Monday, December 3, 2018

A Look at The Evidence (Part: 7): The Truth? The Whole Truth? And Nothing But the Truth?

Other Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

> On the morning of August 9, 1969, Sharon Tate (Polanski) was found lying dead on the floor of the living room at 10050 Cielo Drive. He body lay at the foot of a couch that had been draped with an American flag. She was lying with her back against the base of the couch. Her body from the waist down was lying on her left side, her left hip on the floor, her knees pulled up towards her stomach pointing at the fireplace. Her upper body was turned towards the couch so that she was almost lying on her back with her shoulders resting on the floor. Her right arm was lying on the right side of her head with her forearm resting on her forehead. Her left arm was resting on her chest. She had been stabbed sixteen times. 

[Aside: I have no intention of including crime scene photographs in this post. If you question my description, above, you can look it up on your own. Also, I apologize in advance, again, for discussing these horrible crimes and Sharon Tate’s murder in a ‘clinical’ fashion. I mean absolutely no disrespect.]

While I was researching a previous post, something struck me about the position of Sharon Tate’s body when considered in light of the physical evidence: something is clearly missing from the official narrative. 

The Official Narrative

So, what is the official narrative? Frankly, I don’t know for sure. I think the commonly accepted scenario goes like this: 

While Charles Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel pursued WojciechFrykowski and Abigail Golger out onto the front lawn of Cielo Draive, Sharon Tate remained in the living room and made no attempt the escape. In another, slightly different version offered by Ed Sanders, in The Family(at page 215 of the 2002 version) Sharon did make an effort to escape but was brought back to the living room couch where she was ultimately murdered. 

When this terrible event occurred, the eyewitnesses usually tell us that Atkins held Sharon Tate’s arms while Watson stabbed her in the chest. Then the murderers left. Only Atkins acknowledges returning to Sharon Tate’s body when she reentered the house to write ‘something witchy’ on the door. 

There are only two people who acknowledge they were eyewitnesses to Sharon Tate’s murder: Atkins and Watson. I say ‘acknowledge’ because both Atkins and Watson place Krenwinkel at the scene at the time of her death. To my knowledge, Krenwinkel has never admitted she was present. At her 1993 parole hearing she claimed she reentered the house only as Atkins and Watson were leaving. At her most recent parole hearing she claimed she was hiding near the guest house at the time and never reentered the house.

“INMATE KRENWINKEL: I just couldn't continue on [entering the guest house]. So I stopped. I just went in the back and I wait until everything quieted down and I went out when it was all quiet and I left with Tex and Susan.

I personally believe she was there and I think the parole board does as well, which is part of the reason why we will not be hearing from her again until 2022. 

Here is what the eyewitnesses said about that event. 


SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, his whole outfit was mod. It looked like an Indian, East Indian outfit.
Then Tex told me, Sharon Tate wanted to sit down, so I took her over and sat her down on the couch. She said all I want to do is have my baby and I knew I had to say something to her before she got hysterical and while I was talking to her I knew everything I was saying to myself, I wasn’t talking to her. “Woman, I have no mercy for you” and that was myself to only me. When the Folger girl started to go outside, Tex and Katie went outside and I just stayed there with Sharon. I’m not sure whether Katie went outside or not. Then Tex came back in and said “Kill her” “Katie said to kill her”. I reached to grab ahold of her arms, I didn’t want to kill her, so I grabbed ahold of her arms and said, “Tex, I can’t kill her, I’ve got her arms, You do it.” And Katie couldn’t kill her. So Tex stabbed her in the heart and he told us to get out. We, Katie and I, went running outside looking for Linda because we didn’t see her and yelling for her but we didn’t want to yell too loud. When Tex came out I said Tex do you have my knife?, and he said no. I said Katie do you have my knife and she said no. So I said Linda must have it, I think I gave it to her. And he said, Sadie, go back and write something on the door. I didn’t want to go back into that house.
PAUL CARUSO: I don’t blame you.

