Charles Manson's Top Deputy Wants Parole - NBC Bay Area

Charles Manson's Top Deputy Wants Parole

Tex Watson has served 42 years for his role in seven murders.



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    Tex Watson in an undated photo provided by the California Department Of Corrections.

    Tex Watson, who was the right-hand man of murderous mastermind Charles Manson, is seeking parole after serving 42 years in a California prison.

    Now 65, Watson has been denied parole 13 times. He has another hearing today at Mule Creek State Prison, in Ione, Calif. Four relatives of Watson's victims plan to ask that his parole be denied for killing actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others at her Beverly Hills home in 1969. Watson was the cult member who stabbed Tate as Susan Atkins held her. The next night, he helped kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

    Watson was sentenced to death, but the state Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in a 1972 case and overturned all outstanding orders for execution.

    The native Texan converted to Christianity in 1975 and co-authored an autobiography called "Will You Die For Me?" He married Kristin Svege in 1979 and fathered four children through conjugal visits. She divorced him nine years ago.

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    Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira calls the Tate-LaBianca killings them "some of the most horrific crimes in California history." Watson's attorney, Cheryl Montgomery, and his family did not respond to requests by The Associated Press for comment.

    A newphew of victim Jay Sebring, also slain at the Cielo Drive home, planned to attend Wednesday's hearing.

    "They've often been portrayed as these victims of Manson, and they are killers," Anthony DiMaria told the AP. "They're mass murderers."

    Tate's sister, Debra, also was expected to speak before the parole panel.