Tate Murder Case Frustrates Police

LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Police admitted yesterday that, although they have questioned more than 300 persons, they have found no suspect, no motive and no murder weapon in the Benedict Canyon massacre of actress Sharon Tate and four others.

And the chance of solving the brutal murders last. Aug. 8 and apprehending those responsible decreases as time passes, Chief of Detectives Robert A. Houghton admitted.


Houghton said police have investigated more than 300 persons both in various sections of the United States and in foreign countries in an attempt to solve the slayings of the eight months pregnant Miss Tate and the others.

Houghton again reiterated that none of the bodies was sexually mutilated and said Miss Tate's unborn child was not stabbed during the slaughter.

Asked about rumors questioning the paternity of the actress' unborn child, he said there was no evidence to indicate that anyone but her husband, Polish film director Roman Polanski, was the father.

Polanski was in London the night of the murders at the $200,000 estate he and Miss Tate leased here.

Houghton said police had not ruled out the possibility the murders were the work of professional killers but, on the other hand, it was just as possible that the killer or killers were friends of the victims.

He would not comment on whether a Canadian narcotics ring may have played a role in the slayings nor would he describe the murder weapons other than to say that firearms and "cutting tools" were involved.

Some of the victims, who in addition to Miss Tate were hair stylist Jay Sebring; coffee heiress Abigail Folger; Polish writer Voityck Frokowsky; and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate's caretaker, were both stabbed and shot.

Houghton said narcotics were found "in more than one place on the estate" but not in a quantity to make them commercially valuable.

Houghton sidestepped key questions about the investigation including which victim was killed first, the exact times of the deaths, and whether Miss Folger and Frokowsky, whose bodies were found outside the house, had been attacked where their bodies were found.

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