Thursday, March 24, 2011

WILLIAM GARRETSON

William Garretson, once the young caretaker at Cielo Drive... indicated in a program broadcast in July 1999 on E!, that he had, in fact, seen and heard a portion of the Tate murders from his location in the property’s guest house. 


This comported with the unofficial results of the polygraph examination that had been given to Garretson on August 10, 1969, and that had effectively eliminated him as a suspect.
The LAPD officer who conducted the examination had concluded Garretson was "clean" on participation in the crimes but "muddy" as to his having heard anything. Garretson did not explain why he had withheld his knowledge of the events.

36 comments:

katie8753 said...

Great post Lynyrd. Interesting as usual.

Garretson is an enigma, as is the rest of this case.

On August 8th, in the evening, he said he hitched a ride downtown to get a coke and a TV dinner.

He hitched back to Cielo around 9:00pm I think.

On some accounts, he hitched back with some "hippie girls" who warned him of the danger of being there.

I think that's speculation.

Somehow, he survived that brutal night.

He claims he didn't hear anything.

But we all know this can't be true.

He was around 50' away from Gibby when she lay screaming on the ground, saying "I'm already dead".

In her testimony, Pat says that Tex told her to go to the guest house and kill everyone there.

She claims that when she got there, she just had a bad feeling that "this is wrong", turned the knob, saw it was locked, returned to Tex and said no one was there.

I've heard some say that Garretson was "in on it". I don't think he was.

I don't know why he didn't leave the guest house and go next door and call the police when all the shouting was over, but I can just imagine that he was scared to death.

Years later, he did an interview and did admit to hearing screaming, but gives no real account for his actions of doing nothing.

katie8753 said...

He passed the polygraph given to him on August 10th.

He was not involved in the murders.

I've heard some say that Tex thought Parent was the caretaker, and therefore, he had been taken care of and he didn't have to go to the guesthouse and make sure.

Any ideas?

katie8753 said...

You know if he was that scared, I can't imagine that he fell asleep at all.

But I guess maybe he went into a corner and just shivered until he fell asleep.

But that doesn't explain why he told the police he didn't hear anything.

Except, that when they busted his door down on Sat. August 9th, they yelled at him that he killed all those people.

Maybe that scared him so bad, he just dummied up.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I went searching for more details, on Garretson's E! interview.
I found a few paragraphs.


"William Eston Garretson (born August 24, 1949) was the caretaker of the Polanski residence at the time of Sharon Tate's murder by the Charles Manson "Family".
A native of Lancaster, Ohio, Garretson stayed in a small cottage behind the main house.
On the morning after the murders, he was arrested on charges of suspicion of murder, but was subsequently released.

When questioned, Garretson told police he had heard nothing outside at the time of the murders, because he had been listening to music; a police spot-check found this plausible, as recounted in Helter Skelter.

However, in a 1990s E! Networks documentary about Sharon Tate's death, Garretson changed his story, stating on camera that he had first heard noises like firecrackers, and thought it was a prank pulled by Steven Parent, who had just departed. (As it turned out, the sounds were of Charles "Tex" Watson shooting Parent with a pistol.)
When shouting and screams followed a few minutes later, Garretson hid in the cottage, not wanting to become involved, or be another victim.
Garretson claimed on the TV program that he looked out from a window in the cottage to see a woman (Abigail Folger) being chased by another (Patricia Krenwinkel).
Then Garretson heard Folger say she was already dead, which understandably confused Garretson even more.


After returning to Ohio, Garretson visited California again, to testify in the Tate-LaBianca trial. He had recurring nightmares about the murders, but after revisiting the house and seeing different tenants in residence, the nightmares subsided.

Mary said...

this is just another confusing piece of the puzzle...where does it fit? he flip flopped so many times on the story that you don't know what the truth is...

katie8753 said...

Garretson heard the dogs barking and didn't think anything of it.

