Charles "Tex" Watson. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Charles “Tex” Watson in 2004. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Charles “Tex” Watson, who was convicted along with Charles Manson and other Manson followers for a 1969 murder spree that gripped the nation’s imagination in horror, will have to wait another five years to hope for parole.

The 70-year-old Watson has, for the 17th time, lost his bid to leave prison. Watson, Manson and the others were convicted of killing seven people in two days, including actress Sharon Tate who was married to actor/director Roman Polanski.

A panel from California’s Board of Parole Hearings rejected Watson’s latest bid for parole during a hearing at Mule Creek State Prison Thursday. He will be eligible for another hearing in five years.

Watson, a native Texan who turned to religion after the killings, was convicted along with Manson and followers Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins of first-degree murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, deaths of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent and Thomas Jay Sebring at a Benedict Canyon home.

The four also were convicted along with Leslie Van Houten of the stabbing deaths of wealthy businessman Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their Los Feliz-area home the next day.

Watson was sentenced to death in October 1971, but his death sentence was reduced to life in prison after the California Supreme Court overturned capital punishment statutes in 1972.

Manson and most of his other co-defendants have repeatedly been denied parole.

—City News Service

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