A Recipe For Murder

In the spring of 1968 Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson picked up two young female hitchhikers. This was the first of several seemingly unimportant encounters which would ultimately lead to a recipe for murder.

The Hitchhikers
On their way to the Santa Monica Mountains Dennis Wilson and a friend picked up two hitchhikers, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. A month later Wilson saw the same two girls again. This time he took the girls to his Hollywood mansion at Sunset Boulevard. The girls stayed a couple of hours. Wilson told them about his involvement with the Maharishi and they told him they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie.
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Patricia Krenwinkel

Name: Patricia Dianne Krenwinkel
Date of birth: 12/03/1947
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
AKA: Katie, Big Patty
Prisoner ID: W08314
Website: lifeaftermanson.com
Whereabouts: California Institute for Women (life sentence)
Next Parole Hearing: January 2018
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Patricia Krenwinkel was a member of the Manson Family. Krenwinkel was a participant in the infamous murders on August 9, 1969 at 10050 Cielo Drive, home of actress Sharon Tate and director Roman Polanski.

Patricia Krenwinkel was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended University High School and then Westchester High School, both in the Los Angeles area. Patricia was often bullied at school by other students, suffered from low self-esteem, and was frequently teased for being overweight and for an excessive growth of body hair caused by an endocrine condition.

After her parents divorced, seventeen-year-old Krenwinkel remained in Los Angeles with her father until she graduated from High School. For a time she taught Catechism and considered becoming a nun.

She met Charles Manson in Manhattan Beach in 1967, along with Lynette Fromme and Mary Brunner. Krenwinkel said that she had slept with Manson the first night they met, and that he was the first person who told her she was beautiful. Mesmerized by Manson’s charisma and starved for attention, she decided to go to San Francisco with him.

As the Manson Family grew, Krenwinkel and the others went on a drug- and sex-filled 18-month tour of the American west in an old school bus. She would later recount an idealized version of The Family’s early days: “We were just like wood nymphs and wood creatures. We would run through the woods with flowers in our hair, and Charles would have a small flute”.

In the summer of 1968, Krenwinkel and fellow Family member, Ella Jo Bailey, were hitchhiking around Los Angeles when Beach Boy member and drummer, Dennis Wilson, picked them up. After being invited to his home while he continued on to a recording session, Krenwinkel and Bailey contacted the Family and told them of their new crash pad. When Wilson returned later that evening, he found Manson and the rest of the Family eating his food, sleeping in his bedrooms, and partying inside and outside his home. The encounter with Dennis Wilson would eventually lead to the death of Sharon Tate and her friends.

Krenwinkel was a participant in the infamous murders on August 9, 1969 at 10050 Cielo Drive, home of actress Sharon Tate and her husband director Roman Polanski. Tate was more than eight months pregnant. After fellow Family member Charles “Tex” Watson shot and killed teenager Steven Parent in his car in the estate’s driveway, Watson, Susan Atkins, and Krenwinkel entered the house. Krenwinkel dragged coffee heiress Abigail Folger from her bedroom to the living room and stabbed her. When Folger tried to escape following the first round of stabbing, Patricia chased Folger as she ran outside. According to Patricia, she pinned Folger to the ground and further stabbed her. Abigail pleaded with Krenwinkel to stop by saying, “Stop, I’m already dead.” Krenwinkel continued to stab her so brutally that Folger’s white nightgown appeared red to police investigators the following day.

On Manson’s orders, Krenwinkel participated willingly in more killing the following night. Along with Manson, Watson, Atkins, Grogan, Van Houten, and Linda Kasabian, Krenwinkel went to the home of Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, on Waverly Drive. After Manson and Watson tied up the couple, Manson left, giving orders to Van Houten and Krenwinkel to go with Watson and to do whatever he said. Watson told Krenwinkel and Van Houten to take Mrs. LaBianca into a bedroom and kill her. Leaving Manson, Atkins, Grogan and Kasabian in the car outside, the trio proceeded to kill the couple.

Krenwinkel retrieved a knife from the kitchen drawer. She and Van Houten tied up Mrs. LaBianca with a lamp cord and put a pillowcase over her head. Mrs. LaBianca, who was being held in the master bedroom, could hear the screams and struggling of her husband who was being held in the living room as Watson began stabbing him while he pleaded for his life. She began to struggle. Van Houten ran for Watson in the other room; he told her “to do something.” Krenwinkel got a fork from the kitchen and stabbed Mr. LaBianca with it. She used a rag to dip in his blood and wrote on the walls. Once again wielding the knife, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca while Van Houten held her down. However, the knife bent and she was unable to actually stab the struggling woman. She and Van Houten called to Watson, who came into the master bedroom and gave Van Houten a knife. Van Houten and Watson stabbed her to death. According to testimony from the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, Mr. LaBianca suffered 26 stab wounds and 14 puncture wounds.

