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Sunday, August 6, 1919 Chronkk-Tlgrom 6-9

The victims

The killers

AP file photos

AP (Me photos

SHARON TATE, second from left, was the pregnant actress slain first by the intruders. The 26-year-old wife of film director Roman Polanski, she was nearly ready to deliver the unborn child who died with her. Slain in addition were guests, Voityck Frykowski, left, a Polish film director, Steven Parent, center, the 18-year-old friend of a caretaker on the property, Jay Sebring, then Hollywood's premiere hairdresser, and Abigail Folger, right, heiress to the coffee fortune.

CHARLES MANSON, left, was the father figure who mesmerized his followers who claimed they were his "family." From left were Patricia Krenwinkle, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten. All are still imprisoned.

Tate-LaBianca murders still haunt after two decades


By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES - Two decades after the Sharon TateLaBianca murders, the screams of a summer night haunt the memories of '60s survivors and echo through the legends passed to new generations. "There's no question it is the most famous mass murder in American history," said Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kay, who assisted in prosecuting Charles Manson and three women followers. "My kids learn about it in school." "There have been lots worse murders over the years, but nobody remembers them," said Maxwell Keith, the defense lawyer who represented Leslie Van Houten and finds himself remembered for the case. "It was a mass media event," said Irving Kanarek, Manson's attorney. "Manson was on the cover of Life magazine and it just took off." "I think it's indelibly etched," said attorney Paul Fitzgerald, who represented Patricia Krenwinkel. "It's like Loeb and Leopold, Sam Shepard. People can't remember Jim Jones' name or Charles Whitman; they're even starting to- forget Patty Hearst. But they'll never forget this one." Why, after 20 years, do people still care? Why do they sign petitions to keep the Tate murderers behind bars? Why do they tune in when Manson occasionally gives TV interviews? The answer apparently lies in public fascination with Hollywood stars, cults, drugs and the power of a charismatic leader to turn clean-cut, ail-American kids into murderers. The crime also was a coda for the '60s, the dead-end stop sign for an era of dropouts, hippies, druggies and flower children. "It was some sort of metaphor for the times," Fitzgerald says of the collision of Manson's world and the protected Beverly Hills sphere of movie stars. "In the beginning, the notoriety of the victims was the'fuel that jettisoned this into outer space," he said That fatal'night of Aug. 9, 1969, black clad intruders crept into prestigious Benedict Canyon and, in an explosion of violence, diverted world attention from killing in Vietnam to the senseless butchering of a beautiful, pregnant actress, Sharon Tate. The murder scene was one of ghoulish horror. Tate, the 26year-old wife of movie director Roman Polanski, was found slaughtered along with three friends and a caretaker's guest in a house where her blood was used to scrawl the word "Pig" on the front door. She had been hanged before she was stabbed to death, and her full-term fetus, a boy, died with her. One of the murdered was Jay Sebring, then Hollywood's premier hair stylist. Another was Abigail Folger, heiress to the coffee fortune. Voityck Frykowski, a jet-setting Polish film director, was a friend of Polanski's. Steven Parent, the 18-year-old friend of the caretaker, died with them. As Los Angeles reeled in shock, the killers struck again a day later. Wealthy market owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were found gruesomely slain across town in their Los Feliz home. A carving fork was left in LaBianca's stomach and bloody scrawlmgs marked the scene. People locked their doors and bolted windows while the killers remained at large. Three months later the suspects were caught, and their leader's name became a synonym for evilCharles Manson. The discovery of the shaggy haired, wild-eyed Manson and his tribe of slavishly devoted, mostly young women followers living in a desert commune added a new dimension. The rich and famous, it turned out, had been murdered by children of privilege who left their middle class American homes, took drugs and came under Manson's spell. "These children who come at you with knives, they're your children," Manson would tell society at large. "I didn't teach them. You did. I just tried to help them stand up." Their parents' bewilderment was mirrored across the land as teen-agers became runaways into a world of drug experimentation and violence. Fresh-faced homecoming princess Leslie Van Houten and rugged one-time high school athlete Charles "Tex" Watson became murderers for Manson. So did Susan Atkins, a troubled girl who found a home with Manson's "Family," and Patricia Krenwinkel, a homely secretary who said Manson made her feel beautiful. "It was a feeling all my life I'd been looking for," Miss Krenwinkel said of life with Manson The Manson Family trials began a public journey into the world of cults, drugs and murder, presaging an era in which such matters would become commonplace. The trial of Manson and the three women lasted 10% months and was perhaps the most chaotic in Los Angeles court history. "It was an experience of enormous importance and fatigue;1 said Fitzgerald, who headed the defense team. "God, it was an ordeal! The defendants carving X's on their foreheads, Charlie jumping at the judge, the girls being dragged out of court, (attorney Ronald) Hughes disappearing. It was a 24-houra-day ordeal." Hughes. Van Houten's lawyer, vanished just before closing arguments. His body was found later in a remote mountain area where he had gone camping and was drowned in a flash flood. Keith was appointed to finish the case. A band of Manson's ragtag followers camped outside the courthouse daily and shaved their heads to protest the trial. After months of claiming innocence, the Manson women TURN TO PAGE B-ll

