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October 21, 2015

Recorder sets 2016 dates for London serial murder accused Stephen Port

Recorder sets 2016 dates for London serial murder accused Stephen Port

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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The Recorder of London, His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, today set a provisional timetable in the case against Stephen Port, an alleged serial killer. January 9 was set for a plea and case management hearing. The trial has been scheduled for April 2016.

File photo of the Old Bailey in London, scene of today’s hearing.
Image: Nevilley.

Port, 40, attended the hearing from HMP Pentonville via videolink. He spent the ten-minute hearing looking down, and spoke only to confirm his identity. He wore a bright yellow and green prison-issued uniform designed to make him highly visible should he escape.

Port faces four counts of murder and four counts of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm“. He is alleged to have given overdoses of recreational drug GHB. He allegedly murdered the men at his home before dumping the bodies, after finding victims online using gay dating services.

He was charged on Sunday. On Monday he appeared before a Magistrates’ Court which sent the case to today’s hearing at the famed Old Bailey courthouse. Port has not applied for bail and remains in custody.

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police only linked the deaths a week ago on Wednesday, when they were passed to serious crime investigators.

Three of the deaths occurred last year. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lives in Cooke Street. The other three alleged victims were found in the vicinity of St. Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20. Fourth alleged victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14.

Whitworth and Kovari were known to each other, according to testimony at the inquest.

Port was arrested following a police appeal to trace a man seen with Taylor shortly before his death. Police at the time released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.”



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Judge sets 2016 trial date for London serial murder accused Stephen Port

Judge sets 2016 trial date for London serial murder accused Stephen Port

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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The Recorder of London, His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, today set a provisional timetable in the case against Stephen Port, an alleged serial killer. January 9 was set for a plea and case management hearing. The trial has been scheduled for April 2016, and is currently expected to last four weeks.

File photo of the Old Bailey in London, scene of today’s hearing.
Image: Nevilley.

Port, 40, attended the hearing from HMP Pentonville via videolink. He spent the ten-minute hearing looking down, and spoke only to confirm his identity. He wore a bright yellow and green prison-issued uniform designed to make him highly visible should he escape.

Port faces four counts of murder and four counts of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm“. He is alleged to have given overdoses of recreational drug GHB. He allegedly murdered the men at his home before dumping the bodies, after finding victims online using gay dating services.

He was charged on Sunday. On Monday he appeared before a Magistrates’ Court which sent the case to today’s hearing at the famed Old Bailey courthouse. Port has not applied for bail and remains in custody.

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police only linked the deaths a week ago on Wednesday, when they were passed to serious crime investigators.

Three of the deaths occurred last year. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lives in Cooke Street. The other three alleged victims were found in the vicinity of St. Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20. Fourth alleged victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14.

Whitworth and Kovari were known to each other, according to testimony at the inquest.

Port was arrested following a police appeal to trace a man seen with Taylor shortly before his death. Police at the time released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.”



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October 20, 2015

London serial murder accused Stephen Port makes first court appearance

London serial murder accused Stephen Port makes first court appearance

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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A London man charged on Sunday with drugging and murdering four men made his first court appearance yesterday. Stephen Port, 40, was remanded to appear before a higher court tomorrow.

The revolving sign outside Metropolitan Police HQ.
Image: “Man vyi”.

Port faces four counts of murder and four counts of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm“. He is alleged to have administered overdoses of recreational drug GHB. He allegedly murdered the men at his home before dumping the bodies, after finding victims online using gay dating services.

Three of the deaths were last year. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lives in Cooke Street. The other three alleged victims were found in the vicinity of St Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20. Fourth alleged victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14.

Whitworth and Kovari were known to each other, according to testimony at inquest. The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police did not initially link the deaths.

Special needs teacher Port, who was guarded by three officers in the dock, spoke in court to confirm his identity. He did not indicate if he will deny the offences. He was arrested following a police appeal to trace a man seen with Taylor shortly before his death.

Police at the time released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.” The four deaths were finally linked and passed to the Metropolitan Police’s serious crime investigators on Wednesday last week.

