to admit that you are not the hard person that a tough life can produce, but in fact are vulnerable and fragile and that someone you cared for used you.