The man responsible for the murders of her sister and her unborn nephew may be dead, but Debra Tate says she is praying for his soul.
Tate, the sister of the famed actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by members of Charles Manson's cult in August 1969 while she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, says she's forever connected to Manson.
"I said a prayer for his soul," Tate told PEOPLE of the moment after she received a call from a prison official informing her of Manson's death Sunday evening.
Manson, who died Sunday night at the age of 83 while serving nine terms of life in prison, is responsible for the deaths of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. His cult members carried out their deaths during a two-day murder spree in California in 1969.
"Each one of these people and myself now have our spirits or our wills are slightly entangled," she said about Manson and his followers (Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and now deceased Susan Atkins) who were also convicted.
Despite the brutal murders, Tate, who was 16 at the time of her sister's murder, says she never wished ill on Manson or any of his followers.
When Atkins died from cancer in 2009, Tate 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 said. "I cried a tear and I asked for forgiveness on her soul. I'll do the same thing when Charlie dies."
Despite her capacity for forgiveness, Tate fought hard to keep Manson and his followers locked up.
"These are sociopaths," she says. "They're no less violent today then they were then."
Manson was denied parole 12 times throughout his life sentence in prison before he died. In September, Van Houten was found suitable for parole by a panel of the board of parole hearing commissioners in Corona, California, PEOPLE reports.
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 died Sunday night from natural causes after a week of hospitalization. His health had reportedly been declining for the past year, and he was hospitalized earlier this year for intestinal bleeding but was determined too weak to survive the required surgery.