According to the AP, Manson henchman Bruce Davis won a recommendation of parole after appearing before the parole board 27 times over the years. The LA Times states Davis was also recommended for parole in 2010, but was blocked by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenneger.
So who is Bruce Davis, and why does anyone care? He was not a part of the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders. Well, he was convicted 40 years ago of the murders of Gary Hinman, who had been tortured (His ear was cut off) and Donald “Shorty” Shea, who was decapitated. He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. Along with Charles “Tex” Watson and Steve Grogan, he was part of Manson’s inner circle of strong arm men.
In his testimony at one parole hearing in 1972, Davis asserts that he did not touch or harm Gary Hinman, although he admits to holding a pistol on him. He also claims to have left during the slaying of Donald “Shorty” Shea, though he admits to “touching” Shea’s neck with a machete at Manson’s command. The AP contends that he later took responsibility for his crimes, although they did not go into detail.
Although it has been over 40 years since the crimes and he became an ordained minister in prison, opposition to his release is strong. One of the opponents is Barbara Hoyt, who the Manson family tried to silence by feeding her an LSD-laced hamburger.
The recommendation is not the last hurdle in Davis’ quest for freedom. The parole grant is subject to a 120-day review period by the entire parole board. If it is upheld, Gov. Jerry Brown then has 30 days to review the decision.
Davis’ release was opposed by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira, former Manson family member Barbara Hoyt, and Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, who attended the hearing.
“We certainly disagree with the board’s decision. We will evaluate how we plan to proceed as the matter goes to Gov. Brown,” district attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.