The Story of the Tate Family
Doris Tate, Mother of the Crime Victims Movement
After the murder of her oldest child, Doris Tate went into a deep depression.
However, she was galvanized into action upon learning that one of the Manson Family murderers was coming up for parole and had managed to amass some letters in support of their release.
With the help of her family and friends she was able to obtain thousands of signatures in protest of the release of any of the convicted Manson Family murderers.
In Sharon's name Doris attended the parole hearings of the members of the Manson Family.
She was the first member of a victim's family ever to speak at a parole hearing and make a victim's impact statement, in the state of California. Doris actively campaigned to see that a law was passed to allow written or oral information about the impact of the crime on the victim and the victim's family at the sentencing hearing and parole hearing of their victimizer. The law was then picked up by the rest of the states in the nation and now victims and relatives of victims are able to have a voice at the trial and the parole hearings of the person who victimized them or their loved ones.
She worked to have conjugal visits for violent offenders rescinded.
Doris Tate supported other victims and survivors of violent crime personally and publicly. She attended parole hearings with them and helped them with their impact statements for the parole board.
Doris also went into prisons and spoke to prisoners who she felt could be rehabilitated, telling them of her loss and the years of depression that followed, in the hopes that they would not, upon release, go on to re offend and commit increasingly violent crimes.
Doris Tate was the recipient of many awards, and commendations for her selfless work in the arena of victim's rights. President George H. W. Bush designated Doris Tate one of the 1000 Points of Light.
The Torch is Passed
Doris Tate passed away in 1992. The Tates were determined that the legacy of their family's work continue. The Tate's younger daughters - Debra and Patti - stepped from behind the scenes and took over the public appearances that Doris Tate had been handling and attending the parole hearings of the Manson Family.
Both Debra and Patti attended the parole hearings of Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. Debra Tate has also attended the parole hearings of Charles Manson.
In June, 2000 Patti Tate passed away. Col Paul Tate followed in May, 2005, leaving Debra Tate, the only surviving member of Sharon's immediate family, to attend the parole hearings and speak in behalf of Sharon.