10050 Cielo Drive

In 1994 the house at 10050 Cielo Drive was demolished. But the memory of what happened there in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969, endures. Actress Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

History

The house was built in the late forties for French actress Michèle Morgan. The house was similar to the house which sat on its own plateau directly below 10050, 10048 Cielo Drive, which was called the Twin House. The properties were built at the same time.

By the end of World War II, Michèle Morgan had returned to France and in 1946 actress Lillian Gish moved in 10050 Cielo Drive with her mother while filming Duel in the Sun (1946).

10050 Cielo Drive – 1942

Rudolph Altobelli, a talent manager, bought the house in the early 1960s and often rented the house out. Residents included celebrities like Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Mark Lindsay and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

Candice Bergen and Terry Melcher

Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher

In the summer of 1966, Altobelli leased the Cielo Drive house to music producer Terry Melcher and actress Candice Bergen, whose time at the house would set the tragic events of August 9, 1969 into motion.

Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson had befriended Charles Manson. Wilson was impressed by Manson’s charisma and musical talent and he introduced Manson to producer Terry Melcher and pressed Melcher to land Manson a record deal.

Manson auditioned for Melcher but Melcher was not impressed and declined to sign Manson. After witnessing Manson getting in a fight with a drunk at Spahn Ranch both Wilson and Melcher ended their relationship with Manson.

After ending his friendship with Manson, Melcher and Bergen abruptly moved out of Cielo Drive. According to Bergen, something spooked Melcher, “Terry wanted to record an album with Charles Manson, then he got spooked and suddenly we were moving. I was like, in a few months? He said ‘No, tomorrow.’

On February 12, 1969, Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife Sharon Tate signed a lease for the house on 10050 Cielo Drive. They moved in three days later…

The Tate Murders

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“It was a night so quiet you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.”

On Sharon Tate’s last day alive, the eight and a half months pregnant actress had an argument with her unfaithful husband who was overseas, she had lunch by the pool with her friends, took a nap and went out for a late dinner.

The day began like any other day, but things took a dramatic turn when cult-leader Charles Manson told four of his followers to go to 10050 Cielo Drive.

Cielo Drive Entrance

Contrary to popular belief, Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen were never the targets of the August 9 murder spree carried out by Manson’s followers. Manson knew very well that Melcher moved out of Cielo Drive.

On the night of August 8, 1969, Manson told Tex Watson to take some of the girls and to go to “that house where Melcher used to live” and to “totally destroy everyone inside, as gruesome as you can” and Manson told Watson to “leave a sign, something witchy”. Tex Watson took Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to Cielo Drive.

When they arrived at the entrance of the Cielo Drive property, Watson climbed a telephone pole near the gate and cut the phone line to prevent telephone access from the house. At this point it was after midnight.

Cielo Drive At Night – Two Months After The Murders – October 1969

Midnight – August 9, 1969

Headlights approached. Watson ordered the women to lie in the bushes. He then stepped out and ordered the approaching driver to halt. Eighteen-year-old student Steven Parent had been visiting the property’s caretaker, William Garretson, who lived in the property’s guest house. Watson first lunged at Parent with a knife, giving him a defensive slash wound on the palm of his hand, then shot him four times in the chest and abdomen.

Steven Parent’s Car

The group then proceeded to the main house. Watson told Kasabian to keep watch down by the gate. Watson cut the screen of a window and entered through the window, and let Atkins and Krenwinkel in through the front door.

Watson Entered Trough This Window

They found Frykowski sleeping on the living room couch. Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked him who he was and what he was doing there, Watson replied: “I’m the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business.”

Atkins and Krenwinkel searched the house and found Tate, Sebring and Folger and forced them to the living room. Watson began to tie Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope and slung the rope up over one of the living room’s ceiling beams. Sebring’s protested to the rough treatment of the pregnant Tate. Watson then shot Sebring and stabbed him seven times.

Abigail Folger’s Bedroom. Shortly after midnight, Susan Atkins passed by Abigail’s bedroom. Abigail thought Atkins was a friend of Sharon and, looking up from her book, smiled and waved to her.

Frykowski’s hands had been bound with a towel. Freeing himself, Frykowski began struggling with Atkins, who stabbed at his legs with the knife with which she had been guarding him. As he fought his way toward and out the front door, onto the porch, Watson caught up with Frykowski and struck him over the head with the gun multiple times, stabbed him repeatedly, and shot him twice.

Around this time, Kasabian was drawn up from the driveway by “horrifying sounds”. In an effort to stop the massacre, she falsely told Atkins that someone was coming.