Krenwinkel was arrested in Mobile, Alabama on December 1, 1969. The following day, Krenwinkel was indicted for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. At the end of the nine-month trial, Krenwinkel was convicted of all counts and sentenced to death on March 29, 1971.

During a 2004 parole hearing, when asked who she would place at the top of the list of people she has harmed, Patricia Krenwinkel responded, “Myself.” She was denied parole following that hearing because, according to the panel, Krenwinkel still posed an “unacceptable risk to public safety”.

Following the 2009 death of fellow Manson gang member, Susan Atkins, Krenwinkel is now the longest-incarcerated female inmate in the California penal system.

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A Beach Boy 17 Girls and Charles Manson

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Wilson talks about Manson in a 1968 interview. Click image to enlarge

Charles Manson made the news even before the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders. Here’s Beach Boy Dennis Wilson talking about Charles Manson and the family girls in an interview in 1968, a year before the murders.

“I told them about our involvement with the Maharishi and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who’d recently come out of jail after 12 years. His mother was a hooker, his father was a gangster, he’d drifted into crime when I met him I found he had great musical ideas. We’re writing together now. He’s dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have learnt from him. He taught me a dance. The Inhibition. You have to imagine you’re a frozen man and the ice is thawing out. Start with your fingertips, then all the rest of you, then you extend it to a feeling that the whole universe is thawing out.”

The Hitchhikers
In 1968 Dennis Wilson picked up two hitchhikers, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. Later Dennis noticed the same two girls hitchhiking again. This time he took them to his home at Sunset Boulevard. Dennis then went to a recording session. When he returned he was met in his driveway by Charles Manson. Dennis became fascinated by Manson and his followers. The Manson Family lived with Dennis for a period of time at his expense, costing Dennis up to $100,000 in money, cars, clothes, food and penicillin shots for the Family’s persistent gonorrhea.

A Recipe For Murder; Short Version
1. Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey meet Dennis Wilson.
2. Charles Manson is introduced to Dennis Wilson.
3. Dennis Wilson meets Charles “Tex” Watson.
4. Dennis Wilson introduces Tex Watson to Charles Manson.
5. Dennis Wilson introduces Terry Melcher to Charles Manson.
6. Terry Melcher and girlfriend Candice Bergen live at 10050 Cielo Drive.
7. Manson tried to set up a record contract with Terry Melcher.
8. Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher cut ties with Manson.
9. Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen move out of Cielo Drive.
10. Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate move in to 10050 Cielo Drive.

A Recipe For Murder Longer Version

Fun Fact
This wasn’t the first time Manson made the newspaper before the murders: Nine Nude Hippies Arrested.

Manson Family Mugshots

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From left to right:
1 Charles Manson
2 Bobby BeauSoleil
3 Danny DeCarlo
4 Steve Grogan
5 Sandra Good
6 Al Springer
7 Kenneth Bell
8 Susan Atkins
9 Bruce Hall
10 Charles Allen Beard
11 Leslie Van Houten
12 Sherry Cooper
13 Susan Scott
14 Ella Jo Bailey
15 Mary Brunner
16 Patricia Krenwinkel
17 Bryan Lukashevsky
18 Catherine Share
19 David Hannum
20 Larry Craven
21 Phil Phillips
22 Harold True
23 Charles Watson
24 Juan Flynn
25 Larry Bailey
26 Mark Bloodworth Damion
27 Susan Bartell
28 Johnny Scwartz
29 Vern Plumlee
30 Stephen Palazzo
31 Karate David Lipsett
32 Colleen Sinclair
33 Stephanie Schram
34 Nancy Pitman
35 Dianne Lake
36 Kathryn Lutesinger
37 Thomas Walleman
38 Allen Delisle
39 Catherine Gillies
40 Charlee Griffin
41 Bruce Davis
42 Lynette Fromme
43 Laura Shepard
44 Ruth Ann Moorehouse
45 Madeline Cottage
46 Maria Alonzo
47 Barbara Rosenberg
48 Linda Kasabian
49 Diane Von Ahn
50 Barbara Hoyt
51 Claudia Smith
52 William Vansicle
53 Paul Watkins
54 Jack Gordon
55 Carol Loveless
56 Ruth Gordon
57 Raymond Petrizzo
58 Robert Murray
59 Thomas Galella
60 Robert Reinhard