|Date||August 8–9, 1969|
|Deaths||5 adults and 1 unborn baby|
The Tate murders were a
The murders were carried out by
On the night of August 8, 1969,
The occupants of the house at
When the group arrived at the entrance to the property, Watson, who had been to the house on at least one other occasion, climbed a telephone pole near the entrance gate and cut the phone line to the house.
The group backed their car to the bottom of the hill that led to the estate, parked, and walked back up to the house. Thinking the gate might be electrified or equipped with an alarm, they climbed a brushy embankment to the right of the gate and entered the grounds.:176–184
Just then, headlights approached them from farther within the angled property. Watson ordered the women to lie in the bushes. He stepped out and ordered the approaching driver to halt. Eighteen-year-old student Steven Parent had been visiting the property's caretaker, William Garretson, who lived in the property's guest house. As Watson leveled a .22-caliber revolver at Parent, the frightened youth begged Watson not to hurt him, claiming that he would not say anything. Watson lunged at Parent with a knife, giving him a defensive slash wound on the palm of his hand (severing tendons and tearing the boy's watch off his wrist), then shot him four times in the chest and abdomen, killing him. Watson ordered the women to help push the car further up the driveway.:22–25
After traversing the front lawn and having Kasabian search for an open window to the main house, Watson cut the screen of a window. Watson told Kasabian to keep watch down by the gate; she walked over to Parent's
As Watson whispered to Atkins, a sleeping Frykowski awoke on the living room couch; Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked him who he was and what he was doing there, Watson replied: "I'm the
On Watson's direction, Atkins found the house's three other occupants and, with Krenwinkel's help,:176–184, 297–300 forced them to the living room. Watson began to tie Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope he had brought and slung up over one of the living room's ceiling beams. Sebring's protest – his second – of rough treatment of the pregnant Tate prompted Watson to shoot him. Folger was taken momentarily back to her bedroom for her purse, out of which she gave the intruders $70. After that, Watson stabbed the groaning Sebring seven times.:28–38
Frykowski's hands had been bound with a towel. Freeing himself, Frykowski began struggling with Atkins, who stabbed at his legs with the knife with which she had been guarding him. As he fought his way toward and out the front door, onto the porch, Watson caught up with Frykowski and struck him over the head with the gun multiple times, stabbed him repeatedly, and shot him twice.
Around this time, Kasabian was drawn up from the driveway by "horrifying sounds". She arrived outside the door. In a vain effort to halt the massacre, she falsely told Atkins that someone was coming.:258–269
Inside the house, Folger had escaped from Krenwinkel and fled out a bedroom door to the pool area.:341–344, 356–361 Folger was pursued to the front lawn by Krenwinkel, who caught her, stabbed her, and finally tackled her to the ground. She was killed by Watson, who stabbed her 28 times.:28–38 As Frykowski struggled across the lawn, Watson murdered him with a final flurry of stabbings. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.:28–38, 258–269
In the house, Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to give birth, and offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life inside her. At this point either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate, who was stabbed 16 times.:28–38 Watson later wrote that as she was being killed, Tate cried: "Mother ... mother ..."
Earlier, as the four Family members had been heading out from Spahn Ranch, Manson had told the women to "leave a sign ... something witchy". Using the towel that had bound Frykowski's hands, Atkins wrote "pig" on the house's front door in Tate's blood. En route home, the killers changed out of their bloody clothes, which they disposed of in the hills along with their weapons.:84–90, 176–184