In 1969, Hollywood was stunned to discover that one of its most promising stars, Sharon Tate, had been brutally murdered when she was nine months pregnant.
The 26-year-old was horribly stabbed 16 times in her own home during the Manson family’s infamous Los Angeles shooting on August 8, which killed four others.
The vile cult, led by the psychopathic Charles Manson, killed married couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca just a day after Sharon’s death.
They were also behind the deaths of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe and Gary Allen Hinman, whom they failed to persuade to join the cult.
While these are the evil gang’s nine known murders, they have been further linked to numerous unsolved murders over the decades.
Here we delve into some of the remaining mysteries and rumors surrounding the Manson family.
Were there other murder victims?
In addition to their callous killing spree, the Manson family has been linked to a string of cold cases — including the chilling murders of Doreen Gaul, 19, and James Sharp, 15.
The couple’s bodies were discovered on November 21, 1969, after being dumped in an alley behind an LA house – Doreen’s body was naked while James was fully clothed.
LAPD officials found that they — just like the family’s victims — had been brutally stabbed to death more than 50 times and their bodies were found near the site of the Tate-LaBianca murders just months earlier.
The two victims were members of a Scientology offshoot group called the Process of the Final Judgment, with which Manson had been linked.
Cult member Bruce Davis is said to be Doreen’s ex-boyfriend but denied knowing her in a police interview.
A man confessed to killing the couple in a robbery years later, but was never charged before his death.
Months before the murders of Doreen and James, the body of an unidentified woman was discovered by a bird watcher near Mullholland Drive with 157 stab wounds.
It wasn’t until 46 years later, in 2016, that she was identified as Reet Jurvetson after her body sketch was recognized by family friends.
Once again, the “overkill” tactic of stabbing the victim multiple times was eerily consistent with the Manson family’s methods.
Manson was jailed in 1971 for the Tate and LaBianca murders, and detectives later questioned him about Reet’s death but found him uncooperative and prone to mind games.
The cult leader was also rumored to be behind the death of his apparent uncle Darwin Scott.
Rumors surround Manson’s murky family history and he never met his birth father, who is believed to be Colonel Walker Henderson Scott Sr, a laborer who fled after finding out his mother Kathleen was pregnant.
Colonel Walker’s brother Darwin was found hacked up in his home on May 27, 1969.
In 1971, two years after Tate’s murder, Ronald Hughes, a lawyer for cult member Leslie Van Houten, mysteriously disappeared without a trace.
When his badly decomposed body was finally found In Ventura County, family member Sandra Good claimed he was killed after “insulting” Manson during the trial.
What was the truth behind the “Satanic Network” theory?
Nearly a decade after the Manson Family murders, serial killer David Berkowitz has butchered six men and women in New York.
The murders between 1976 and 1977 were dubbed the Son of Sam murders and were investigated by reporter Maury Terry for decades.
As revealed in the Netflix documentary The Sons of Sam, the journalist was obsessed with his belief that the Berkowitz was not acting alone and was part of a sinister satanic network with ties to Manson.
According to the theory, the network was based in California, Texas and New York and was responsible for a series of murders with ritual elements.
Some believed they even worked for drug lords and other powerful establishment figures.
Terry’s efforts to substantiate the theory, which were never fully substantiated, ultimately led to a warped quest that haunted him until his death in 2015 at the age of 69.
Did Beach Boy witness the execution?
Beach Boys star Dennis Wilson had a close but brief relationship with members of the Manson Family in 1968.
He housed members of the family — mostly women who were viewed as servants — at his own residence on Sunset Boulevard.
Dennis spent $100,000 of his own money on the family, funding expenses like clothing, food, cars, and an ongoing gonorrhea problem family members
He is said to have been fascinated by the sect and called its leader “the magician”.
Dennis even recorded a song written by Manson for the Beach Boys called Never Learn Not to Love, but angered the leader by not giving him credit.
His cars were subsequently vandalized by the family while he was forced to move out of his home out of fear.
But in the darkest story about Dennis’ relationship with the cult, Beach Boy Mike Wilson claimed the star even witnessed a Manson murder.
In his 2016 memoir Good Vibrations, Mike said Dennis told him he saw the killer shoot a man with an M-16 rifle and stuff his body down a well.
If true, it would be the first case in which Manson is accused of personally committing murder rather than killing through his followers.
Was Manson trying to start a race war?
To this day it is unclear why the family went on their bloodthirsty killing spree.
But one of the most enduring theories is that Manson wanted to start a nationwide “war” to advance his racist agenda.
The cult reportedly believed that tensions between black and white Americans had peaked — and that a clash was inevitable.
Manson is said to have convinced his supporters that the protests after Martin Luther King’s death were the beginning of an “insurgency” within the black population.
He interpreted Beatles songs – including their hit Helter Skelter – and passages from the Bible as portents of an impending “racial apocalypse”.
Did Doris Day save her son from murderers?
Charles Manson believed he was destined to be a pop star and was known to have a passion for music.
This led him to befriend Terry Melcher, a music producer and son of screen legend Doris Day.
Terry listened to some of Manson’s songs but wasn’t impressed.
“As soon as he got there [Manson’s place]he just wanted the fuck out of there,” Bill Cassara, a former cop who knew Terry, told Fox News.
“It was dirty and very obvious there was no talent. He described hearing Manson’s girls sing while he played the guitar. He felt like he had to get out. So he tried to make a dignified exit.”
Seven months later, Manson’s cult murdered Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojtek Frykowski and Steven Parent at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles – the very house Terry had just moved out of.
It is said that after hearing about the group’s increasingly dark practices, Doris advised her son to leave his home and move in with her for fear of what the family might do to him.
It was suspected at the time that Terry was the intended target, but police later determined that Manson knew he had moved out of the home.
Despite this, the producer lived in fear of becoming the cult’s next hit until his death in 2004 at the age of 62.
“Nobody would ever talk about the Manson murders in front of Terry,” Cassara said. “Terry was a very paranoid person. He didn’t like being in crowds. He certainly didn’t like being recognized.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5955804/manson-family-murders-mysteries-unsolved-sharon-tate/ Five unsolved mysteries of horrifying Manson Family murders – from “extremely exaggerated” deaths to satanic cult theory