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Charles Manson photo released ahead of parole hearing

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The California Department of Corrections has released a new photograph of a long-haired and aged Charles Manson that shows the convicted cult killer with a white beard and still-visible, decades-old swastika scar on his forehead. 

The photo, reportedly taken last June, was released ahead of the 77-year-old's 12th parole hearing, scheduled for next week. The last image released showed the infamous inmate with a buzzcut.

Manson is serving a life sentence at Corcoran State Prison for the killings of seven people, including the gruesome 1969 death of pregnant actress Sharon Tate. 

In January prison guards found a smuggled cellular phone in Manson's jail cell. It was the second time since 2009 that a phone had been found in his quarters.

The L.A. district attorney’s office said it would vigorously oppose the release of the mass murderer, according to KPCC's Patt Morrison show. Manson was originally sentenced to death, however the 1972 ruling was changed in 1977 when the death penalty law was found to be unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.

With contributions from Tony Pierce

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