2 More Slain in ‘Ritual of Death’
Wednesday, August 13th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 – Two more persons – a supermarket owner and his wife – were found Sunday, slaughter in “ritualistic” fashion similar to actress Sharon Tate and four others last weekend. Meanwhile, the only person found alive at the estate where Miss Tate and four others were brutally slain, was released from custody Monday as detectives studied the similarities between the two cases.
William E. Garretson, 19, a caretaker at the estate leased by Miss Tate and her movie director husband Roman Polanski, was released because of insufficient evidence, police said.
The bodies of Leno A. LaBianca, 44, and his wife, Rosemary, 38, owners of six supermarkets, were found in the living room and bedroom of their $150,000 home near Griffith Park. Both wore nightclothes.
LaBianca was on his back, his hands tied behind him and with a long-handled barbecue fork stuck into his abdomen, said Police Sgt.Terry Pierce.
The word “war” as carved across his chest with a knife, Pierce said, “and the ‘W’ had an upside down “KW” carved over the top of it.
“‘Death to the pigs’ was written on the living room wall in what appears to be LaBianca’s blood, probably put there with a piece of paper dipped in the blood of the victim.”
Pierce said Mrs. LaBianca was on the bedroom floor, stabbed several times in the back. Her hands weren’t tied.
“Both had pillow-case hoods over their heads tied on by electrical cords around the neck,” Pierce said.
In both of the slaying cases the bodies were stabbed and slashed viciously and words – including “pig” – were scrawled nearby in what appeared to be the victims’ blood.
“There is a similarity,” said Police Sgt. Bryce Houchin. “But whether it’s the same suspect or a copycat, we just don’t know.”
The grief-stricken Polanski, who directed the movie “Rosemary’s Baby,” arrived from Europe late Sunday and went into seclusion at a friend’s apartment in Beverly Hills, a five-minute drive from the Benedict Canyon estate where his wife, eight months pregnant, was slain in a ritualistic orgy of homicide Friday night.
The victims at Miss Tate’s $200,000 tomato-red home in Bel Air, also “were caught unaware,” said Detective Lt. Robert Helder. Police have not reported finding death weapons in either case.
All victims at the home of Miss Tate, 26, who had a starring role in “Valley of the Dolls,” were stabbed several times. Two also were shot. “Pig” was scrawled on the door in what police said was blood.
A white cord was found around Miss Tate’s neck, pulled across a ceiling beam and looped around the neck of the hairdresser, Jay Sebring, 26, one of Miss Tate’s former boyfriends.
Also killed at the Tate home were:
San Francisco socialite Abigail Folger, 26, of the Folger’s coffee family; Voyteck Frykowski, 37, a movie associate of Miss Tate’s husband, and Steven Earl Parent, 18, of suburban El Monte, who police said was a friend of Garretson’s.
Miss Tate’s body was found in bikini pants and bra.