Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
Los Angeles was terrorized by the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others -- followed the next night by the killings of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. Cult leader Charles Manson and several of his young followers were later tried and convicted of the murders, which prosecutors described as an attempt to start an Armageddon of sorts known as "Helter Skelter." The Manson murders shared the bottom of the front page with a report on the death of Redskins founder George P. Marshall. An excerpt from The Post of Aug. 10, 1969:
Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, an internationally known male hairdresser and an heiress to a coffee fortune were found slain along with two other men today in what one policeman described as a "ritualistic" killing.
The scene was a $200,000 tomato-red home in fashionable Bel Air, rented by the actress' husband, a Polish director of suspenseful and macabre films.
A 19-year-old caretaker was arrested in a guest cottage at the home and booked on suspicion of murder.
Police identified four of the five victims as:
*Miss Tate, 26, a honey-blonde actress who played sexy parts in such movies as "Valley of the Dolls" and slapstick comedy on television's "Petticoat Junction." Police said she was pregnant.
* Jay Sebring, 26, Miss Tate's former boyfriend and operator of hairdressing salons in Hollywood, San Francisco, New York and London.
*Abigail Folger, 26, a business associate of Sebring's and a member of the Folger Coffee Co. family of San Francisco.
* A man identified as Voyteck Frykowski, 37, who police said was a friend of Miss Tate's husband, Roman Polanski.
The fifth victim was an unidentified man.
The arrested youth was identified by police as William Garretson. Officers said he apparently had just awakened when they seized him and offered no resistance.
Investigators said the victims were slain 12 hours before their bodies were discovered by a maid, who ran screaming to neighbors. The neighbors called police.
Officers said one victim had a hood over his head and two were tied together by a white nylon rope.
Miss Tate was discovered with one end of the rope around her neck. She was dressed in a bikini nightgown, police said.
The cord was looped around Sebring's neck and pulled across a ceiling beam in the living room.
"It seemed kind of ritualistic," said an investigating officer. ...
The word "pig" was scrawled on the front door in what appeared to be blood. Officers said the writer may have used his hand or a rag. "There was ample blood around," a policeman said.
Sgt. Stanley Klorman said there were signs of a struggle in a large room and in a guest room. "It looked like a battlefield up there," he said.
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