January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969
“It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.”
I LOVE that line. If you’ve ever been up to that house at night, you know exactly what they meant. Here’s an evening view from the house.
I wish I could include more about this case, but it’s been gone over so many times, by too many people. I do have some cool pictures though, so check it out please. It’s curious that so many people are obsessed with this case, including yours truly. 1999 marks the 30th anniversary of the murders. Just try to get a table at the El Coyote that night. Anyway, I’ll try to keep faithful.
In the summer of 1969, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were renting the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, in Los Angeles.
Sharon was 8 months pregnant, and Roman was working in London, but returning to LA in a week or so for the birth of their baby. Folger and her boyfriend, Frykowski, were also staying in the house, until Roman’s return. A man named Rudolph Altobelli owned the joint.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the Charlie Manson and his clan were living at the Spahn Movie Ranch. Here’s what it looks like now. (Photo courtesy of Steve Smith. Thanks Steve.)
George Spahn was a very old, legally blind man that let Manson and his “family” crash at the ranch, in return for upkeep and certain umm, favors. According to legend, Family member Squeaky got her nickname from the noise she made when George ran his hand up her thigh. Yum.
On the night of August 8th, 1969, Sharon and company ate what was to be their Last Supper at the El Coyote Mexican Restaurant, on Beverly Boulevard.
Anyway, the reservation was made under the name Sebring. Sebring was a very successful men’s hair stylist, an ex fiancé of Sharon, and now good friend to both Sharon and Roman. The group left the restaurant to return to Cielo Drive for the last time.
Manson sent the psycho posse out on their infamous errand. Tex Watson, Pat Krenwinkle, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasabian (coz she was the only one with a driver’s license) got in a 1959 Ford, and drove to the house on Cielo Drive.
They arrived around midnight. Tex cut the phone lines, which landed on the gate.
They scaled the hillside beside the gate, for fear of electric shock.
Once on the other side, they encountered Steve Parent, 18, driving towards them in his white Rambler. Parent was visiting William Garretson, the caretaker – and trying to sell him a radio. Garretson was staying in the guest cottage,at the far end of the property.
Watson tells the girls to hide when the headlights head their way. Tex held up his hand and ordered Parent to “HALT.” “Please don’t hurt me, I won’t say anything,” were Steve’s last words. Bang bang bang bang. Point blank distance. Wrong place, wrong time. Big Time.
Tex slit a screen in back of the house,
and crawled in a window, and let the girls in, sans Linda who was a lookout and snitch. Voytek was sleeping on the couch in the living room in front of the fireplace.
Susan scoped the house, and saw Folger reading a book in a back bedroom. Atkins waved to her, and Folger waved back. Susan then saw Sharon and Jay conversing in the other bedroom.
Susan herded them all into the living room, and lined them up near the fireplace.
This is when it got really nasty. Tex says he wrapped a rope around Sebring’s neck and then slung it up over one of the rafters that ran across the room.
He started to tie the rope around Sharon’s neck, and the other end around Jay’s.
Jay protested, pleading that Sharon was pregnant, so Tex shot him twice. That was him done with. Of course Sharon and Abigail flipped out big time. Atkins had tied Voytek’s hands with a towel (yes. A towel. I know.), so when Tex ordered her to kill him, and she hesitated, Voytek got loose, and a horrible grisly fight began. He got it worse than any of them, but then he just wouldn’t give up. He made it out the front door
and onto the front lawn,
but was stabbed 51 times, shot, and pistol-whipped. They even broke the handle of the gun on his skull. Folger flipped and tried to run out the back bedroom,
but Krenwinkle tackled her, and Tex finished her off just outside.
Folger’s last words were, “I give up. You’ve got me.” That left Sharon pleading for the life of her baby. The last words she heard were “Woman, I have no mercy for you.” Good ol’ Tex stabbed her 16 times.
Afterwards the killers covered Sebring’s head with a bloody towel, tied the other end of the rope to Sharon’s body, and used Tate’s blood to write the word “PIG” on the door.
June 2002 Mark Ashley sends us this: Thought you might like this picture of the door step of the house on Cielo Drive.
