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 (eight-and-a-half months pregnant), celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski, and recent high school graduate 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).

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

Candice Bergen and Terry Melcher

Charles Manson, Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher

In the summer of 1966, Altobelli leased the Cielo Drive house to music producer Terry Melcher (the son of Doris Day) 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. Dennis Wilson was so impressed by Manson’s charisma and musical talent that 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 friendship with Manson.

Not long after ending his friendship with Manson, Melcher and Bergen moved out of Cielo Drive. 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

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, August 9, 1969.

Just then, 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 Parents 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.

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 Folgers Bedroom at Cielo Drive

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.

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 struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.

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.

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.

Nine Inch Nails “Le Pig” Studio at 10050 Cielo Drive

Nine Inch Nails – The last resident of 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 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 10050 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.

Sharon Tate With Her Dog Prudence at the Cielo Drive Swimming Pool

Cielo Drive’s Survivors: The Dogs (and cats, a lot of cats)

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.

After the murders 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.

Fun fact: There was a population of about 26 cats on the Cielo Drive property.

Sharon Tate having fun at Cielo Drive with her dog Prudence
Police Remove Dogs From Cielo Drive. The two puppies Were Found Hiding in a Closet

Debra Tate:
After the murders, police found the two puppies hiding in a closet. “They were scared to death, We took Prudence home and found a home for Tom. I wouldn’t leave him behind.”

The Dog on the right is Rudi Altobelli’s Weimaraner Christopher

Debra Tate:
“I’ve been told that people want to know what happened to Prudence. I accidentally ran over Prudence in my parent’s driveway and killed her. It was awful! I was leaving after a visit, backing out of the driveway and I didn’t realize that she’d run outside. I was twenty six when this happened so it was ten years after Sharon died. So now you know –Prudence is with Sharon.”

Sharon’s Mother Doris Tate Holds then senior Prudence

Sharon Tate with Prudence at Cielo Drive

Cielo Drive Images

Jay Sebrings Porsche and Abigail Folgers Firebird at Cielo Drive
Candice Bergen Talks About Living At Cielo Drive (Click To Enlarge)
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Robert Beausoleil

Name: Robert Kenneth Beausoleil
Date of birth: 11/06/1947
Place of birth: Santa Barbara, California
AKA: Bobby, Cupid, Cherub, Robert Lee Hardy, Jason Lee Daniels
Children: 1 Son 2 Daughters
Whereabouts: Vacaville California Medical Facility
Prisoner ID: B28302
Archive: Robert Beausoleil
Image Gallery: Robert Beausoleil Image Gallery
Recent Pictures: Robert Beausoleil Today


Beausoleil is a former member of the Manson Family who was given the death sentence for killing his friend Gary Hinman.

On July 25, 1969, Manson told Robert Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner to pay Gary Hinman a visit. According to Beausoleil they went to Hinman because Hinman had sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and Beausoleil wanted his money back.

However according to statements made to the police the motive to visit Hinman was because the Manson Family needed money for their move to the desert and Manson thought Hinman had money.

Someone in the group suggested going to Santa Monica and kidnap Terry Melcher and holding him for Ransom.

At this time, the name of Gary Hinman was brought up and Charles Manson stated, “Yeah, he’s single and owns that house and probably has stocks and lots of money.”

When Beausoleil asked Gary Hinman for money, Gary told Beausoleil that he didn’t have any money. Gary then was held captive for 3 days. According to Danny Decarlo Beausoleil had knocked Gary around for 3 or 4 hours. Later on Charles Manson and Bruce Davis stopped by. Manson had a sword on him and struck Gary in the head, slicing of a piece of his ear while Davis pointed a gun at Hinman. Atkins and Brunner tried to stitch up Gary’s face with a needle and dental floss.

The ordeal finally ended when Beausoleil stabbed Gary twice in the chest. Gary didn’t die immediately and made loud gurgling sounds so Atkins and Brunner took turns smothering Gary with a pillow.