The Magistrates’ Court ordered Taylor to appear at the Old Bailey, a famed London courthouse, tomorrow. He spent the hearing holding one arm, and repeatedly looking at the floor, whilst clad in a grey tracksuit given to him by the authorities holding him.


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March 14, 2015

Convicted murderer J.C.X. Simon dies in prison, aged 69

Convicted murderer J.C.X. Simon dies in prison, aged 69

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

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Simon died at San Quentin State Prison on Thursday
Image: Jjz3d83.

J.C.X Simon, one of the convicted ‘Zebra Killers‘, has died at the age of 69 in San Quentin State Prison. His death came shortly before midnight on Thursday, with the cause remaining unknown. Simon was convicted alongside three others for the killing spree known as the ‘Zebra Killings’ in San Francisco in the 1970s.

A statement released by prison officials said “The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy.” Simon was found unresponsive in his single person cell.

In total fourteen people were killed by Simon and three other assailants, all of whom were black. The murders took place in 1973 and 1974, with all of the victims being white and targeted purely on race. At least seven more victims were injured in the shootings, including future San Francisco mayor Art Agnos. According to Anthony C. Harris, the suspects were part of the ‘Death Angels’, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam. Harris was a key witness in the trial, who was alleged to have taken part in the hunt for white victims.

Simon was convicted, and sentenced to life without parole, in 1976. The charges consisted of two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. The other men convicted for the murders were Larry Green, Manuel Moore, and Jessie Lee Cooks. The three remaining convicts remain incarcerated without possibility of parole.



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March 1, 2014

UK serial killer Joanne Dennehy jailed for life

UK serial killer Joanne Dennehy jailed for life

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

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A judge in England yesterday jailed “cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer” Joanne Dennehy for life without parole. Dennehy murdered three men known to her and then tried to murder two random strangers.

File photo of the Old Bailey in London, where Joanne Dennehy was sentenced yesterday.
Image: Nevilley.

At the Old Bailey in London, Mr Justice Spencer sentenced Dennehy, 31, previously referred to in court as Joanna, and three accomplices. Gary Stretch, 47, also convicted of the attempted murders, was given a life term and can apply for parole after nineteen years. Leslie Layton, 37, received a fourteen-year term for helping dispose of bodies. Robert Moore, 55, received a three-year sentence for helping Dennehy.

Joanne Dennehy laughed, talked, and smiled during proceedings but stood silent and emotionless with her eyes closed when the sentence was announced. The judge said she had a “sadistic lust for blood”.

Dennehy had admitted her crimes; Stretch and Layton went to trial. She killed Lukasz Slaboszewski, 31, in Peterborough after leading him to believe they were lovers; he texted a friend “life is beautiful” about the supposed relationship. Within two weeks she had gone on to kill housemate John Chapman, 56, and Kevin Lee, 48. All were stabbed in March last year.

Lee’s body was found dumped in a ditch clad in a black sequinned dress. His buttocks were visible. Lee and Dennehy had been having an affair.

She told a psychiatrist “I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was, then it got moreish.” Mr Justice Spencer noted Dennehy held a “strange fascination” to the men in the case. Lee’s family said in a statement yesterday “We feel Joanne Dennehy brainwashed Kevin, causing him to make a bad decision, and he has paid for that with his life.”

Following the Peterborough murders Dennehy made a 140-mile trip to Hereford where she stabbed dog walkers Robin Bereza and John Rogers with a knife within nine minutes of each other. Both survived.

Mr Justice Spencer identified Dennehy as a psychopath with paraphilia sadomasochism, in which sexual pleasure is gained from the suffering of others. She wrote him a letter saying she had no remorse for the murders. The mother of two joins Myra Hindley and Rose West as the only women to be given whole-life sentences in the UK, in which convicts are told they will never be released.

The sentencing follows a recent ruling by the court of appeal upholding the legality of whole life terms. The four defendants were jailed in Courtroom 2 of the Old Bailey, where on Wednesday Michael Adebolajo also received a whole life term for a terror attack which killed soldier Lee Rigby.



