Showing posts with label Eyeglasses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyeglasses. Show all posts

Friday, October 26, 2018

William Weston writes....


The following is a suggestion for a thread on the Tate-LaBianca Homicide Research Blog. It involves glasses that were found in the Tate home and did not belong to the victims or the killers. This indicates that at least one other person was in the house that night.

When Charles Manson announced to his followers at Spahn Ranch on August 8, 1969 "Now is the time for Helter Skelter,” he told Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, and Linda Kasabian to get knives and changes of clothes. Shortly after midnight, they entered the home of actress Sharon Tate at 10500 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon and brutally murdered her and four other people.

Originally, the police believed the slaughter at the Tate house was the work of one man. A clue to his identity was a pair of glasses found in the living room. A lieutenant for the Los Angeles Police Department, Robert Helder, showed them to the press on October 23 and said that the killer probably lost them during the struggle with the victims. He further said the owner was extremely near-sighted and could not operate a vehicle without them. An unusual feature was the plastic lenses. Unlike glass lenses, plastic resisted shattering and was the choice of very active people such as athletes. The amber-colored, horn-rimmed frames were of a specific type manufactured by the American Optical Corp. The customized bend of the temple shafts showed that the left ear was about one-fourth to one-half inch higher than the right. Police sent flyers to thousands of eye doctors, hoping that someone might provide information about the man who bought them. 

Glasses found at the Tate house.

What the news media hailed as a major breakthrough in October quickly became an almost forgotten loose end in December after the arrest of Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian, none of whom wore glasses.

When the case came to trial, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi feared that defense attorneys might bring up the glasses and make the reasonable assertion that at least one killer was still at large. From that standpoint, they could argue that the wrong people were on trial. As it turned out, the glasses were never mentioned during the Manson trial nor the Tex Watson trial. (Helter Skelter, 1974, pp. 106, 109, 380).

The mystery of the glasses has never been solved. One thing is clear: at least one other person had participated in the slaughter at the Tate house on August 9, 1969.