Located in Benedict Canyon, a section of Beverly Crest just north of Beverly Hills, California, sits was used to be Sharon Tate house. 10050 Cielo Drive was once the home of American model and actress Sharon Marie Tate Polanski and her husband Roman Polanski. Though the couple would only reside in the home for less than a year (it had previously been the home of several other famous names such as French actress Michele Morgan, Baroness de Rothschild, Lillian Gish, and Terry Melcher) the gruesome murders that took place on the grounds in 1969 would forever place a dark mark on the property.
What was a beloved piece of Hollywood real estate was immediately turned into the scene of one of the most infamous crimes to ever be committed in Hollywood history. Below is an in-depth look at Sharon Tate house.
Sharon Tate House
10050 Cielo Drive, former home of Sharon Tate and director Roman Polanski, was the brainchild of famous designer Robert Byrd and was constructed by J.F. Wadkins in 1941. The property was designed to resemble a French Countryside home, with lots of rustic touches, something which Byrd was often known for incorporating in his designs, and featured beamed ceilings, stone fireplaces, and fairy tale windows.
Built on 3.3-acres of land above Benedict Canyon, the property featured a 3,200 square foot main residence as well as a 2,000 square foot guest cottage. Other features included a swimming pool, a beautiful garden, and a scenic view of the LA basin.
The 10050 Cielo Drive floor plan was typical of early ranch-style homes, with a central gathering space (the living room), 2 bedrooms located off to the left side of the residence, and finally, a kitchen and dining room positioned on the opposite side. Beyond the kitchen was the maid’s quarters, which consisted of a 3rd bedroom and 4th bathroom. The master bedroom was located at the back of the home on the far-left corner and had French doors that led to the swimming pool out back.
House Where Sharon Tate Was Killed
Tragically, the tranquility of this rustic paradise on Cielo Drive would forever be shattered by the Manson Family Murders that took place in the home on August 8-9, 1969, carried out by members of the Manson family – Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, and Linda Kasabian.
Under the direction of ex-con, failed musician, and cult leader Charles Manson, who hoped to start an apocalyptic race war that he termed “Helter Skelter”, the four perpetrators broke into the property and viciously murdered high school graduate Steven Parent, celebrity stylist Jay Sebring, Screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski, Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and actress Sharon Tate, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant at the time.
The victims had no connection to Manson or his followers; in fact, the only reason Manson was familiar with the home was due to a visit to the property while it was owned by musician and record producer Terry Melcher and his girlfriend, Candice Bergen. Manson had become enraged with Melcher after the producer refused to sign him to his label. Shortly after cutting ties with Manson, Melcher and Bergen moved out of their Cielo Drive home and Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski would move in, a decision that would sadly prove fatal for the young couple.
Though it could easily be assumed that the motive behind the murders was a twisted revenge plot against Terry Melcher, the Manson family was well-aware that both Melcher and his girlfriend no longer lived at the residence.
Sharon Tate Murder: How it Happened
Warning: Some readers may find the following 5 paragraphs disturbing.
Steven Parent would be the Manson families first victim – shot by Watson in his car as he made his way down the driveway of the home after visiting the caretaker to the property. Following this, the perpetrators would enter through the front door, where they would find Frykowski sleeping on the living room couch. Frykowski was beaten and bound while the other victims were forced into the living room and tied up.
Tate and Sebring were tied together by their necks from a rope that had been slung over a wood beam in the living room. At this point, Folger was briefly taken to her bedroom to retrieve money from her purse. The heiress gave the intruders $70 in hopes of sparing herself and the others, but it was at this point that Watson stabbed Sebring several times, killing him. Following Sebring’s murder, Frykowski was able to loosen the towel that bound his hands and began to struggle with Atkins and managed to reach the outside porch before Watson caught up to him and proceeded to beat, stab, and shoot Frykowski multiple times as he struggled to make his way across the front lawn.
Folger had managed to escape from her captor, Krenwinkel, and flee through the back doors of the master bedroom and out to the pool area before Krenwinkel caught her and began to stab her. Sadly, that lead to her death at the hands of Watson.
Tate was the last victim of the gruesome night’s events; she was stabbed 16 times until her death. Tate was 26 years old. It’s still up for debate as to whether it was Watson, Atkins, or both that fatally stabbed the 8 1/2 month pregnant actress.
