‘Sharon Was Hanged as She Died’
Saturday, August 22nd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 – Pregnant actress Sharon Tate was not only stabbed 16 times, but was hanged by the neck from a ceiling beam by the murderers who invaded her Benedict Canyon home last August.
Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi, testifying in the trial of hippie cult leader Charles Manson and three of his girl followers, shocked the crowded courtroom Friday when he identified two abrasions on a blown-up picture of the actress’ face as “rope burns”.
“From the appearance of the abrasions,” the Coroner said, “…it is consistent with…the decedent was hanged.”
Interrupted by objections from defense attorney Irving Kanarek, representing Manson, Dr. Noguchi didn’t elaborate. However, it was indicated later that in addition to the abrasions on the left cheek of the actress, rope burns also encircled her neck. A rope had been found tied around her neck, thrown over a ceiling beam in the living room of the home, then tied around the neck
of Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring, another victim.
Dr. Noguchi, who said he personally conducted the three-hour autopsy, testified the body contained no post-mortem wounds, indicating she had been hanged before or as she was dying of the stab wounds.
Using a life-sized drawing of the 26-year-old actress’ body to indicate where the 16 stab wounds and two cuts were located, Dr. Noguchi testified that her death was caused by “multiple stab wounds of the chest and back, penetrating the heart, lungs and liver and causing massive hemorrhage.”
Manson, sitting at the counsel table scowling and rubbing his beard, stared first at the seven-man five woman jury, then at the Japanese-born pathologist as he continued his detailed testimony. The three girls — Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel — sat silently, almost immobile. Only once, when the coroner discussed one of the seven autopsy pictures of the actress’ body, did one of them — Miss Atkins — move. Her body shook, as though she had been startled.
Of the 16 stab wounds and two cuts, Dr. Noguchi said five “by themselves…would have been fatal.” Three others, he said, were potentially fatal wounds.
Four four-inch deep stab wounds in the chest, which penetrated the heart and lungs, and a five-inch deep stab wound in the upper abdomen which penetrated the liver, Dr. Noguchi said, were fatal wounds. Three of eight stab wounds in the actress’ back which pierced her lungs, the doctor termed, “potentially fatal.” She also had been stabbed in the upper right “and upper left arms, and I in the back of the right thigh, and had two sharp cuts on her left forearm.
The actress, Dr. Noguchi testified, was eight months pregnant with a baby boy “in the normal state of development.” There had been no injury to the baby, he said, but he estimated it lived “no more than 10 or 15 minutes after the maternal death occurred…only as long as circulation existed.”
Coffee heiress Abigail Folger, whose autopsy Dr. Noguchi supervised, died, he said, of “a stab wound of the aorta — the large blood vessel from the heart.”
Nine autopsy photographs of Miss Folger, whose body was found on the lawn of the Tate home, were introduced, but no further testimony was presented.
Dr. Noguchi will continue his testimony Monday morning.
Earlier Los Angeles Police Sgt. Michael J. McGann, in charge of police investigation at the Tate home, told the court marijuana, hashish, cocaine and MDA (a synthetic hallucinogenic drug) were found in the Tate home and in the car belonging to Sebring after the murders.
Seventy-six grams of marijuana were found in a sack in a living room cabinet at the home, and 36 grams of hashish were found in a night stand in the front bedroom of the home, believed used by Miss Folger and Polish playboy Voityck Frykowski. Also in the nightstand, McGann said officers found 10 capsules of MDA. One gram of cocaine, 7.8 grams of loose marijuana and a two-inch marijuana roach were all found in Sebring’s car, parked in the driveway.
Under cross-examination, McGann said that police had found a knife in an overstuffed chair in the living room, but that chemical analysis indicated it had no blood on it. The knife, prosecutors have charged, was lost by Miss Atkins in the frenzy of murder.
Before the trial began Friday, Superior Court Judge Charles Older, together with Manson’s attorney and representatives from the County Counsel’s office, inspected the accused murderer’s jail accommodations. The unexpected visit followed Manson’s motion to stop the sheriff’s office from harassing him in jail.
The long-haired hippie leader, on the stand for the second day, told the judge that a screen that is put up between him and his attorney and visitors is unjustified.
“We have no human communications with the screen there,” his attorney charged. “It’s a fundamental denial of the right to prepare for this trial.”