SUSAN ATKINS: I didn’t want to go back into that house but something made me go back in the house and I got the towel that I had tied the man’s hands with and I went over to Sharon Tate and I flashed, Wow, there’s a living being in there – I want it but I couldn’t bring myself to cut her open and take the baby. I knew it was living, I knew it wouldn’t live.

[Discussion about Atkins’ knife]
SUSAN ATKINS: And I reached down and turned my head away and touched her chest to get some blood and proceeded to go to the door and the only thing I remember being instructed to write on the door was “Pig” so I proceeded to take my hand and write “Pig” with the towel and threw the towel back and ran outside.

(Transcript of Taped Interview of Susan Atkins at the offices of Paul Caruso, December 1, 1969.

A (Atkins): Yes, and then I saw Tex go back outside and then he came back inside and at that time Katie and I were standing by Sharon and she was out of her mind.

Q (Bugliosi): Did Tex do anything to Sharon Tate at that point? 
A: Tex told me to kill her. 
Q: To kill Sharon? 
A: Yes, and I couldn't. I just -- in order to make a diversion so that Tex couldn't see that I couldn't kill her I grabbed her hand and held her arms and then I saw Tex stab her in the heart area around the chest. 
Q: You saw Tex stab Sharon in the heart area? 
A: Yes. 
Q: With a knife?
A: Yes. 
Q: What is the next thing that happened? 
A: Then I saw Sharon fall to the floor off the couch and we went, all three of us, went out the front door. 

( Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 612-636). Kindle Edition.)

Folger, Tex, and Pat all ran out onto the lawn after Frykowski, and it was there that the bodies of Miss Folger and her lover, Frykowski, ended up, unbelievably battered and punctured.

Suddenly, I was alone in the house with Miss Tate and Sebring’s body. The bedlam had turned to silence. It was so quiet that I could hear the gurgle of Sebring’s blood. Miss Tate had fallen on the couch and continued to weep. 
 I turned to her. “Shut up, you bitch. You’re going to die.” 
Immediately Tex was back in the room. “Kill her,” he said. 
I grabbed her and held the knife to her. But that’s as far as I could go. “I can’t, Tex.” 
“Kill her!” he yelled. 
“I can’t.” 
He snarled, “Get out of the way, then.” He plunged the knife into her.”

(Atkins, Susan. Child of Satan, Child of God (p. 142). Menelorelin Dorenay’s Publishing. Kindle Edition.)

“I went over to the woman that was pregnant, and she--God—she asked me for mercy, and she begged for mercy and I told her I didn’t have any, and that she was going to die. And then Tex came back in and said, “Kill her.”

And I said, “I can’t”.

And so, he did, and we left.” 

(Susan Atkins, 1978 Parole Hearing, Cielo

Atkins also confessed to the murder to Virginia Graham and Ronni Howard while in jail due to the Gary Hinman murder, although on each occasion time she told a different story. 

Virginia Graham

Q (Bugliosi): What else did Sadie say that she did?
A (Graham): She said that she was holding Sharon Tate’s arms behind her, and that Sharon Tate looked at her and said she was crying and she said to her, ‘Please, please don’t kill me, I don’t want to die. I just want to have my baby.’

She said, “And I looked Sharon straight in the eye and I said to her, ‘Look, bitch, you might as well face it right now, you’re going to die, and I don’t feel a thing behind it’ and in a few minutes she was dead.”

Q: Did Susan Atkins say whether she in fact killed Sharon Tate?
A: Yes, she did.
Q: What did she say?
A: She said “I killed her”. 

(Virginia Graham testimony, Tate-LaBianca Trial,

Ronni Howard

A: When the people were brought out of the room, and after everything happened in regards to the--- Sadie told me that Sharon could not believe, what was happening. She said she bad a look on her face that was--she just couldn't believe. it.

And she just begged, she said "Please, just let me have my baby”. And Sadie said “I have no feelings for you, bitch, you’re going to die” and proceeded to stab her.

