This August 8 – 9 marks the 50th anniversary of the Tate – LaBianca murders. Those homicides sparked a nationwide frenzy, and, to this day, those murders continue to, literally, send shivers down my spine.
On August 8, 1969, Charles Manson directed four “Family” members – which included Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel – to go to 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles and kill all the occupants. Resultant from that directive, actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time; Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, and Steven Parent were ritualistically slaughtered.
Subsequently, on August 9, 1969, “displeased” with the infamous deeds at Cielo Drive, Charles Manson and six members of his notorious “Family” – Leslie Van Houten, Steve “Clem” Grogan, and the four from the previous night, went to 3301 Waverly Drive, the home of Leno LaBianca, a supermarket executive, and his wife, Rosemary, a co-proprietor of a dress shop. The Manson Family proceeded to savagely kill the LaBiancas.
Extreme “cults,” in one form or another, have existed for generations. Before Jonestown and Waco, Charles Manson maintained that he was the true “messiah” of a new generation, and The Beatles were the harbingers of a “revolution” – the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” – whereby the “White Establishment” will be overthrown.
The Tate – LaBianca murders truly shocked the nation. Fanatical followers of a maniacal “father figure” butchered innocent people as a bizarre means to ignite a race war “Armageddon,” as “prophesized” – according to Manson – in the Book of Revelations and The Beatles eponymous album, commonly referred to as the “White Album”.
Charles Manson became a pop culture figure, a product of the 1960’s counter-culture movement, and an emblem of violence, insanity, and the macabre. Charles Manson died on November 19, 2017. Yet, his heinous acts still haunt the nation to this very day.
John Di Genio