Brown Denies Parole for Manson Follower Bruce Davis
SACRAMENTO — Saying he still poses a threat to society, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday blocked parole for Manson family member Bruce Davis.
“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,” the governor wrote in his decision.
Brown’s office received a formal recommendation from the state board parole earlier this year to release Bruce Davis, 70, who would be the first Manson “family” member to secure freedom solely for good behavior.
Steve Grogan, another participant in those murders, was released in 1985 after he agreed to lead police to where the bodies were buried on a remote movie ranch in the San Fernando Valley.
Davis is serving 2 life sentences for the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home and former stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea, who lived in Manson’s commune at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth.
He was not involved in the infamous murders by Manson followers of actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles.
During his 40 years in prison, Davis became an ordained minister and earned master’s degrees in philosophy and religion via a correspondence program.
In 2010, Davis secured his first formal recommendation for parole by the state board, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reversed the board’s decision.
Michael Beckman, Davis’ attorney, urged Brown to grant parole.
If the case were not connected to Charles Manson, Davis would have already been released by now, Beckman said. He called it “not fair.”
“He earned it,” Beckman said.
“I think the governor should respect the work by his parole board. That hearing took five or six hours. They took into account everything about Bruce. And they didn’t grant him parole as a favor. They didn’t grant him parole on a whim. They considered it very carefully,” Beckman said.
In 2010, the parole board said that Davis had not been disciplined since 1980 and participated in all available education, vocation and self-help programs.
Davis is one of several imprisoned followers of Manson, 78, who is serving a life sentence for nine murders.
Last year, Manson was denied parole for the 12th time.
Manson, whose gruesome killings inspired the best-selling book “Helter Skelter,” will be up for parole again 15 years from now, when he will be 92.