Frokowsky on Drug ‘Trip’ When He Was Slain, Friends Report
Friday, August 22nd, 1969
Aug. 22 – Voityck Frokowsky was in the midst of an experiment with mescaline when he and four other persons were slain early Aug. 9 at the home of Sharon Tate, it was learned Thursday.
Friends said he planned to take the hallucinogenic drug for eight or 10 days. One said Jay Sebring, who was murdered with Frokowsky, may also have been taking mescaline or a similar drug.
“I saw them Thursday, Aug, 7,” said Thomas Michael Harrigan, who has been questioned extensively by the police, went to Sharon’s place. Frokowsky seemed wobbly and uncoordinated.
“Sebring was sitting in a chair, his head tilted to one side, as though he were watching a movie only he could see,” he said in an interview.
“Sharon was in the bedroom. I could see her through an open door, combing her hair. She was wearing a housecoat. I thought at first she was Abigail Folger. Then she came out and I met her.
“She wasn’t high. She didn’t use drugs. She was perfectly straight. She seemed like a warm, sweet person. She seemed oblivious to what was going on around her, as though there was nothing out of the ordinary.
“I wanted to invite Frokowsky to a party at my place Saturday, but I didn’t give him the address. He was too far gone on the trip. He’d never have been able to understand the directions.”
Harrigan thought Frokowsky was in the fifth day of an eight-clay mescaline experiment when he last saw him Aug. 7. Another friend, who saw him Aug. 8, believes it was a 10-day trip.
Mescaline synthetically duplicates the effects of the LSD-like mushrooms used by some American and Mexican Indians in trance-like religious rites.
One longtime friend of the Polish emigre believes Frokowsky’s use of mescaline had changed his personality in recent weeks.
“His personality changed. Even his face, his features changed,” the friend said. “I had a feeling something terrible was going to happen.”
So, apparently, had Voityck Frokowsky.
“He told me a few months ago, ‘I’m going to die young, and violently,’” Harrigan said.
Frokowsky was 37 when he was beaten, stabbed and shot to death.
The police investigation of the murder of Frokowsky, Miss Tate, Miss Folger, Sebring and Steven Parent has to a large extent centered around the handsome, impetuous, charming Pole.
Friends told how his life rushed swiftly to its sudden end. A defector from Poland, he mingled with the Parisian underworld then came here and, some said, dabbled in the illicit narcotics trade. He drank chilled vodka by the water tumbler, drove too fast, smoked marijuana and took mescaline.
“He had to live dangerously,” said a beautiful Polish girl who knew him.
“He said he wanted to write about these things. But it wasn’t that. He would drive 65 miles an hour on Mulholland Drive. He was that way. He was always putting himself in danger.”
“He was a beautiful person,” said Harrigan, who first met him at a Hollywood party in January. “He would get up in the morning, and walk outside, and be happy, really happy, just being alive. He’d feel so good he’d make everyone around him feel good.
“He was high just living and breathing. I don’t know why he had to take anything else. But he also had that Polish, melancholy outlook, that he would die young, that he had to live every moment and have every experience, while he could.”
Another Polish emigre said he tried to warn Frokowsky about drugs.
“I wanted him to leave Sharon’s place,” he said. (Frokowsky and “Gibby” Folger stayed at the Benedict Canyon home of Miss Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, while they were in Europe, and remained there when Miss Tate returned to await birth of her first baby.)
“I told him ‘You and Gibby can go anyplace. You can go to the islands. You can go to Europe. Don’t bring something terrible to this house,’ But they stayed there, went inside, closed the doors, and took drugs.”
Polanski, in his only public comment on the case, referred to Frokowsky as “a very kind human being, who wanted success — but who had little talent.”
Some think Polanski shares the opinion of other friends that Frokowsky was the chief target of the mass murder.
Police have sought and questioned Frokowsky’s known contacts. Harrigan’s attorney, Paul Caruso, believes police asked Canadian authorities to find Harrigan in their hunt for two Canadians Frokowsky was supposed to meet at International Airport Aug. 6.
Harrigan, 27, who is from Ottawa, went to police on learning of an all-points bulletin naming him and three other Canadian friends of Frokowsky. Harrigan wasn’t one of the two men sought and he was questioned and released, Caruso said.
“If I’d given Frokowsky my address” said Harrigan “the police would’ve found it and come to see me earlier. I wish now I had.”
He said that he thinks the killer would’ve had to kill Frokowsky first. “He worshipped Roman Polanski” Harrigan said. “There was no way in the world he’d’ve let anyone hurt Sharon Tate.”
Private funeral services for Frokowsky were to be held today at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale. His mother, Mrs. Tola Frokowsky, and brother, Jerzy, came here from Poland for the rites. Cremation will follow. His ashes will be taken back to Poland, where he has a 10-year-old son by a former marriage.
His mother said her son had written her of Miss Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee family of San Francisco. “He said he loved her, and wanted to marry her,” she said, “but wouldn’t do it because she was rich.”
By DIAL TORGERSON