August 9th 1969, the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas were gripped by fear as news agencies reported the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in the elite area of Benedict Canyon. Citizens never imagined that it would be just a matter of time before two more brutal murders would be committed in another L.A. home just 11 miles away from the Tate-Polanski residence. It was in the very early morning hours of August 10, 1969, that Leno LaBianca 44, and his wife Rosemary 38, were brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson’s murderous cult. Mr. LaBianca was found in the living room, his hands bound behind him, a lamp cord around his neck and a pillowcase over his head. He had knife protruding from his neck and a large carving fork stuck in his stomach. The word “War” was carved across his torso. Mrs. LaBianca was found face down in the bedroom. She hand one hand tied with an electrical cord and a pillowcase over her head. On the walls inside the home the words ‘Death to Pigs’ and ‘Rise’ were scrawled in blood and ‘Helter Skelter’ was written on the refrigerator door. During the initial investigation police thought the Labianca murders to be copycat killings. Even though similarities of the crime scenes at the Tate and LaBianca homes were numerous, it would take several weeks for law enforcement to connect the dots. Once they did, arrests were made and eventually Manson and family were tried and convicted. Prior to their arrest a copy of the LA Times from that summer stated that the city was so steeped in terror that “Hollywood stars went into hiding, and the price of guard dogs jumped sevenfold.”


Schiller, Lawrence (1969) Susan Atkins’ Story of 2 Nights of Murder. The Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1969

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