After Gary died Beausoleil wrote the words “Political Piggy” and drew a paw print on the wall in Gary’s blood, in an attempt to make authorities think the Black Panthers committed the murder.

When the cops later examined the crime scene they found blood in the living-room, on the hall floor between the living-room, bath and kitchen, and on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the kitchen.

Gary Hinman Homicide Report

Before the trio left they covered Gary’s body with a blanket, took his bagpipes and two pink slips for his cars and took the cars to Spahn Ranch.

Beausoleil Police Report

A couple of days later, the California Highway Patrol found Beausoleil sleeping in Hinman’s Fiat station wagon. Beausoleil told the police that the car had broken down while he was driving to San Francisco. It was not long before Beausoleil was booked for the murder of Gary Hinman. He had two trials, and was eventually convicted and sentenced to death. His death sentence was commuted to Life when California briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972.

Fun Facts

Beausoleil and Manson Family murder victim Jay Sebring both have a role in the 1967 movie Mondo Hollywood

In 1967, Beausoleil met Kenneth Anger and had a part in Anger’s film Lucifer Rising.

Beausoleil became friends with Frank Zappa, and can be heard as a backup singer on Zappa’s first record, Freak Out.

Beausoleil was featured in a soft porn movie titled The Ramrodder. The movie was filmed near Spahn’s Movie Ranch and also starred family member Catherine Share.

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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Susan Atkins

Name: Susan Denise Atkins
Date of birth: 05/07/1948
Date of death: 09/24/2009
Cause of death: Brain cancer
Place of birth: San Gabriel, California
AKA: Sadie Mae Glutz, Sexy Sadie
Archive: Susan Atkins
Children: Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz
Image Gallery: Susan Atkins Gallery

“Sexy Sadie, what have you done – You made a fool of everyone”

Early Life

Susan Atkins, known within the Family as Sexy Sadie, was a member of the Manson Family. Susan Atkins was born on May 7, 1948, in San Gabriel, California. She was the second of three children born to alcoholic parents, and grew up in Northern California. After she dropped out of high school to support herself (her mother died when Atkins was 15 and her father abandoned the family), Atkins moved to San Francisco and became a topless dancer.

In early 1967, while staying with friends, Susan Atkins met Charles Manson. Atkins settled with the Manson Family at their Southern California ranch, where she gave birth to a son, whom Manson named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. (The child was eventually removed from Atkins’s and later adopted)

The Hinman Murder

Atkins was a participant in the murder of Gary Hinman. On July 25, 1969, Manson told Robert Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner to pay Gary Hinman a visit. According to Beausoleil they went to Hinman because Hinman had sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and Beausoleil wanted his money back.

However according to statements made to the police the motive to visit Hinman was because the Manson Family needed money for their move to the desert and Manson thought Hinman had money.

Someone in the group suggested going to Santa Monica and kidnap Terry Melcher and holding him for Ransom.

At this time, the name of Gary Hinman was brought up and Charles Manson stated, “Yeah, he’s single and owns that house and probably has stocks and lots of money.”

When Beausoleil asked Gary Hinman for money, Gary told Beausoleil that he didn’t have any money. Gary then was held captive for 3 days. According to Danny Decarlo Beausoleil had knocked Gary around for 3 or 4 hours. Later on Charles Manson and Bruce Davis stopped by. Manson had a sword on him and struck Gary in the head, slicing of a piece of his ear while Davis pointed a gun at Hinman. Atkins and Brunner tried to stitch up Gary’s face with a needle and dental floss.

The ordeal finally ended when Beausoleil stabbed Gary twice in the chest. Gary didn’t die immediately and made loud gurgling sounds so Atkins and Brunner took turns smothering Gary with a pillow.

After Gary died Beausoleil wrote the words “Political Piggy” and drew a paw print on the wall in Gary’s blood, in an attempt to make authorities think the Black Panthers committed the murder.

