Is Patty From 'Aquarius' A Real Person? She's Based On A Very Famous Manson Follower
Charlie has a new girl in his circle in this season of Aquarius , and it didn't take long for Patty to get comfortable with the strange ways of her new friends. In the extra-long Season 2 premiere of the crime drama, a young restaurant employee engages Charlie Manson on the orders of her boss, who wants him and his companions off the premises. Instead, she's drawn into the man's orbit. Patty is ensconced in the Family's commune by her next scene. Her presence on the show has put some historical events into motion. In the Aquarius version of things, Patty introduces Emma and later Charlie to Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson, a brush with fame that indirectly leads to the Cielo Drive and LaBianca murders. The series notoriously throws fictional characters in with portrayals of actual individuals. So, is Patty from Aquarius based on a real person?
The Patty played by Madisen Beaty in Aquarius seems to be a dramatized version of an infamous figure in the bloody legacy of Charles Manson. While some of the women in his company are only credited by first names or nicknames on the show, Patty's full character credit on IMDB is Patricia "Patty" Krenwinkel. Patricia Krenwinkel is very real, and according to The New York Times is still incarcerated in the California Institution for Women for her active role in the Manson Family's killing spree. She has publicly expressed remorse for her crimes, most recently in an interview for the 2014 documentary Life After Manson.
The real Krenwinkel's meeting with the real Charles Manson didn't play out quite like it did on the show. According to the Daily Mail, they actually met in Manhattan Beach when she was 20 after Krenwinkel dropped out of college to live in California with her half-sister. Patty is charmed by Charlie's flattery on Aquarius, but the series hasn't delved into the backstory that made her real-life counterpart so susceptible to his attention and suggestion. In an excerpt from the Life After Manson documentary hosted by The New York Times, Krenwinkel examined her motivations for doing whatever Manson asked, without question. "I wanted to please. I wanted to be loved. I wanted, for the first time, to feel safe," she said.
Aquarius also deviates from history in Krenwinkel's connection to Beach Boy Dennis Wilson — He's an acquaintance in the show; but, according to The Independent, Krenwinkel actually met the musician for the first time when he picked her up while she was hitchhiking. Soon after, Manson and his followers had all but moved into Wilson's home.
The Independent also reported that Krenwinkel, now 68, is the longest-serving female inmate in the entire state of California. She was just 21 when she participated along with several other Family members in the murders of five people in the home of pregnant actress Sharon Tate one August night in 1969, and in the torture and killing of Leo and Rosemary LaBianca the next. Krenwinkel was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder. She was on Death Row by 23; per her Life After Manson interview, that's when Krenwinkel first began to understand the gravity of what she'd done.
I was in a cell 23 hours a day...all of a sudden, having been on Death Row and away of any influence of [Manson] that I was going to have to make the decision of my life. And I could have to say that everything I had ever believed was now wrong. To do that was going to be the most difficult thing I'd ever done. Because I would now have to be fully responsible for the damage, the wreckage, and the horror.
After a law in California temporarily outlawed the death penalty, the Manson Family's sentences were all downgraded to life in prison. According to Life After Manson filmmaker Olivia Kraus and The New York Times, Krenwinkel will be eligible for parole in 2018.
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