A terrible scene of murder and mayhem. I was nine-years-old at the time Charles Manson and his followers brutally killled Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Sharon Tate. On the following day, they would kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Tried and convicted, Manson and his followers were imprisoned. Among them is Patricia Krenwinkel.
Based on the accounts of the murder and her own statements, there is little doubt as to the role this now-63-year-old had in the murderous events. Up for parole, she expressed remorse and indicated that the young woman from 1969 is not who she is now in 2011. She had changed.
The parole board and family members of the victims were unmoved and her parole was denied. “This is a crime children grow up hearing about,” said parole commissioner Susan Melanson. She said they had received 80 letters from around the world advocating Krenwinkel’s continued incarceration. “These crimes remain relevant.”
What the parole board seems to be saying is that a criminal of less relevance could be paroled. They are indicating that remorse, contrition, rehabilitation, and time mean nothing in the scheme of things.
Imagine a lesson for children today to hear that someone went to prison for doing something horrible, learned their lesson, rehabilitated, was contrite, and was returned to society as a better person.
But no, that’s not the lesson here. It is not reality.
Because mercy cannot be shown to Patricia, it is really the families and the board members who are imprisoned. It seems Patricia has already found some release from her crime.