Convicted murderer Charles Manson may be dead and the “Helter Skelter” murders may be 53-years-old, but victim Sharon Tate’s younger sister Debra believes all of the killer’s heinous deeds have not been revealed based on a coded letter he sent her before his death.
Debra, now 69, was 16-years-old when her nearly nine month pregnant actress and model sister, 26-year-old Sharon, was murdered along with four others at her Beverly Hills home in August 1969. She recently sat down for an interview with The Sun where she discussed her efforts to uncover the full extent of Manson’s atrocities and how surprised she was when she received a response.
Some years before his death in 2017, Tate explained how she had written a letter to Manson at Central California’s Corcoran State Prison questioning him about potential murders carried out by members of the Manson family, the cult members who followed him totaling nearly 100. When he responded, she explained, “Charles Manson’s letter rattled on just like he did.”
“He was writing about how he was an outlaw, and that he lives by outlaw rules, meaning he would never rat on any of his brothers and sisters, even though some of them had done it to him,” she told The Sun.
“But he drew me a little picture that was an exact replica of the Panamint Mountains, the mountain range surrounding Barker Ranch were Manson was hiding out after the murders and eventually captured,” Tate said and further described, “There was also what at first glance looked like a sun coming up over the hills, but when you looked closer, it was actually a little image of Charlie, because he had a little ‘X’ on his forehead.”
Tate went on to detail how the sketch also had “X-marks” that she believed represented the locations of burial sights at the ranch where other victims had been interred. “I think that was his way of telling me something and answering my questions while remaining true to his own doctrine of living the outlaw life.”
This was second time that Tate had interacted with Manson as she recounted how she had arranged with law enforcement contacts associated with her father, a colonel in the U.S. Army, to meet the murderer after his arrest to make certain he was indeed the man responsible for the deaths.
“I didn’t think it was possible that they had the right person to tell you the truth,” she expressed. “So I had to see for myself.”
“I had two guards next to me, and we just sat there looking at each other for about 10 minutes,” Tate explained of meeting Manson. “No words were spoken; all we did was stare into each other’s eyes.”
“I could just see and feel the aura of evil around him,” she recounted. “I knew in that moment that he probably was responsible for Sharon’s death.”
In her efforts to get to the truth, Tate had led an excavation at Barker Ranch in 2008 with forensic experts and an off-duty police detective who believed they had found evidence of human remains on the site. However, they were only authorized to dig up to four feet down and she asserted that wasn’t deep enough to get to the truth.
Another effort was unsuccessfully conducted in 2014.
Tate went on to explain of her sister, “She was my advocate, she was my very strong supporter, she truly believed in me. Sharon was just such a kind, gentle, genuine soul, that there wasn’t a person that ever came across her that didn’t like her.”
“Her death was such a catastrophic loss. Not only to me but for the rest of us and the next generations,” she added and also noted of Manson’s death, “I cried when he died and prayed for his soul. I told God that he was his problem now.”
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