Saturday, September 30

Sharon Tate’s sister reveals why she thinks Charles Manson killed other uncovered victims and where they’re buried

FOR decades it has been suspected that cult leader, Charles Manson and his “family” were responsible for more murders than the nine they were convicted of.

Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, has led an effort to find more possible victims of Manson and his vicious acolytes in the summer of 1969.


Debra Tate, 69, believes that murderer and cult leader, Charles Manson, is behind more murders than the nine he and his ‘family’ were convicted ofCredit: AP:Associated Press
Deba is the younger sister of Sharon Tate, who was brutally murdered by Manson Family members in August 1969


Deba is the younger sister of Sharon Tate, who was brutally murdered by Manson Family members in August 1969Credit: Getty – Contributor
Manson, who died in prison in 2017 bragged about being invovled in more killings, however the identities of the suppsoed victims were never revealed


Manson, who died in prison in 2017 bragged about being invovled in more killings, however the identities of the suppsoed victims were never revealedCredit: Getty – Contributor

Debra was only 16 when Sharon was brutally stabbed and strangled to death by members of the Manson family inside her Beverly Hills home.

Sharon was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she died along with four others.

Manson and his cult members were charged with the murders with many of them sentenced to death before being commuted to life imprisonment.

Since then many have wondered if there were more victims.

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Other Manson-linked cases include a supposed suicide of a Manson follower’s boyfriend in England; the drowning of an attorney whom Manson declared in the middle of his trial he “never” wanted to see again; and a man killed during a game of Russian roulette with family members present.

Additionally, the Manson family is suspected by some to have been involved in the stabbings of two young women off Mulholland Drive and a couple of young Scientology followers who met a similarly gray end, among many other unsolved killings.

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Manson himself has repeatedly claimed that there were more victims, even once bragging to his cellmate that he was responsible for 35 killings alone, though the identities of those apparent victims were never shared.

Susan Atkins, one of the Manson devotees who was involved in the murders, was also said to have bragged to her cellmate soon after she was arrested that there were “three people out in the desert that they done in,” though no bodies ever materialized .

Additional rumors have swirled of hitchhikers who visited the Manson family ranch and were never seen again, and runaways who drifted into the camp and were killed after falling out of favor – but again no concrete evidence to support the claims has ever emerged.

Debra reached out to Manson while he was still behind bars at Central California’s Corcoran State Prison, and, to her surprise, she says she received a response.

“Charles Manson’s letter rattled on just like he did,” Debra said of the rambling scrawl she claims to have received from the killer.

“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.

“But he drew me a little picture that was an exact replica of the Panamint Mountains, the mountain range surrounding Barker Ranch where Manson was hiding out after the murders and eventually captured,” Debra said.

“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.”

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In the foreground of the hand-drawn sketch, there were also little X-marks that Debra believes could be burial sites for other Manson family victims.

“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,” she said.


Digs have previously taken place at Manson’s Barker ranch, following pressure from Debra and others, though no human remains have so far been found.

Debra was involved in an excavation surrounding the ranch in 2008 after she, an off-duty police detective, and forensics experts found what they believed to be evidence of two, perhaps three, human graves linked to the Manson cult.

The potential burial sites were located using highly trained sniffer dogs and ground probing equipment and radar which was used to detect signs of refilled holes in the ground.

That May, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department and the National Park Service authorized digs of only up to 3-4 feet at Barker Ranch, but nothing was found.

At the time, Debra and her team of sleuths suggested that officials simply hadn’t dug deep enough.

A second unsuccessful excavation took place at the former Manson haunt in 2014, though Debra remains certain there are more victims of the cult buried out there somewhere.


Today, Debra says she tries to remember the ways in which her sister lived rather than the tragic and violent circumstances in which she was killed.

“It was a daily chore to avoid try and avoid the horror on the front pages of the newspapers when Sharon was killed,” Debra said, “But I wanted to remember the good – and now that’s all I remember.

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“I remember her taking me out with her teenage friends way past bedtime because my mom trusted her, Sharon buying me my first horse … or when she took me to the park and made me sit next to her on the bench while she talked to some young suitor.

“I remember all those things,” added Debra. “I’ve pretty much tried to not have the horrific reality ever enter into my daily consciousness.

“In other words, I don’t want it to rob me of all the fond memories I have with her.”

Keeping her older sister’s memory alive, Debra has dedicated the last several decades of her life to petitioning to keep the remaining members of the Manson cult behind bars through her website

The 69-year-old is also an advocate for other families afflicted by trauma.

It was Debra’s mom Doris who first started the effort. Doris emerged from years of depression when she heard that a Manson family member was seeking parole.

She gathered 350,000 signatures, helping keep the murderer in prison.

Doris also lobbied successfully to change state law to ensure the rights of victims’ family members to make statements during sentencing and parole hearings.

Doris Tate died in 1992. Her youngest daughter Patti followed after a battle with cancer in 2000 and now Debra, who is also battling the disease, attends the parole hearings alone.

“I’m going to keep fighting like hell to ensure these people remain behind bars,” Debra said.

“My mom asked me to continue this work for her, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Charles Manson died behind bars while serving a life sentence at Corcoran State Prison on November 19, 2017. He was 83 years old.

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“I cried when he died and prayed for his soul,” said Debra of Manson.

“I told God that he was his problem now.”

Several excavations have happened at Manson's Barker Ranch, but they have not resulted in any bodies being found


Several excavations have happened at Manson’s Barker Ranch, but they have not resulted in any bodies being foundCredit: AP:Associated Press
Debra said she cried when Manson died and told God he was


Debra said she cried when Manson died and told God he was “his problem now”Credit: Corbis-Getty

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