Youth Held for Murders Plans To Start New Life
Saturday, August 16th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 – William Garretson, caretaker of the Bel Air estate of slain actress Sharon Tate, said Friday he’s heading home to Ohio to start a new life.
“I’m going to Lancaster. I want to live there and I want to go to college there,” the slender 19-year-old said in a shaky voice.
He was arrested last Saturday after police found the bodies of Miss Tate and four others stabbed and shot in the $200,000 mansion rented by the actress and her husband, film director Roman Polanski. After being booked and questioned he was released for lack of evidence.
Talks With Newsmen
Curly brown hair freshly cut and dressed in a light blue shirt and plaid pants, Garretson talked with newsmen at the Beverly Hills office of his attorney, Barry Tarlow.
Police, meanwhile, continued their hunt for leads in the bizarre and baffling case.
“I was never sure why I was arrested,” Garretson said. “I didn’t know what was coming off … I was asleep and next thing I knew a police officer was pointing a pistol at me.”
He said one victim, 18-year-old Steven Parent of suburban El Monte, was a friend of his who arrived around 11:45 Friday night to show him a radio.
Parent left shortly after midnight after phoning an unidentified friend, Garretson said, and he did not see his guest to his car, which was found by police near the front gate. Police found Parent shot in the front seat.
Cared for Dogs
Garretson said his sole duty as a $35-a-week caretaker was to care for two poodles and a weimaraner belonging to the owner of the home, who police have identified as Rudy Altabelli.
After his visitor left, Garretson said he wrote letters and listened to rock music but heard no sounds from the main house.
As the sun was coming up Saturday, he tried to call time service but found the line was dead. He dozed off and was awakened by the barking of the weimaraner. Then officers came in.
“What’s wrong . . . what’s wrong?” Garretson said he asked. He said he was thrown to the porch, scraping his knees, and handcuffed. He said an officer snapped: “Shut up. We’ll show you.”
He said he was shown bodies on the lawn of coffee heiress Abgail Folger, 26, Voityck Frokowski, 37, a film producer she had been dating, and that of Parent.
Garretson said he did not see the bodies of Miss Tate and hair stylist Jay Sebring, 35, found attached by a nylon rope.
His attorney said he will file a “multi-million-dollar” suit for false arrest, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and violation of constitutional rights.