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Convicted Killer Harold Bicknell's Parole Rescinded; Killed Grandmother, Cousins, Aunt In 1977 Seaside Mass Slaying

MONTEREY (CBS SF) -- Convicted mass killer Harold Bicknell will remain behind bars after a state prison board rescinded its decision to issue him parole in the wake of public outrage and emotional pleas from the victims family members.

Last July, the California Board of Parole granted Bicknell parole only to have its decision appealed to Gov. Gavin Newsom by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Newsom ordered a new hearing and the board members found last week "that Mr. Bicknell is currently an unreasonable risk of danger to the public because he denied he was the perpetrator, which was implausible, and he failed to address factors leading up to or contributing to the crime," according to a Monday news release from the district attorney's office.

"The board cited both mistakes of law and fact as the basis for rescinding the grant," prosecutors said.

The crime was one of the most notorious in Monterey County history. On August 9, 1977, Bicknell -- who was 19-years-old at the time -- was triggered into his murderous rage after his 15-year-old cousin, Renee Ferguson, allegedly revealed to the family that he had engaged in a sexual relationship and impregnated a 14-year-old.

The pregnant juvenile assisted Bicknell in the slayings and he later testified against her.

Prosecutors said Bicknell admitted in granular detail stabbing all four victims at various times throughout the investigation.

His victims included his 66-year-old grandmother Josephine Smith, his maternal aunt Suzanne Harris and cousins Ferguson and 6-year-old Rachel Harris.

Prosecutors said Bicknell stabbed and tied up Renee; then stabbed his aunt and grandmother after they witnessed Renee's murder and that after his juvenile girlfriend stabbed Rachel, his little cousin broke away and he "went after her and stabbed her repeatedly."

The 6-year-old was stabbed over 40 times.

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