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January 24, 2014

Claire Tiltman murder: Prosecutors mull charges in notorious English crime

Claire Tiltman murder: Prosecutors mull charges in notorious English crime

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Friday, January 24, 2014

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Almost exactly 21 years after 16-year-old Claire “Tilt” Tiltman was stabbed to death near her Kent, England home, Kent Police have passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Cquote1.svg We hope to reach a decision as soon as is practicably possible Cquote2.svg

—CPS

The case has been the subject of speculation sadistic killer Robert Napper was responsible, but the file is reported to concern longtime suspect Colin Ash-Smith. Wikinews contacted Kent Police and the CPS but neither were willing to confirm how many suspects were covered by the evidence file.

“We have presented a file of evidence to the CPS for their consideration in relation to the murder of Claire Tiltman,” said Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson of the Kent Police cold case team in a statement provided to Wikinews. “Claire’s murder has been subject to an ongoing investigation by Kent Police who have never given up on justice for Claire.”

The CPS gave Wikinews a statement confirming they are “currently considering a file of evidence submitted by Kent Police in relation to the murder”. The statement added “We hope to reach a decision as soon as is practicably possible.”

Tiltman was stabbed in excess of 40 times in an alleyway in Greenhithe as she took a shortcut to visit a friend. The Dartford Grammar School pupil, who had celebrated her birthday four days before, aspired to be a firefighter and was a familiar face at her local fire station. Her death in 1993 sparked an investigation that amassed over 16,000 documents without success in spite of the fact she was killed between 6:00 and 6:30pm, as commuters returned from work.

Cquote1.svg Claire was 16 years old at the time of her murder with her whole future ahead of her. That evening someone took that future away Cquote2.svg

—Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, Kent Police cold case detective

On Saturday the Justice for Claire campaign group marked the 21st anniversary of the murder. A band played in nearby Dartford and, including a raffle, the event raised over £3,000 for the group, which includes some of Tiltman’s friends. Wikinews attempted to contact Justice for Claire but their website is unavailable and previous contact details are no longer valid. Last year they organised a candlelit memorial walk to mark the 20th anniversary.

The victim’s parents have both since died. Her mother died of cancer after care at EllenorLions Hospice, one of two beneficiaries of the money raised by Justice for Claire last week. The other was the Fire Fighters Charity. Founding member and friend of Tiltman’s Lisa Gribben said “We want to hold onto the amazing memories we have but also create so many more so they can be remembered in a good way and not for what happened […] The evening is to remember Tilt and her parents for both the amazing friend she was and the wonderful, loving family they all were. […] Its saddens me that our memories are tarnished because of such evil. Hopefully now when someone reads about Tilt they can read about happier times too.”

Claire Tiltman’s hometown of Greenhithe as it appears today.
Image: Clem Rutter.

Vinson told local journalists at the time that officers were “absolutely committed” to catching the killer and “actively investigating this case”. “Claire was 16 years old at the time of her murder with her whole future ahead of her. That evening someone took that future away.”

Colin Ash-Smith is serving multiple life sentences for other attacks on women, including stabbing Charlotte Barnard, 22, in late 1995. The Barnard attack, for which he was convicted of attempted murder two years later, was yards from where Tiltman died. His other crimes include another attempted murder, kidnap, and attempted rape.

His former home in Dartfield, where his parents live, has been searched at least three times by police. The most recent was in September, when forensic officers spent several hours at the building. His father Aubrey received a twelve-month prison term for perverting the course of justice; shortly afterwards his mother was arrested after admitting on TV she asked for a knife to be destroyed during the initial investigation into her son.

Following the latest search of the property Kent Police said “Officers have obtained a large amount of items which will be examined in the coming weeks.” The former milkman’s father says he’s convinced his son did not murder Claire Tiltman.

Robert Napper, meanwhile, has been linked to the crime by criminologists and by former Metropolitan Police constable Vincent Wright. Wright went to an Inspector in 2000 to put forward his case that Napper killed Tiltman and also killed Rachel Nickell in London in 1992. In December 2008 Napper admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility for killing Nickell six months before Tiltman’s death. Like Tiltman, Nickell was stabbed more than 40 times.