Abigail Folger’s Escape Route

Meanwhile, Folger had escaped from Krenwinkel and fled out a bedroom door to the pool area. Krenwinkel ran after Folger, caught her, stabbed her, and tackled her to the ground. Watson joined Krenwinkel and they stabbed Folger 28 times. In the meantime Frykowski, barely alive, struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.

Tate Master Bedroom Cielo Drive

Pregnant Tate Was The Last To Die

In the house, Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child. Susan Atkins told Tate as she begged, “Look, bitch, I don’t care about you. I don’t care if you are having a baby. You are going to die and I don’t feel a thing about it.” At this point either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate (testimonies vary). Tate was stabbed 16 times. Watson later wrote that as Tate was being killed, she cried for her mother.

Using the towel that had bound Frykowski’s hands, Atkins wrote “pig” on the house’s front door in Tate’s blood.

Roman Polanski at Cielo Drive

Roman Polanski

In a photo published in Life magazine days after the murders, Roman Polanski sits on the veranda, next to the front door that has been covered with his wife’s blood. According to the photographer, Julian Wasser, Polanski wanted the Polaroid shots to be given to a psychic to track down the then-unknown killers.

Prudence

There were several dogs present at the time of the murders in the Cielo Drive house, most notably Sharon’s Dog Prudence. Roman Polanski bought puppy Prudence for Sharon after Wojciech Frykowski accidentally ran over Sharon’s Yorkshire terrier Sappy on the driveway of Cielo Drive.

The morning after the murders Prudence was found hiding in a closet. Prudence was adopted by Sharon Tate’s mother and sister. Unfortunately, 10 years after Sharon was murdered, Prudence was killed in a car accident. Debra Tate, Sharon’s sister, accidentally ran over Prudence in the driveway of her parents house.

Altobelli (center)

Rudolph Altobelli

Three weeks after the murders, Rudolph Altobelli, the owner of the house, moved in to the Cielo Drive house and lived there for the next 20 years.

“I moved right back into the house three weeks after the murders happened,” Altobelli said. “When I came back to that property, I felt safe, secure, loved and beauty.”

Altobelli reportedly sent Roman Polanski a bill for damages done to the house during the Tate murders.

Altobelli eventually sold the house for $1.6 million, 18 times what he’d paid for it.

Le Pig Studio at Cielo Drive

Nine Inch Nails “Le Pig” Studio at Cielo Drive

The last resident of the original house was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor began renting the house in 1992 for a reported $11,000 a month, and set up a recording studio in the house.

The studio, dubbed “Pig”, a reference to Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door of the house, was the site of recording sessions for most of the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral.

Reznor moved out of the house in December 1993, explaining “there was too much history in that house for me to handle.” Reznor took the front door of the Cielo Drive house with him when he moved out and installed it at the New Orleans headquarters of his record label, Nothing Studios, which had been converted from a funeral home.

Demolition of Cielo Drive

Demolition

In 1994, the original house was demolished. A new house was build on the property called Villa Bella, with a new street address of 10066 Cielo Drive. The owner of the property as of 2013 is Hollywood producer Jeff Franklin.

Catherine Gillies

Catherine Gillies was a member of the Manson Family. In the summer of ’69 she volunteered to go with the Tate/LaBianca killers on both nights, but Manson told Gillies to stay at Spahn Ranch.

Catherine aka Cappy was one of Manson’s most devoted followers. Cappy joined the family sometime in 1968. When the Manson Family were in need of a new home Catherine told them about a ranch called Myers ranch in Death Valley, owned by Catherine’s grandmother.

Manson gave Catherine’s grandmother a Beach Boys golden record, which Manson took when the Family stayed at Dennis Wilson’s house, in exchange for permission for the family to stay at the ranch.

Suicide or Murder

Catherine was one of the family members present when Manson associate John “Zero” Haught killed himself playing Russian roulette. The police ruled Haught’s death a suicide, however there are indications that Haught may have been murdered.

An anonymous source told the L.A Times that he was there when Haught died. He claimed Haught didn’t kill himself but was shot by one of the Manson girls.

Testimony

Catherine testified in Judge Older’s courtroom that the Tate/LaBianc murders were copycat murders committed in an attempt to get Beausoleil out of jail.

She testified that Manson had nothing to do with the murders. She also testified that she wanted to go with the Tate/LaBianca killers on both nights, but Manson told her that she wasn’t needed.

I would have gone with them, but didn’t only because they didn’t need me.”

Death

It is reported that to this day Catherine is still upset she was not chosen to go with the killers and she still supports her brothers and sisters in prison.

Today Catherine is divorced, has 4 children and lives somewhere in Oregon.

Catherine Gillies died of cancer on June 29, 2018 in Cave Junction, Oregon.