The next morning, Winifred Chapman, the maid, showed up to work. She let herself in the kitchen entrance,
and made her lovely discovery. Winifred was immortalized by her next action, running out the gates and down the road screaming those immortal words, “Murder, death, bodies, blood!”
The only living person on the premises was Garretson.
He was arrested, but he claimed he didn’t hear a thing, and probably didn’t, because it was a considerable distance from the guesthouse.
He was eventually released, so he could pursue his lifetime of therapy.
Roman was in his London flat when he got the phone call about the slayings.
He took the next flight back to LA, heavily sedated, I might add.
See their Death Certificates and Graves.
Steve Parent – Find a Grave
Wojciech Frykowski – Find a Grave
Abigail Folger – Find a Grave
Jay Sebring – Find a Grave
Sharon Tate – Find a Grave
Update – Janaury 28, 2015: Yawwwwnnnn. The best part of waking up….
The front page of Sharon’s Autopsy report.
After the murders, the address of the house was changed to 10066(?) Cielo Drive. The house was bought in 1991 by Al Weintraub, and he had it torn down in 1994.
A gigantic structure called “Villa Bella” has been built in its place.
Rumor has it that they can’t give it away. Here are the new gates to the property.
About the new house they built there, I found it on Century 21’s website. They dropped the price considerably. $8,000,000. Haha, what a steal. Someone finally bought it. They had interior and exterior views on IPIX (360 degree views), and they probably still have them in archive. The telephone pole is still there, that’s how I identified it. Anyhow, I thought that might be useful info.
Tons o’ Trivia: Sharon was originally cast as one of the “Petticoat Junction” girls
but they canned her because the producer, Marty Ransohoff, claimed she was too beautiful for a mere supporting role in television. Truth was, she couldn’t act her way out of a bag. Thanks to Findadeath.com friend, Michael, for that tidbit. She also appeared in the Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Ed, and even dated Max (Jethro) Baer at one point.
Jay Sebring appeared in an episode of Batman, playing hairdresser “Mr. Oceanbring.” Clever. Thanks again Michael. It was a Julie Newmar/Catwoman episode, called “The Bat’s Kow Tow.”
Received from Findadeath.com friend, Tara – January 3, 2002: I just got a tiny tidbit of info on the Manson case. I was at a game show audition yesterday in LA and there was an older lady there who was once Doris Day’s secretary. Her first day of work was the Monday after the Manson killings and she says when she got there, there were cops everywhere, loads of undercover non-uniform cops because of Terry Melcher and the fact that it was his old house where everything had happened.
August 2, 1964- Bruce gives a demonstration at Ed Parker’s International Karate Tournament in Long Beach, California. Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring (and one of the infamous Manson murder victims) is present and is very impressed by Bruce Lee. He later brings him to the attention of producer William Dozier (Batman). No doubt this lead to Bruce being cast as Kato in The Green Hornet.
The music group, “Nine Inch Nails,” were the last people to live in the house. Upon leaving the house, and knowing it was going to be demolished, lead singer Trent Reznor supposedly took the front (PIG) door with him. I went to the house just as they dismantled the fireplace, and grabbed a pile of the stones. They are prized possessions.
Here are letters I’ve received from LA County deputy district attorney Vincent Bugliosi.
& killer Tex Watson
Officer William Richard Walley was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene. It was his first big case. In 1994, Walley was one of the first officers to arrive at Nicole Simpson’s house.
Finally, there was no party at the house that night. Abigail Folger was reading a book in bed, Voyteck was asleep on the sofa. No one was invited to the house, except for Robert Evans, the producer and a friend of Roman and Sharon’s. He was going to keep an eye on Sharon until Roman got back. That night he phoned. Lucky him.
The character that Warren Beatty plays in SHAMPOO is based on Jay Sebring.
Sharon’s only living sibling Debra, has a website for Sharon, sent to us by Findadeath.com friend, Robert. Here it is. Thanks Robert!
March 2002 – Findadeath.com friend, JDavis, sends us this: Sharon worked with Bruce Lee in the 1969 movie The Wrecking Crew with Dean Martin. Bruce was helping them to do the fight scenes. Here a pic of Bruce and Sharon together not long before her death.
