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The Tate Murders


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 Boys 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.

Melcher went to Spahn Ranch, the Manson Family hangout, and Manson auditioned. Melcher was not impressed by Manson’s music, but he was interested in the lifestyle of Manson and his girls. They talked about making a documentary and discussed the possibility of some type of musical collaboration. Melcher eventually changed his mind and broke off contact with Manson.

A short time later, 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…