He also heard the shots fired at Parent, and thought they were firecrackers.

He heard a lot more than that.

He heard Gibby's death screams, and also Voytek's death screams. Lots of people heard that.

katie8753 said...

>>>Mary said: this is just another confusing piece of the puzzle...where does it fit? he flip flopped so many times on the story that you don't know what the truth is...>>>

Right on Mary. This is just one reason why we try to find the truth. This case is more puzzling than the pyramid.

This is why we're all together.

Maybe we can solve this puzzle. Together.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Garretson is always portrayed as a cowering child... but, he was actually nineteen years old.

If it's indeed true, that Garretson heard noises like firecrackers... heard shouting and screams followed a few minutes later... and did in fact, look out from a window in the cottage to see Abigail Folger being chased by Patricia Krenwinkel... AND heard Folger say she was already dead:

I'd say Garretson is a coward, and somewhat un-ethical, for not (at least) reporting what he heard/saw when questioned... at a minimum.

I think most nineteen year old guys, would have snuck out of there a couple hours later (after things quieted), and went for help, or the police.
Men fight wars at that age.
Who hides the entire night, and says they've seen and heard nothing the next day?
The whole thing kinda smacks of cowardess to me.

katie8753 said...

>>>Lynyrd said: Garretson is always portrayed as a cowering child... but, he was actually nineteen years old.

If it's indeed true, that Garretson heard noises like firecrackers... heard shouting and screams followed a few minutes later... and did in fact, look out from a window in the cottage to see Abigail Folger being chased by Patricia Krenwinkel... AND heard Folger say she was already dead:

I'd say Garretson is a coward, and somewhat un-ethical, for not (at least) reporting what he heard/saw when questioned... at a minimum.

I think most nineteen year old guys, would have snuck out of there a couple hours later (after things quieted), and went for help, or the police.
Men fight wars at that age.
Who hides the entire night, and says they've seen and heard nothing the next day?
The whole thing kinda smacks of cowardess to me.>>>

Lynyrd I agree.

But I've read where Bill was taking way too many drugs the day before (August 7th) and had a "death sleep" until August 8th in the evening, when he went for the TV dinner and coke.

I've never taken drugs, but I can imagine that it takes a hold on you.

Also, I've heard it mentioned, that Parent and Garretson did a "gay trist". Heard that from the Col.

Don't know if that's true.

Don't know what that has to do with it.

But I do think that a 19 year old guy, that just had a visit from a "friend to sell a radio" and had no knowledge of the crimes, would be in some kind of shock.

Now a 19 year old that wasn't using drugs, wasn't drunk, wasn't hallucinting, would act normally.

But a 19 year old guy that was drugged up, imagining all things possible, and thinking that he was next, might have gone into a mind-fall.

I'm just speculating here.

I do know that when he was captured the next day, Sat. August 9th, he identified Gibby as the "maid". And he called Voytek the "younger Polanski".

This guy was on a different plane.

I'm not defending him. At all.

I'm just saying, let's look back and see what might have been. I think he was scared out of his wits.

But why???

Did he know more than he said?

Did he know that murder was coming down on Cielo Drive that night?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I believe the E! testimony.
It seems unlikely, that Garretson wouldn't have heard or seen something.

At any rate, if the E! testimony is true... he's a douchebag.
To add insult to injury, besides not testifying honestly... OR going for help... he actually had the gall to file for damages!


August 26, 1969
VAN NUYS, Aug. 26 – The only apparent survivor of a mass murder in which blonde actress Sharon Tate was one of the victims filed a $1,250,000 false arrest claim against the city yesterday.
Garretson, the claim purported, was arrested “without reasonable cause” and that he was “imprisoned and detained” falsely and against his will.

Police, the claim said, “failed to preserve the claimant’s persona and civil rights by exposing him to unwarranted notorious and undesirable publicity.”

