When talking about killers, a few names are very prevalent in America’s history. Some real monsters were born even as early as the last century, whose actions reshaped the world around them and left echoes of dread that reach to today.

Ed Gein and his human skin furniture, John Wayne Gacy the killer clown, but one arguably stand above the rest, mostly because he ended up killing.

Charles Manson was the patriarch of a cult dedicated to his off-kilter and drug-induced methodologies known as the Manson Family.

A gathering of broken stoners and mad-eyed hippies proved their danger to the world when they murdered Hollywood darling Sharon Tate in August of 1969. 

Tate has been remembered as a victim of the highest order. She wasn’t any regular person killed by evil strangers.

She was among the most protected and admired class of people in America. Her death at the Golden Age of Hollywood’s peak turned the city of lights a few shades darker.

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10 The Manson Family Murders

The Manson Family, Charles Manson’s drug cult, committed the murders on everyone present at the immediate property owned by Tate’s then-husband Roman Polanski, the film director.

They broke into the abode with guns and knives, tied Tate and her friend up, and stabbed them both 16 times.

Tate was eight and a half months pregnant at the time when she was murdered. The next evening, Manson drove the murderers in his care to another house where they killed two more people.

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9 Wrong Place, Wrong Time

The target of the murders was not intentionally meant to be Sharon Tate. The instructions to the family by Charles Manson were to go to the estate at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles and “destroy” everyone inside “as gruesome as you can.”

The reason was because of the previous owner. The land was once owned by Terry Melcher, a music producer who once snubbed Charles’ attempts to break into the music industry many years prior.



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8 Manson The Musician

Charles Manson was a cult leader, a charismatic and drug hoarding psycho who, at his admission and the gathered testimony of the assailants he instructed, never actually lifted a finger in murdering.

He would infiltrate and subdue people in their own homes but left the vicious carnage to his associates in the cult.

He was initially a solo act guitarist, and some of his early work inspired the Beach Boys, who members of his family had met before.

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7 Helter Skelter

Manson’s motivations were to target and sow terror into the fabric of the elites living in Hollywood.

He had a vendetta against the rich in control and gathered up the lost souls that Hollywood rejected as his easily convinced and drug-addled soldiers.

During the murders, he instructed them to write “witchy” things in the victims’ blood.

Sharon Tate’s blood was used to write the word “PIG” on the doorway they broke into, and the blood of Rosemary LaBianca was used to write “Helter Skelter,” a misspelling of the famous Beetles’ song, at the crime scene.

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6 Manson's Children

The main perpetrators of the murder at the Polanski estate were led by Tex Watson, one of Charles’ more trusted family members.

He was instructed to commit the murders by Charles and bring along Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to do most of the dirty work.

As they all admired or feared Manson in some way, they adhered to his instructions and primarily stabbed the victims multiple times with knives, often from the homes they invaded.

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5 The Shakeup

Before the Manson Family faced their arrests a month later, the entire Hollywood environment was shaken to its core. It was the most gruesome and horrific string of murders to happen to celebrities in Tinsel Town’s history.

Co-actresses of Sharon spoke at great length about her with positivity. Roman Polanski, the grieving husband, had far harsher words.

Before the killers’ arrest, he suspected everyone and lashed out at journalists who previously covered Sharon’s films and exploits with less than kind words.

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4 Day In Court

As famous as Sharon Tate was, the Manson Family quickly became far more notorious. The key members in the murder were arrested for different charges, but once under duress, confessed to their parts.

Without Charles directing them, they fell apart and told all and were given separate sentences and trials where their involvement in the string of killings was laid bare for the public of Hollywood and the world to see.

Charles Manson himself had an infamous hearing where he displayed the full scale of his inner madness to the prosecution and defense in kind.

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3 The Widower's Regret

Roman Polanski was a severely changed man. He sold all of his possessions and threw himself into work after work, some of which he intentionally pushed forward to commemorate Sharon in his way as a director.

He went on to continue directing and made some landmark films despite his failing mental health. He lost faith in life and love entirely.

He sued Vanity Fair for making a dramatized story implicating that he flirted with a woman at Sharon’s funeral, showing that he had zero tolerance for being anything but a surviving victim.

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2 The Tate Family's Legacy

Doris Tate, Sharon’s mother, made it a personal crusade to assist the victims of the murders, the survivors and families of those who were killed, and engaged in public campaigns to deny the parole bargains Manson Family cult.

She was later recognized by President George H.W. Bush for her volunteer work with victim’s rights, even as her health was failing due to a malignant brain tumor.

Her family carried on her work, her youngest daughter Patricia continuing the work with the Doris Tate Crime Victims Foundation that functions to this day.

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1 The Brightest Stars Burn Out Fastest

It is no surprise that murder so close to the Hollywood scene inspired many actors, producers, and filmmakers in general. Many books were written about the events, and many more productions were held.

Dramatizations, biopics, and heartfelt movies are made about Sharon Tate, and the horrors of the Manson Cult are made to this day.

Quinten Tarantino directed Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, which saw the events of that fateful day unfold in a way that would have saved Sharon’s life, and a new biopic starring Kate Bosworth is in production.

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