US & Canada

Charles Manson is denied parole

Photo of a 77-year-old Charles Manson from the California department of corrections 5 April 2012
Image caption California prison officials recently released new photos of Manson, now 77 years old

Notorious mass murderer Charles Manson has been denied parole in California, for the 12th and possibly last time, but he did not appear at the hearing.

The parole board ruled that the 77-year-old did not appear to have made any efforts to rehabilitate himself.

"This panel can find nothing good as far as suitability factors go," said a member of the bench, John Peck.

Manson, convicted in 1971 and serving life for seven murders, has not appeared before the board since 1997.

His previous hearing was in 2007.

Smuggled mobile phones

Debra Tate, the sister of a Manson victim, said earlier she would attend to argue against his release.

"I've tried to take this thing that I do, that has become my lot in life, and make it have purpose," Ms Tate, whose sister was actress Sharon Tate, told the Associated Press news agency.

"I've been doing it for Sharon and the other victims of him for the last 40 years."

The wife of film director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was murdered by the Manson gang.

The cult leader and his followers, known as the Manson family, stabbed and shot seven people in Los Angeles over two nights in 1969 in an attempt to start a race war.

Manson and three women accomplices were sentenced to death in 1969, but that was commuted in 1972 when California temporarily outlawed the death penalty.

Since his last parole hearing, Manson has been caught in possession of a weapon, twice with contraband mobile phones, and has threatened an official, according to the California Department of Corrections.

Prison officials found he had been talking with people in California, New Jersey, Florida, British Columbia, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Indiana.

Debra Tate said earlier she doubted Manson would ever be freed but hopes that she can confront any perception of him as a cult figure.

She said: "It's important to me that I try to diminish and tarnish their status as urban legends. It's wrong, it's just plain wrong."

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