Sharon Tate Death Photos of Celebrities Famous people
On August 8, 1969, Tate was two weeks from giving birth. She entertained two friends, actresses Joanna Pettet and Barbara Lewis, for lunch at her home, confiding in them her disappointment at Polanski's delay in returning from London. In the afternoon, Polanski telephoned her. Her younger sister, Debra, also called to ask if she and their sister, Patti, could spend the night with her, but Tate declined. In the evening, she went to her favorite restaurant, El Coyote, with Sebring, Frykowski and Folger, returning at about 10:30 p.m.
During the night, they were murdered by members of Charles Manson's "family" and their bodies discovered the following morning by Tate's housekeeper, Winifred Chapman. Police arrived at the scene to find the body of a young man, later identified as Steven Parent, shot dead in his car, which was in the driveway. Inside the house, the bodies of Tate and Sebring were found in the living room; a long rope tied around each of their necks connected them. On the front lawn lay the bodies of Frykowski and Folger. All of the victims, except Parent, had been stabbed numerous times. The coroner's report for Tate noted that she had been stabbed sixteen times, and that "five of the wounds were in and of themselves fatal".
Police took the only survivor at the address, the caretaker William Garretson, for questioning. Garretson lived in the guest house which was located on the property, but a short distance from the house, and not immediately visible. As the first suspect, he was questioned and submitted to a polygraph test. He said that Parent had visited him at approximately 11:30 p.m. and left after a few minutes. Garretson said he had no involvement in the murders and did not know anything that could help the investigation. Police accepted his explanation and he was allowed to leave.
Curiosity about the victims led to the re-release of Tate's films, achieving greater popularity than they had in their initial runs. Some newspapers began to speculate on the motives for the murders. Some of the published photographs of Tate were allegedly taken at a Satanic ritual, but were later proven to have been production photographs from Eye of the Devil. Friends spoke out against the portrayal of Tate by some elements of the media. Mia Farrow said she was as "sweet and pure a human being as I have ever known", while Patty Duke remembered her as "a gentle, gentle creature. I was crazy about her, and I don't know anyone who wasn't". Polanski berated a crowd of journalists at a press conference, saying that many times they had written that Tate "was beautiful. Maybe the most beautiful woman in the world. But did you ever write how good she was?" Peter Evans later quoted the actor Laurence Harvey, who commented on Polanski immediately after the murders, "This could destroy Roman. Marriage vows mean nothing to him but few men have adored a woman as much as he adored Sharon."
Polanski later admitted that in the months following the murders he suspected various friends and associates, and his paranoia subsided only when the killers were arrested. Newspapers claimed that many Hollywood stars were moving out of the city, while others were reported to have installed security systems in their homes. Writer Dominick Dunne later recalled the tension: