Sharon Tate's Sister Reacts to the Death of Charles Manson: 'I Said a Prayer for His Soul'
"I said a prayer for his soul," Debra Tate, whose sister Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson, tells PEOPLE of learning of Manson's death
Nearly four months after Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate was brutally murdered along with four others at her Los Angeles home, her sister Debra would hear the name Charles Manson for the first time.
Manson, who died Sunday of natural causes, was serving a life sentence for the deaths of seven people, which occurred during a two-day murder spree in August 1969. He is responsible for the deaths of: Tate, who was 81/2 months pregnant; Jay Sebring; Wojciech Frykowski; Abigail Folger; Steven Parent; Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
“I said a prayer for his soul,” Sharon Tate’s sister Debra tells PEOPLE of the moment after she received a call from a prison official informing her of Manson’s death Sunday evening.
For nearly 48 years, Debra says Manson has been a part of her life.
“Each one of these people and myself now have are spirits or our wills are slightly entangled,” she says about Manson and his followers (Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and now deceased Susan Atkins) who were also convicted.
She says she never wished ill of any of the convicted killers. When Atkins died from cancer in 2009 Debra prayed for her soul — and vowed at the time she would do the same for Manson.
“My cross in my bedroom still has the flowers that I slipped into Jesus’s feet when Susan died,” she says. “I cried a tear and I asked for forgiveness on her soul. I’ll do the same thing when Charlie dies.”
Debra believes God will take care of Manson and his followers’ souls after they die, but while alive in prison, she was determined to make sure they never got out.
“These are sociopaths,” she says. “They’re no less violent today then they were then.”
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In September, Van Houten was found suitable for parole by a panel of the board of parole hearing commissioners in Corona, California, PEOPLE confirmed.
The two-member parole panel’s recommendation is required to go the Board of Parole hearings for review, which can take up to 120 days, before being sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown, which could take up to 30 days.
Van Houten was granted parole last year but Brown rejected her release, saying at the time that she posed “an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.”
Manson’s cause of death was released late Sunday evening by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.