On August 10, 1969, one day after the infamous Tate murders, Charles Manson and three members of his ‘Family’ went to a house located at 3301 Waverly Drive, the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
In 1958, Leno LaBianca met Rosemary while she was working as a waitress. The two fell in love and got married. In 1968 Leno bought the home at 3301 Waverly Drive that he had grown up in from his mother and settled in with Rosemary and her son, Frank.
In the summer of 1969, a number of odd occurrences frightened the LaBiancas. The couple noticed that when they returned from being away, items from their home were missing and their dogs were outside the house when they had been left inside. It was later learned that the Manson family “creepy crawled” several houses in the area.
Leno and Rosemary wanted to move out of the Waverly Drive house. They never got the chance.
While incarcerated at Terminal Island Prison, Charles Manson met flamboyant producer Phil Kaufman. After Kaufman’s release from prison, he hooked up with Manson. Kaufman spent most of his time crashing at the house of his friend, Harold True.
Manson regularly visited Kaufman there, Manson even stayed a week at Harold’s house. Harold lived at 3267 Waverly Drive. The next-door neighbors at 3301 Waverly Drive were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
Manson’s original target was Harold True. Harold wasn’t at home, so Manson, with murder on his mind, went over to the next-door neighbors, the LaBiancas.
“And I went to see Harold. Harold wasn’t there, and I looked over and I seen a light over on the other side, and I walked over there and there was a little dog there. So I patted the dog on the head and I opened the door and there was a dude sitting on the couch. “And when I walked in, I said, ‘Oh, hey. Hi.’
August 9, 1969
On August 9, 1969, the country woke up to the news of the Tate murders. That day, Leno LaBianca had an appointment with his family who wanted to buy Leno out of the family business. They suspected Leno of theft. Leno reportedly stole around $200,000 from the family grocery chain.
Leno never went to the meeting; instead, the LaBiancas, along with Rosemary’s daughter, Suzan, drove to Lake Isabella to pick up Rosemary’s son, Frank, who was spending a week vacationing with a friend.
Frank was having such a good time that the LaBiancas decided to let him stay another day. At around 9 p.m., Leno, Rosemary and Suzan left Lake Isabella and headed back to Los Angeles.
Around 1 a.m., the LaBiancas arrived in Los Angeles. After dropping Suzan off at her apartment, they stopped at a newsstand. Leno, a regular customer, was recognized by the newsstand owner, who readied a copy of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
They briefly discussed the Tate murders. After arriving home, Rosemary retired to her bedroom, while Leno fell asleep in the living room while reading the sports page.
In the early morning hours of August 10, 1969, Manson and Tex Watson entered the LaBianca residence. They awoke Leno LaBianca at gunpoint and tied his hands.
Leno was then asked if there was anyone else in the house. He told them that his wife was in the bedroom. Manson went to the bedroom and awoke Rosemary.
Manson and Watson reassured the couple that they wouldn’t be hurt and were just being robbed. After collecting all the cash in the house, Manson told Watson to take Rosemary back to her bedroom where Watson placed a pillowcase over her head, wound a lamp cord around her head, and gagged her.
Watson told her to stay quiet and remain in the room. Watson returned to the living room and Manson then left the house. Manson then sent Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel to the house.
Watson began stabbing Leno repeatedly, only stopping briefly when Leno started screaming. Rosemary, hearing her husband’s screams, began screaming and flailing around the room.
Krenwinkel and Van Houten called Watson for help. Watson left the badly bleeding Leno in the living room and entered the bedroom to find Rosemary swinging the lamp still attached to the cord used to gag her. Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten then stabbed Rosemary to death. Rosemary was stabbed 41 times.
Leno was still alive when Watson came back to the living room and the stabbing resumed. After Watson finished stabbing Leno one of the family members carved the word “WAR” into Leno’s stomach.
Krenwinkel then stabbed him a number of times and left a carving fork protruding from his stomach and a steak knife from his throat. The girls then wrote messages in Leno’s blood. “Death to pigs” and “Rise” were written on the living room wall, and “Healter Skelter” (they mispronounced Helter Skelter) was written on the refrigerator door.
After the murders, the family members remained at the house. They ate food from the LaBiancas refrigerator, played with the couple’s dogs and showered before hitchhiking back to Spahn Ranch.
Suzan LaBerge, Rosemary LaBiancas daughter, has been one of Tex Watson’s closest friends behind bars after bonding over their shared beliefs as born-again Christians. She visits, writes and has even advocated for his release.
Before the murders Suzan LaBerge and Watson lived an estimated 200 feet apart in nearby apartments in Los Angeles for six months prior to Watson’s move into Spahn Ranch. Suzan’s then boyfriend was a member of the motorcycle gang Straight Satans that often visited Spahn Ranch. family member Danny DeCarlo also was a member of the Straight Satans.
LaBiancas Granddaughter Murdered in Bed
Suzan LaBerge’s daughter Ariana Wolk was murdered in Denver, Colorado on July 3rd 2020. First responders found her lying in a pool of blood in her bed and said she had been repeatedly stabbed in the neck.
The single mom-of-one, was discovered ‘in a pool of blood in her bed’ after being stabbed multiple times in the neck. A post-mortem also found Wolk with several defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands. Jose Sandoval-Romero, 24, has been charged with her murder.
Celebrity hairdresser and Manson murder victim Jay Sebring was Leno LaBiancas hairdresser.