Sharon Marie Tate, born on the 24th of January 1943, was a television and film actress during the 1960’s. She also worked as a fashion model and a cover girl for different magazines. She was one of the youngest nominees for the Golden Globe Awards for her performance in the movie “Valley of the Dolls”. On 8th of August 1969, she was murdered in her residence along with four others – she was also eight and a half months pregnant at the time.
Sharon Tate’s murder came as a shock to most people. She was two weeks away from birth when it had happened and was awaiting the return of her husband, director Roman Polanzki, from London. On the eve of Tate’s murder, she and friends Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger went out for dinner and returned to Tate’s residence at around 10:30 PM. The following morning, police arrived and discovered the body of a young man, Steven Parent, shot to death in his car outside Tate’s residence. Inside the house they found Tate and Sebring’s bodies tied together by a rope, and then on the front lawn were Frykowski and Folger’s bodies.
Police at first couldn’t find a motive for Tate’s murder, and therefore questioned relatives and friends. Polanzki even went as far as suspecting a few friends and associates. On November 1969 however, an inmate by the name of Susan Atkins admitted to her involvement in Tate’s murder. She also named her accomplices namely Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel. She also admitted their involvement in the LaBianca murder the night after Tate’s murder. Apparently, the murders were by a “hippie group” called the Manson Family (lead by Charles Manson) who considered themselves as a crime family. The “family” believed that a race war was coming, and that only the few chosen “families” would survive. They believed that they should bring about the war itself by killing wealthy families; Tate’s murder was part of their “war”.
Linda Kasabian testified against the Manson Family when Susan Atkins couldn’t comply with the terms of those involved in the investigation of Tate’s murder. Her statement was what incriminated her companions as Watson and Atkins had supported her claims that she didn’t murder anyone. She simply stood outside the house, horrified at what her companions were doing. She also claimed that she thought about running away and asking for help, but became worried about her daughter who was still in the Manson Family ranch. The group, except for Kasabian, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tate’s murder was one of the most gruesome murders of the decade. She was only aged 26 at the time of her death. Probably the saddest thing about Tate’s murder was the fact that she was pregnant at the time. It remains to be one of the most heartbreaking stories to date.