It is highly unlikely Charles Manson will ever be freed, the chairman of the state parole board said after the panel refused for the seventh time to release the notorious mass murderer.

"He's still at war with society and definitely a danger . . . but anything is possible," Albert Leddy, chairman of the three-member Board of Prison Terms, told reporters after announcing Wednesday that Manson will remain at San Quentin Prison at least three more years.Manson, leader of a cult-like "family" that in 1969 went on a grisly monthlong murder spree, killing actress Sharon Tate and eight other people, was denied parole by a unanimous vote.

Manson declined to attend the hearing after complaining about being held in handcuffs and a waist chain that was too long. The panel offered to let him come in without chains, pending approval by the warden, but he declined, said spokesman Vernell Crittendon.

"He is vicious and he is terrible," Steven Kay, a deputy district attorney from Los Angeles, told the panel. "He certainly is one of the most vicious killers we have ever had in the history of our country."

Leddy said parole for Manson was rejected because of the nature of the slayings, many of which involved torture and mutilation; an extensive criminal history dating to childhood; an unfavorable psychiatric report; disciplinary problems in prison; and no indication his behavior would change if he were released.