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Five Slayings Still Unsolved, Chief Reports

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3 — It’s been 26 days since actress Sharon Tate and four others were found slain but there’s still no sign of a suspect, murder weapons or motive, Police Chief Edward M. Davis said Tuesday.

Davis and Chief of Detectives Robert A. Houghton told a news conference more than 300 persons have been questioned about the case in the United States and abroad.

Unfortunately the murderer or murderers did not leave a calling card.

– Robert A. Houghton

The other four killed Aug.9 at the Bel Air estate rented by Miss Tate and her husband, movie director Roman Polanski, were coffee heiress Abigail Folger, hair stylist Jay Sebring, Polish playboy Voityck Frokowky, and 18-year-old Steven Parent.

“Unfortunately the murderer or murderers did not leave a calling card,” said Houghton, indicating physical evidence found at the scene was minimal.

He confirmed earlier statements that drugs were found throughout the $200,000 mansion but would not comment on their type or quantity.

The victims were not sexually mutilated, Miss Tate’s unborn child was not stabbed and there was no evidence to believe anyone other than Polanski was the father, Houghton said in answer to questions.

He confirmed at least one person—believed by newsmen to be a Polish artist—is under police protection but refused to give additional information. Houghton said the whereabouts of Polanski at this time are unknown to police and that he has not been barred from leaving the United States.

Though admitting there were several possible sequences in which the five victims met their deaths, Houghton refused to comment on who died first or at what time.

Among several aspects of the case the officers declined to talk about “because they would jeopardize the case at this time” were fingerprints found at the scene, whether there was forced entry into the mansion, a murder-for hire theory, an underworld or narcotics ring involvement and whether the victims were killed where they were found.

The chance of apprehension decreases as time passes, Houghton said, but he expressed optimism that the multiple murders would be solved.

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