And I asked her where did you stab her, in the stomach?  And Sadie said, “No, I stabbed her in the Chest."

Q: Did Sadie say anything about how it felt to stab a person?
A: Yes.  She said it feels like going into air, like into nothing. 

She said, "When you stab a person its better than having a climax.”

She said, “Actually, it’s a form of sexual release anyway to stab a person because the whole world is one big intercourse anyway, whether it’s smoking, eating or anything that goes in and out, so it’s a form of sexual release.”

And I asked her, I said, “You mean it’s like a drug habit?”

She said, “That’s right, the more you do it the better you like it.”

Q: Did Sadie say whether or not Sharon screamed?
A: Yes.
Q: What did she say?
A: She told me, she said when she [Sharon Tate] screamed it kind of did something to her and sent some kind of rush through her, whenever she screamed she said she would stab her. She told me, she said, ‘I just kept stabbing her until she stopped screaming.’

(Testimony of Ronni Howard at the Tate/Labianca Trial,


The first time Watson discussed that night during his trial Watson denied stabbing Sharon or even being in the house when she died. He subsequently adopted a version of Atkins’ tale. 

Q: What happened then?
A: And I was -- I remember I was kind of running or jumping back and forth behind the couch and making funny noises and Sadie said, "Watch out" or something like that and I turned around and I emptied the gun on this man.
Q: You say emptied the gun on this man?
A: Yes.
Q: How many times did you shoot him, if you know?
A: I don't know. I just shot, you know. I don't know how many times I shot him.
Q: Did you do anything else?
A: Then I went around the couch and started stabbing him.
Q: This is the same man that you shot?
A: Yes. Patricia was already over there stabbing him and I went over and I did the same thing.
Q: How long did that take or last?
A: Until Sadie hollered at me and she was fighting and stabbing a man going out the door.
Q: What did you do about that, if anything?
A: I remember Sadie hollering, "Tex, Tex," a bunch of times and I ran over and started hitting him with the gun.
Q: After you hit him, did you do anything else?
A: I hit him for a while and then there was a little lapse of time, I believe, and then Sadie was still stabbing him on the ground and I walked over and stabbed him some more.
Q: While he was on the ground?
A: Uh-huh.
Q: He is now outside of the house; is that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: On the lawn?
A: On the lawn.
Q: Did anything else happen?
A: Then Katie came running over and grabbed me by the arm and said something like, "There's one over here," or something. I don't know what she said but she said, "come over here," and we ran over and there was just a woman lying there that had blood all over her and stabbed her.
Q: Did these people, or these people that you stabbed, or the objects that you stabbed, have any form?
A: They had form but I really didn't see any faces, you know, or expressions or -- they were just blobs of, you know --
Q: Did you have a rope with you that evening?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Did you carry a rope up the hill or into the house?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Did you tie any people up in that house?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Did you throw a rope over a rafter or anything of that nature?
A: No, I did not.
Q: I think you told us now you shot and stabbed somebody in the house; is that correct? 
A: That is correct.
Q: And then you stabbed some people outside of the house; is that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: Do you remember where the couch was in the house?
A: The couch was kind of in the middle of the room longways, up and down, up and down the room.
Q: Where were the two people that you stabbed in the house in relation to the couch?
A: Well, I only stabbed one person.
Q: I am sorry --the one person in the house.
A: In front of the couch, laying longways, laying --
Q: Parallel or perpendicular to the couch?
A: It was the opposite way of the couch.
Q: That would be perpendicular to the couch?
A: Perpendicular to the couch.
Q: How about the other person, do you remember if that was a man or a woman?
A: Had on blue jeans and stuff. I guess it was a man.
Q: How about the other person?
A: The other person was laying at the end of the couch up toward the room where they came out of perpendicular to the end of the couch, on down from the end of the couch.
Q: Did you touch either of those bodies after you had shot and stabbed them?
A: No.
Q: Did you move them?
A: No, I did not.
Q: Did you tie anything to them or tie them together?
A: No, I did not.
Q: After you left that room and went outside, did you go back into the house again?
A: No, I did not.

