Coroner Says Drugs Found in Bodies of Tate Victims
Tuesday, August 25th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 – The two victims who struggled the most fiercely with their killers a year ago at the home of actress Sharon Tate had a quantity of a drug known as “super speed” in their systems, the County Coroner testified yesterday.
The disclosure by Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi came as the prosecution, at the murder trial of Charles Manson and three female followers, ended its direct examination of the Coroner.
Noguchi performed the autopsy on the body of the 26-year-old, Miss Tate and supervised the post mortem examinations of the other four victims.
He said later toxicological examinations of the victims showed coffee heiress Abigail Folger, 26, had 2.4 milligrams of the drug MDA in her bloodstream. Her friend, 37-year-old Polish playboy Voityck Frykowsky, had .6 milligrams of MDA in his urine, the Coroner added.
Noguchi also said Miss Folger had a blood alcohol content of .05%. Another victim, 18-year-old Steven Parent, had a blood alcohol content of .02%.
The coroner said the other two victims, Miss Tate and 35-year-old men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring, showed no signs of alcohol or drugs in their systems.
A toxicological examination, not unusual in murder cases, is performed to determine the amount or type of drugs or poisons, if any, within a body.
Noguchi testified earlier that Frykowsky, stabbed 51 times, and Miss Folger, stabbed 28 times, had apparently tried to fend off their attackers.
He based his opinion on the presence of what he called “defense wounds” on the hands and arms of both victims.
Noguchi also testified Frykowsky was beaten over the head with a blunt instrument similar to a gun butt and had been shot twice.
Although, the Coroner said the Polish playboy died from multiple stab wounds, he said he also could have been killed by the beating or a bullet wound in the back.
Miss Folger and Frykowsky both were found on the lawn of Miss Tate’s home. Sebring and the actress were discovered inside.
Parent, who had been visiting estate caretaker William Garretson, was found in his automobile.
He had been shot four times, and Noguchi said two of the bullet wounds, in the chest, were fatal.
The coroner also revealed Parent had a stab wound in his left hand, as if he too, had tried to ward away his killer.
Sebring was stabbed seven times and shot once. Noguchi said he bled to death.
The men’s hairstylist also was beaten severely about the face, probably by someone’s fist, the Coroner testified.
Miss Tate, eight months pregnant with a son, was stabbed 16 times, Noguchi said.
The fetus lived from 15 to 20 minutes after its mother.
Miss Tate, wife of Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, also was hanged before she died, the Coroner said.
A rope, with one end tied to Miss Tate’s neck and the other to Sebring’s, was found tossed over a beam in the actress’ living room.
Noguchi also testified that in his opinion, the 103 stab wounds found in the victims might have been inflicted by a weapon or weapons similar to a bayonet.
He reasoned that the majority of the wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a double-edged instrument, although some were inflicted by a single-edged instrument.
Most of the stab wounds, he said, were three to four inches deep. Some were five inches deep, however, and usually the ones which the Coroner said were fatal.
Noguchi testified the knife or knives used had to be “strong” as compared with thin kitchen knives which would have broken off in the victim’s bodies.
The Coroner also testified that, in many cases, the killers thrust the blades of their knives through the victims’ bones.
“Miss Folger s breastbone, the heavy covering over the chest, was punctured, for instance, Noguchi said.
The coroner also noted there was no sign the victims had been sexually molested before or after they were killed, the bodies were not mutilated or dismembered, he added.
Noguchi also said a .22-caliber longhorn revolver, which the prosecution claims was one of the murder weapons, could have caused Frykowsky’s scalp wounds if the assailant beat the man over the head with the gun butt.
The coroner said the “defense wounds” on Frykowsky were mostly in the hands and on the left forearm.
The Coroner, using a large black and white diagram of the outline of a human form, said one of the stab wounds on Miss Folger’s face was four inches long.
He listed the fatal wounds as one in the neck which penetrated the windpipe, one in the chest which penetrated the breast bone, two more in the chest, and one in the abdomen which penetrated the intestines.
Noguchi also testified that Sebring was stabbed seven times, and shot once.
Three of the stab wounds in Sebring were fatal, Noguchi said, and the gunshot wound “could be classified as fatal.”
Manson 35, and two female followers — Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel, both 22 — are accused of both the Tate murders and the slayings the next day of market owner Leno La Bianca and his wife.
A fourth co-defendant, 20-year-old Leslie Van Houten, is accused only of the La Bianca murders, although she faces a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, as do the other defendants.
Earlier, trial judge Charles H. Older denied Manson’s motion which asked that the court order the Sheriff’s Dept. to stop alleged harassment of the cult chief by sheriff’s deputies,
Manson last week claimed he was not only harassed by his jailers, but he also was not given proper facilities to interview prospective witnesses.
His attorney, Irving A. Kanarek, claimed Manson was being denied “equal protection of the law.”
“I find no evidence of any harassment and the procedures used by the sheriff are reasonable,” said Judge Older, who personally inspected Manson’s facilities in Hall of Justice jail last Friday.
By SANDI METTETAL