AP file photo

CHARLES MANSON, 54, as he appeared in February, 1986, with a swastika on his forehead, before the parole board in San Quentin.

Manson, family7 face middle age in prison


By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES Charles Manson, the most famous inmate in the California prison system, lives in solitary confinement, subject to threats by prisoners who want the glory of killing him. At 54, the one-time wild-eyed guru of a murderous communal "family" still gets stacks of mail and requests for interviews. Lately he's been declining, because "he says he doesn't want to give away anything for free," says Evelyn Mazon, spokeswoman for the high security state prison at Corcoran, where Manson was moved early this year. The three giggly, long-haired young women who once followed Manson's commands to murder have drifted into middle age behind bars. Patricia Krenwinkel, 42, Susan Atkins, 41, and Leslie Van Houten, who turns 40 this summer, appear regularly at parole hearings seeking freedom that seems more elusive each year. Manson's chief lieutenant, Charles 'Tex" Watson, is a Christian minister and father of three children through conjugal visits with his wife at the California Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo. Atkins also is married. Twenty years after the Sharon Tate-LaBianca murders, the Manson Family killers have settled into prison life Most are model prisoners, but only one, Leslie Van Houten, seems a possible candidate for parole Van Houten, who was not at the Tate home out admitted stabbing Rosemary LaBianca, perhaps after she was dead, was UK youngest of those convicted. Her first conviction was reversed, her second trial ended with a hung jury, her third resulted in another conviction. Will any of them ever be released? "Manson will never get out," says Paul Fitzgerald, the lead defense attorney who represented Miss Krenwinkel. "He doesn't want to get out He's perfectly adjusted to where he is. "The girls. I think, will be released eventually." he says. "I think Leslie will get out first Patricia second, then probably Susan." Dayc Shinn. who defended Atkins, has a different view. "People may say I'm crazy, but I believe the first one to get out will be Charlie Manson. because be didn't do any of the killings." Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kay is committed to keeping Manson locked up for the rest of his life. Except for Van Hoaten. he says the killers have little hope of parole Tale's mother. Doris, has gathered thousands of signatures on petitions urging that the killers never be released Other members of the communal Manson Family have scattered Somewhere in America. Michael Manson. the cult leader's son, has turned 2! In New England. Linda Kasabian, the star witness of the Manson trial, has raised her children to adulthood. Susan Atkins' son grew up with an adoptive family. Bruce Davis and Robert Beausoleil, convicted with Manson in the murder of Malitm musician Gary Hinman. are imprisoned at San Luis Obispo Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who aimed a gun at President Ford in Sacramento. Calif. is serving a life term at a federal prison in Florida where she was moved after a bnef escape from her quarters at Aldcrson. W Va. Sandra Good, who was in federal prison for writing threatening letters to business executives, is free on parole, as is Steve Grogan, convicted in the MansomwxJered murder of stontman Donald "Shorty" Shea

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