Before the trio left they covered Gary’s body with a blanket, took his bagpipes and two pink slips for his cars and took the cars to Spahn Ranch.

When the cops later examined the crime scene they found blood in the living-room, on the hall floor between the living-room, bath and kitchen, and on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the kitchen.

Gary Hinman Homicide Report

Susan Atkins Police Report

The Tate Murders

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, August 9, 1969.
Telephone Pole Near The Gate

Just then, 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 Parents 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.

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.

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.

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 struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.

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.

Imprisonment

Atkins was arrested in October 1969 for her involvement in the murder of Gary Hinman. At that point, the police did not know who was responsible for the Tate-LaBianca murders. But Atkins implicated herself in jail, when she is said to have admitted to cellmates that she stabbed Ms. Tate, tasted her blood and used it to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.

In October 1969, the entire Manson Family was arrested, and they were later tried for the murders. The series of trials was circus-like, and the defendants’ bizarre behavior became a striking trait of the proceedings.

On March 29, 1971, Atkins was sentenced to death, later the sentence was reduced to life in prison. Atkins died on September 24, 2009 at age 61. A year before her death Atkins received a diagnosis of brain cancer and had a leg amputated. At the time of her death, Atkins was California’s longest-serving female inmate.

Nine Nude Hippies Arrested

On April 22, 1968, nine nude hippies were arrested in Ventura County, Manson was one of them. The picture above is Charles Manson’s iconic Ventura County mug shot.

The mug shot later became the cover of Life magazine as well as the cover of the Charles Manson album Lie: The love and terror cult. The same mug shot is also used for t-shirts and other Manson collectibles, even to this day.

Below is the Herald Examiner newspaper article about the incident. I typed it out for convenience. Scroll down for a photo of the original newspaper article.

Nine Nude Hippies Arrested; Found Huddled Around Bonfire

The Los Angeles Herald Examiner. April 23, 1968.

Nine hippies were arrested and five others were released after they were found sprawled nude around a bonfire near their disabled bus above Little Sycamore Canyon in the Bass Rock area, sheriff’s deputies said.

Deputies said they found the group of hippies Sunday night after spotting their bus stuck in a deep ditch along Deer creek Mountain Road, just above Bass Rock, located about five miles south of Point Muga.

The 1952 bus had been reported stolen in San Francisco April 12, according to deputies. One of the hippies, identified as Mary Brunner, of Topanga Canyon, was booked on suspicion of endangering the life and health of a child, after deputies said they found her week old son, Steven (Michael Brunner), improperly dressed and shivering in the near freezing temperatures.

Miss Brunner claimed she delivered the child on the floor of a home with the help of a friend.

The infant was placed in protective custody of Ventura County General Hospital where his condition today was reported satisfactory.

The alleged driver of the bus, Charles Manson, 34, whose address was unknown, was booked on suspicion of grand theft auto and having two driver licenses in his possession.

Three others, Brenda McCann (Nancy Pitman), 18, Ella Sinder (Ella Jo Bailey), 23, and Mark Damion (nr 26), 21 , all of Topanga Canyon, were jailed on a charge of disorderly conduct and not having proper identification.

Booked on a charge of possessing fictitious and fraudulent prepared driver licenses were Sadie Glutz (Susan Atkins), of Los Angeles; Diana Bluestein (Dianne Lake), 20, of Malibu, Susan Scott (aka Stephanie Rowe nr 13), 23, and Bruce Van Hall (Bruce Hall nr 9), 22, both of Hollywood.

Deputies said the group was apparently driving back into the canyon when the bus became stuck in the deep ditch along the roadway about a quarter-mile east of Highway 1.

This wasn’t the first time Charles Manson made the newspaper before the Tate/Labianca murders. Here’s Beach Boy Dennis Wilson talking about Charles Manson and the Manson girls in a 1968 interview.