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Glasses may be clue in Sharon Tate case

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 24 – Police have disclosed that the person who killed actress Sharon Tate and four others last August dropped a pair of spectacles indicating he was nearsighted.

They believe this may lead to capture of the killer.

Detectives said Thursday they found the thick-lensed tortoise shell eyeglasses when they discovered the honey blonde Miss Tate, 26, and four companions slain last Aug. 9 in her Bel Air home.

Near Miss Tate’s body was the body of her former boyfriend, hair stylist Jay Sebring. Their heads were hooded and joined by a cord.

Outside the house were the bodies of coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish playboy Voityck Frokowsky and Stephen Parent, friend of a caretaker.

All were shot, stabbed or both.

The eyeglasses, Detective Lt. Robert Helder told a news conference Thursday, were found inside the home, where they “probably fell off during a struggle.”

Police tried to keep the glasses a secret, Helder said, because they were useful in lie detector tests as long as suspects weren’t aware detectives knew about them.

But six weeks ago detectives asked eye specialists to help them find the owner of the glasses, and word that police knew about the spectacles leaked out.

In addition to correcting nearsightedness, the glasses—as described by Helder and Dr. Wayne W. Hoeft, one of the first optometrists to examine them —indicate their owner was between 20 and 40 years old with a small head, characterized by Heoft as “volleyball-shaped,” and had ears close to his face.

Hoeft said the left ear was a quarter to a half inch higher than the right, the eyes were wide apart, and the wearer was active enough to require break resistant plastic lenses, yet careless enough to scratch them up.

The owner “would have difficulty getting along” without glasses, Helder said. “He might be able to read, but he would have a great deal of difficulty in operating a vehicle.” Police think the killer has replaced the spectacles or soon will.

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2 Responses to Glasses may be clue in Sharon Tate case

  1. NikkiLee says:

    Was the owner of these glasses ever connected?

    • cielodrive.com says:

      I don’t recall ever hearing about who the glasses belonged to. Here is a mention of the glasses from “Manson In His Own Words.”

      “Returning to the scene of any crime is risky business, so instead of turning up Cielo Drive, we drove past and looked up the hill to see if there was any activity that might indicate the police had arrived. Everything was quiet. Still not wanting to be too obvious, we parked the car a short distance away and walked to the premises. We entered the grounds by climbing over the fence, as the kids had done. As Sadie and Tex had said, the first victim’s car was off the driveway a short distance from the gate. Going by Tex’s description of how he had approached the car and how he had pushed it, I carefully wiped the car clean of possible finger prints without disturbing the body of the boy who lay dead inside.

      “Approaching a house where you know there are dead bodies has a spine-chilling effect, and I think if I had been alone, I might have forgotten about continuing any farther. My partner probably felt the same way, but neither of us spoke and we did go on to see the whole gory mess. Tex and Sadie’s description had been accurate. What I was seeing was not a scene from a movie or some horrible acid fantasy, but real people who would never see the morning’s sun. I’d had thoughts of creating a scene more in keeping with a black-against-white retaliation, but in looking around, I lost the heart to carry out my plans. The two of us took towels and wiped every place a fingerprint could have been left. I then placed the towel I was using over the head of the man inside the room. My partner had an old pair of eyeglasses which we often used as a magnifying glass or as a device to start a fire when matches weren’t available. We carefully wiped the glasses free of prints and dropped them on the floor, so that, when discovered, they would be a misleading clue for the police. Within an hour and twenty minutes after leaving Spahn, we were back. The sun was already bringing the light of day as I crawled in bed with Stephanie.”

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