It was almost 50 years ago to the day that the lovely 26 year old actress Sharon Tate had her life brutally taken from her in a tragic tale straight from a horror movie. Tate was married to famed movie director, Roman Polanski, and was actually pregnant with the couples child when she was murdered by Charles Manson and his group of radicals in her Los Angeles home.
Tate had married Polanski in January of 1968 and the two were one of Hollywood’s hit couples of that era. On August 8th, 1969, just weeks before Tate was scheduled to have the baby and her and a few friends went to dinner at her favorite restaurant, El Coyote. Polanski was out of the country working on a film project in London at the time and Tate had accompanied him but returned just a few weeks prior due to her pregnancy.
Some of the people in attendance was celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger, the heiress to the Folgers coffee empire. It was reported that the group returned to the couples home in Benedict Canyon at roughly 10:30 pm.
Charles Manson and his “family” apparently had targeted this specific house because of the previous tenant. He was a record producer that had did not give Manson the recording contract that he so desperately wanted. So just after midnight Manson and his followers entered the Tate-Polanski home just after midnight and murdered every person there, stabbing them in an incredibly brutal fashion. It was reported that Tate was stabbed as many as sixteen times, which according to an autopsy five of which were fatal blows.
The horrific scene was found the next morning by Winfred Chapman, the housekeeper and she immediately called the police. As police appeared on the scene they could not believe what they saw. Not only had the group viciously and repeatedly stabbed Tate and her house guests, but police apparently found Tate and Jay Sebring in the living room with a long rope tied around each of their necks. The body of Abigail Folger was found in the front yard along with aspiring screenwriter and friend of Polanski, Wojciech Frykowski who was also in attendance at dinner the night before. Also in the front yard lay the body of 18 year old Steven Parent who just happened to be driving by when Manson and his group spotted him and took his life to prevent him talking. Parent had been visiting William Garretson that was the property caretaker.
Manson was eventually caught and initially received the death penalty for his heinous crimes. But in 1972 the California Supreme Court overturned the states death penalty law, so Manson’s sentence was changed to life in prison. As of this writing he is still serving that sentence at the age of 81 years old.