Parole board recommends release of 70-year-old Manson follower, in prison for 40 years,

Bruce Davis was 30 years old when he was convicted of participating in two murders at the behest of Charles Manson. Forty years later, the California Board of Parole Hearings sent its recommendation to Governor Jerry Brown that he be released from prison.

If he is freed, Davis will go to transitional housing associated with religious groups in Los Angeles County.

Davis became a born-again Christian in prison and ministered to other inmates, married a woman he met through the prison ministry, and has a grown daughter. The couple recently divorced.

Davis also earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion.

WaPo: California’s governor asked to decide if former Manson follower gets parole


  1. I’d believe in a person being rehabilitated, if that’s what actually occurred in the US penal system. At this point, he’s spent more time in jail than out. Does he even remember how to interact without the structure? How would he make $, I suppose a tell all book, but still. Slippery slope, I say. 

    1. He’ll go on Social Security and Medicare since he’s past 70, and likely end up in Section-8 housing.

      1.  Less expensive than his current confinement.  But it’s not certain he qualifies for SS… does he have the statutory 40 quarters of SS-contributing employment?

        1.  He’ll likely draw the minimum. According to Mother Jones, prisoners cannot collect SSI until they are released, but the article doesn’t address Davis’ situation and nothing seems to be available on Davis’ work history prior to his role in the Manson murders.

  2. I wonder how easy it is for someone who doesn’t find Jesus in prison to have the parole board look kindly on them? I suspect that saying “No, sir, I’m an atheist” (or, probably as bad, “Actually, I’ve converted to Islam”) would be a ticket back to your tiny little cell for the remainder of your natural life.

    1. Exactly.  Not saying he’s consciously dissembling, but by mimicking the white christian males on the parole board, he, now a white christian male himself, much more easily passes their inspections.

          1. I would like to guess in most cities in the US that most people would identify themselves as Christian. Therefore, one would expect that a jury of peers would have such a majority.

    2. Yep. I don’t understand how anybody can be NOT cynical about jailhouse conversions. “Oh, you converted to the majority religion? I guess that’s a get-out-of-jail-free card for you.”

      But, then, if the Manson “family” had killed only ordinary people, and hadn’t killed a celebrity, they’d all be out by now.

  3. My initial reaction to this is “what purpose is it serving to leave this guy in jail?”
    But the guy wasn’t some impressionable 17year-old  when he committed these crimes. 
    He was more than a grown man and even though I believe ultimately that our prison system should be that of rehab..  not sure he “deserves” to be let go. 

    1. While youth may sometimes explain poor judgement or wrong thinking, it is hardly the only possible explanation for such. Plenty of young people are wise, and plenty of their seniors are not.

      Forty years in a cage gives a person a lot of time to dwell on their crimes. People go into prison and leave their past life behind, live a separate lifetime there, and sometimes they get out again – and when they do, they’re almost always changed.

      I’ve no great faith in the American prison institution. But I also think none of us here are qualified in any way to judge. This is beyond any of us, beyond our experiences and our scope and breadth of knowledge. We are distant observers craning our heads through a haze, ready to make up our minds based on a trifling of information and a gut decision or intuition, influenced by our personal biases. In a week, we’ll have forgotten our condemnations, will be gazing out at some other far off scenario in purported need of our thoughts and opinions.

  4. So he’s swapped one insane religion for another?  And this makes him safe to release into the public?   arrgh (or something).

  5. Married, has a child, then divorced, obtained a master’s and doctorate, has a roof over his head and three meals a day…..I am seriously doing something wrong.

  6. I don’t know that they’d all be out. The crime might have been famous anyway because it was so bizarre and heinous. Other killers haven’t been released. Susan Atkins wasn’t released even when she was comatose. I think this sucks, truth be known. Barbara Hoyt and others repeatedly stated that Bruce Davis was not really follower but an intended leader, and every bit as mean spirited as Charles Manson. He intended to start his own family. He’s still a suspect for other murders. Do. Not. Like. 

  7. Isn’t anyone else surprised that a man in prison for 40 years on account of murder, is somehow able to find a woman to marry, get married and have a child?
    That is quite weird to me.

  8. I’m in favor of letting him out when one of the people he murdered says it’s OK.  As long as they remain dead, he should be as close to dead as we can manage.

    1. Thank you! Why anyone in their right mind would think it’s ok to take a chance letting a double murderer out of jail defies logic.

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