. I asked why and he said
he just wanted to get one close look at the little son of a bitch. He promised
me he wouldnt cause any trouble, so I agreed. We were waiting in the
basement of the police building when Sgts. Chick Guiterrez and Phil Sartuche
walked in with the little hippie. I watched Paul closely for despite his
promise I really wasnt sure what he would do. There wasnt a bit
of emotion showing in his face when Manson walked by with his head down and
his eyes glued to the floor. Pauls fists were clenched and the tendons
stood out in his neck but he didnt move when the trio entered the elevator
for the ride to the felony jail on the second floor. Paul just looked at
me and said, Thanks, Bob and walked away.
Pages 112-115 of the book publish a purported excerpt of my dads memoirs
dealing with his reaction to the Grand Jury Testimony of Susan Atkins. This
does NOT appear in my dads unpublished manuscript.
Pages 120-139 of the book purport to publish my dads memoirs of the
Manson trial. This does NOT appear in my dads unpublished manuscript.
Pages 193-198 of the book purports to publish my dads memoirs about
a parole hearing in the 1980s for Manson murderer Charles
does NOT appear in his unpublished manuscript.
My dad loathed this subject and was uninterested in continuing to regurgitate
it over and over. Had he worked on his memoirs in the 1980s I would have
known of this as I was around my parents quite a bit. Unfortunately, and
as many witnesses can attest, my dad was not in a physical, mental, or emotional
state from the late 1970s until his death that would have allowed him to
work on his memoirs. As the notes and taped materials in Ms. Olsons
possession demonstrate, in 1994 she and my sister Patti attempted to question
my dad and fill in the gaps in his unpublished manuscript to no avail. Readers
may wonder how likely it is that my dad left some previously unknown, and
vastly more expansive, set of memoirs than those included in the unpublished
manuscript, Five Down at Cielo Drive. In short, my dads
personal copy of his unpublished memoirs in my possession contradicts at
great length the excerpts attributed to him in this book.
Accounts by Patti Tate
As noted, my sister Patti began work on her memoirs, titled, For Love
and Justice, in 1994 with Robin Olson. As notes in Ms. Olsons
possession show, she originally proposed that my sisters book go
back and forth between the perspectives of our family, the same format
followed in this book. Correspondence between Patti and Roman Polanski as
well as materials in Ms. Olsons possession, indicate my sisters
intention to include my far more extensive memories of Sharon in any literary
representation of our familys story. Patti wrote to Roman on January
10, 1994: There is going to be a chapter for each of us (mom, me, my
dad, and Debbie), our recollections of her before her murder and how we felt
and what we did after it happened. Ms. Olson has notes and tape-recorded
conversations with Patti as they worked on the proposed book and were given
the contact information of a literary agent at William Morris Agency in New
As materials in Robin Olsons possession confirm and I can attest, Patti
had few substantial memories of Sharon. She had great difficult constructing
any meaningful narrative and could only recall isolated incidents of our
sister Sharons life that do not resemble the lengthy saga in these
pages. Many incidents are completely out of character for my sister Patti,
who was a gracious, gentle, and loving person and never spoke to our parents
in the ways depicted.
Comparison of Pattis memories in the notes and tape-recorded conversations
of Ms. Olson with the published accounts in the book appearing under my
sisters name reveals serious discrepancies. The memory ascribed to
Patti of our sister Sharons funeral on pages 40-48 contradicts the
mere 825-word account of the same event that Patti struggled to reconstruct
with Robin Olson over many months in 1994 and that represented her entire
memory of the event. Even so, this was largely drawn from a document my mom
wrote called, The Day of the Funeral, as Patti could remember
very little. For comparison, below is Pattis account of Sharons
funeral written in 1994 with Ms. Olson:
The Limousine picked us up at 9:30 in the morning. The drive on the
San Diego freeway was interminable. We were in a state of unreality. Victor
Lownes, a friend of Roman and Sharons, had made all the arrangements,
so we didnt even know where we were heading. No one spoke. Dad looked
out of the window the whole trip. None of us could bear the fact of where
we were going. Mom, Debbie and I cried the whole way there. Finally we stopped.
