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"Tex" Watson, Manson cult follower, denied parole again

Charles "Tex" Watson AP

Charles "Tex" Watson
AP
(CBS/AP) SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Charles "Tex" Watson, the so- called right-hand man of cult leader Charles Manson, has been denied parole from a California prison.

This makes it the 16th time Watson, 65, has been denied parole. He was convicted of orchestrating the Tate-LaBianca slayings 42 years ago.

After the decision on Wednesday, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton says parole officials ordered him to continue serving his life sentence and to wait five years before seeking another parole hearing.

Four relatives of Watson's victims asked for his parole to be denied. Watson was convicted of killing Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others in her home in August 1969. The next night, Watson 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," Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira said. "For a group of people to just slaughter strangers in hopes of igniting a race war is extremely horrifying."

Watson read a statement during the nearly five-hour hearing but did not answer questions from the parole officials, Sequeira said. This left them without enough information to determine whether he is ready to be released.

"Basically the prison panel found they could not measure his true remorse or his measure of understanding of what caused him to become involved in these gruesome murders," Sequeira said. "I think he lacks insight and understanding, I think he lacks true remorse. I think he has remorse for his being in prison all these years."

  • Crimesider Staff

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