Police Seek New Suspect In Murder Case
Thursday, August 14th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 – A six-man team of police detectives Tuesday probed two macabre murder cases which bore startling similarities — senseless, savage stabbings with almost ritualistic overtones.
Police maintained there was no direct physical evidence to connect the stabbing deaths of a middle-aged couple Sunday and the mass murder Saturday of actress Sharon Tate and her four guests at a secluded estate.
But an officer said, “It is unusual to have the same team on two cases unless there’s an indication the cases are linked.”
The sole suspect in the Tate murders, William Garretson, 19, a caretaker at the Benedict Canyon home leased by the actress, was released Monday.
Detectives Tuesday leaned toward the theory the stabbings Sunday of market owner Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary in their home might be a “copy” by a new assailant of the earlier murders.
In both cases, the victims, stabbed numerous times, were left with their heads covered by hoods and cords knotted around their necks. Police revealed Monday the same method was used to scrawl “death to pigs” in the La Bianca case and “pig” in the Tate case.
The murderer apparently dipped the heel of his hand in the blood of his victims and smeared the words in letters from eight inches to one foot high.
A new suspect in the Tate case was still sought by police Tues. He was an acquaintance of Garretson and officers said he lived in the Southern California area and had not been home since the murders, an indication that his house was staked out.
Last Friday night, another of Garretson’s acquaintances, Steve Parent, 18, dropped by. Garretson didn’t accompany Parent to his car when he left about 11:30 p.m. Parent was found shot to death the next day, slumped in the front seat