LOS ANGELES — Infamous US mass murderer Charles Manson was refused parole Wednesday, officials said, in what could be his last review for release after more than 40 years behind bars.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the 77-year-old Manson did not attend his parole review meeting, and would not be eligible for parole again for another 15 years.

"The Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) denied parole today to inmate Charles Manson, 77, at a parole suitability hearing at California State Prison-Corcoran in Kings County," said a CDCR statement.

"It was Manson's 12th parole suitability hearing conducted by a BPH panel. He will be considered for another parole review in 15 years. Inmate Manson did not attend his hearing."

The reason for his ineligibility until 2027 -- when he would be 92 years old, if still alive -- was not clear, although reports suggest it is due to a change in the law. A CDCR spokesman was not immediately available to explain.

A new photograph of Manson, jailed for his role in a series of gruesome murders, was released last week. Dated June 2011, it showed Manson with disheveled gray hair and a full beard.

He still bears a tattoo of a swastika emblazoned on his forehead.

One of the United States' most notorious inmates, Manson is incarcerated at Corcoran state prison, 300 kilometers (180 miles) northwest of Los Angeles. In 2007, he was denied parole for the 11th time.

Manson headed an apocalyptic cult and hatched a plot to commit murders in upscale, mostly white neighborhoods of Los Angeles and then blame the crimes on African-Americans, in hopes of sparking a race war.

He was sentenced to death with four of his disciples for having led an August 1969 killing of seven people, including Sharon Tate, the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant.

Death sentences that were handed down for crimes accompanied by acts of barbarism were commuted to life in prison after executions were halted by California in 1972.

One of Manson's disciples, Leslie Van Houten -- convicted in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home -- was denied parole in 2010.

Another follower, Susan Atkins, died of cancer in prison in 2009. She had mounted over a dozen bids for parole in nearly four decades of incarceration and repeatedly apologized for being part of the brutal crime spree

Manson "family" member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was released from prison in 2009 after serving 34 years for the attempted assassination of US president Gerald Ford.

She did not participate in the 1969 killings, and said she threatened Ford because she wanted to draw attention to environmental issues but had no intention of actually killing him.

The CDCR said the transcript of Wednesday's parole board hearing will serve as the official record. "The transcript is expected to be transcribed and ready in approximately 30 days," it said.