San Francisco Chronicle
August 12, 1969 front page

Grim Parallels in New L.A. Slayings

A.P. & U.P.

Los Angeles
   The only person found alive at the estate where actress Sharon Tate and four other persons were slain was released from custody yesterday as detectives studied the bizarre similarities between the mass murders and a double slaying a dozen miles away.
   William E. Garretson, 19, a caretaker at the Bel Air estate leased by Miss Tate and her movie director husband, Roman Polanski, was released because of insufficient evidence against him, police said. He underwent a lie detector test and extensive questioning after he was arrested Saturday.
   A day after the bloody discovery of the bodies, a middle-aged couple in the Silver lake district of the city was found slaughtered under similar circumstances in a house once owned by the late Walt Disney.


   The strikingly similar features of both murder cases were numerous.
   Miss Tate and her friends were stabbed repeatedly, and Sebring was found with a black hood over his head. The actress and Sebring were joined by a knotted white cord around their necks.
   The word "pig" was emblazoned on the door in human blood.


   Officers found much the same evidence at the home of market owner Leon La Bianca, 44, and his wife, Rosemary, 38.
   They had been knifed again and again. Both had makeshift hoods over their heads. A bloody scrawl on the refrigerator door read: "Death to Pigs."
   Additionally, La Bianca had a series of X marks carved in his body along with the word "War." A fork protruded from his chest.
   The La Biancas were not known to have any connection with the Hollywood set.
   However, the same six-man detective team was working on both cases and an officer said, "It is unusual to have the same team on two cases unless there's an indication the cases are linked."
   No motive for any of the killings could be established, according to the detective bureau. The murders at the Polanski house were thought to be premeditated because telephone lines to the house were cut in advance.
   Both the Polanski estate and the home of the La Biancas were sealed off from all but investigators.
   The bodies of La Bianca, his wife, owners of six Gateway Markets, were found in the living room and bedroom of their $150,000 home near Griffith Park. Both wore night clothes.
   La Bianca was on his back in the front room, his hands tied behind him. Mrs. La Bianca was on the bedroom floor, stabbed several times in the back.
   "Both had pillowcase hoods over their heads tied on by electrical cords around the neck," a detective said.
   A white cord was found around Miss Tate's neck, pulled across a ceiling beam and looped around the neck of the hairdresser, Jay Sebring, 26, one of Miss Tate's former boy friends. A black hood covered his head.
   Also killed at the Tate home were:
   San Francisco socialite Abigail Folger, 26, of the Folger coffee family; Voyteck Frykowski, 37, a movie associate of Miss Tate's husband, and Steven Earl Parent, 18, of suburban El Monte, who police said was a friend of Garretson's.
   Funeral arrangements for the victims were unannounced except for Sebring.