Little Bits of History

Crazy Times

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 9, 2015
Charles Manson's booking photo

Charles Manson’s booking photo

August 9, 1969: Charles Manson’s Family commit several murders. The most famous of the victims on this night was Sharon Tate, wife of film director and producer, Roman Polanski. Tate was only two weeks away from delivery of her first child. Also at the house were Jay Sebring (hairstylist and Tate’s former lover), Wojciech Frykowski (screenwriter), and Abigail Folger (heiress to the Folger coffee fortune). Steven Parent had been visiting William Garretson who lived in the caretaker’s house on the property in Benedict Canyon. He was leaving shortly after midnight on this date when he approached the gate and was murdered in his car.

Manson had directed his Family members to head to the house “where Melcher used to live” and then destroy everyone in it as gruesomely as possible. Charles Watson, nicknamed “Tex”, rounded up his people (Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel) and Watson climbed a phone pole and cut the line. The group then entered the yard and saw headlights coming toward them. Watson approached the car and found Parent who begged for his life to no avail. They went up to the house and looked for an open window and cut a screen. Watson directed Kasabian to watch at the gate while he entered the house and then let in Atkins and Krenwinkel.

All four of the people in the house were brought to the living room. The four victims did their best to escape the assault, but they were unarmed and the killers were uncompromising. The victims were slashed, cut, and repeatedly shot. Folger was stabbed 28 times; Frykowski was stabbed 51 times. Tate bargained with her assailants in order to assure the safe delivery of her baby. Her pleas fell on deaf ears and she was stabbed 16 times. Manson had directed his Family to leave a sign after they killed all the people in the house. Atkins wrote the word “pig” using a towel and Tate’s blood. The next night, two more Family members joined the group with Manson accompanying them. They found a new target and killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

The two murder scenes were not immediately connected. All participants were arrested and came to trial beginning on June 15, 1970. Kasabian, by all accounts, had not committed any of the murders and her testimony was key in implicating the others. Manson originally was permitted to act as his own attorney, but the Judge rescinded his offer after witnessing Manson’s bizarre behavior in court. It took until January 25, 1971 but guilty verdicts were returned. They were all sentenced to death, but the death penalty was withdrawn and so Charles Manson remains in prison as do Charles Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel. Susan Atkins died in prison in 2009 at the age of 61.

I have nothing against none of you. But it’s high time that you started looking at yourselves, and judging the lie you live in.

From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment.

I will have you removed if you don’t stop. I have a little system of my own.

I never thought I was normal, never tried to be normal. – all from Charles Manson

Also on this day: Lean On Me – In 1173, construction on the world’s most famous bell tower began.
Much Brighter – In 1979, Brighton Beach was given permission as a nude beach.
Betty Boop – In 1930, Betty made her debut.
Walden – In 1854, Thoreau published his book.
YOU Can Prevent Wild Fires – In 1944, Smokey Bear’s first poster came out.

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