seemed to make real psychological progress according to the professionals who continued to analyze and treat this broken woman. Yet, even 21 years after the murders, as soon as a psychologist mended one piece of her broken psyche, another disturbing piece of Katie would crack and have to be mended as well. It was like applying chewing gum to thousands of hairline cracks in the wall of a water dam. Did you mend them all? Are there more unseen cracks lying just beneath the surface? And if so, which one would be the dam breaker if left untreated?
Pat’s first evaluation for this new decade of imprisonment came on August 31st and was conducted by Staff Psychiatrist Dr. R.A. Armstrong;
“AXIS 1: No diagnosis AXIS 2: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder in remission….Has underlying depression but showed true feelings and displayed cheerfulness. Has gone through considerable improvement since one year ago and is much less defensive. Starting to show more emotion and more trust….Insight into herself could be improved and expressions of remorse appear rehearsed and contrived.”
Can Anti-Social Personality Disorder ever really be in remission? Could her more out-going nature in prison just be part of the “rehearsed and contrived” description Dr. Armstrong attributes to her supposed feelings of remorse? I find it very doubtful that at the age of 44, Ms. Krenwinkel could ever repress personality traits that have been so ingrained in her for so many decades. And as far as the OCD diagnosis, I can tell you that I myself was diagnosed with OCD decades ago and knowing that Pat and I share the same AXIS 2 diagnosis won’t make me sleep any better tonight. All the advice I could give Pat is don’t purchase a rug or towel with fringe for your prison cell as you’ll spend the rest of your life adjusting those damn strings! At least I don’t suffer from ASPD but just to be on the safe side I’ve chosen NOT to purchase a Model 110 Buck knife from Wal-mart just the same!
The legacy of being a multiple murderer affected not just Pat, her victims and their families but her own family and the world’s view of her as well. Pat’s Father had visited her at CIW every Thursday for over 20 years – her Mother’s conditional love for her daughter being conspicuously absent – and ultimately suffered a heart attack and died in the summer of 2004, most likely a very broken hearted and stressed out man. And during Pat’s 1993 Parole Hearing, when a house fly disturbed the proceedings and one of the Board members threatened to kill the pest, KNBC Channel 4 reporter Conan Nolan, while watching the proceedings from outside CIW by closed-circuit television instinctively uttered, “Why not let Pat kill it?” The ripple-effect from two nights of murder seemed never to quit or die for Pat and whether free or imprisoned I expect she knew that herself.
Even Patti Tate put in her two cents worth on ABC’s “Turning Point” program aired in the same year,
“ They [Manson Women] will say anything to get out. It’s all a lie.” “Don’t show these demonic killers in a good light.” “If you help them, how can you live with yourself? Please just turn your back on these killers and walk away.”
Does this statement apply to Pat? Will she say or do anything to put herself in a better light, to effect a parole date? And Dr. Armstrong’s diagnosis of her ASPD being in remission, is that just the result of Pat’s award-winning performance in her psychotherapy sessions? And real personality improvement or not, how am I suppose to give Pat and her killing cronies the benefit of the doubt when they opt for a Parole Hearing every legal chance they get? The only Manson family killer that gets a gold star from me, whether deserved or not, is Charlie himself, because he KNEW such hearings would be a waste of time and quit them when he felt the political winds blow against his release. That, and sending the Parole Board an envelope one year with three Monopoly game $100 dollar bills and a “Get Out Of Jail Free” Community Chest card seems allot more productive and a lot less expensive to the California tax payers than showing up for these circus performances and being predictably berated by a Board that you know will grant Jack The Ripper a parole date before any Manson killer receives one.
And with every right to a new Hearing, the victims’ family members have to relive those two summer nights over and over again; that the act of agreeing to yet another Hearing seems justification enough to keep these killers behind bars just for the emotional torture they continuously inflict on those family members. And IF Pat was indeed starting to feel real remorse for her actions, as her psychiatrists claim, you would think those feelings would prevent her from putting these family members through any more trauma; but Pat – as with Tex, Sadie, Lulu, Cupid and Bruce - seems to put her needs and wants ahead of others, just like she so obviously did all those years ago.
As with everything in Life, the only constant is change, and change was evident in the following psych evaluation done on Pat November 25, 1993 by Dr. Clabel,
“AXIS 1 & 2 – no diagnosis. Diagnosed with Polysubstance abuse in remission with passive aggressive tendencies…uses her intellect to control her rebellious past who has achieved a good balance in her emotional functioning. Neither given to depression or being overly active, she’s able to lead a rather stable life and has developed appropriate feminine interests in guiding her progress. Overall, no mental disorder is expressed in the profile and it has been stable over the years.”