Thanks J Davis. I love that film. It is awful, on an epic scale. Anyone – get this movie. Martin slurs through the entire thing, and a couple of times, Sharon is actually pretty funny!
UPDATE December 2004, from Findadeath friend, Kevin: In the early 80s, my Mom was an ER nurse at a hospital in Covina, CA. She was given a few tickets to the hospital’s Octoberfest, and she offered one to me. I showed up, and ate dinner with Mom and a friend of hers, another nurse. I was introduced, and the conversation sort of rambled as we ate. Somehow the topic came up (this was a long time ago, so I don’t remember how) that this woman was Steve Parent’s fiancé, the guy who was the first one killed at the Tate house by the Manson family. She is pictured in the Bugliosi book with Parent. It was an interesting conversation; she related how she had tried suing everyone with any connection to the book to try to get her picture removed, but to no avail. She had also had to hide her whereabouts for years, for fear of the Manson family finding her to finish the job.|Thanks, Kevin!
For more on the Barker Ranch, go here.
30 thoughts on “Sharon Tate – The Tate Murders”
Linda Kasabian has died at them age of 73.
Random but- a co-worker of mine met Charles Manson while Manson was incarcerated. Co-worker said he felt Manson was a “evil” person. (This guy was a pretty open-minded, btw.) IMO it was a matter of time before Manson and his followers got caught. I don’t understand how anyone glorifies what they all did. California seems to be doing away with the death penalty for mostly political reasons, but IMO life in prison or death for murder are two equally unpleasant outcomes.
Found loads of information on this case .including case files police notes etc. If anyone interested.here’s a link hopes works :
It’s a shame what happened, but I wish the original house was still there.
RIP to all the victims.
Jeff Franklin had the gathering after Bob Saget’s funeral at his monstrous replacement on Cielo Drive.
Let them rot in jail. I hope it slowly eats away at them, ultimately leaving them wishing for death instead.
Hi Scott, I watched Six Degrees of Helter Skelter last night/early this morning. Excellent documentary. I wasn’t sure if I should share this story or not but I guess I can. Recently, I made a new friend who was at the California Institute For Women (not sure if that’s the right name) and was able to associate with Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten (oh my God, how sad is it that my phone comes up with the names right away when I start to type). So, Susan Atkins had been married and at one point had thought that she was pregnant, and was going around bragging about it to the other inmates. My friend turned to her and said, “Well, at 8 months, let’s hope no one comes up to you and tells you ‘look, b****, I have no mercy for you’ “. At first, I didn’t know what to say to my friend, bc I would have told a gloating Susan Atkins the same thing. I never thought I’d find myself two degrees of separation from the Manson girls and yet here I am.
I read that the killers, so far, have been up for parole at least 125 times. What torture this puts the families through, Especially the Tate family, who for years seem to be the only ones who actually went to the parole board. None of the family members of the “victims” (I hate that word) will never have rest. These killers all should have been put to death years ago.
An old friend of my brother’s who worked for Peter Folger’s (Abigail’s dad) second wife in the 70s tells a few stories that she heard from some of the long time Folger family employees. Apparently after his daughter’s funeral Folger had a nervous breakdown and after a week of refusing to leave his room disappeared for about five days. No one was concerned because supposedly Mrs. Folger (who had an employee who kept tabs on her husband) knew where he was the whole time. However, it was never clear to anyone else where he went, and when he came back he looked like death warmed over.
For a couple of years after her death, Folger would occasionally make caustic remarks about Frykowski if anyone brought up his daughter or the murder. He totally blamed him for his daughter’s death saying that if he hadn’t introduced her to “those people” she would have never died.
Folger hired his own private investigator to trying find out who had killed his daughter but it was the police who caught them. He hosted a small party after Manson and crew where given the death penalty. When the death penalty was taken away in 72, he wrote a bitchy letter to one of the California Supreme Court judges who had been a personal friend. His lawyers also had a long running agenda of sending letters to the parole board to try and ensure that none of the Manson family got out on parole. His son has supposedly made sure that this continued.