Manson claimed the screen was part of “creeping security.”
“The security is like smog that builds up on the outside – security builds up on the inside.
“I’m accused of eight capital offenses and there are 15 civil suits against me. They’ve got so much piled up against me I’ve lost track.”
The 35-year-old guru told Judge Older the screen had been put up because of “lies” told to guards by other prisoners. “They put a guy named Peterson in with me. He’d been an informer in a penitentiary I was in, but I never held anything against him. He asked me for some LSD and I gave him a piece of candy and told him to go on a trip. He went to The Man.”
Manson said he has been placed in “lock-up” — a loss of privileges — because someone passed him a newspaper, “and the guards called it illegal communication.” On other occasions, he said, he was thrown into solitary because “they accused me of giving a black man a cigarette — and again later because I talked to him.”
Manson’s hearing will resume again Monday at 9 a.m., before the regular trial opens.
By MARY NEISWENDER
To this day, it is hard to imagine the savagery of the murders.
Lives snuffed out by crazy people.
Too bad that California did away with the death penalty in the early 1970s, thus saving the killers from death.
If anyone on earth deserved to be put to death, it was Manson and the others.
George Vreeland Hill
in the uk we have a new series of the Manson murders I am looking at research even though I remember it well just like to say I agree with you comment entirely no mercy I lived in the Middle East for 3 years and they have got it right there an eye for an eye there is very little crime ……
They only did away with the death penalty for about 3 months before it was re-instated. However, they couldn’t go through with the sentence retroactively, for some stupid reason.
No, the death penalty is a terrible thing. Innocent people could be killed for crimes they didn’t commit. Look up Tony Wright- he was tried for the death penalty, luckily only ended up with life in jail, and was finally exonerated because of DNA evidence. He could have died for a crime he didn’t commit- his son would have grown up without a father, his wife wouldn’t have a husband, his family would be ashamed.
Manson not only caused death and sorrow for the families but dragged people down the path of evil and ruined their lives too. He is 80 years old now, and hopefully he will die soon and we don’t have to look at that insect anymore.
I agree with Vreeland. It was such an horrific crime, that will never be forgotten as long as we live. Yes I think they should have been put to death. Now here are all these lunatics running around killing people just because they didn’t like something, or someone. See all this time, taxpayers money has been feeding them, housing them, providing necessary sports so they can keep fit. That’s not fair. These murders took out certain people and didn’t think anything was wrong. The Justice system has completely failed us. Yet they want to take away our SS raise we get every year. It’s probably going toward taking care of they’re cig., magazines,T.V. sets and so many other things also. Makes me sick.
It was the most horrible crime I’ve ever heard of. It was over kill. How someone could call themselves human and do something like that, is a liar. They were animals instead. I wish they could have been sent to death plenilty. Excuse my spelling I can’t seem to be able to think very clear. Anyway by them being in jail our taxes are paying for their comfort. What did their victims get? Pain and suffering. Manson doesn’t want out because he has no where to go. It makes me mad.
Such a sad and evil crime that was committed against those innocent people…gives me chills
I agree with George Hill. It infuriated me that Charles “Tex” Watson was alllowed to have conjugal visits until 1996, so he was able to father several children. Poor Sharon wasn’t allowed to have her baby.
