November 20, 2017 / 6:59 AM / 25 days ago

Where Charles Manson's cult followers are now

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Charles Manson, the convicted mass murderer and 1960s cult leader who died on Sunday at the age of 83, orchestrated the gruesome murders of seven people in 1969 in California by his followers, a group of runaways and outcasts known as the “Manson Family.”

FILE PHOTO Convicted mass murderer Charles Manson is shown in this handout picture from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dated June 16, 2011 and released to Reuters April 8, 2012. CDCR/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Here is what has become of several of the members of Manson’s cult:

Linda Kasabian, 68, was given immunity and became the chief prosecution witness against Manson and her fellow cult members. Kasabian was 20 when she found Manson and was part of the “family” for only about a month before the murder spree. She drove cult members to the scenes of both murders and served as a lookout but did not actually kill anyone. During her 18 days of testimony, defendants tried to intimidate her with interruptions and Manson directed throat-slashing gestures at her. Spared from prison, Kasabian returned to her native New Hampshire after the trial. She appeared in a disguise in a 2009 CNN interview, saying she had been “trying to live a normal life” and declining to say where she was living at the time. Kasabian said she still carried guilt over the slayings.

Charles “Tex” Watson, 71, described himself as Manson’s “right hand man.” On Aug. 9, 1969, he and two female accomplices murdered actress Sharon Tate and four visitors at her Beverly Hills home. The following night, he and two women killed a couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, at their Los Angeles home. Watson remains in prison in California after repeatedly being denied parole. He became a minister in 1981, taking a path similar to some other ex-Manson Family members who also turned to Christianity.

Susan Atkins, who took part in several of the slayings including those at the Tate residence and who wrote “Pig” in blood on a house wall, died of brain cancer in a California prison in 2009 at age 61. Atkins had been denied a request to be freed on parole as the fatal illness took hold.

Patricia Krenwinkel, 69, who took part in the murders of the LaBiancas and at the Tate residence, has become California’s longest-serving woman prisoner. In June, commissioners again denied parole for Krenwinkel, after a six-month inquiry to look into allegations that she had been abused by Manson or someone else, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Leslie Van Houten, 68, is serving a life sentence for taking part in the murders of the LaBiancas. Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown overturned a parole board recommendation that she should be released, saying that Van Houten still posed an “unreasonable danger to society.” In September, the parole board again granted her parole, which started a 150-day review process that will likely culminate in a final decision by Brown.

Bruce Davis, 75, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1969 murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stunt man Donald “Shorty” Shea. Brown has repeatedly overturned recommendations by the California parole board that Davis should be freed.

Robert (Bobby) Beusoleil, 70, is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murder of Hinman. A California parole board last denied his bid in 2016. He will be eligible for a hearing again in 2019.

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, 69, was a member of the Manson Family and attended Manson’s trial. In 1975, she was tackled by a Secret Service agent after she aimed a pistol at then President Gerald Ford. Convicted of attempted assassination, she was sentenced to life in prison. She was paroled in 2009 and moved to Marcy in New York state, according to the New York Post.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Diane Craft and Alistair Bell

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