(Charles Watson’s testimony, People of the State of California vs. Charles Denton Watson,

But then, on cross examination, he changed his story. 

Q (Bugliosi); Now, just for the record, did you kill all seven of these people?
A (Watson): Yes.
Q: So, you also killed Sharon Tate, then; is that correct, the female Caucasian depicted in people's 87?
A: As far as I know, yes.

(Charles Watson’s testimony, People of the State of California vs. Charles Denton Watson,

Several years later, Watson adopted Atkins’ version of events. 

“Finally, I stood up and went back inside with Katie. Sadie was sitting next to Sharon on the couch as the pathetic blond woman sobbed, begging us to take her with us and let her have her baby before we killed her. It was the first time I'd realized she was pregnant, and for a moment it almost seemed like a good idea. But then Katie hissed, “Kill her!” and Charlie's tape whirred, “Kill her!” inside my head and I looked at Sadie. But she just sat there holding Sharon, so I reached out and made the first cut across her cheek. Later, Prosecutor Bugliosi, because of some things Susan-Sadie bragged about in jail in one of her attempts to get attention, was convinced that it was she who killed Sharon Tate, but his suspicion was not true. It was my hand that struck out, over and over, until the cries of “Mother . . . mother . . .” stopped. Suddenly it seemed very quiet. It was over.” 

(Will You Die For Me?, by Charles Watson as told to Chaplain Ray Hoekstra, Copyright 1978, renewed Copyright 2010 by Steve Housden, pp 71)

[Aside: Notice both Atkins and Watson also consistently blame a third party for telling them to kill Sharon Tate.  Watson blames either Krenwinkel or Manson’s ‘ghost’ and Atkins blames Krenwinkel and Watson.] 

Although there is no consistent version of the official narrative it can be summed up like this: Sharon Tate never left the living room and when she was killed, Atkins held her arms and Watson stabbed her in the heart. This narrative exists because of Watson and Atkins. The physical evidence tells us there has to be something more to the story that they are not telling (or in Atkins’ case didn’t tell before she died). 

Let’s face it, neither Atkins nor Watson has much credibility. Atkins changed some aspect of her story every time she told it and Watson initially denied being in the room at all when Sharon Tate was killed.  Watson has apparently forgotten the name Jerome ‘Shorty’ Shea and today will not discuss his ‘life crimes’ at parole hearings, probably because he can’t keep the story clear in his own head or maybe because he doesn’t want to sin again by lying. Atkins apparently forgot she did a lot more than just stab Wojciech Frykowski a couple times in the leg, she murdered him. 

We should be very suspicious of any narrative based upon the testimony or statements of these two. They lied, repeatedly. Put another way if you can’t corroborate what they say with some objective evidence, then what they say is likely, wrong. It is that simple. Remember, their story claims Atkins held Sharon Tate, Watson stabbed her in the heart and they left. 

The Physical Evidence

The autopsy report lists the wounds Sharon Tate suffered that night. There are some errors in the report, which were explained by Dr. Thomas Noguchi during his testimony at the trial. Piecing the two sources together here is a description of the sixteen wounds: 

1. Chest. This wound was 1.5” in length. 
2. Chest. 1 ¾” in length.
3. Chest. 1.5” in length.
4. Chest. 1” in length.

Each of these wounds, above, was considered by Noguchi to be a fatal wound, as we shall see, Wound #1 was all that was needed. 

5. Upper portion of the right side of the abdomen. Length: 1”
6. Back. 1” in length.
7. Back. 1” in length.
8. Back. 1” in length.
9. Back. 1” in length, potentially fatal
10. Back. 1” in length.
11. Back. 1” in length, potentially fatal
12. Back. 1” in length.
13. Back (marked, erroneously, as #5 on diagram). 1” in length.
14. Right upper arm. 1.5” in length.
15. Left upper arm. 1 ¼” in length.
16. Back of the right thigh. 1” in length.