Wright began investigating after Napper was convicted in the deaths of mother-and-daughter Samantha and Jazmine Bisset, who were killed ten months after Tiltman’s death. Samantha Bisset was stabbed 60 times. Wright discovered Napper was freshly released from an eight-week prison sentence for weapons offences when Tiltman died and was a known voyeur. In 1995 Napper admitted raping one teenager at knifepoint and attempting to rape another within eight days of each other in 1992. Wright produced a timeline for the inspector in 2000, and has been in touch with Kent Police as well. In 1998 Operation Enigma, a reexamination of cold murders, suggested the Tiltman and Nickell crimes could be down to the same offender.

A modern view of a path on Wimbledon Common. Rachel Nickell was fatally stabbed on the common by Robert Napper in 1992.
Image: Derek Harper.

“Napper could have been stopped,” Wright said after Napper was finally convicted in the Nickell case. “It was down to poor investigatory procedure that he wasn’t.” The Metropolitan Police lured innocent suspect Colin Stagg into a honeytrap and he was charged with murdering Nickell but later cleared when the case collapsed in court.

Professor David Wilson, a Birmingham City University criminologist, wrote in The Daily Star last March he believes Napper “was probably the murderer of 16-year-old Kent schoolgirl Claire Tiltman in January 1993, and of business executive Jean Bradley, 47, in west London two months later.” That month he repeated his theory in his Channel 5 documentary series Killers Behind Bars.

In addition to the “blitz” style of knife assault on Napper’s victims, Wilson hypothesised Tiltman was linked to Napper by Napper’s regular use of public transport. The Tiltman murder scene is twenty minutes by rail from Napper’s former home and her killer is believed to have headed towards a nearby train station.

Dr Laurence Allison, a professor of forensic psychology at Liverpool University, is co-author of a book titled Killer in the Shadows – The Monstrous Crimes of Robert Napper that looks at not just Napper’s convictions but also cold cases he may be connected to. In addition to Tiltman and Bradley, Allison identified Napper as a suspect in the death of Penny Bell, stabbed 50 times in west London. All three victims were to the west of Napper’s home area and all died within five minutes of train stations.

Allison told Wikinews, “we now know Napper was not sufficiently [investigated over] Rachel Nickell after it was established that he murdered Samantha Bissett”, noting “these sorts of murders are so rare that one needs to carefully consider an offender with track record as a plausible and worthy suspect”. However, Allison made clear this does not mean Napper is the only viable suspect: “Napper needs to be looked at [but] I wouldn’t be so bold as to favour one person over another either.”



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June 6, 2012

Russian serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk jailed

Russian serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk jailed

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

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A court in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg has sent serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk to prison for twenty years. Gaidamachuk, 40, killed seventeen elderly women so she could rob them.

Yekaterinburg from file, where Gaidamachuk was sentenced.

Gaidamachuk attacked her victims in the Urals region pretending she was a social worker so they let her into their flats. Once inside, she attacked the women with an axe or hammer. The first murder was in 2003 and Gaidamachuk was not detained until June 2010. She confessed.

The investigation was troubled by the gender of the perpetrator; the possibility of a female killer was not considered until a woman survived. After the lone survivor’s account, police still considered it possible the killer was a man dressed as a woman. Innocent woman Irina Valeyeva was arrested and confessed.

More than 3,000 people were questioned before Gaidamachuk was caught. She changed tactic for her final victim, Alexandra Povaritsyna, 81, opting to pose as a decorator. Police followed up descriptions from neighbours of the bogus tradeswoman. The youngest victim was 61 and the oldest 89.

Gaidamachuk was deemed sane. She said her motive was obtaining money for vodka. She must pay expenses for her prosecution.

“I lived with her for 14 years but never suspected anything” said Gaidamachuk’s husband, Yury. Yury has since begun a new relationship. Irina has two children.



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May 14, 2012

Swedish man denies serial shootings

Swedish man denies serial shootings – Wikinews, the free news source

Swedish man denies serial shootings

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Monday, May 14, 2012

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Peter Mangs, 40, has gone on trial in Sweden today, pleading not guilty to three murders and twelve attempted murders. Mangs is accused of a string of shootings in Malmö.

File photo of a Glock 19, like Mangs is alleged to have used.

