Informer Links 3 To Tate Murders
Saturday, August 16th, 1969
Aug. 16 – Police kept close guard for a sixth straight night Friday on a man who says he believes he knows the killer or killers responsible for last weekend’s Benedict Canyon massacre.
The informant, who said he fears for his life, claims Polish playboy Voityck Frokowsky, 37, was the principal target of the mass murder which left five dead, including actress Sharon Tate.
The motive behind the slayings was Frokowsky’s deep involvement with narcotics distributors, the man has told police.
If he is correct, the four other victims presumably died as a byproduct of Frokowsky’s execution.
The informant, like Frokowsky, is a Polish emigre. He was a close friend of the dead man.
He has given detectives the names of at least three persons, one of whom he believes was actively involved in the blood-letting late last Friday night or early last Saturday at the rented estate of Miss Tate, 26, and her husband, Polish director Roman Polanski. Polanski was in London at the time.
Aspiring Actor Named
Other names supplied to police are presumably thought by the informant to have had a role in the killings or at least some knowledge of the crime.
One person named by him is an aspiring Hollywood actor, known chiefly to industry figures but unfamiliar to the movie-going public.
The informant was invited to the fateful party at the Tate-Polanski estate, but said he worked late into the night and thus escaped the fate of the slain five.
But the informant has indicated he is certain the killer or killers know that he can identify them.
Originally, he was afraid to talk to police, but was persuaded to do so during the day Sunday by out-of-town confidants.
Two detectives have remained by his side ever since he first spoke with investigators Sunday night.
It is known that detectives have acted on his information, but they decline to say what has been developed from it.
However, there are persuasive indications that the focus of their investigation is concentrated on his story which, essentially follows this line:
Not long after Frokowsky, a close friend of director Polanski in Poland, came to this country two years ago, he met coffee heiress Abigail (Gibby) Folger, 2, in New York City She was another victim of the slaughter.
“What has happened really is a love tragedy,” said the informant.
Miss Folger, he continued, became the mistress of Frokowsky, and she introduced him to the use of cocaine, the informant said.
Frokowsky became interested in another woman, but Miss Folger, who was deeply in love with him, established her claim to him by supplying him with funds for his drug habit, the informant said.
She and Frokowsky moved to Los Angeles several months ago.
According to Frokowsky’s friend, the cocaine deliveries were made to Miss Folger, who then turned the drug supplies over to him.
But, somehow, Frokowsky reportedly became personally involved with drug distributors himself, the informant said.
This involvement — the precise nature of which is unknown — led to the mass murder, the informant claims.
Whether Frokowsky was involved in some kind of double-cross or was considered a threat to the prosperity of dope peddlers is a matter of speculation, regardless of the informant’s story.
As early as last Tuesday, it was learned that drugs were found in the expensive sports car of Jay Sebring, 35, the wealthy hairstylist who was another of the victims.
Frokowsky’s friend and an associate said they were offered cocaine a month ago by Miss Folger, after a delivery of the drug to the Tate-Polanski estate. Both said they declined
Tells of Invitation
The informant said Frokowsky and Miss Folger moved into the residence on the estate four months ago when Polanski and his wife went to Europe and wanted someone to keep watch on their belongings. Frokowsky’s father financed Polanski’s early film ventures in Poland.
While it is known that the social set which revolved around Polanski was marijuana – oriented, the informant said the famed director was fiercely opposed to the use of “hard stuff.” The friend said Frokowsky had extended him an invitation to the party while visiting his place of business about 6 p.m. last Friday.
The friend presently has in his possession a note written on Miss Folger’s stationery in which she professed her love for Frokowsky. The note reads:
“It is beautiful.
“I love you.”
He said cocaine deliveries were made to Miss Folger’s home, and later to the Tate- Polanski residence after the director and his actress-wife left for Europe. The deliveries were made by what he described, in halting English, as:
“You mean drug peddlers,” he was asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
Miss Folger’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Folger of Woodside, confirmed Friday that their daughter had met Frokowsky in New York City, that they had been dating and that they had been saying, at the Tate-Polanski residence.
Both said they had no indication that Miss Folger was using “hard” drugs, but the father said she “may have” smoked marijuana.
However, both acknowledged they could be unaware of certain aspects of her life.
By JERRY COHEN