‘Hundreds of names’ involved in probe of mass slayings
Wednesday, August 13th, 1969
Los Angeles, Aug. 13 – Homicide detectives questioned friends and acquaintances of actress Sharon Tate yesterday — some of them “pretty weird” — in an all-out effort to solve the brutal massacre of Benedict Canyon.
“Now it is a matter of tremendous footwork,” a police spokesman said. “The victims had so many friends in so many areas. We have to reach these people and question them. Some of them, it turns out, were pretty weird. Hundreds of names are involved.
“There is no new evidence in the case or any prime suspect since the release of William Garretson (the 19-year-old caretaker).
“But we have 17 sergeants and 2 lieutenants working full time around the clock on the case.”
Detectives refused to discuss reports that a small black book belonging to hairstylist Jay Sebring, found knifed to death and with a black hood over his head at Miss Tate’s Benedict Canyon estate, had been discovered
It purportedly held the names of other guests who were to visit the murder house on the Friday night that Sebring, Miss Tate, heiress Abigail Folger, Voityck Frokowsky and Steven Parent were butchered.
Officers have not ruled out the possibility of a connection between the multiple murders on the estate of Miss Tate, a home rented by her director husband Roman Polanski, and a similarly bizarre double slaying of chain grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife less than two days later.
In both cases the victims were repeatedly stabbed, some of them wore hoods, and bloody messages were left at the scene.
On the front door of Miss Tate’s home the word “pig” was scrawled in human blood. At the La Bianca home “death to pigs” was written in gore on the living room wall.
Police sought three different types of suspects; members of the “rich hippie” set who frequented the Polanski estate, Sunset Strip acquaintances of caretaker Garretson, or a person or persons unrelated to the murder victims.
Investigators indicated robbery was not a motive in either case and denied drugs were found in the Benedict Canyon house.
Barry Tarlow, attorney for Garretson, the only person found alive after the massacre and later released for lack of evidence, told newsmen narcotics were found at the murder scene.