As the murderous group exited the home, Atkins used the towel that had bound Frykowski’s hands and painted “Pig” on the home’s front door using Tate’s blood. The scene was discovered on the morning of August 9, 1969, by Winifred Chapman, the Polanski’s housekeeper.
Who lives in the Sharon Tate house?
The last resident of the home prior to its demolition 1994 was Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor. He began renting the home in 1992 and recorded part of the band’s hit album The Downward Spiral in the recording studio that Reznor had set up in the house.
The band would even film the video for the song “Gave Up” on the property. After a conversation with Tate’s sister, however, Reznor began to feel guilty about his use of the home and decided to move out of 10050 Cielo Drive for fear that his fans may think he supported and glorified, the atrocities that were carried out by the Manson family.
Why was Sharon Tate house torn down?
Due to the horrors that took place within the property, as well as the unwanted attention the house had gained since the murders, the original home, once dubbed “The Love House” by Tate, was torn down. The 10050 Cielo Drive demolition took place in 1994.
The modern property that sits on the site of the original 10050 Cielo Drive is a much larger Mediterranean-style mansion that looks nothing like the rustic home that came before it. Nicknamed “Villa Bella”, the 18,000 square foot estate boasts 7-bedrooms, 12-bathrooms, and featured a wine cellar, a screening room, and a commercial kitchen.
The mansion was originally valued at a pricey $12 million in 1996, but after sitting on the market for several years with no hope of a buyer in sight, the price was reduced to $7.7 million. Following the price drop, Jeff Franklin, creator of the popular family sitcoms Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992-1997) and Full House (1987-1995), decided to purchase the home and made some pretty big additions with the help of his project architect, Todd Riley, who mixed Asian elements with southern Spanish touches to create Franklin’s dream home. Some additions included a 15-car underground garage, 5 aquariums, 6 bars, two tropical swimming pools, and a museum dedicated to Elvis Presley.
What was the address change of the Sharon Tate murder house?
The owner of the property, following the murders, changed the address from 10050 Cielo Drive to 10066 Cielo Drive in hopes of not only attracting a new buyer but also as a means of discouraging the site being viewed as a macabre attraction. Despite these changes, however, the land’s gruesome history is far from forgotten. Additionally, with the release of Quintin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), it is likely that peoples’ fascination with the property and the dark history surrounding it has been sparked once more.
Sharon Tate House Tour
Named the “Helter Skelter Tour”, this 3.5-hour multimedia tour digitally reconstructs the lives of both the victims and the killers during the period leading up to the infamous murders that took place on the night of August 8, 1969. For $85 a ticket, individuals will be given an in-depth look into the murder case that shocked the world and struck fear into the hearts of California locals at the time.
In addition to the Helter Skelter tour, the Oman house, a home nearby that is rumored to house paranormal activity connected to the Sharon Tate house, holds regular lockdown tours for around $80 a person. During these tours, people are able to hold their own paranormal investigations and discover for themselves if things really do go “bump” in the night at the Oman house.
Sharon Tate House Ghost Adventures
Paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin from the popular Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures (2008-present) kicked off their 9th season with the investigation of the Oman House after claims of paranormal activity believed to be in direct relation to the Sharon Tate Murders that occurred only 200 feet away from the property.
David Oman, the owner of the Oman house, has claimed to witness everything from disembodied voices to even a full-bodied apparition of what he believes to be Jay Sebring, one of the victims of the Manson murders. Beyond hosting tours and investigations of his home, Oman also has a Youtube channel dedicated to all his paranormal findings.
Additionally, Barry Taff, a well-respected parapsychologist, has been quoted as saying that the home displayed the highest EMF readings he had ever seen, leading him to dub the property “the Mount Everest of haunted houses.”
Sharon Tate Funeral
Sharon Tate and her baby boy, Paul Richard Polanski, the name which his father gave him following the murders, were buried together at Holy Cross Cemetery on August 13th, 1969.
Attendees to Tate’s funeral included her husband and family as well as Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty, Yul Brynner, Bruce Lee, James Coburn, Kirk Douglas, and Stuart Whitman.
Both Tate’s and Sebring’s funerals were held on the same day, scheduled at different times so as to allow friends and family of both parties to attend each service.