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When her then 10-year-old daughter picked up the phone and told her, "Mom, it’s Charlie again," Mary Neiswender says she thought she may have gotten too close to a story as a reporter at a Long Beach newspaper. Through a jail house contact, Neiswender spoke to Charles Manson before his trial -- and has maintained contact for four decades. Manson's chance to be paroled was rejected this week. NBC4's Gordon Tokumatsu reports.
A California panel denied parole for a 12th time Wednesday to mass murderer Charles Manson, convicted in the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and four others 43 years ago at a Benedict Canyon house in the hills above Los Angeles.
Manson, serving a life sentence at Corcoran State Prison, has made a habit of not attending the hearings, and did not appear at Wednesday's hearing.
Tate's sister, Debra, attended the hearing in what has become a way to remember the victims of Manson and his minions.
"I'm done with him," Tate said after the hearing.
She spoke with the Associated Press before the panel met about what motivates her to attend Manson's hearings.
"I've tried to take this thing that I do, that has become my lot in life, and make it have purpose,'' the 59-year-old Tate, who was 17 in August 1969 when Manson ordered the slayings, told the Associated Press. "I've been doing it for Sharon and the other victims of him for the last 40 years.''
Under current law, inmates can be denied the chance to reapply for parole for up to 15 years. At 77, the hearing might be Manson's last -- he would not be eligible for another hearing until he is 92.
"I'm done with him," Debra Tate said after the hearing.
New photos of Manson released last week show him with long gray hair and a beard. His life in prison has included a stream of visitors who submit requests to see him, according to prison officials.
Tate told the AP she also would like to see him -- hoping to look him in the eye and remind the parole panel of the victims' suffering.
"I want to lock eyes with him and walk them through everything done to each and every one of my friends, blow by blow,'' she told the AP.