Author Topic: Bruce Davis' role in Manson clan debated  (Read 1114 times)

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Bruce Davis' role in Manson clan debated
« on: June 08, 2010, 16:46 »
Davis' role in Manson clan debated - Knoxville News Sentinel
7 June 2010, 12:08 am
J.J. Stambaugh

Depending on whom you believe, Bruce Davis of Roane County was either Charles Manson’s chief lieutenant or yet another victim of the self-styled guru’s cult of personality.

Prosecutors maintain that Davis, now 67, still poses a risk to the public and believe the true extent of his crimes was never truly brought to light.

His attorney, on the other hand, says that Davis wasn’t a leader in the “Manson Family” and never took another person’s life with his own hands.

The debate over Davis’ role in the Family has been one of the most contentious points in the decades-old battle over parole. While virtually everyone agrees that Davis has been a model prisoner, some believe the only way to adequately pay for his crimes is to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“He was Charles Manson’s chief lieutenant,” said Stephen Kay, a retired Los Angeles County prosecutor who convicted Davis for his role in the 1969 murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Kay points out that most people think of the Tate-LaBianca killings of August 1969 when they think of Manson’s Family. In those murders, groups of Family members slaughtered actress Sharon Tate and six other people. The only male member of the Family present at those killings was Charles “Tex” Watson, and many people have wrongfully assumed that he was Manson’s second-in-command, according to Kay.

“Whenever Manson left the Spahn Ranch, he left Bruce Davis in charge,” Kay said. “Manson was also very interested in Scientology, and he sent Bruce Davis to London to study at the Scientology headquarters so he could come back and brief Manson on all he had learned there.”

Although Davis was later kicked out of Scientology for his drug use, he returned to California in time to take part in the Family’s infamous crime spree that terrorized Southern California through the summer of 1969, Kay said.

“I am very much opposed to Davis being granted parole because of his high position (in the Family) and because he participated in two brutal murders,” said Key. “I don’t feel he should ever be paroled.”

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