Sharon had also suffered two incised (slashing) wounds to the back of her left forearm and two abrasions (rope burns to her left cheek and jaw line).

Was There More Than One Weapon?

The first thing you might notice about Sharon Tate’s wounds is that most of them are one inch in length and a few are larger. This may mean she was struck by more than one weapon. It also may indicate nothing at all. 

The two wound sizes do not necessarily mean two weapons inflicted the wounds because a blade can make a wound with a larger length then the width of the blade depending on a number of factors including the angle. The opposite, however, is not possible with a deeply penetrating wound: a larger weapon cannot make a smaller wound. So, here the wounds could have all been inflicted with one weapon. 

Ronni Howard told Sergeant Patchett that everyone stabbed Sharon. This might be evidence of multiple weapons. The problem, again, is it is coming from Susan Atkins, who also told Howard she stabbed Sharon Tate and at other times says she lost her knife in the struggle with Frykowski, which happened before Sharon Tate was murdered.

So, at best all that can be said is that the physical evidence on this issue is inconclusive. 

Wounds to Her Back

Of Sharon Tate’s sixteen stab wounds nine of them were inflicted on her back or the back of her thigh. Neither eyewitness offers any explanation for these wounds or any of the wounds other than the first four listed above.  If you accept what Watson and Atkins say as accurate then only wounds 1-4 ever happened and sometimes it is only Wound #1. After those, they all left the scene.

If we believe the official narrative the wounds to Sharon Tate’s back don’t exist. More importantly, if we believe the official narrative they can’t exist. 

How exactly did anyone strike Sharon Tate in the back if Atkins was behind her holding her arms? If Atkins held her arms the whole time it is rather obvious that Tate’s back would be protected by Atkins’ body. If Atkins and Tate were seated and Atkins was holding Sharon to the side, her back is protected by Atkins and the back of the couch. And if Sharon was sitting on the couch then how is it at all possible she received a wound to the back of her right thigh? She can’t. 

Those nine wounds to Sharon Tate’s back mean that the official narrative is, taken in a light most favorable to Watson and Atkins, incomplete. Without giving them the benefit of the doubt, the official narrative is wrong. 

The Importance of Wound #1

It simply cannot have happened the way Watson and Atkins describe Sharon Tate’s death. And that is partly because of Wound #1. In the autopsy report Wound #1 is described as follows: 

“Location- left pericardial area penetrating 4th intercoastal space, pericardium, left ventricle of heart severing the descending branch of the left coronary artery.” [Emphasis added]

Those last nine words are the key. 

During the trial, when questioned on cross examination, Noguchi estimated that the victims could have remained physically active for about 10 to 15 minutes after receiving a potentially, fatal wound. More current research suggests that the period of time could have been even longer, up to 30 minutes. (Thoresen S.O. and Rognum T.O., Survival Time and Acting Capability After Fatal Injury by Sharp Weapons, Forensic Science International, Vol 31, 1986)
However, this opinion was offered by Noguchi in response to questioning about Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski to explain their movements. In Sharon Tate’s case Wound #1, severed her left coronary artery. This would have led to unconsciousness and death in a matter of seconds. 

“Especially vulnerable is the left anterior descending coronary artery which supplies the anterior wall of the left ventricle. Stabbing wounds which transect [sever] this small vessel may be expected to result in sudden death”. [Emphasis added]

(Vincent Di Maio,  J. M.,  Di Maio, Dominick J., Forensic Pathology, Second Edition, Boca Raton: CRC Press 2001)

In other words, Wound #1 would have killed Sharon Tate instantly. That means that any wound inflicted more than a few seconds after Wound #1 would have been inflicted after her death. They would be post mortem wounds. 

Sharon Tate had no post-mortem wounds. Post mortem wounds at the time were identified by the lack of evidence of bleeding from the wound and in the tissues around the wound. The ability to isolate wounds inflicted immediately post-mortem is difficult especially in 1969. As time passes between death and a subsequent wound, however, the task of identifying post mortem wounds, even in 1969, becomes easier. 