I feel no mercy towards any of them. They all should have been killed and saved the tax payers millions of dollars. It galls me to think that some are set free i dont care how old they are..they should never see the light of day
Sharon Tate and her baby never knew what life really was like. Her baby was killed while in uterine and all the others who were killed are gone forever. Why should someone be allowed to kill someone denying them life and yet they continue to live . nah that is just wrong i say eye for an eye and i bet that will work much better
This country has a greedy way of making money off people’s miseries. Movies, documentaries, books, interviews, and get rich over it and the poor who was interviewed is still dirt poor. We all know the story, why give these monsters any more publicity? I lived with these three women for six years in CIW. I remember Atkins well, I walked with her and Leslie V Houten to AA a few times. I can’t believe these people have the nerve to complain about anything. They should be served dog food until gassed. I totally agree with Sharon Tate’s younger sister. She belonged right where she died. Her greedy husband who if not already will write a few books on her, recited scriptures together with Atkins at the parole board, I would have thrown them out with their found religion. How convenient the Christian religion is, you can be a monster and slaughter people and kids and be forgiven, that’a bull shit religion. I remember how she tended a garden and fed her boxed lunch to the many cats at CIW, yet no regard for human life. She was a text book sociopath, a dangerous one because she was smart and pretty and no conscience to give her a hard time. There a lot of monsters out there in human form. It was a hell of a learning experience that turned me toward a Bachelor’s in Psych. The infamous, Betty Brodwick, was the first to befriend me when I arrived there. Then it was the lady from the book, The 12’0clock Murders, Vonda White, she was a very nice lady who shot a man twice in the head on orders of her Mormon sociopath husband who ordered her to kill him because he was going to expose his murders and rapes in the family. It was a hell of a learning experience for my little ole forgery crime. I did more time than some monsters for killing their child. I kept a six-year journal while in prison. If I were to let someone read it they would be shocked at the confessions, the pouring out of the soul, coming clean, blames, insanities but mostly sociopaths in different degrees but all interesting. It was interesting to make out the sociopaths and who were not. The women with the horrible murder crimes who looked as if they were going to a beauty contest just to go to dinner in prison, who laughed as if away at school, those were the very much classic text book kind. Also, the ones who were not, that snapped, that came back when the fog cleared and could not live with what they did and don’t believe it for years or even remember it for years but when they do, boy, they can’t deal and try hurting themselves for what they did, now that is a person with remorse and conscience. Those women had to be medicated, those others slept like babies. A sociopath is not insane or crazy or sick. He is just plain bad. For what ever happened in his childhood or not, he/she is a monster in human skin who hides behind normality.
Manson recently died and there was fighting over his body. Unbelievable! That lunatic and his equally loony family got to live out their lives even though they snuffed out the lives of innocent people. Manson and family were a bunch of butchers and I hope they fry in hell for all eternity. I read somewhere that when Roman Polanski returned to the US upon Tate’s death, no one would allow him to stay with them and no hotel would rent him a room in case he was a target. He had to sleep in his car. Later on he raped a young girl and I honestly think he had lost his mind. Everything about this matter is so horrifying, despicable and unbelievable. I remember it like it was yesterday.
So how long were they there for at the house when the murders took place ,Does anyone know?
OK, so he died? I didn’t know that’s how much I read anything that has to do with them. I agree with the reviewer who said they deserved to die. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and I don’t agree with a lot written. I believe there are two types of sociopth, the product of his own environment and the one born without a conscience. In psychology they do not believe people are born without consciences. Well, I do. I also know that this world has monsters in human form. I believe if you don’t have a conscience then you are not human because of the evil things that can be done without it. I knew the manson girls, Betty Broaderick and a lot of Ca murderesses. One thing I believe also is that asking the question if we believe in the death penalty and all folks here on this page feel the manson and his demon girls should have been executed but lucked out..It’s amazing and I think a woman, mother, will understand me better..If your son tortured, raped and killed my daughter I would want to be the one to administer the poison, yes kill him, execute him…BUT, if it was my son who committed the same crime to your son, I will beg and pled to please not execute my son. Give him life without but please don’t kill my son..This is the reality of the answer to that question. All I am saying is that if it was our child that committed the crime we would be singing a different tune. That is how hypocritical most humans are. As long as it’s not one of theirs who did the killing yes kill. My belief has always been since these murders that we have monsters in human skin. Monsters that bite and even eat their victims. It is impossible for a human being with a conscience to do such evil. Human beings do not do these things. Men, who get off sexually by eating body parts? That can’t be human. A person who can take a child, rape her, tear her up and dump her like garbage, a human being cannot do something like this..My problem is the media attention these fucking monsters are given to sell mag. and newspaper documentaries, movies, songs and tv ratings, greedy bastards.
Please don’t be down on Christianity Christ was one of a kind and totally the opposite of theses Manson demons TRUE CHRISTIANS would NEVER do any of the demonic things these animals did killing innocent people Christianity ISN’T about religion it’s about having a relationship with the Living God and NONE of the Manson followers had that If they did they could never have done what they did
They should have gone to the gas chamber. All the same day. One right after the other.
Do you believe Betty Broderick was a sociopath?
Yes, Betty Broderick was a psychopath.
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