Charles Manson follower to have California parole hearing

Bruce Davis is serving life sentences for two murders.

Story highlights

  • Bruce Davis, 69, is serving a life sentence for two counts of first-degree murder in 1969
  • He was a member of Charles Manson's murderous "family"
  • Davis was paroled two years ago but Gov. Schwarzenegger overturned the parole
  • Manson follower "Tex" Watson asks bankruptcy judge not to give audiotapes to police
One of infamous killer Charles Manson's followers, Bruce Davis, is scheduled to have a California parole hearing on Wednesday, two years after parole had been granted to him but was overturned by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, officials said.
Davis, 69, is serving a life sentence for the 1969 first-degree murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea.
In 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Board of Parole Hearing granted parole to Davis, but Schwarzenegger revoked it, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.
The parole board in 2010 said that Davis had not been disciplined since 1980 and participated in all available education, vocation and self-help programs.
Manson, 77, is serving a life sentence for nine murders. He led his family of followers in a deadly spree in 1969, whose victims included eight-months-pregnant movie actress Sharon Tate. Manson was denied parole for the 12th time in March.
Manson, whose gruesome killings inspired the best-selling book "Helter Skelter," will be up for parole again 15 years from now, when he would be 92.
Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate, said she would attend Davis' parole hearing on Wednesday, to be held at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, where Davis is incarcerated, 193 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
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"The public needs to know this man is very dangerous now as he was in 1969," Tate said. She also attended Manson's parole hearing and objected to Manson's parole.
Wednesday's proceeding will mark Davis' 27th parole hearing, Thornton said.
In a separate, unrelated court proceeding involving another Manson follower, Charles D. "Tex" Watson is seeking to overturn a bankruptcy judge's order turning over audiotapes of his to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police want the tapes because they believe the recordings might provide new clues about unsolved killings involving followers of Manson, according to court documents.
But in court papers filed last week, Watson asked Judge Brenda T. Rhoades to revise her decision and merely allow police to listen to all recordings in the presence of a court trustee or other designate but not take possession of them.
The tapes are about eight hours of recordings between Watson and his attorney from 1969, Bill Boyd of McKinney, Texas, whose law firm is now a debtor in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the same state, court papers said.
According to court documents, Watson waived his attorney-client privilege to the tapes in 1976, and his attorney received partial payment for his legal fees when he gave a copy of the tapes to Chaplain Raymond G. Hoekstra, who subsequently wrote a book, "Will You Die for Me: The Man Who Killed for Charles Manson Tells His Own Story."
In court filings last week, Watson requested "that the Tapes not be turned over to the LAPD, because they are not a creditor to my late attorney Bill Boyd, God rest his soul" and "because repercussions of the motion have not been fully considered by all parties concerned."
Added Watson in court documents: "... this case is high notoriety, with much media attention. For this reason, special consideration should be made with who takes possession of The Tapes, so they will not be misused for purposes unintended by the court and that could be hurtful to the families of the victims."
Watson, 66, was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder and was denied parole for the 16th time in November. He will be considered again in 2016, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.