Q (Bugliosi): Did it appear, doctor, that any of the stab wounds on Sharon Polanski’s body were inflicted after death?
A (Noguchi): I did not see any wound I would call as a post-mortem wound as inflicted after death.

This means that every wound inflicted on Sharon Tate had to be inflicted either before Wound #1 or fairly quickly thereafter. It is difficult to explain the lack of post mortem wounds, given Wound #1, under any theory, except one: all the wounds happened at the same time and likely before Wound #1.
This means that someone had to stab Sharon Tate in the back before or closely following Wound #1 and that means the official narrative is wrong. 

The Defensive Wounds

Defensive wounds? Yes, that is what those incise wounds are on her left forearm. Sharon Tate, like Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski had defensive wounds. 

A (Noguchi): Defense wounds are not always clearly differentiated from the ordinary type of wounds, except as stab wounds, in our opinion, that occur when the hands are involved in trying to take a knife or knife-like sharp instrument away. It often results in an incised wound on the palm or back of the forearm. 

This is a quite consistent finding in many cases which I personally have handled where there is someone trying to stab the individual and the decedent is trying to either take a sharp instrument away or trying to guard himself from further stabbing. 

Oftentimes the right-handed person shows more defensive wounds on the left hand; the left-handed person often uses the right arm or right hand to guard himself.

Q (Bugliosi): Now, what do you mean by incised?
A (Noguchi): Well, this is a medical term. An incised wound can easily be referred to as a cut. Further, I would say a sharp cut rather than a cut from a dull object. 
Q: And these two incised wounds were to Sharon Tate’s left forearm?
A: Yes, sir.

(Testimony of Thomas Noguchi, Tate-LaBianca Trial, 

Noguchi does not state that Sharon Tate’s incise wounds are defensive wounds, although it is more accurate to say Bugliosi never asked. Bugliosi elicits testimony about Folger’s and Fykowski’s defensive wounds (the testimony at the top) but not the incise wounds to Sharon Tate’s left forearm, except as noted in the lower quote, above. 

It is highly probable that a modern medical examiner would have almost instantly identified these two wounds as defensive wounds. This is especially the case since the likelihood of there being defensive injuries increases with an increasing number of stab wounds. (Hunt A.C., Cowling R.J., Murder by Stabbing, Forensic Science International, Vol 52:107-112, 1991.)

I believe Bugliosi avoided this topic with Noguchi because Sharon Tate having defensive wounds would undermine the testimony of both Graham and Howard. Their testimony is extremely important to Bugliosi. The importance is not that Graham and Howard convict Atkins, they help, for sure, but Kasabian convicted all of them. 

Bugliosi wants the testimony of the jail house informants because Graham and Howard are the sources for that horrific statement by Atkins: “Look, bitch, you might as well face it right now, you’re going to die, and I don’t feel a thing behind it”. And Howard describes Atkins stabbing Tate over and over until she ‘stopped screaming’ while enjoying an orgasmic experience. Forget guilt, those statements are dynamite for the death penalty. 

If Sharon Tate has defensive wounds from trying to block her attackers that means at some point she was not held by the arms as described by Atkins and Watson. And that means their account is wrong. 

Summary of the Evidence

Three aspects of the physical evidence are utterly inconsistent with the official narrative (1.) Sharon Tate has multiple wounds to her back and the back of her right thigh (2.) she has defensive wounds and (3.) Wound #1 would have been almost instantly fatal, which means there cannot be a significant delay between Wound #1 and Wound #16.

Possible Explanations

Someone Returned

Under this theory Watson (or someone else) goes back to Tate’s body and inflicts a series of wounds after wounds 1-5. There is some evidence that supports this. Watson is described as going back around and stabbing Folger again and kicking Frykowski to ensure they were dead. He also stabbed Sebring while he was lying on the floor dying, including four times in the back. Maybe Watson went back inside at some point and inflicted these wounds on Sharon Tate. 

