The House on Waverly Drive
On August 10, 1969, one day after the infamous Tate murders, Charles Manson and three members of his ‘Family’ went to a house at 3301 Waverly Drive, the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
In 1958, Leno 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, and settled in with Rosemary and her son, Frank.
In the summer of 1969, several 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 turned out later 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...
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 newspaper stand. Leno, a regular customer, was recognized by the vendor, who readied a copy of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
They briefly discussed the Tate murders. After arriving home, Rosemary retired to the bedroom, while Leno fell asleep on the couch reading the newspaper.
In the early morning hours of August 10, 1969, Charles Manson and Tex Watson entered the LaBianca residence. They woke Leno at gunpoint and tied his hands. They asked if anyone else was in the house, to which Leno replied his wife was in the bedroom. Manson grabbed Rosemary and set her down with her husband.
Manson reassured the couple that they wouldn’t be hurt and were only being robbed. Manson told Watson to take Rosemary back to the bedroom, where Watson placed a pillowcase over her head, wound a lamp cord around her neck, and gagged her. After collecting all the cash in the house, Manson left and sent Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel in.
Watson told Krenwinkel and Van Houten to kill Rosemary. Watson, under the influence of acid and speed, stabbed Leno in the throat with a bayonet, followed by several stabs to the torso. Rosemary, hearing her husband’s screams, started 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 with the cord still wrapped around her neck. Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten stabbed Rosemary to death. They stabbed Rosemary 41 times.
Leno was still alive when Watson came back into the living room, and the stabbing resumed. After Watson killed Leno, Krenwinkel carved the word “WAR” into Leno’s stomach. Krenwinkel then stabbed him several times and left a carving fork protruding from his abdomen and a steak knife protruding from his throat. Krenwinkel then wrote several messages on the walls and refrigerator with Leno's blood.
After the murders, Watson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten lingered in the home for a while; they ate some cheese and drank some milk, played with the couple’s dogs and took a shower before hitchhiking back to Spahn Ranch.