I looked out of the window and saw very large wrought iron gates, with the
words written, Holy Cross Cemetery. My mother was pleased that
they chose a Catholic resting place for Sharon, as she was a very devout
Catholic. We turned and entered through the gates, and slowly drove up the
driveway toward the chapel. There were flowers lining the entrance and many
people standing on the sidewalk. They were waiting for the family to arrive
before entering the chapel. Our limousine pulled in front of another one
that had been waiting there. My mom stepped out on to the sidewalk first.
As she did this, the door to the other limo opened. Out stepped Roman Polanski,
wearing dark sunglasses. He and my mom locked eyes, walked toward each other,
but said not a word. Im sure they both meant to comfort one another,
but there were no words needed to convey the grief they both were sharing.
Their hearts were totally broken, so no words were really needed. A mother,
a first time grandmother. A husband, a first time father. Twin dreams shattered.
Who would do this to us? To anybody? And Why? We were not to know who committed
this senseless tragedy for four more months. They turned and walked into
the chapel together. The moment could not have been any more solemn. Roman
seemed so alone, yet we knew he was surrounded by all of his friends. People
had come in from all over the world to show their support. We followed behind
them, and the crowd followed behind us. There were about 170 people in
attendance, including some of Sharons and Romans more well known
friends. Warren Beatty, Alex and Joanna Cord, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marvin, Steve
McQueen, James Coburn, Peter Sellers, Papa John Phillips and
his wife Michelle, Yul Brynner. We walked through the double doors, into
the entry hall. About 50 feet in the front and center stood the casket.
Could that box possibly be all that remains of my beautiful sister?
We slowly walked up the aisle and took our seats up front, very close to
the casket. We sat down and the Priest began his sermon. I cannot tell you
what he said. Words, words, beautiful words, that is all I can remember.
We all sat in stunned silence, each to his or her own thoughts. Moments of
sanity and moments of disbelief. I believe the Lord, in his infinite mercy
gave us this defense mechanism to keep us from going off the deep end. The
grief was overwhelming. The sermon was over. It was time for the family to
receive a rose from the casket spray. We each walked up to the casket to
say our last farewell. Mom, Roman, Dad, Debbie and I. When it was my turn,
I received a rose, and kissed the casket. Good-bye, Sharon, Ill
love you always, I whispered to her in my thoughts, good-bye,
baby Paul. I love you, too. You will always be our baby. Good-bye.
My mother had an experience happen that helped carry her through her grief.
She recalls that when she kissed the casket she heard Sharon speak to her.
Mother, that is not me. She stated that there is no doubt in
her mind that Sharon spoke to her. In those few words, Sharon told Mom that
she had risen from the dead, that the body is just a house for the soul,
that she still lives and that one day we shall all be together. Those words
became her salvation. Mom knew Sharon was in Gods care. We walked out
of the chapel. Outside many people came up to us to tell us how sorry they
were. They were all sincere and touched by Sharons death. Mom told
us later that she recalled seeing two special friends of Sharons, Barbara
Parkins (co-star in Valley of the Dolls) and Steve Brandt, a
publicist. Steve had such pain written on his face, but she didnt have
the chance to speak with him. She wished later that she did. A few months
later he committed suicide. Sharon was buried with her baby, on top of a
grassy hill over looking Los Angeles, the City of Angels. I now
know that the city has earned its name.
As will be seen, this bears little resemblance to the account appearing under
my sisters name in this book.
Other incidents are more egregious and contain errors. According to the book,
Page 275, Patti supposedly described the day of our moms funeral in
1992 as cloudy; in fact, as witnesses can attest, it was a gorgeous, warm
and sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky.
Pages 284-85 of the book publish an excerpt attributed to Patti saying that
she left our moms funeral early to slip letters onto Sharons
casket. As witnesses can attest, she sat in the front row of the chapel with
the rest of our family and did not leave until the service was over.