The shootings appeared to have targeted immigrants although the prosecution presents the exact motive as unclear; last week prosecutor Solveig Wollstad said “There is a certain level of xenophobia but also other things, like aggression towards people who have previously been found guilty of crime.” Lists in Mangs home detailed immigrants, Swedish Jews, and convicts.

Wollstad told the court Mangs also had a Glock 19 pistol, silencer, gun parts, ammunition, wigs, ski masks, knives, combat vest, and a book on John ‘Laser Man’ Ausonius. Ausonius used a laser-sighted rifle to shoot people in the 1990s in Stockholm and Uppsala; he is serving life for murder and several attempted murders. Local media has compared his case with the present one.

Other evidence includes a recording made in 2003 in which Mangs incriminates a neighbour for one of the murders, and claims from his friends that he boasted to have killed immigrants. Mangs is accused of two murders in 2003, plus a string of shootings beginning in November 2009 and ending with his arrest a year later.

Victims were shot at through windows, in vehicles, and on the street. In one case a mosque was attacked. The deceased are two immigrants in their sixties killed in 2003, and a local 20-year-old woman shot in a car she was sharing with an immigrant. If convicted of murder at the 24-day trial’s conclusion, Mangs can be sentenced to from ten to eighteen years imprisonment.

Prosecutors say Mangs planned to kill another man, taking his gun to a home. Mangs’s Glock 19 was modified and the prosecution claims this was an attempt to foil ballistics experts. He denies all charges, except for admitting damaging some property by firing at it.



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April 26, 2012

Connecticut repeals death penalty

Connecticut repeals death penalty – Wikinews, the free news source

Connecticut repeals death penalty

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

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In the United States, the state of Connecticut has repealed the death penalty, becoming the seventeenth state in the U.S. to do so. The state’s governor Dannel Malloy signed the repeal into law on Wednesday and is to take effect immediately.

“This afternoon I signed legislation that will, effective today, replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of release as the highest form of legal punishment in Connecticut. Although it is an historic moment – Connecticut joins 16 other states and the rest of the industrialized world by taking this action – it is a moment for sober reflection, not celebration,” said Malloy in a written statement on his website.

In future convictions, the death penalty will be replaced with life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. However, despite the state’s decision, prisoners currently serving a death row sentence are still set to be executed as planned. Currently in Connecticut, eleven prisoners are serving a death row sentence, all of them men. The repeal bill was passed in the state’s house of representatives with 86 supporting the measure and 63 opposing it. The senate had passed the measure just seven days before.

Jodi Rell, then Connecticut’s governor, blocked a prior attempt at repeal by state lawmakers in 2009.

Only one person in Connecticut has been executed since 1976, when the U.S. government reinstated the death penalty after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld capital punishment. That execution of serial killer Michael Bruce Ross occurred in 2005 by lethal injection.

“As our state moves beyond this divisive debate, I hope we can all redouble our efforts and common work to improve the fairness and integrity of our criminal justice system, and to minimize its fallibility,” added Malloy.



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April 10, 2012

Manson Family leader Charles Manson to seek parole in California murders

Manson Family leader Charles Manson to seek parole in California murders

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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Leader of the Manson Family cult Charles Manson, who has tried to get parole 11 times, will have another opportunity to seek it again Wednesday, for his life sentence for his 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others. The 77 year old’s last parole hearing occurred in 2007.

Charles Manson will seek parole Wednesday.

Manson didn’t go to his last parole hearing in 2007, saying that he was a “prisoner of the political system.” He isn’t expected to attend the Wednesday hearing either, according to a spokesperson at Corcoran State Prison.

The district attorney’s office in Los Angeles said it strongly opposed Manson’s release.

“We consistently (opposed parole) and will continue to do so,” spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.

Manson has hoarded cell phones in his cell, and they were confiscated by the guards. Thirty days were added to his sentence for this offence. In 2009, Manson called people in California, New Jersey, and Florida with an LG flip phone found under his bed.

Guards found a second cell phone a year later, and a homemade weapon was found as well.

Manson was found guilty of telling a group of his followers to break into the home Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate were renting in a town near Beverly Hills. The followers killed Tate and all six of the people at her home.



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