Yeesh! Will these shrinks ever make up their minds?! How can Pat go from OCD and ASPD in 1990 to having neither – in remission or not – in 1993? These personality disorders aren’t like pick-up sticks, ya know! You don’t have them one day hard-wired into your psyche and then a mere three years later have no evidence that either existed in the first place. With Clabel’s non-diagnosis, it seems like Pat is back to square one psychologically speaking and is left swinging in the wind without further need for therapy if no AXES diagnoses are indicated. It is this shoddy , inconsistent (mis)treatment that will ensure Pat’s inability to improve and most likely will be the deciding factor against any future parole date being set. Without being too jaded, I’m beginning to wonder if the shrinks at CIW don’t purposely contradict themselves so that a) disturbed convicts will have less of a chance at full rehabilitation and release or, b) cell doors remain locked for political reasons. One wonders with such divergent diagnoses that Pat, her lawyer and her family and friends couldn’t request an independent analysis be done, by a profession psychologist removed from and not associated with CIW or the California Board of Prison Terms. I know if I were her lawyer, I would request - in fact demand – the same, as you’ll never convince me that a human being can be an orange one year and three years later be an apple.
The only light at the end of this confusing psychological tunnel is in Dr. Clabel’s assessment summation, whereby he states,
“It is apparent that the understanding of her role in the quote, ‘Manson Family’, unquote, has helped Inmate Krenwinkel to clearly see her dependency on this manipulator and her subservient role at the time. Her improved understanding and her newly found assertiveness and activities have helped her to change her understanding of her responsibility in the shocking and horrendous criminal activity, especially as her innocent victims are concerned.”
On her excuses for her crimes, he states,
“…she certainly does not, at this time, and she’s fully aware of her totally unwarranted and senseless crime. As a matter of fact, when describing [her] crime, she became emotionally involved in a manner that proves her remorse and understanding.”
On her mental status examination, Dr. Clabel goes on to state,
“She is now able to present herself on her own and as a full participant in discussions. She was very cooperative during the interview and open about her feelings and not at all ambivalent and defensive as described in prior reports….This time, the impression was the opposite. It can be clearly stated that the improvement this inmate has made over the last three years is substantial and positively affecting her personality. Her major progress is in her ability to gain insight into herself and in being informative and aware of herself. She has learned to communicate this new understanding and present herself in a positive, clear manner even when she has to talk about the worst aspects of herself such as her involvement in the crime. From this new understanding, her expressions, remorse and compassion becomes believable.
There was no sign of mental disorder presented in the interview and she appeared fully functionable (sic) and able to conduct her life. She presents herself as functioning on a higher than average intellect level and as being in control emotionally, well balanced and having gained insight into her prior problems. She is able to function well in any social setting that she’s placed in….there is no significant relationship between the crime and the present diagnosis. During observation in the institution, especially during the last three years, she has significantly psychologically improved and is still improving. And in a less controlled environment, this inmate is expected to improve further. Suggested action is that she continues in her therapy and in her therapeutic activities….At present, her violence potential is estimated to be well below average.”
No AXES diagnoses but continued therapy indicated. Is this a psychological oxymoron? Is this a CYA (Cover Your Ass) kind of diagnosis? As if to say, nope, no disorder in this girl here but keep her on the shrink’s couch anyhoo, just so I won’t be sued for malpractice if you let her out and she slices and juliennes someone again! Ahhh, okay doc, whatever you say…
And of course, there was no surprise decision in Pat’s December 29, 1993 Parole Hearing. The Board predictably instructed Pat to remain disciplinary free, continue to participate in self-help and therapy programs and upgrade vocationally and academically when possible. Coming face-to-face with her victim’s family members for the first time since her conviction I’m sure was quite traumatic for Pat and Patti Tate, afterwards Patti describing Pat’s demeanour as “confused and cold-hearted”.
Through the years 1994-96, Pat continued with psychotherapy in group sessions with a Dr. Burg and received excellent reports while continuing her participation with AA/NA & CODA – a self-help program dealing with co-dependency and family dynamics within alcoholic families and relationships. From 1995-96, Pat attended weekly therapy group sessions with Dr. Ponath and Dr. Janish and participated in group sessions in 1996 on ‘abuse on bonding’ issues.
Improvement seemed to be the watch word for Pat until the devastating January 16, 1997 evaluation given by Dr. Robert D. McDaniel, a psychiatrist “recently hired by the Board of Prison Terms”, as stated in the CharlieManson.com Krenwinkel biography. Dr. McDaniel was considered by many to be quite a controversial psychiatrist, an accused misogynist who was considered to have very little respect for women. Many inmates at CIW were frightened of this man and some even refused to be seen by him. All three Manson women received devastating reports which obviously weren’t received well by the Board of Prison Terms.
