Skip to main content

See also:

Manson follower Krenwinkel experiences self-discovery while in prison

Patricia Krenwinkel discovers herself in prison
Patricia Krenwinkel discovers herself in prisonScreenshot from NYT, Olivia Klaus

One of the most horrific mass killings in the last century was committed by “the Manson Family.” There have been numerous other mass killings that shed innocent lives for senseless reasons, but this one in California was shocking due to the mind control of one man, Charles Manson. He called his followers ‘family’ in the cult and instructed his ‘family’ to murder seven people, including a pregnant woman named Sharon Tate. One follower, Patricia Krenwinkel, agreed to an Op-Doc with Olivia Klaus (New York Times) published on Aug. 4 about the emotional detachment she felt, which led her to kill.

Krenwinkel, 66, was 21 years old in 1969 when she killed upon the instruction of the man she thought she loved, Manson. She admitted to Klaus she was desperately seeking approval from him at the time as she did not feel anyone cared for her. She wanted to please, she wanted to feel safe as she knew it. She just wanted to be loved, but her definition of being loved was skewed. She had to analyze who she was and once she accepted responsibility for her actions and recreated herself, she claimed there was a freedom in that.

Her freedom revelation allows her to choose to be herself. She alleges she is now who she chooses to be which is suggestive of being aware of the mind control she was under as a young woman. She claims she takes responsibility for every word she says, what she believes and what she does now within the penal system.

Krenwinkel is the longest female inmate within the California penal system along with another Manson follower named Leslie Louise Van Houten. Both women were found guilty of the Manson murders and sentenced to death in 1971. The death sentences were changed to life in prison when California’s Supreme Court ruled all death sentences were invalid prior to 1972.