Tate Case Arrest
Monday, December 1st, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 – Two young women and a man, former Hollywood residents, today were named in warrants linking them with the Aug. 9 slayings here of actress Sharon Tate and four friends in her Benedict Canyon home.
In a second startling development, Los Angeles police also disclosed the same three are suspects in the brutal killings Aug. 10 of Leno LaBianca, 44, and his wife, Rosemary. LaBianca was the millionaire owner of the Gateway Markets.
Chief of Police Ed Davis said murder indictments would be sought against the two women and the man for the Tate and other murders, as well as against “an additional four or five other persons.”
He named the three as:
Charles D. Watson, 24, now in custody in McKinley, Texas.
Patricia Kernwinkel, 21, not yet apprehended.
Linda Louise Kasabian, 19, not in custody.
“The development of information from two separate investigations, the Tate and LaBianca cases, led detectives to the conclusion that the crimes in both cases were committed by the same group of people,” Chief Davis announced.
He said that detectives developed evidence which revealed the suspects and others lived at the Spahn Movie Ranch on Santa Susana Pass Road in Chatsworth during the time of the commission of the murders.
Later, the chief added, they moved to the Barker Ranch, located near the Death Valley National Monument in Inyo County.
He said legal restrictions prevented the release of further information at this time.
Linking of the Tate and LaBianca murders supported theories at the time of the LaBianca killing that the two crimes could have been perpetrated by the same person or persons.
In both cases, the victims were mutilated, and both occurred in the dead of night.
When the LaBiancas were slain in their Los Feliz district home, without apparent motive, there was speculation that the murderer had an acquaintance with them or members of their family.
Murdered along with Miss Tate were Jay Sebring, 35, the actress’ former fiance and an internationally known men’s hair stylist; Polish movie cameraman Voyteck Frokowski, 32; San Francisco Bay Area coffee heiress Abigail Folger, 26, and Stephen Parent, an 18-year-old El Monte youth who was visiting the caretaker.
All but Parent were stabbed. He was shot.
Police have questioned more than 400 persons in connection with the case, but the persons now in custody are the first “real suspects” definitely tied to the slayings, it was reported.
It also has been learned that police expect to make additional arrests. The investigation to date has led detectives to trace the activities of persons as far away as the Bahamas.
Police have suspected almost from the start of their probe that the gruesome slayings in Benedict Canyon here were connected with persons involved in narcotics peddling.
Friends of Frokowski have said that he was in the midst of a prolonged “mescaline” trip when the killings took place. Other persons who visited the 10051 Cielo Drive house said that Sebring also was “very high on something” when they saw him several hours before the fatal attack.
A small portion of marijuana and another drug called DMA was found in Sebring’s sports car parked at the murder scene. DMA is a hallucinogen similar to LSD.
Steven Brandt, Hollywood gossip columnist who committed suicide in New York last Friday, said that he thought Sebring and Frokowski were both using a drug that he described as “stardust.”