Page 343 of the book publishes an excerpt attributed to Patti in which she
supposedly wrote that she was forced to cancel her appearance
on a 1999 E Channel documentary on our sister Sharon owing to illness. In
fact, Robin Olson handled this request for Patti and her correspondence with
the producer shows that Patti was never involved in the program owing to
her illness. She therefore never cancelled any interviews, as she was never
booked to appear.
The above, and other, similar discrepancies, may raise certain questions
about the content of this book with some readers.
Other Content of the Book
Sections in the book dealing with my sister Sharons life away from
our family circle include verbatim conversations without attribution and
statements whose veracity is in doubt.
Pages 20-22, for example, reproduce an alleged conversation between Sharon
and Martin Ransohoff.
Page 25 asserts, Hes right, Sharon thought, thus placing
an imaginary narrator into my sisters head.
Page 28 repeats this apparent psychic ability in imagining my sisters
Page 32 presents an alleged conversation between Sharon and Jay Sebring for
which no sources or citations are given. Readers might have legitimate questions
about these and similar incidents in the book.
The version of our sister Sharons murder appearing on pages 297-308
under Pattis name is a gross insult. It wallows in the tragedy of that
night, imagining the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of those who lost their
lives. Comments attributed to the victims and to their killers are at odds
with the known accounts and records available, leading readers to wonder
what their source could possibly be.
Particularly troubling passages include:
Page 302: Sharon hesitates at the archway. The very familiarity of
home has vanished. Her senses are heightened. The intruders body odor
is nauseating while her eyes are drawn to Watsons bloodied hands. She
scans Woytek for injuries, searches his eyes for an answer to the festering
storm. Readers might ask how this book can pretend to know what my
sister thought or felt.
Page 303: A cry hangs in her throat. Silent tears tumble down her cheeks.
In spite of the heat, her skin crawls with a chill. Again, readers
might ask how this book can pretend to know what my sister Sharon thought
Page 303 presents a dialogue between Sharon and Charles Tex Watson
concerning Jay Sebring. As this is starkly at odds with the killers
own statements and books, readers might ask the source for these statements.
Pages 306-307 present an orgy of distasteful and questionable description
regarding my sisters brutal murder. The text purports to describe who
delivered each stab wound, and in what order, and offers a version of my
sisters last moments starkly at odds with the accounts of her murderers.
This wallowing obsession with Sharons death, which has her crawling
on her hands and knees across the floor, is not supported by any facts and
is grossly offensive to her memory and to her family. Readers not offended
by this morbid fantasy may well be offended by its tenuous connection to
the known facts of that night. As not merely my sister Sharon suffered this
crime but also my personal friends Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, and Abigail
Folger, the inflated account is particularly hurtful and malicious, especially
the latter as it purportedly comes from my own sister Patti.
Alisa Statman presents herself in this book as a close family friend
and insinuates that she speaks on behalf of my family. Readers should know
that Ms. Statman has a long and troubling history involving my familys
tragedy. Her recent television and other media statements that she had known
Patti for nine years or since 1991 are false. She met Patti only in mid-August
1992, and knew her for 7 years, 9 months, and two weeks until Pattis
death on June 3, 2000. She also writes, on page xiv, that in this book she
used the personal knowledge shared over the years with me by P.J.,
Doris and others in this book. This is again false. Ms. Statman never
met my mom and any suggestion that this book conveys any personal information
from my mom to Ms. Statman is untrue, clearly meant to insinuate that my
parents selected her to tell our family story and shared information with
her to this end. In a book that easily conjures up verbatim thoughts and
conversations of people long gone, it seems questionable that Ms. Statman
cannot accurately present the simplest details of her own recent life.
As letters and correspondence in my possession and in the possession of others
demonstrate, Sharons murder fascinated Ms. Statman before she met my
sister Patti. On February 25, 2012, one individual confirmed that they met
Alisa about 25 years ago, and she said she was doing a Manson book.
