Police Deny Report By Attorney
Friday, May 29th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, May 29 – A defense lawyer for a member of the “Manson family” contends police have a confession from someone not connected with the hippie cult stating he killed actress Sharon Tate.
Paul D. Fitzgerald, attorney for Patricia Krenwinkel, said Thursday “the police have in their hands a confession by someone in jail who said he committed the Sharon Tate murders in connection with a narcotics ring.”
However, when told of Fitzgerald’s contention, deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi said police did not have any such confession which they considered valid.
Bugliosi said that shortly after the Tate slayings a number of “pushers” in the narcotics racket came forward with “ambiguous” statements implying they might have been involved as a means of frightening and collecting from customers who owed them money.
Fitzgerald said he intended to inspect the document he claims officers have and other police records, including data indicating that one of the victims who died at the actress’ rented home last Aug. 9 was a sadist and two others were drug addicts.
The prosecution has agreed to give Fitzgerald access to reports of the police investigation of the case.
“I hope to be able to demonstrate that someone else who wasn’t even part of the ‘Manson family’ killed Sharon Tate,” Fitzgerald said. “I at least want to be able to investigate the possibility.
“I know the police have evidence that two of the victims, Abigail Folger and Voityck Frokowski, were inextricably bound up in a large narcotic ring.
“I have also learned from police reports made available to me that Jay Sebring was involved in bizarre sexual activities.”
The lawyer was denied access to the police records at a court hearing May 22, but the prosecution did an about-face and granted him permission to inspect the documents next week.
He said he asked to see investigatory reports concerning Sebring’s alleged acts of sadism “and in particular his conduct in regard to bizarre sexual activity” and “use of force and torture in connection with ropes and hoods.”
Fitzgerald indicated he believed the case against Charles Manson, the accused mastermind of the killings, Miss Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten would go to trial on schedule June 15. An attempt by Manson to change lawyers was expected to delay the proceedings, however.