The night Steve McQueen escaped being butchered

Steve McQueen escapes slaughter
Steve McQueen with Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski


On the night of August 8, 1969, Steve McQueen was invited to a party at 10050 Cielo Drive in the exclusive Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles.

But McQueen’s mistress at the time — he was still married to actress Neile Adams — said she would rather spend an intimate evening at home. So Steve blew off the party.

The house on Cielo Drive was being leased by actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski.

Polanski was away in Europe working on a film.

Steve McQueen escapes slaughter
George Vreeland Hill photo


With Sharon in the house were Hollywood hair stylist and former lover Jay Sebring, Polanski’s friend and aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski and his lover Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folgers coffee fortune, and an 18-year-old student, Steven Parent, who was visiting the property caretaker.

Sharon was eight months pregnant.

Just after midnight on August 9, three armed maniacs burst through the door and Sharon Tate’s home became a slaughterhouse.


Everyone was butchered. The murders had been ordered by Charles Manson. He did not attend the event. His cultists that night were Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel.

Manson chose that house for his “devil’s business” to instill fear in the previous renter, record producer Terry Melcher, who was Doris Day’s son. Melcher had lived in the house with his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen and musician Mark Lindsay, and had given would-be musician Manson the brush-off. In other words, Sharon Tate and her friends became scapegoats. And they were sacrificed as such.

The bloodshed at the house was a scene from hell.

But Manson wasn’t done yet.


In the early morning hours of August 10, Manson, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, plus Leslie Van Houton and Steve Grogan drove to a house at 3301 Waverly Drive. It was next door to a house where Manson and friends had attended a party the previous year.

It was the home of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.

The “Manson Family” butchered them both.

Steve McQueen escapes slaughter
THE VICTIMS (clockwise from top left): Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, Steven Parent, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Rosemary and Leo LaBianca.



It turned out that Steve McQueen was already on Manson’s celebrity hit list along with stars like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.

He made the list after be got into a fight with Manson months earlier when Manson confronted him with a movie script he wanted him to read and McQueen refused.

When McQueen found out about the hit list he wrote a letter to his attorney wanting assurance that all the Manson family members had been captured. He also asked to have his gun permit re-instated.

Wants gun permit

From that day on on, McQueen always carried a loaded revolver with him everywhere he went, including Jay Sebring’s funeral.

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  • Yeah I remember that story. Seen some Manson interviews from prison as well. He’s a strange one for sure. Didn’t know about the hit list on McQueen though. Seems to me he’d hold his own if confronted if given have a chance. Tough dude that one. And wasn’t Polanski up on charges for underage sex at one time? What a group!

  • That’s Hollywood for ya! I’m just catching up on your posts — been on a protracted bender, and now I’m paying for it.