I have verified that at the same time she approached one individual hoping
to purchase research materials on the murders and crime scene photographs.
Only after this, as I have confirmed, did she move into the guesthouse of
my sister Sharons former estate on Cielo Drive, presumably so that
she could be closer to the scene of the crime. She delighted, as correspondence
in my possession from another individual confirms, in meeting those interested
in the murders and even showing them her photographs of the Cielo estate
and the guesthouse. During her residence there, she befriended my moms
former acquaintance and Manson buff Bill Nelson and proudly posed for photographs
with him at the scene of my sisters murder. She used Nelson to meet
others involved in the Manson case, and stole, as she has admitted, a number
of photographs from Lieutenant Earl Deemers collection.
Ms. Statman then used these stolen photographs to meet Patti in August 1992
after our mothers death. She carefully concealed from Patti her obsession
with the Manson case and Sharons murder. Preying on my sisters
kindness and financial vulnerability, she insinuated herself gradually into
my sisters life. She went from living in the guesthouse on Sharons
estate in LA to renting a guesthouse on Patti and her husbands property
90 miles north in Santa Barbara, which was soon after my moms death
and at the end of my sisters marriage, following her into our family
house in Palos Verdes as a paying tenant in 1993. In desperate financial
circumstances, my sister allowed Ms. Statman to help her obtain work and
health insurance in Hollywood. Attempting to further associate herself with
my family and Sharon Tate, Ms. Statman falsely claimed to be a Tate
stepsister in documents she signed at Holy Cross Cemetery, which
are in my possession. She also falsely asserted to officials at Holy Cross
Cemetery that she had obtained Roman Polanskis permission to have our
sister Sharons grave opened. Roman granted no such permission, as letters
in my possession from Roman confirm. In late 2000, after Pattis death,
as correspondence in the possession of Robin Olson confirms, Ms. Statman
was again meeting with a certain individual to discuss her Manson research
and plans for a book on the case. In 2001, as Susan Fisher, who was then
Director of the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau can attest, Ms. Statman attempted
to use Pattis contacts in Sacramento to craft a bill in the California
Legislature that would allow her to attend Manson family parole hearings.
These efforts failed thanks to Ms. Fisher and myself.
After my sister Pattis death, as correspondence in my possession and
in the possession of others demonstrates, my dad, myself, and Pattis
husband Don Ford all discussed strategies to care for Pattis two youngest
children. In the end neither my dad nor myself was able to work out a solution
and Don Ford and my dad found it easiest to let Ms. Statman remain in the
Palos Verdes house, in custodial care only, of two of Patti three children.
According to Ms. Statman, page xiv, after my dad moved out of our house at
Palos Verdes, she was left to the task of cleaning out and organizing
our home, a home that had accumulated the lifespans of three generations.
Room by room, box by box, I unearthed a treasure of the Tate familys
home movies, audio and visual recordings, journals, and letters dating back
My dad moved out of the Palos Verdes house several years before Pattis
death. He stayed with me, in a motor home parked on my ranch, as receipts
paid to the owner confirm, for the next several years. He brought with him
many of our familys papers and belongings, but others were left in
the house at Palos Verdes; he later allowed Ms. Statman to purchase the house
at a time when his final illness demanded financial security. When my dad
returned to the Palos Verdes house to retrieve numerous personal photographs,
objects, family papers, and other materials, they could not be located. In
2001, I raised this issue with Susan Fischer, who was then Director of the
Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, as communications from her, dated May 6,
2001, confirm. At the end of 2001, my dad asked me to come to his house in
Big Bear so that he could turn over to me all of the family papers, photographs,
home movies, and other materials he had retrieved from the Palos Verdes house
and those he had asked Ms. Statman to return to him.
