Mother ‘is sure’ son didn’t kill
Monday, August 11th, 1969
LANCASTER, Ohio, Aug. 11 – William Garretson, 19-year-old Lancaster youth held for questioning in the brutal slayings of Hollywood star Sharon Tate and four other persons, was described by his mother as a nonviolent person.
Garretson was arrested Saturday after the bodies of Miss Tate, and four friends were found dead in the actress’ suburban Los Angeles home.
The youth, who was employed in the house of movie director Roman Polanski — Miss Tate’s husband — had left his Lancaster home last October.
His mother, Mrs. Mary Garretson, said she found it hard to believe her son was capable of murder.
“He never wanted to hunt or fish,” she said. “He was never interested in killing.”
“I don’t know if he killed them or not. No mother wants to believe that.”
Garretson had been in trouble with the police in Lancaster as recently as two years ago when he was given a one-year suspended sentence for furnishing beer to a minor. In 1964 he was arrested for shoplifting, but charges of grand larceny were later dropped.
Mrs. Garretson said her son called her regularly and was homesick.
The youth apparently met Polanski when the director offered him a ride while hitchhiking in California in February and then offered him a job looking after his dogs.
She said she last heard from her son when he telephoned her collect last Tuesday to wish her a happy birthday.