Damages – $1,000,000 in general damages and $250,000 in punitive damages – were based on:
“Extreme anxiety and nervousness, emotional distress and mental suffering, anguish, fear, fright, shock, and terror, indignity, humiliation, embarrassment and injury to his reputation; and loss of undetermined present and future earnings.”

In addition to general and punitive damages, Garretson also is asking for compensation yet to be computed for his “unknown loss of earnings.”

The claim will be sent to the city attorney and City Council for action.

The douche actually sought compensation for his “unknown loss of earnings”???
The guy was a "caretaker" for cripes sakes.
He wanted to be paid, for the 4 lawn mowings he missed, due to the murders??? LOLOL
WTF?? hahaha
Talk about an opportunist of the highest order.

I have no idea what the outcome of that claim was...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said>>>>
"I do know that when he was captured the next day, Sat. August 9th, he identified Gibby as the "maid". And he called Voytek the "younger Polanski".
This guy was on a different plane".

You likely know more of the particulars on Garretson, than I do Katie.
I had/have no idea how Garretson described the scene to the police the next day... so, I'm reaching beyond my current knowledge with some of these points.
I'm just taking the E! interview at face value, for the purpose of discussion.

I also didn't know Garretson was on a possible drug/alcohol "bender" those nights. LOL

I do however, remember bloggers saying that Parent and Garretson had some sugar in their blood though. LOLOL

"Not that there's anything wrong with that"... LOLOL
(as Seinfeld says)

katie8753 said...

>>>Lynyrd said: The douche actually sought compensation for his “unknown loss of earnings”???
The guy was a "caretaker" for cripes sakes.
He wanted to be paid, for the 4 lawn mowings he missed, due to the murders??? LOLOL
WTF?? hahaha
Talk about an opportunist of the highest order.

I have no idea what the outcome of that claim was...>>>

That claim was nada. zilch.

Caretaker. GET OUTTA HERE. This clown was outta there. Mow the yard? He hadn't mowed it in 2 months. Nor water it. He was a drug infested idiot.

They should sue him for his stupidness. And he was a lucky motherfucker. HA HA.

katie8753 said...

I'll say one more thing.

Rudy Altobelli, who owned the house, sued Roman for the blood stains on the house.

Now how's that for a landlord.

Rudy was a queer. Beyond a doubt.

He was the reason for the Garretson thing.

Anyway, he sued Roman for the cleanup of the "blood stains" on the carpet.

Can you even imagine????

That guy sucks.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Everyone:
Bob received his copy of "The Family".

I'll post the first thread next week sometime, to give him a chance to read it.
No rush...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Wow Katie...
Slow down, I got a couple questions.

1) Was the ruling on Garretson's claim really zero?
Is that just your opinion?
OR... you know for sure?

2)You said, "Atobelli was the reason for the Garretson thing".
Are you saying that Garretson was Rudy's "personal gay cabin boy"? LOLOL

3) I always thought the carpet stain story was a joke.
He really sued Roman for the carpet??? LOLOL

katie8753 said...

>>>Lynyrd said: Wow Katie...
Slow down, I got a couple questions.

1) Was the ruling on Garretson's claim really zero?
Is that just your opinion?
OR... you know for sure?>>>

It was zero. He had no claim.

2)You said, "Atobelli was the reason for the Garretson thing".
Are you saying that Garretson was Rudy's "personal gay cabin boy"? LOLOL>>>

Rudy knew Garretson's parents, who implored him to hired Bill for the caretaker position.

I'm not sure who was gay or not, but I do know that Rudy is gay. Not sure about Garretson.

3) I always thought the carpet stain story was a joke.
He really sued Roman for the carpet??? LOLOL>>>>

Yes he certainly did. He wanted Roman to replace to carpet, even after Roman scrubbed it and Col Tate got on his hands and knees and scrubbed it. Which is unthinkable.

But it's true.

I read it in the Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. He had to get on his hands and knees and scrub it.