On Saturday, December 9, 2001, accompanied by Robin Olson, I arrived at my
dads house and took inventory of the materials. When I pointed out
that many items were missing, my dad agreed, and in the presence of Ms. Olson
said he would call Ms. Statman and order her to turn over any remaining family
property he had neglected to remove from the Palos Verdes house. Ms. Statman
assured him she would do this. Before my dad moved to Washington State, we
again tried to retrieve the manuscripts, photographs, and other intimate
family possessions that remained missing. My dad told me that, despite his
requests, he found it difficult to get Ms. Statman to release the remaining
materials, and he was unfortunately in no physical condition to intercede.
He did telephone Ms. Statman, alerting her that I was coming to Palos Verdes
to retrieve our familys property. Accompanied by a witness, I later
went to Palos Verdes where Ms. Statman denied, contrary to her assurances
to my dad, that any such property remained in the house. She denied me entrance
to view my dads storage areas in the house. The same materials that
my dad told Ms. Statman to hand over to me and which she denied possessing
now compose this book.
Brie Ford (Tate)
I find it distasteful to discuss my niece but she has asserted things in
this book that are not correct. My niece is named Brie Ford, not Tate. On
page 365 of the book, she writes of me: Though she is my mothers
sister, she is a far-removed aunt. Never close with mama, often at battle
with her, I knew Debra less than I knew Aunt Sharon. This is false
and designed to diminish my role as guardian of our familys legacy.
I was a part of Bries life with great regularity. I took care of my
mom six days a week during her final illness and often spent time with Brie
and her siblings at the house in Palos Verdes. I recall two such occasions,
when Brie visited my house where I taught her how to professionally apply
makeup and of which we have photos. My daughter and Pattis children
all played together, and Patti and her husband Don Ford routinely stayed
with me while my former husband worked on their various vehicles.
My niece also writes, on page 365, of me: Because we were such strangers
to each other, I had no way of knowing if she cared enough to fight to keep
Aunt Sharons killers in prison. This is also false, meant to
impugn and undermine my role in the public eye as spokesperson for our family
and its legacy. Patti never wanted her children involved in the Manson saga
or parole hearings, as numerous people can attest. After moms death
in 1992 I helped Patti to take on this role hoping to keep her mind occupied
during the disintegration of her marriage. Patti attended three parole hearings
until 1997 when she became ill. I then began regularly attending parole hearings
and have consistently done so for the last fifteen years, a fact known to
Brie since 1997. Aside from one occasion in 2005, my niece has made no effort
to attend parole hearings for the convicted Manson murderers. Authorities
in charge of these hearings tell me that neither my niece nor Ms. Statman,
who present themselves as advocates on behalf of my family, have apparently
ever bothered to write a single letter or statement to the parole board opposing
release of any of those involved in the deaths in 1969. It would seem that
Ms. Statman has used my impressionable nieces name to lend credence
to the book that she has long wanted to write.
This book and my nieces words have left the public with the impression
that I was alienated from my family. I remained in close and constant contact
with my parents and with Patti until their deaths. Like all families, we
endured relationships that were, at times, troubled, but we never severed
the loving bonds that existed between us. I cared for my mom during her final
illness, spending six days a week with my parents in our house at Palos Verdes.
I was Maid of Honor at Pattis wedding. I was with my mom and Patti
when President Bush presented her with his 1000 Points of Light
award. Patti was excited and thrilled at this, not resentful as the book
asserts at losing any time with our mom. During Pattis final illness
and at her insistent request, I spent days in our family house preparing
and decorating her last Christmas tree when my niece Brie was present. Christmas
was Moms favorite holiday and for Bries entire life, until my
mothers death, we all spent Christmas together at the Palos Verdes
home with our parents, as many family photos will attest. In early 2000,
I visited Patti in Mexico where she had gone to seek alternative cancer
treatment. I went down there with my daughter and met up with Pattis
eldest daughter, we were all together and we watched Patti receive some of
her treatments. Until my dad left the state of California I saw him consistently,
and proudly possess dozens of family letters, birthday cards, Christmas cards,
and memorabilia demonstrating that our family bonds remained unbroken.
My niece, also on page 365, writes of me: What little I knew about
her firsthand was that shed taken my grandfathers ashes and,
to date, had not given him a proper burial. This is a malicious statement.
