• Polanski Caretaker Files Huge Claim Against City



Polanski Caretaker Files Huge Claim Against City

VAN NUYS, Aug. 26 – The only apparent survivor of a mass murder in which blonde actress Sharon Tate was one of the victims filed a $1,250,000 false arrest claim against the city yesterday.

William Garretson Jr., 19-year-old caretaker at the rented estate of Miss Tate and her husband film producer Roman Polanski, filed the claim late in the afternoon with City Clerk Rex E. Layton.

Garretson was the only person found alive on the sprawling estate on 10050 Cielo Drive last Aug. 9.

Bodies of five persons were strewn from the living room out to the lawn and in a nearby car.

The victims were Miss Tate, who was pregnant with her first child; men’s hair-stylist Jay Sebring; Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune; Polish emigre Voityek Frokowsky, and 18-year-old Steven Earl Parent, a friend of Garretson.

Garretson claimed he was in the guest cottage some distance from the main home and although he was awake most of the night did not hear the death struggle in which the victims were slain with knives and guns.

He was taken into custody the same morning the bodies were discovered and held incommunicado until Aug. 15 while detectives grilled him.

Garretson’s claim against the city, the first step in filing court action, was by his mother Mary Garretson of Lancaster, Ohio.

It was filed by Atty Robert M. Cohn of Los Angeles.

Garretson, the claim purported, was arrested “without reasonable cause” and that he was “imprisoned and detained” falsely and against his will.

Police, the claim said, “failed to preserve the claimant’s persona and civil rights by exposing him to unwarranted notorious and undesirable publicity.”

Damages – $1,000,000 in general damages and $250,000 in punitive damages – were based on:
“Extreme anxiety and nervousness, emotional distress and mental suffering, anguish, fear, fright, shock, and terror, indignity, humiliation, embarrassment and injury to his reputation; and loss of undetermined present and future earnings.”

In addition to general and punitive damages, Garretson also is asking for compensation yet to be computed for his “unknown loss of earnings.”

The claim will be sent to the city attorney and City Council for action.


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4 Responses to Polanski Caretaker Files Huge Claim Against City

  1. Peter says:

    I wonder what ever happened to this case.

  2. Peter says:

    Looks like it went all the way to trial and he lost.

  3. Sasha Musgrave Travers says:

    William Garretson died sadly in 2016 of cancer. RIP

  4. Sean K. says:

    He certainly is to be pitied! Like his one-time friend Steven Parent, his is a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, in his case, it wasn’t fatal. But it very well could have been!

    I haven’t heard much about the life he led after the murders. In his testimony at the trial a year later, it was divulged that he had recently gotten married. I hope he was able to find some happiness in life despite the notoriety that no doubt plagued him.

    It was unfortunate that decades later he decided to change his story and claim that he actually witnessed aspects of the rampage. He suddenly seemed to recall that he had heard Abigail Folger cry out “I’m already dead” in a vain attempt to keep Patricia Krenwinkel from stabbing her any further. Only problem is, Krenwinkel had made Folger’s futile plea, uttered after being tackled on the lawn, public knowledge in an interview shortly before Garretson’s own disclosure.
    Hard to believe indeed, especially considering that Garretson then continued to listen to music and eventually crawled into bed, where he was discovered by police the next morning!

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