Former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer, Bruce Davis, made his 28th appearance before a Department of Corrections Board of Parole Hearings at The California Men’s Colony located near San Luis Obispo and has once again has been granted parole per USA Today.
Davis is now 71 years old and has been in prison for nearly 43 years. He was sentenced with Manson and others for the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. He has long claimed that he was a bystander in the killings, but in recent years has acknowledged his shared responsibility.
In 2012, Davis was recommended for parole by the same board, however, Governor Jerry Brown, rejected it saying he was convinced Bruce Davis still hadn’t revealed all he knew about the Manson Family.
In his written statement, Brown said “It is encouraging that Davis is beginning to reveal the actual details of what happened. But it is still clear that he continues to withhold information about these events.’
“Until Davis can acknowledge and explain why he actively championed the Family’s interests and shed more light on the nature of his involvement, I am not prepared to release him,” Brown said.
Three years prior to this, Davis got the same treatment from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who refused his release on parole in 2010.
Wednesday’s decision once again lies in the governors’s hands. The next step will be a 120-day review period for the board after which, the governor has 30 days to approve, reverse, change or decline to review the decision.
Jim Evans, spokesman for the governor stated via email that he could not comment beyond the information released by the Department of Corrections.
Bruce Davis’ attorney, Michael Beckman, said last year that Davis was the most rehabilitated of the hundreds of parole candidates he’s represented, calling the governor’s decision “horrible” and contrary to the finding of the parole commissioners who found him eminently suitable. He claims Davis has told everything he knows.
Since Davis was not involved in the infamous slayings of Sharon Tate and six others, this makes him a better candidate as far as parole than many of the better-known Manson family members.
Throughout his years in confinement, Bruce Davis has become a born again Christian as well as earned himself a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion. He also ministers to the other inmates.
Through his involvement in the prison ministry, he met a woman and got married, however, the couple recently divorced. He has a grown daughter.
Since the killing spree began in 1969, only two Manson-related murder defendants have been granted parole. Davis being the second.
Manson and three of his followers, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwindel and Charles “Tex” Watson, remain in prison for life for the Tate killings. Their co-defendant, Susan Atkins, died of cancer behind bars in 2009.