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Read Another of 14 Stories by Dr Don




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Sharon Marie Tate

By Dr Don Noyes- More Ph.D. 


     In 1969 my brother Bill lived above Sunset Blvd in Beverly Hills. Bill was a movie producer-Director and he and his first wife entertained often in the late 1960's. They invited a wide assortment of people to their parties; people mostly related to the movie or music business. It was at one of these gatherings I met Sharon Tate for the first time. 

Sharon was not what you might consider a “Hollywood” type person. There was nothing phony about her even though she had been in the modeling and movie business. She was truly sweet, gentle, almost too nice for Hollywood. My brother Bill, his wife Sandy, and Sharon and her husband Roman Polanski shared business, parties, and tennis together. They also had “open parties.” An “open party” was where there was no guest list. People just showed up by word of mouth. People from the bizarre to the celebrity would be sitting and talking with and hippies, musicians. There were always drugs at the parties, lots of drugs. Music mogul Phil Spector many times stopped by with “XXXClub” women in tow. I knew it was not the only thing he liked. It was like with the movie industry: sometimes you are watching and other times you are acting like you enjoy it. 

MY BROTHER BILL ABOUT TO IDENTIFY SHARON'S BODY
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MY BROTHER CALLED ME AFTER AND CRIED LIKE A BABY ON THE PHONE

Sitting like a frozen voyeur at these parties, I’d watch and retain all I saw and heard. I was dethatched from most conversations. There were minor stars, stars to be, young sweet things, and old "has-beens". To look around the room at any party was to see a cross section of LA’s Glitterati. I’d sit and watch, never really a part of the party. On one side of a room a lighting director was trying to pick up a starlet. There was a handsome young man passing a joint to a stoned hippy, the son of a well-known 50’s and 60’s action star. I noticed a young surfer-type boy with a handsome well-known actor in back having sex. 

Sharon seemed aloof to it all. The party people were there like just so much furniture to Sharon's way of thinking. She wasn't interested in drugs. But I did see her toke Pot a few times. Nothing more. Small talk seemed to bore her. Sharon was sweet to everyone. I caught her looking off into space lost in sad thoughts: in the very room she was to be murdered in, dark specter unseen except to her. She emotionally drifted. She sat there with her hand on mine for a moment then squeezed hard, then a faint smile. People kept coming up to her with all assortment of small talk. She smiled and tried to be engaged.

Sharon's mind and talk jumped from one topic to another. She seemed restless. “I want to know regular people.” She said shyly to me. I must have looked shocked when she said this. “Nothing's regular here.” I thought to myself. I knew about the gossip regarding Roman. Some of it was very malicious. When I asked Bill about the things I heard he said it was, “mostly lies.” Though he did show me a gender-bender picture of Roman once. Sharon loved Roman very much and was devoted to him. She mentioned to me “I’m going to have a family.” I laughed. To me Sharon had everything one could possibly want, an exciting life, a famous husband, the movies, and money. She was even in the movies herself! It was a Texas girls dream come true. 

My brother Bill and his wife Sandy had a party one Saturday night and there was some trouble. They had to call the police because of some hippy “trouble-makers”. There was always some sort of low life showing up at the parties. Most of the time they were mellow people. It was hip to be open and trusting. It was the era of “Peace and Love,” a time to “Do Your Own Thing”. It was 1969. That hot and smoggy summer of 1969 was to usher in the end to the “Peace & Love” generation in Los Angeles as we had experienced it prior to the Manson Murders. Things did not go according the plan.

There were parties every night in the “canyons;” Topanga, Laurel, Mandeville. Parties at the homes of movie and music people living on the edge. Of course always lots of drugs and sex, I did the second part of that. Often. 

It was late morning and I turned on the TV. I couldn't believe my eyes. There on the screen was my brother Bill walking out of a yard gate with policemen, crying! What happened?

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The Uninvited 


The night before Bill was coming home from out of town, Sharon was having a small get together and wanted my brother's wife Sandy to come to the party and stay the night. Bill had to be picked up at the airport so Sandy passed up on the invitation.

That night the uninvited came, the Manson family. They came for the sole purpose of murder. Gentle Sharon pleaded for the life of her child. In went the knife again and again. The baby was ripped from her body. There was blood everywhere. Sharon died caught in a net of terror, pain, and horror.

Bill was met at home by the police and asked to identify Sharon's body. He did.

The next day on the phone with Bill: I heard him sobbing with pain. “It was worse than a butcher shop,” he cried. I had never heard my brother cry like that, wounded, desperate cries. 

Bill and his wife were never the same people after Sharon's murder. Stress and grief took its toll on them both. They were two people coming emotionally apart. They divorced.

It is really sad to look back over the years and think of sweet Sharon who only wanted to be loved. Who wanted her baby. Who wanted a normal life with nice friends. And yet she was caught in a life of such superficiality and pain.

My brother was never to mention or allow any conversation regarding the murders.

People in LA started making sure their doors and windows were shut at night. Fewer people hitchhiked.  Lots of lifestyle changes happened. Fear was everywhere.

The public will long remember these horrible “Manson” murders. I'll remember gentle, sweet, and caring Sharon. 

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