Family members should have no say on whether or not prisoners are paroled. The criminal justice system should not exist to soothe people’s feels, nor should it act as anyone’s personal therapist. In addition, it does not matter what type of person the victim was—whether he or she was a light that shone all too briefly on this old Earth, touched the life of everyone who met him or her, whose smile lit up a room, who is sorely missed, or a total dick that everyone hated and nobody has a good word for. It doesn’t matter. A death is a murder, or it’s manslaughter, or it’s an accidental death which has been mistaken for murder, what have you, no matter what type of person the dead person was, so there is no reason to talk about it.
While there are parole hearings, let anyone from the Folger, Kummer or Tate appear. That is the system and that’s how it should be. Besides, how can you favor them when they had no consideration and murder a pregnant woman? Seriously, I hope that no one experiences loosing a relative from a murder, and certainly, when they had nothing to do with Charles Manson.
Let them rot in jail. I hope it slowly eats away at them, ultimately leaving them wishing for death instead.
I doubt that Steven Parent, at age eighteen, working two jobs, and just about to start college, had a “fiance”. In the book “Helter Skelter”, Vince Bugliosi and/or whoever his ghost writer was says that Parent dated a few girls, but none of the relationships were serious. I also can’t understand why that woman would think she would be targeted by the Manson Family. That seems a really silly thought.
Sharon Tate could act, her Beverly Hillbillies Episodes are quite funny. Her best 3 roles were Eye Of The Devil as Odile, The Wrecking Crew as Freya & Valley Of The Dolls as Jennifer. I liked her in 12 + 1 as Pat but she was ok in The Fearless Vampire Killers as Sarah and Don’t Make Waves. Sharon wanted to do light comedies but we will never know as fate stepped in..
I’m confused about the letter from Tex Watson. Is he married, with children? Don’t tell me he has conjugal visits!?!?
Watson got married in 1979 and had conjugal visits for seventeen years, during which time he fathered four children. However, conjugal visits for life prisoners were banned in 1996, and Watson and his wife divorced in 2003.
The opening quote on you site about being able to hear ice rattling in people’s cocktails, was a line written by Joan Didion. Not anything to do with any of the killers.
may you rest in peace in the tate murder
linda you cant hide from us
Nice, considering Susan Atkins has been dead for years, you psycho
Don’t know if anybody cares but the remaining members of old Charlie’s family that are incarcerated are coming up for parole this year. Actually Bruce Davis was recommended for parole on 1/22/21 and they’re trying to get the governor to overturn the recommendation. Anybody who wants to sign the petitions can go here https://noparoleformansonfamily.com/ and do so. There’s an option to leave nasty little comments about why you think they shouldn’t be let free, which of course I did and briefly wondered if I’d be getting a visit myself. Oh well.. I said briefly! LOL
I don’t believe that the public should have any say whatsoever about whether or not a convict is paroled, so thanks but no thanks.
You may feel differently if a loved one of yours were murdered
I disagree. When these people are paroled they will be living in communities in Southern California. Since they committed cold blooded murder that they were seemed to be unrepentant if I were a resident of So Cal I wouldn’t want any of them living in my neighborhood.
Why? The public had a say in putting him there. Why shouldn’t they also have a say in keeping a criminal in?
I believe what was actually said to sharon Tate was “look bitch, you’re going to die, I have no mercy for you”…………that may have been followed with “deal with it” but I can’t remember for sure.
Something not really mentioned alot is that Cielo is Spanish for heaven……..far from that on that night huh. R.I.P. victims
I believe poor Miss Tate was stabbed by Atkins, & not Watson, according to multiple reports I’ve read or seen over the years. Of course, Atkins recanted her guilt after bragging to a cell mate that she indeed plunged the knife. All the killers should’ve been given the death penalty immediately after being found guilty, saving taxpayers millions in dollars!
They WERE given the death penalty. But all sentences were commuted to life when capital punishment was on hold in the 70s.
My point was that the death sentences shouldn’t have been commuted to life in prison. Thank the Supreme Court for that! The murders occurred before 1972 when the death penalty was abolished for cruel & unusual punishment. I love the irony there!