Sherry Ann Cooper

Sherry Ann Cooper, nicknamed Simi Valley Sherri, was born in 1953 in Simi Valley, California. Sherry Ann Cooper was the girlfriend of Family member Danny Decarlo.

Sherry was a local girl from Simi Valley. She drifted in and out of the Family when the Family stayed at Spahn Ranch. Sherry was arrested with the family during the Spahn Ranch raid.

She moved with the Family to Barker Ranch in Death Valley. Sherry Fled Barker Ranch with Barbara Hoyt after Hoyt overheard Susan Atkins talking about the Tate murder to Ruth Ann Moorehouse.

When Manson found out the two girls had run away he took off after them. He found them having breakfast in a diner and gave them $20 after the girls told Manson they wanted to leave. Story has it that Manson later sent three Family members to retrieve or kill the girls.

150 Stab Wounds

In 1969 an unidentified body (Jane Doe #59) with 150 stab wounds was found at Mulholland Drive. It was rumored that this was possibly the body of Sherry Ann Cooper.

The unidentified body remained a mystery for 46 years but in 2015 police have identified the woman as Reet Jurvetson, who moved to Los Angeles from Montreal the year she was killed.

Murder Trial

In 1970 Sherry’s then boyfriend Decarlo testified against Manson and the Family during the Tate/Labianca murder trial. After the trial Sherry and Decarlo moved to Canada where the two got married.

Death Of Daughter

Sherry and Decarlo had a daughter named Gina who died in a car accident in 1991. From a newspaper article:

Gina Decarlo was traveling as a passenger in a vehicle eastbound on I 10 when the vehicle rear ended a tractor trailer rig. The accident happened April 29, 1991 at 7:00 am. Decarlo was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs CA. She had major head trauma. Decarlo was declared brain dead nine days later and taken off life support.

Today

Sherry and Danny divorced. Sherry moved on with her life and remarried. Today Sherry lives in California under her marital name.

Sandra Good

Sandra Collins Good is a long-time member of the Manson Family and a close friend of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Good’s Manson Family nickname is “Blue”, which was given to her by Charles Manson to represent clean air and water.

Good joined the Manson Family in 1968 and a few months later went off with them when they moved to a new home at Spahn Ranch. Despite her association with Manson and his followers, Good did not take part in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders because she was in jail at the time for using stolen credit cards.

However, Good said she respected those who committed the murders and demonstrated her support for Manson during his trial by shaving her head and carving an X on her forehead.

Lynette Fromme X Sandra Good

15 years in prison

In 1975, Good and another Manson devotee, Susan Murphy, were indicted for conspiracy to send threatening letters through the mail by a Federal Grand Jury in Sacramento in connection with death threats against more than 170 corporate executives who Good believed were polluting the earth.

Good was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Good was paroled in early December 1985, after having served 10 years. Unlike many of the Family members, Good still professed total allegiance to Manson. A condition of her parole was that she could not return to California.

Parole

After her parole ended, Good moved to Hanford, California, near Corcoran State Prison, to be closer to Manson, although she was not allowed to visit him. In 1996, Good and George Stimson began a pro-Manson website on which they claimed to have a real source of Manson thought.

Sandra Good and Lynette Fromme

Ivan and Joel Pugh

Good has a son named Ivan Pugh. Various men have been named as the father, most notably Joel Pugh, who was found dead in a London hotel room under suspicious circumstances.

Bruce Davis, one of Charles Manson’s closest associates, happened to be in the London area at the time Joel Pugh died. However Sandra Good and Robert Beausoleil have both stated that Beausoleil is Ivan’s biological father. 

Today Sandra Good lives a quiet life in California.

Ella Jo Bailey

Ella Jo Bailey was a former member of the Manson Family. In 1967 Ella Jo Bailey lived in San Francisco. It was there that she met Charles Manson, Mary Brunner, Lynette Fromme and Patricia Krenwinkel.

Bailey became fascinated with Manson and decided to join him. Shortly thereafter, Susan Atkins came into the family and the girls traveled around the southwest with Manson until they moved to Spahn Ranch in 1968.

Bailey stayed with the Manson Family until she found out about the murder of Donald Shea. Bailey left the Family and later testified for the prosecution during the Hinman trial.

Dennis Wilson

Ella Jo Bailey and Patricia Krenwinkel were hitchhiking in Malibu when they were picked up by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. This encounter eventually led to the murder of Sharon Tate.

Wilson took the two Manson girls to his home at Sunset Boulevard. Wilson had an appointment and left the girls at his house, when he returned home he found the entire Manson Family at his house.

Wilson befriended Manson and the girls and The Family stayed at his house for the summer.

Death

Ella Jo Bailey died on September 14, 2015 in Florida at the age of 68.

Ella Jo Bailey Hinman Statement