Atkins made this observation during her Grand Jury testimony, which might support this hypothesis. 

Atkins: I didn't want to go back anywhere near the house and so I just blanked my mind and walked into the house and picked up the same towel that I had tied Frykowski up with and walked over to Sharon Tate's body and she seemed to have been cut up a lot more than when I had last seen her.

( Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 612-636). Kindle Edition.)

Atkins also said this to Caballero and Caruso which may create a space for the wounds to have been inflicted. 

“So Tex stabbed her in the heart and he told us to get out. We, Katie and I, went running outside looking for Linda because we didn’t see her and yelling for her but we didn’t want to yell too loud. When Tex came out I said Tex do you have my knife?, and he said no.”

But, how did he do it? 

The final resting position of Sharon’s body would make it extremely difficult (I would say impossible) to inflict additional wounds on her back. That part of her body is lying within inches (if that) of the couch or the floor. Watson either had to move the couch and move it back or he rolled her over 180 degrees after he stabbed her. 
Assume Sharon ended up after the initial attack lying on the floor facing in the opposite direction. Her back is facing the fireplace not the couch. If Watson came back and stabbed her after his initial assault, he could have knelt down and inflicted the wounds to her back if she was in that position. But then he would have had to roll her over towards the couch 180 degrees for no apparent reason. To make this work, given the blood stains, he also has to roll her over 180 degrees exactly where she was without changing her location (in other words ‘spin’ her in midair). She certainly wasn’t in any condition to roll completely over on her own. 

Second, according to the official narrative, after killing Sharon, Watson left the house with everyone else and only Atkins ever returned to write ‘PIG’ on the door. So maybe it was Atkins who inflicted the wounds. But according to both Atkins and Kasabian by that time Atkins didn’t have a knife. 

I was also able to find only one reference to Watson going back into the house after the first attack on Sharon Tate. Ed Sanders in The Family(at page 216, 2002 edition) claims Watson did go back inside but Sanders, as always, cites no authority for this statement. 

There is this testimony by Atkins before the Grand Jury. 

Q: This is right outside the residence?
A: Yes, we walked right over to this area here. 
Q: Where it says "light" and, in parentheses, it says "blue"?
A: That is correct. 
Q: Were you looking for Linda at that point? 
A: Yes. 
Q: Did you know where Linda was? 
A: No. 
Q: Where was Tex at that point? 
A: He was walking towards Katie and me in this direction.

( Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 625-630). Kindle Edition.)

This, combined with her statement to Caruso and Caballero might be a reference to Watson walking out of the house. Unfortunately, while we have access to a diagram that shows the blue light you can’t tell from the testimony the direction of Watson’s approach. 

But there is another problem with this theory. Remember Wound #1? None of Sharon Tate’s wounds were post mortem. She would have died from Wound #1 within a matter of seconds. So, if Watson returned to her it had to be very quickly after the initial attack and Atkins would have still been in the room. 

Then there is the added problem of Wound #16. When he stabbed Folger, kicked Frykowski and even stabbed Sebring it was to ensure they were dead.  Wound #16 was a stab wound to the back of Sharon’s right thigh. Why stab her there given his motivation? A ‘miss’? That is a pretty big miss to an immobilized target.

And, of course, Watson (or Atkins) returning to inflict more wounds does not explain the defensive wounds. 

Somebody Moved the Body

There is evidence that supports this theory. The detectives on the scene, who unlike us, actually saw it, believed Sharon Tate’s body had been moved.

“It appeared to investigating officers that someone had handled the victim, as in moving her from one location to another and the blood from the stab wounds had been smeared over other parts of the body.”

(Tate First Homicide Investigation Progress Report)

Greg King in Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders actually offers the bizarre theory that Manson returned to Cielo later that night with a comrade and carried Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring out onto the front porch, argued and then carried them back into the living room. Oh, that damned blood evidence and the lengths we go to explain it.

