Manson family member Leslie Van Houten to be paroled
Fox News correspondent Christina Coleman has the latest on one of the women convicted in the Manson family murders being one step closer to parole on ‘Fox News Live.’
FIRST ON FOX: Bruce Davis, a member of Charles Manson’s murderous cult “family” that committed a series of California murders in 1969, had his latest parole hearing postponed after appearing on a true crime podcast.
“He wanted my help and the help of my followers to ask him questions about his past to jog his memory for stories for the book,” said Keith Rovere, a former prison chaplain and the host of “The Lighter Side of Serial Killers.”
Rovere interviewed Davis in February 2023 and April 2023 about his Christian faith in prison and the book he was writing behind bars.
CALIFORNIA CHILD KILLER WHO BEAT 3-YEAR-OLD TO DEATH TO WALK FREE UNLESS GOV. NEWSOM OVERRULES PAROLE BOARD
Bruce Davis, the Manson Family “X” carved in his forehead, walks with his attorney, Daye Shinn, after he surrendered himself to authorities outside the Hall of Justice. Davis was under indictment and later convicted of the 1969 murder of Gary Hinman. (Bettmann/Getty Images)
They discussed Davis’ first encounter with Manson, life on the cult’s Los Angeles ranch and anecdotes about other members and people in Manson’s orbit, including the Beach Boys.
Davis described Manson as a “little, undersized person” with outsize influence over his followers.
“I know from the dark side,” Davis told Rovere over the phone from inside San Quentin State Prison.
Rovere told Fox News Digital the subject of Davis’ crimes did not come up. But Davis did discuss how Manson attracted a following and how cult members were frequently high on drugs.
Bruce Davis, right, a former member of the Manson Family, meets with his lawyer, Michael Beckman, moments before the start of a parole hearing at the California Men’s Colony Oct. 4, 2012, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Joe Johnston/The Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com)
“I know that I don’t know everything,” Davis said. “And there will be some questions that stimulate something that bring something back that is part of the story that I dismissed.”
Davis, 81, has been denied parole dozens of times since his incarceration in 1972 for his role in the murders of Gary Hinman, a 34-year-old musician and friend of several Manson family members, and Donald “Shorty” Shea, a 35-year-old Hollywood stuntman.
Bruce Davis wrote that he was “looking forward” to his January parole board hearing in a Christmas card to podcaster Keith Rovere, who hosted two interviews with the former Manson family member before corrections officials decided to postpone his Jan. 18 hearing. (Keith Rovere)
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He did not kill either of the victims himself and was not accused of taking part in the home invasion murders that killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.
Steve Grogan, another Manson family member convicted in Shea’s murder, was paroled in 1985 after leading investigators to the victim’s remains.
Steve Grogan (left) and Bruce Davis (right), defendants in the murder of movie stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea, are taken into court. (Bettmann/Getty Images)
California prison records show the board granted Davis parole in 2021, but Gov. Gavin Newsom overturned the commissioners’ decision.
More recently, the board denied him parole in July 2022. He was not supposed to be eligible again until 2025, but the following year his application was approved for an administrative review.
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Cameramen film the scene as Charles Manson is brought into the Los Angeles city jail under suspicion of having masterminded the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969. Manson died in 2017 while serving a life prison sentence. (Getty Images)
California Department of Corrections records show that, on Jan. 18, parole officials postponed his suitability hearing. Records show Davis received a new hearing date Aug. 8.
Rovere said the postponement came in direct response to the commissioners learning about the podcast interviews. The prison’s public information officer could not immediately confirm specific details about the hearing.
“If the parole board felt uneasy about him just doing a podcast, who knows what they’ll think,” said Rovere, who regularly hosts some of the country’s most infamous killers on his podcast, including “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz and the “Happy Face killer” Keith Jesperson.
This March 12, 2014, file photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Bruce Davis. (Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)
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Rovere believes in positive interactions with the worst of the worst prisoners.
“Most of the people I talk to aren’t believers and aren’t religious. I don’t push it on them, but that’s my personal foundation,” he said. “It’s mostly about making a positive change in their lives, because no one else is doing it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports