Here is our new friend, Magentagirly. She writes that she was so affected by what happened to Sharon Tate and the others that she wrote some history on the case as well as her own experiences at Sharon's grave. This is good!
I was surfing your website, brilliant by the way, nice job! I read your Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring piece. I have studied those terrible events and the whole sickening story. After something odd happened to me in 2001, I'd like to share it with you.
In March 2001, I was in California staying with my family and I visited Holy Cross Cemetery, Los Angeles, where Ms. Tate and her family are buried. I didn't go purposely to see her grave, I just came across it and I took a photo. I thought you may like to see it. You may put it up, but please accredit me for it. Thanks.:) (It's not exactly a ghost pic, but hey)
I have seen many famous graves, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Karen Carpenter, etc., and many I took photos of, some I didn't. But, I must tell you, when I walked up and stood looking at Sharon and baby Paul's grave, I can't explain what I felt inside. My stomach began to churn, I was nauseous and I felt like a despair. I was having trouble sort of swallowing, like my saliva was thick. Maybe it was just me and my imagination, but at that time I hadn't read and understood the full story of what happened to poor Sharon and the rest of them until that evening. It was a very overwhelming feeling, almost teary. I was uneasy and me being the very rational type, well, it was odd...
My cousin, who was with me, said my face went very pale, it was a sunny, warm California day and I was in a skimpy tee, but suddenly I had to rest a second and I was soo cold and had to get a sweater of my cousin's from the car. At the time, I just thought I had a little funny episode, but the odd thing was, I was great beforehand and when I was away from the grave, walking away, it seemed to ease, then I was fine.
To be honest, I can't explain what happened, maybe it was just a co-occurence, maybe if it was anyone's grave, I would have felt that way, at that moment..I just can't understand it, I've seen to so many famous, non-famous graves...
I've never had any encounters with any strange beings or anything. But I rarely tell people of this, as they would think I was crazy, but it has stuck with me and its just something I can't explain..
Anyway, hope you dig the pic.
And now on to Sharon's story written by Magentagirly. Thank you so much!
I've written an account of what happened to Sharon in 1969, the whole story. I have written the sources I refer to at the bottom of what I wrote. It's put in my own words but, I have read the knowledge from others. Please, if you decide you want to put the story up, please add the sources at the bottom. I hope you find it interesting and respectful. That's what I tried to do anyway... Anyway, hope you're okay. Regards, Magentagirly
The Tate Murders - The Story.
Sharon Marie Tate was born on the 24th of January 1943. Her birthplace was Dallas, Texas. She was an up and coming beautiful, blonde actress. She had been stunning since she was a child and had won beauty contests. Reputedly, she was a very kind, down to earth lady, who had a wonderful figure and a great personality. Everyone had something nice to say about her, but sadly her life was cut short by five stab wounds which penetrated her vital organs, causing colossal haemorrhaging, killing her and her unborn baby. She was insulted further by eleven more punctures.
In 1967, she met director Roman Polanski on the set of the film "The Fearless Vampire Killers" and married him in 1968; the same year as Polanski received critical acclaim for his horror "Rosemary's Baby" starring Mia Farrow.
In 1969, she and Roman rented a house on Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills. Sharon adored the place and called it her "Love House". Sharon was 26 and 8 and a 1/2 months pregnant with Roman's child when she and four others at Cielo Drive were barbarically killed by Charles Manson's "Family" cult followers. That fateful August night will always be remembered as one of the most frightening and disturbing in LA County history.
The house was secluded, but secure. There was a young live- in caretaker, William Garretson, a high fence and a locked gate at all times. That summer Roman was away in London. He was due back before the birth of his child, so Sharon was alone and looked upon her friends for company, hair stylist and ex fiancé, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, a rich coffee heiress, who had immersed herself in social work, for want of something fulfilling to do with her time, and Voytek Frykowski, her boyfriend, who was a close friend of Roman's from Lodz, Poland. Abigail and Voytek's relationship was on its way to ruin, they argued continually and both had begun to use drugs more frequently. They had been residing at Cielo Drive since April the 1st and were asked to stay on by Roman, just to be there for Sharon until Roman returned.
On the 8th of August, Sharon, Jay, Abigail and Voytek ate at El Coyote, a Mexican restaurant on Beverly Boulevard and then returned to Cielo Drive for the evening.
At the Spahn Ranch on the other side of Los Angeles, Charles Manson sent his "family" on there so called, infamous errand. Charlie "Tex" Watson, Susan "Sadie" Atkins, Pat "Katie" Krenwinkle and Linda Kasabian got into Linda's car and drove to Cielo Drive and arrived around midnight. Tex cut the phone wires and jumped the fence. He then encountered an 18 year old high school graduate named Steven Parent sitting in his white Rambler. Parent had been visiting the caretaker to try and sell him a clock radio. Tex ordered him to "halt!" Steven immediately raised his arm to his face saying "Please don't hurt me. I won't say anything." Using the knife he carried Tex slashed the watch from his wrist, then shot him four times at point blank range.
Tex climbed through a window, entering the house and then he let the girls in. Linda remained a lookout. Susan had to look around and saw Voytek asleep on the living room couch. Abigail was reading in the back bedroom, Sharon and Jay were talking in Sharon's bedroom. Abigail even smiled and waved at Susan Atkins assuming she was a friend of the others. By knife point they were gathered into the sitting room by Atkins. Tex woke Voytek by kicking him in the head.
