With the anniversary of the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and her friends on August 9, having just passed, it should be noted that by linking their names to Charles Manson and his maniacal family simply gives Manson unnecessary attention and adds insult to the memory of these innocent people.
To be clear, Sharon Tate was already well known in Hollywood by the time of her tragic death in the summer of 1969. An up and coming actress of her day, Sharon Tate had an exciting career ahead of her. Considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, she had gotten her start in Tinsel town at first in extra roles until she landed the role of Janet Trego, the gorgeous bank secretary on The Beverly Hillbillies. Sharon continued on that classic TV show for fifteen episodes from 1963 through 1965. She then went on to more notable roles in films, namely, The Fearless Vampire Killers, and Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls in 1967. She married Roman Polanski in 1968 and went on to star in Twelve plus One in 1969 during her famously ill-fated pregnancy.
On the night that Sharon Tate and her friends were murdered, they had all gathered at Sharon and Roman Polanski’s place in Benedict Canyon. It was to be a relaxed evening with friends. With Roman out of town, a very pregnant Sharon was happy to have some company. The couple had not lived in the residence for very long. The home was previously rented by the son of Doris Day, Terry Melcher, who was a prominent record producer, and his then girlfriend, actress Candace Bergen.
Before moving out of the property in Benedict Canyon, Terry Melcher had been considering working with Charles Manson and had met with him at that home. When Melcher changed his mind about signing Manson to a record deal, this infuriated Charles Manson to the point of planning out the infamous Tate murders. It later came out that Manson was aware that Melcher had moved to Malibu just before the murders, and that the murders were carried out to terrorize the record producer.
In addition to Sharon Tate, the murder victims were all prominent in Hollywood social circles with the exception of Steven Parent, who was a recent high school graduate working two jobs so that he could attend college in the fall. Jay Sebring was a successful hairstylist to the Hollywood elite and was the founder of Sebring International which is known for its hairstyling products. Abigail Folger was known for being the heir to the Folger coffee fortune. Her boyfriend, Wojciech Frykowski, was a polish writer and actor. The couple had been house sitting for Tate and Polanski while they were away in the months before the murders.
The victims were real people with families, careers, and dreams just like everyone else. The notoriety of the murders and the cult like status of Charles Manson is a slap in the face to the victims and to each of their memories. What matters is who they were and what they accomplished when they were alive. It is a fitting punishment for Manson to never link his name publicly again to his victims, thus giving them the honor that they so rightly deserve. ~Until next time, Traci Otake~ Los Angeles Paranormal Examiner