My dad, as Brie is aware, left no written instructions regarding funeral
arrangements and gave me verbal instructions to dispose of his ashes as I
saw fit. His only request was that he did not want to rest at Holy Cross
Cemetery, because the grave has become a tourist attraction. After thoughtful
consideration, as my dads closest relative and heir, I decided to keep
his ashes in my possession out of love, not some imagined revenge. Brie
Fords statement is therefore incorrect.
Since 1997, I have been the public face of the Tate family, appearing at
the various parole hearings for the convicted Manson murderers, working with
political leaders and speaking on behalf of victims rights, doing numerous
television specials, interviews, and serving as the principal media contact
when issues related to my sister Sharon or our family have arisen. I am a
well-known presence and easily available to the media, yet surprisingly neither
the publisher, IT Books, nor its parent company HarperCollins, bothered to
contact me by telephone, email, letter, or fax before publishing this book.
Given all of the above, this book presents a challenge to readers. They may
wonder at the contradictions between my dads own copy of his unpublished
manuscript and the text; at the contradictions between Pattis tape-recorded
conversations and manuscript and the text; at the verbatim conversations
published without citations; at the factual errors and demonstrably false
statements in the text; and at how the book purports to know what was in
my sister Sharons mind on numerous occasions, not least of which was
during her tragic murder. And readers may have questions concerning the story
told by Ms. Statman of how this book allegedly came about, given her history
of fascination with the crimes and with my sister Sharon. They should know
that my treasured family photographs have been maliciously edited to eliminate
my presence prior to publication in the book.
To clear up these discrepancies, and to help Ms. Statman assure her readers
of the books veracity, I now publicly offer to pay for Ms. Statman
to take a polygraph examination, at my expense and to be arranged at her
convenience, under mutually agreed conditions, to answer the following
1. Before moving into the guesthouse at Cielo, did you express to others
your intent to write about my sister Sharons murder?
2. Did you begin working on or researching a book about my sister
Sharons murder before you met Patti?
3. Is it true that you used the photographs you stole from Lieutenant Earl
Deemers collection to meet my sister Patti?
4. Did you ever meet my mom Doris Gwen Tate?
5. Would you swear that the statement in the book as to how it came about
is absolutely accurate?
6. Is every word in the book attributed to Patti exactly what she herself
said or wrote?
7. Did you use any of the materials written and prepared by Robin Olson for
Pattis book in this book?
8. Did you change, alter, or add anything to my dads unpublished manuscript
prior to publication?
9. Did you change, alter, or add anything to my moms unpublished
manuscript prior to publication?
10. Can you provide independent corroboration to verify the many verbatim
conversations given in the book between people now deceased?
11. Can you provide independent corroboration to verify the account of
my sister Sharons murder appearing in your book?
12. Did my dad order you to turn over to me all Tate family materials left
in the Palos Verdes house?
13. Did you turn over to my dad or to me, as requested, all Tate family
materials in the Palos Verdes house?
14. Did you deny to me that such Tate family materials remained in the Palos
15. Did you sign statements at Holy Cross Cemetery describing yourself as
a Tate stepsister?
16. Did you tell authorities at Holy Cross Cemetery that you had obtained
Roman Polanskis permission to open Sharons grave?
17. Did you try to have legislation passed in California that would allow
you, as a non-relative, to attend parole hearings for convicted members of
the Manson family?
I would be happy to make arrangements for such a polygraph test at Ms.
Undoubtedly this saga will continue, as it has done for nearly 20 years,
but I plan to make no further statements about this book, nor will I publicly
address any issues unrelated to the content of the book itself. Work continues
on analyzing its content against documents and papers in my possession and
in the possession of others but those judgments will be reserved for my own
future work, when I will make public the full story of my family, my sister
Sharon, our tragedy, and my life in a definitive way. Again, until then,
and for as long as I live, I will honor my familys memory by continuing
to work on behalf of our legacy and other victims of violent crime.
March 9, 2012