The killers tied rope around Jay, Abigail and Sharon's necks and threw it over the ceiling rafter beam so if they moved they'd choke. The killers wanted them to lie on their stomachs near the fireplace. Jay immediately began voicing his concerns and defending Sharon. He explained, as she was pregnant, lying in such a position would be extremely difficult and uncomfortable for her. After a while Jay and Tex's conversation became very heated and to shut Jay up, Tex shot him twice, Jay fell to the floor, Abigail and Sharon screamed hysterically as Tex kicked him several times as he lay slain, bleeding to death on the floor.
Susan tied Voytek hands with a towel, he soon broke free, he struggled with Atkins and ran outside screaming, Susan called Tex for help and both caught up with Voytek. He was stabbed 51 times, pistol whipped and shot. Abigail attempted to free herself and began wrestling with Patricia Krenwinkel, she tried to escape, but was chased on to the front lawn by Sharon's bedroom and stabbed in total 28 times. Her last words were "I give up, you've got me."
Charles Manson had told the followers that to get the desired effect Sharon had to watch the others die. She sobbed and pleaded for the life of her baby, "Please don't kill me. Please....I want to live. I want to have my baby." But Susan Atkins told her she had no mercy for her. Then Tex slashed her face and stabbed her 16 times, Atkins and Watson taunted her while she died, Sharon cried out repeatedly for her mother. Her unborn baby boy, Paul Richard, died with her. The killers then used Sharon's blood to inscribe "PIG" on the front door. The murders took around 30 minutes. The killers left and later returned with Manson in an attempt to move Sharon Tate's body.
That night Sharon's neighbours heard gunshots coming from the direction of the house between 12:30 and 1:00 am but they thought nothing of it and retired to bed. The next morning the housekeeper, Winifred Chapman, came to work around 8:00 am. Nothing could have prepared her for what she found.
She came in through the gate at the back, noticed the broken telephone line and saw the front door was open and there were red splashes everywhere and what appeared to be a body on the lawn. She ran to the neighbours screaming for help. The police were called and Officer Jerry DeRosa found a young man's body in the white Rambler outside and then two bodies out on the lawn. They entered the house and saw "PIG" written in blood on the hallway wall as well as the front door. Inside the house they found two other bodies drenched in blood, joined up with rope, one a heavily pregnant woman and a man.
All the victims were soon identified. A .22 Calibre gun had shot Parent, Sebring and Frykowski. All but Parent had been stabbed. Sebring had been hit in the face and Frykowski had been bludgeoned on the head repeatedly with the butt end of the .22 Buntline revolver. The wounds suggested that only one knife had been used in the murders. It would have been similar to a bayonet in shape.
Polanski flew back to LA, under sedation. He was devastated by his tremendous loss. He fought off many rumours that he and his friends were cavorting in Satanism, drugs and sex orgies. Even though Roman was never faithful to her, even after they were married Sharon was very much in love with him and her pregnancy. She would do nothing to endanger her life or the life of her baby, so she never touched drugs or drank while pregnant. Her funeral was highly emotional affair; she was buried wearing a blue Pucci dress with her son in her arms.
A month later Roman offered a reward for $25,000, backed by many celebrities like Peter Sellers and Warren Beatty. The ad was placed in the LA newspapers, it read:
"Roman Polanski and friends of the Polanski family offer to pay $25,000 reward to the person or persons who furnish information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer or murderers of Sharon Tate, her unborn child and the other four victims."
There were many theories to why the murders had happened. The Mafia etc., but the culprits were finally caught. They showed no remorse and they all stood trial in 1971 for the Tate murders and also the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, which happened the next evening, and Gary Hinman. In 1972, California State Supreme Court abolished the death penalty, so all the defendants are serving life sentences for their crimes.
Charles Manson the leader of the Manson family is still serving his life sentence. He is detained at Cocoran State Prison, California. He is in his 70's and he receives more mail than any other inmate in the prison's history. Susan Atkins, has applied for parole many times and has married twice. She is at The California Institute for Women at Frontera. She has shown full remorse for her crimes. Pat Krenwinkle is also at Frontera and she applied for parole in 2002. Linda Kasabian was granted immunity as she gave evidence against Manson and has left California. Her whereabouts are unknown but she has since returned to prison for other offences. Charles "Tex" Watson is still serving life at Mule Creek State Prison, North California. Watson has now converted to Christianity and has become a minister. He is married to Kirstin and they have four children. He has written several books on religion and he has a website run by his wife about their faith called "Abounding Love Ministries, Inc."
The house a 10050 Cielo Drive was demolished in 1994 and another house built in its place. The street address has been changed. It was originally priced at $12.5 million, but there was surprisingly no sale. The owners believed its site history would attract buyers. The price was reduced to $7.7 million, but the house still remains empty.
If you feel moved by what you have just read. Sharon Tate's family have now set up a website www.tatelegacy.com Sharon's surviving family are working tirelessly against the release of Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Charles "Tex" Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. They need your help. They need your faxes and letters voicing your outrage at the possibility of parole for these vicious killers. At the website there are instructions on how to write and send a letter or fax to California Board of Prison Terms.
Sources: Crime Library, Helter Skelter. - V.B.
Thank you, Magentagirly, for all your hard work on Sharon's story. I know Sharon is sending blessings to you for this kindness and attention that you have given in her memory.