'Under His Spell.' Charles Manson Follower Breaks Her Silence after 45 Years Behind Bars
Powerful words from a woman who's spent the past 45 years behind bars for taking part in the notorious Manson murders, one of the most brutal crimes in American history.
Now 66 years old, Patricia Krenwinkel is breaking a 20-year silence to claim she'd fallen under the spell of Charles Manson when he sent her and three others to commit the savage murders of seven people in Los Angeles, including actress Sharon Tate, who was eight-and-a-half-months pregnant.
"What a coward I found myself to be! Today, I am who I choose to be," said Krenwinkel.
Filmmaker Olivia Klaus directed the documentary called My Life after Manson, available on the New York Times opinion page. She met Krenwinkel while working as a volunteer at the California prison where the convicted murderer has earned a bachelor's degree in, believe it or not, human services!
"I had no idea that this woman that I had gotten to know over the years, who I had actually know as a mentor in the prison, was actually part of some of the most horrific crimes of our time! She has proven she's been rehabilitated," said Klaus.
Krenwinkel blames an unhappy childhood on her vulnerability to fall for a man like Charles Manson.
"I wanted to feel like someone was gonna care for me, because I haven't felt that from anywhere else in my life," said Krenwinkel.
"When she breaks it down so emotionally, we really are able to see, 'Oh I could've been in her shoes. It could have been me that fell for the very wrong guy!'" said Klaus.
INSIDE EDITION's April Woodard stated to Klaus, "There's a difference between falling for the wrong guy and being a part of killing seven people."
Kraus replied, "Yes, she very much crossed a line that is inexcusable."
Krenwinkel will be eligible for parole in 2018.
Sharon Tate's sister, Debra, watched the documentary and thinks Krenwinkel is putting on a good act to get out of prison.
"This is ludicrous in my opinion! This is a gamble that we just can't afford to take," said Tate.
And the killer still wonders about that dreadful crime she took part in all those years ago.
Krenwinkel continued, "I did that, but why did I do that?"