8/9/1969 - Shortly after midnight, twenty-three-year-old Manson Family member Charles "Tex" Watson tells aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski, "I'm the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's business!" Executioner to his victim, it is as true a statement as true can be.
One of the bloodiest, and most blood chilling nights, to ever take place in Southern California, begins when thirty-four-year-old maniac Charles Milles Manson (a 5'2" half-pint career criminal who is caught stealing for the first time at the age of nine, before graduating to armed robbery by the time he turns thirteen), sends a group of young whack-jobs that follow his addled leadership, to an address he knows in Beverly Hills, 10050 Cielo Drive, hoping to get revenge for his failed music career and perhaps start a new civil war between the black and white citizens of the United States (a madness he calls Helter Skelter, taking the title for his insane idea from a Beatles' song from their White Album, he expects to be the leader of the new America that will spring from the chaos he creates).
Destination - Death
Watson, Susan Atkins (21), Linda Kasabian (20), and Patricia Krenwinkel (21) are given their marching orders ... destroy everyone they find at the home (the former residence of Terry Melcher, Doris Day's son, a music producer Mansion believes has betrayed him), and do it in as gruesome a manner as is possible (leave something "witchy" behind Manson tells his team). To terrible effect, they will do as they are told!
Very wrong place at the wrong time, their first victim is Steven Parent (18), a student who has the misfortune of visiting a friend (William Garretson, caretaker for the estate) who is living in the property's guest house on the night of the rampage. Attacking the teenager as he is in the process of leaving the property in his Rambler at the Main Gate, Watson attains his first kill of the evening, slashing the youth with knife, then shooting him four times in the chest and stomach with a .22-caliber revolver. The group then creeps up to the main house, breaks in, and takes hostage the people they find sleeping inside.
Found inside the home are the wife of director Roman Polanski, eight and half months pregnant movie actress Sharon Tate (26), internationally known hairstylist Jay Sebring (35), Polanski friend Frykowski (32), and Frykowski's girlfriend, the heiress to a coffee fortune, Abigail Folger (25).
Tate Sebring & Tate - 1966
In the butchery that ensues, Frykowski and Folger attempt to escape and go down fighting. Frykowski is killed by Atkins and Watson on a porch outside the house, stabbed in the legs, hit over the head with Watson's pistol, shot twice, and then stabbed some more ... a grand total of fifty-one times. Folger gets to the front lawn in her failed flight for life, murdered by Krenwinkel and Watson in another stabbing overkill, her's a death of twenty-eight knife wounds (Kasabian has been told to stand watch at the Main Gate). Sebring and Tate never make it out of the house. The first to go, Sebring is shot and stabbed by Watson seven times. Tate, pleading for the life of her unborn baby, is killed by Watson and Atkins, stabbed to death a grisly sixteen times. Murders complete, before leaving, the killers write "Pig" on the front door of the house ... in blood.
Eventually all the participants in the killings, including Manson, will be brought to justice, the case broken when Atkins runs her mouth about her part in the deaths to her bunkmates, Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham, while under custody at the Sybil Brand Institute detention center in Los Angeles. Found guilty and sentenced to death, the killers escape appointments in the California gas chamber when the Supreme Court of the state stupidly abolishes the death penalty in 1972 (having killed no one, Kasabian escapes by turning against her friends by becoming a witness for the prosecution). Atkins will die of a brain tumor at the Cenral Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California, at the age of sixty-one. The others, Watson, Manson, and Krenwinkel remain behind bars, still serving their life sentences while they await their coming eternities of damnation.
Members of the Manson Family