What was significant though was that Dr. McDaniel concurred with Dr. Clabel’s 1993 evaluation that AXES 1 & 2 in Ms. Krenwinkel had no diagnoses.
Yet Dr. McDaniel was unable to understand Pat’s inability to a) remember the large amount of blood letting on Gibby, Pat stating, “Not that I remember.” and b) that Dr. McDaniel found it “notable that the bloodletting of Abigail Folger did not cause any degree of revulsion such that the second murder [LaBiancas] became impossible.”
To my knowledge, none of the Tate-LaBianca killers have ever referred to or obsessed about the amount of blood-letting at both crime scenes and this omission of fact sits uneasily with me despite, at least, Pat’s improved mental state. I find it almost impossible for someone to be able to forget or fail to observe the amount of blood that was present on the victims and around the crime scenes. To remember writing in the red stuff but not to remember it was around in pools and splotches all over the damn place for easy dipping is incredible. Can long-term abuse of hallucinogens or the fact that the murders were committed in subdued lighting cause this over-sight, and if not, then why don’t any of these killers remember the blood?
And until these killers remember the blood or until the psychiatrists enable them to remember the blood, the key to these killers becoming full-fledged remorseful human beings seems far off or impossible. Maybe that’s the difference and the definition of a sociopathic killer – this tiny omission of fact.
Regression hypnosis anyone???
Dr. McDaniel further states,
“I believe the inmate still to some degree considers herself at the expense of others. She fails to appreciate the safety of others and will place her own needs ahead of theirs.”
Sociopathic diagnosis anyone???
For all the years of incarceration, for all the years removed from her family and from The Family and for all the years of psychotherapy and introspection, Pat and the other Manson killers can’t stop singing the “Oh woes me!” rather than the “Oh woes my victims!” song when all is said and done. Pat and the others are sorry for their actions, they can recite verbatim those actions yet their emotions speak of the hurt they have cause themselves and the hurt others have caused to them more than the damage they caused to their victims. There seems to be a mental firewall that doesn’t allow Pat to see her actions through her victims’ eyes, only through her own. And it is my layman’s guess that this firewall is hard-wired from birth and no amount of information, introspection, or ownership of ones actions will enable Pat to break through that wall, to lie down on that Tate front lawn or to lie down on that LaBianca living room carpet and feel and experience the horror that she forced on Gibby, Rosemary or Leno.
Dr. McDaniel points to a story Pat told to demonstrate her own psychological improvement;
“…the inmate [Pat] describes an incident in which another inmate became terrified after she accidentally splashed inmate Krenwinkel with water. The inmate [Pat] will use this event to illustrate how she herself now takes things easy and does not become easily upset. This event relates how the inmate [Pat] did not feel compelled to re-assure the woman who was terrified but instead felt that the situation was something she could use to illustrate her own improvement.
When I (the doctor) hear this myself however, I wonder what look of fear she saw upon her victim’s faces, what look of fear she saw upon this other woman and how easily it is for this inmate [Pat] to see the look of fear on other people without feeling the need to re-assure them in some way. While the inmate [Pat] states she laughed and turned away, thereby indicating to the other woman that no offense was taken. I wonder if this is how the other person felt.
I see this as a common thread where the inmate [Pat] tends to use others for her own purposes. Clearly, the inmate is not with murderous rages like before but her style of thinking, in my opinion, remains somewhat similar. while this inmate has good disciplinary record and appears to be someone who uniformly impresses others with good work ethic. She is also someone who does not share the horror of bloodletting as might be expected by the typical person.”
Again, how Pat is affected by others but not how others are affected by Pat is where Pat’s moral compass is set. And the absence of any bloodletting memory or the horror associated with the act of bloodletting seems to point to a predatory human being, someone concerned more about their own needs/wants than of the affect those needs/wants might have on others. If there exists predators in the animal kingdom, why then is it so far-fetched to believe that there are human predators living amongst us, that were born killers, despite their upbringing or their life experiences, despite drug abuse or psychological abuse, despite Charlie and The Family? Maybe Pat, Susan, Charles Watson, Bobby, Leslie and Bruce were all just waiting for the right time, the right night, the right knife and the right victim to come into their lair, and with or without the warped wishes of one 5 foot 2 inch ex-con guru, those victims would ultimately fall prey to their desires sooner or later.
Dr. McDaniel continues;
“….I am unsure however [despite her disciplinary record and good work ethic], how she considers the needs of others as compared to her own and express some [un]certainty as to her future behaviour….I am less certain weather (sic) she poses a violent potential in the community as I continue to see a style of thinking that is reminiscent of her crime. In the remaining period the inmate should continue her present rehabilitation period which perhaps may need to focus more on how her behaviour affects other individuals and what her responsibilities is (sic) to someone whom she induces fear and weather (sic) she should place her own needs ahead of someone else’s.”
