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.
Ford found in 2010
They arrived around midnite. 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.
Gun found 2010
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.
Rope found 2010
Jay protested, pleading thatSharon 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, and 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. Video Rating: / 5