The rope being over the towel wrapped around Jay Sebring’s head and the abrasions to Tate’s cheek (rope burns) led to Noguchi’s opinion (with the able assistance of defense counsel) that Sharon had been hung.  

If Sharon Tate’s final resting place was not her initial resting place (wherever that may have been) then it is possible that all of the wounds could have been inflicted under the first theory. Watson launches his initial assault. He returns to inflict more wounds and the body is then moved as a result of the attempted hanging. 

Some of the problems here, however, remain the same as the first theory. All 16 wounds have to inflicted before or shortly after Wound #1 and moving the body doesn’t explain the defensive wounds or the wound to the back of her thigh. 

She Defended Herself or She Ran

Under this theory Sharon Tate does not sit passively waiting to be killed. She either fights back (defends herself) or, perhaps, she tries to flee. Viewed in this light Sharon Tate’s wounds are remarkable consistent with those of Frykowski and Folger. All three, show evidence of defensive wounds. All three have wounds to their back (some potentially fatal) their thigh and wounds to their chest or heart area. 

If there was a general melee with Atkins and Watson or if she was attempting to escape, Sharon Tate’s wounds are, in fact, remarkably similar to the wounds suffered by Frykowski and Folger both of whom acted in that fashion. Does that prove that she ran or defended herself? No, but it is the only scenario that explains all of the wounds. 

There is some evidence from the eyewitnesses that Sharon Tate may have defended herself. Unfortunately, it comes from the penalty phase of the trial where the testimony of the defendants is particularly unreliable. 


Atkins: And the man let go of me and he started to run, and I went to run after him, and then I looked over and Katie was calling “Help.”

She was fighting with two women. And the darkhaired [sic] woman had ahold of Katie’s hair and was pulling on it and Katie was fighting and she called for Linda, and Linda came in, and I ran to the pregnant woman because she was staring to take the rope off her neck. 

And I put my arm around her neck and I had her head in my arms, and then I saw Tex come back to the man on the floor with the rope around his neck and he was stabbing the man. 

I was still holding onto the woman.


Tex came back in and he stood over and he looked at her and he said, “Kill her.” And I killed her. 

And I just stabbed her, and she fell, and I stabbed her again.

She put her arms up, and then her arms fell. 

I don’t know how many times I stabbed her. I don’t know why I stabbed her. 


I just know she [Kasabian] gave me a knife during my battle with this blond-headed woman.

(Susan Atkins Testimony. Tate-LaBianca Trial, Penalty Phase.


Krenwinkel: “And Sadie brought some other people into the room and I remember tying someone’s hands and then I remember looking up and Sadie was fighting with two other women and I ran to one and I started to fight with the woman and I had a knife in my hands and she took off running out the door.”

(Quoted in Tate Defendant Admits to Killings, Los Angeles, UPI. February 19, 1971)

The problem, of course, is that any theory based upon Tate fighting back, defending herself or fleeing is wholly at odds with the pleading, emotionally overwhelmed and passive Sharon Tate that appears in the official narrative. The problem with the official narrative is that it does not come close to explaining all of the injuries to Sharon Tate. It may be accurate as far as it goes, certainly someone (likely Watson) stabbed her in the heart, but something significant is missing. 

That ‘something’ may explain a number of anomalies in the evidence: 

The purple hair ribbons found draped over the front door. (Ed Sanders. Manson Trial Pessimism. Los Angeles Free Press. November 13, 1970)

The abrasions on her neck.

The rope around Jay Sebring's neck. 

The presence of her blood on the front porch. 

It could also provide an answer to the mystery why Sharon Tate stayed in the living room. Everyone else left that room and she had three exits available (four if you count the loft). 

Maybe she didn’t just sit there and plead for the life of her baby. And even if she never reached the front porch maybe she didn’t sit there passively waiting for the end. I like to believe she didn’t. And at a minimum, the physical evidence of her injuries says…..she didn’t. 

Pax Vobiscum