The CharlieManson.com Krenwinkel bio continued to state, Pat’s lawyer,
“…claimed that there was damaging speculations in the report about her relationship with Patricia. The doctor also mentioned in the report that Patricia did not feel she was placing anyone at risk by demanding to know the addresses and phone numbers of her victims [families].”
Well, heck, why should they be scared that a home-invasion multiple spree murderer might know the exact location where they might be found. I know I’d have no problem emailing my location and activity schedule to old Charlie if he ever gets free…OMG!!!! Is Pat smokin’ or snortin’ something good again or what?
Needless to say, the Board of Prison Terms was not favourably impressed by Pat’s psychological evaluation and in short order denied her right to apply for parole for the maximum 5 year term, as another decade of denials and incarceration came to a close.
And as the millennium dawned, Pat found God for the first time in prison basically through the encouragement of others in her 12 Step AA/NA program and for her own personal desire to be forgiven for her past deeds. She waived her right to a Parole Board Hearing in 2002 as her lawyer had retired and Dr. McDaniel was still in residence at CIW so a positive psych evaluation was hardly expected.
Despite a different psychiatrist, Pat received a less than flattering evaluation from Staff Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Hu on March 30, 2004, stating,
“diagnosis: Axis I and Axis II, no diagnosis.
Throughout the description of the crimes that lead to her incarceration, the inmate demonstrated no emotion…., I am unable to detect any remorse or regret expressed by this inmate regarding the crime. The inmate acknowledged that she knew the difference between right and wrong at the time of the commission of the crime; however, she felt overwhelmed and mortified by Mr. Charles Manson such that she felt she had not committed the crime she would have been killed for refusing Mr. Manson’s directive.”
…so it was okay to kill others but damned if she was gonna die…yep, I’ll betcha that was delivered with heart-felt crocodile tears to the Board of Prison Terms, I’m sure!!!
[Pat had] “…indicated that she had been brainwashed by Charles Manson and who in essence took over control of her actions. She stated that despite her mortal fear that she would be killed by Mr. Manson, she was still unable to accomplish the instructions he gave her regarding killing the victims. Although she has not demonstrated herself to be dangerous within the past interval, I have some concerns with respect to her ability for parole. She has yet to demonstrate remorse or regret for her actions and has not been able to recognize the loss that the victims’ families suffered over the years. It is my opinion that she has maintained a habitual pattern of diffusing the intensity and severity of the crime by acknowledging in a subtle manner that it was Mr. Manson who was ultimately responsible for the commission of these crimes….”
Again, same “Oh woes me!” song, second verse…anda one anda two…
Maybe she is not psychopathic in nature as Dr. McDaniel suggested, that a “character logic trait” is at work here to make this once passive aggressive girl into un unfeeling killer. Either way, her victims are still dead and she is still in prison, so does it really matter with what moniker we label her? The root excuse for Pat and the other Manson murderers always seems to be “Charlie made me do it!” and that excuse tastes sour in my mouth so I can imagine the crappy taste the victims’ families experience every day of their lives.
In Pat’s Parole Hearing on July 7, 2004, she laid her eyes on the surviving family members of the LaBiancas and Jay Sebring and I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, went through Pat’s mind when she saw Jay’s nephew, Anthony DiMaria. Talk about Anthony being the reincarnation of his Uncle! (Jay 1969 Above/Anthony 2004 Below) Or would that character logic trait failing in Pat prevent her from seeing and feeling what I see and feel when I look at Anthony?
Is the difference just that…my ability to imagine myself as Gibby, lying on that dry, brittle, moisture-starved grass beneath my flimsy white nightgown as my head laid motionless beside that storm drain, as Katie plunged and slashed her way through my skin and bone, rolling me over and repeating the same to my back and to my front, careful not to miss an inch of me? And how helpless I imagined myself as Rosemary and Leno, the fear of the unknown and the inability to swallow with that pillowcase over my head and that lamp cord wrapped around my neck. And just because I wasn’t making any more guttural sounds, could Katie not feel what I have imagined I would have felt had I been Leno on that living room carpet, still alive and still able to feel pain as she slowly and deeply carved those letters into my stomach with my own kitchen knife. And if she said Leno was already dead when she did those things to him, then how come she watched the fork wobble back and forth in his stomach – my stomach as I imagined myself struggling to take my last breaths?
Maybe that is the difference and maybe Katie isn’t such an enigma after all. Maybe it comes down to you and I having no problem imagining that pain and horror and Pat wondering how we do it. I don’t think that was a trick Charlie taught these unfeeling human beings. I think that was a trick they knew well and had practised long before Charlie and long before the word Buck meant anything but a male deer….