Glasses may be clue in Sharon Tate case
Friday, October 24th, 1969
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.