San Jose Mercury News
December 7, 1969 - front page
LOCAL CASE LINK?
S.J. Cops Study
By BILL ROMANO
Mercury News Staff Writer
Los Angeles officials said Saturday no link has been found yet between the Sharon Tate murder gang and any killings outside the area of Southern California.
But San Jose police have indicated they intend to travel there, nevertheless, to interview principals in the mass slaughterin order to determine whether any connection exists between that and the slayings here of two high school girls last summer.
The beautiful actress and four others met death Aug. 9, exactly one week following the brutal stabbing of 15-year-old Kathy Snoozy and Doborah Furlong, 14.
Their bodies, punished with more than 350 knife wounds, were found under a huge oak on the side of a hill near their South Side homes.
Detectives here have been working informally with the Los Angeles Police Department since the information could advance both investigations.
The arrests of several suspects in the Tate case and the subsequent development of further crime intelligence has apparently given the San Jose probe new thrust.
Chief of Detectives Barton Collins, while declining to discuss the turn his investigation is now taking, acknowledges the importance attached here to evidence uncovered by the LAPD.
"We are definitely interested in the Tate case," Collins said. "There is a strong possibility that there is a connection between theirs and ours."
In the next few days, possibly midweek, two detectives who have worked on the Snoozy-Furlong homicide since the start, Sgts. Don Edwards and Ron Utz, will be sent to Los Angeles to confer with police officials, Collins said.
Some apparent similarities in the two cases, in addition to the arrests of a nomadic band of hippies known to have drifted widely across this area of the state, have prompted the closeup investigation.
The jailing of 21-year-old San Jose woman, Susan Atkinsadmitted witness to the Tate massacrealso figures as a consideration in the homicide here.
Authorities in Los Angeles have pointed out that evidence suggests some of the gangs' victims had been punctured with multiple knife wounds, not unlike the ones suffered by the San Jose girls.
In both cases, the patterning of knife strikes, their intensity and multiplicity, have suggested to some observers that a sexual motivation or sexual undertones lie at the bottom of the gruesome murders.