Murder House Bears Evidence of Massacre
Wednesday, August 20th, 1969
Aug. 20 – At his press conference Tuesday, Roman Polanski suggested that newsmen “go see this ‘orgy place.’ You’ll see how innocent it is.”
When newsmen sought to do so, a uniformed guard hired by the film director turned them away at the gate to Polanski’s rented estate at the end of Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon.
A reporter for The Times, however, had been allowed to take a close look at the murder scene earlier.
Still lying on the front lawn were pieces of blue cloth which apparently had been used to cover the bodies of Abigail Folger and Voityck Frokowsky.
On the concrete front porch of the rustic and rambling ranch-style house was a large patch of dried blood, perhaps marking the point where a struggle took place.
The word “Pig” was faintly visible at the base of the glass-topped, wood-bottomed front door. The guard on duty said investigators told him it was believed the word was smeared in blood on the door with a towel used by the killers to wipe blood off themselves.
The front door opens into a long, narrow living room which was in some disorder. At the center was a puffy brown sofa with its three cushions upended.
Two large, dark patches on the buff carpet in front of the sofa at each end marked the spots where the bodies of actress Sharon Tate and hair stylist Jay Sebring were found.
Eight feet overhead, extending from the wall in front of the sofa to just in front of it, is an airy wood plank loft with a ladder leading up to it. The killers had looped a piece of rope over a beam at the front of the loft and tied the ends around the necks of the two victims.
A number of magazines and paperback and hardback books lay scattered on a table behind the sofa.
There were several issues of Playboy, a couple of books on the antiballistic missile controversy, several science fiction novels and two identical books, each priced at $26, entitled “Erotic Art.”
There is a small bar with a small amount of liquor on the shelves at one end of the living room. A colorful poster from the Monterey Pop Festival, the only wall ornament in the room, hangs on the bar wall. A porcelain mug in the bar was inscribed with the word “opium.”
In one corner is a brown, baby grand piano that was dusty from white fingerprint powder sprinkled by police.
Miss Folger’s suitcase and expensive camera were on the floor of a bedroom containing a double bed. Letters and postcards addressed to her and Frokowsky were on a dresser.
In the master bedroom, apparently occupied by Miss Tate, there were only striped sheets on the king-size bed. On top of a Spanish-style dresser cabinet were a water pipe and books on childbirth and baby care, including one titled “Name Your Baby.”
By PAUL HOUSTON