Of course they never got it out.

But they tried.

And Rudy sued Roman. That's a fact. Look it up.

katie8753 said...

Actually I've read in in many other books.

Col Tate and Roman scrubbed the floors many, many times.

Never getting it all out.

It's a shame, that they had to do that.

If my child had been killed, I'd never have done that in a rent house.

Stupid.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Jeepers...
With all Roman's money... he tried to clean it himself???
That's more bizarre, than Altobelli suing!

Is Roman that friggin' cheap?
He actually got down on his hands and knees, and tried to clean his wife's blood?
The guy's a film producer.
He couldn't spring for a new rug?? LOLOL

Talk about a tight-wad.
Buy a carpet for cripes sakes!

Seriously...I still can't get over that:
Roman Polanski and Colonel Tate, would rather roll-around in Sharon's blood with mops and sponges, than come-up with a few bucks for a new carpet? LOLOL

That's bordering-on demented.

katie8753 said...

>>>Lynyrd said: Seriously...I still can't get over that:
Roman Polanski and Colonel Tate, would rather roll-around in Sharon's blood with mops and sponges, than come-up with a few bucks for a new carpet? LOLOL

That's bordering-on demented.>>>

I agree. But they did it.

katie8753 said...

This is where I learned about Paul Tate cleaning up the blood. It's a 2000 parole hearing for Susan Atkins, and Debra Tate read a letter that Paul wrote, because he couldn't attend.

She reads that he cleaned up the blood.

I really don't know why they didn't just get it replaced. It was ugly anyway before the murders. LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppaMqKyQ6fM

katie8753 said...

Okay this is what I've read about Altobelli suing Polanski:

Supposedly, Life Magazine paid Roman $50,000 for the pics they took of him at Cielo Drive a day or two after the murders.

Roman denies this, so I don't know if that's true or not.

Then supposedly, Altobelli got mad about that, and sued Roman for (1) letting Folger & Frykowski live there without being on the lease agreement and (2) damages done to the property.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thanks for all your great and helpful research Katie!

If I was Altobelli...
I think I'd be a little pissed to learn Roman was mugging for a photo-shoot a day or two later, to the tune of $50,000 as well.
I'd probably want my house repaired as well... if Roman was being that cavalier about the whole situation.
(Assuming this Life Magazine payment really happened).

A small fringe group has offered that Roman himself, may have been involved with the motive.
I think that notion is quite reaching, and unlikely... not something I'd invest time into... but, I suppose, not entirely impossible.

katie8753 said...

>>>Lynyrd said: A small fringe group has offered that Roman himself, may have been involved with the motive.
I think that notion is quite reaching, and unlikely... not something I'd invest time into... but, I suppose, not entirely impossible.>>>

I've always wondered if Roman was involved. Can't figure out any angle that would fit though. I just don't think much of him, never have.

I'm really wondering too why they didn't replace the carpet instead of cleaning it.

You know, when you move into a rent house, you pay a damage deposit, hopefully to cover any damage when you move out. Of course, most people don't have that kind of damage! LOL.

Also, Rudy included in his lawsuit unpaid rent. I think 2 months. I'm wondering when Roman officialy moved out of that house. I don't know if it's 2 months AFTER the killings, or 2 months BEFORE the killings, which would make Roman a deadbeat as well. HA HA.

surferjoe1 said...

An attorney was appointed for Garretson, and filed the suit on his behalf. He was presented and identified to the press as the killer- something like "Here's the guy that did it." So I don't think a lawsuit is that far out of left field at all. He also said he was treated well while in custody, so it's not surprising it didn't go forward, but he was clearly damaged in the legal sense and treated badly when he was identified to the press as a five-time murderer. Ask Richard Jewell.

As to lost earnings, it was not his job to mow the lawn- it was his job to take care of Altobelli's dogs for $35 a week plus board. "Lost earnings" would have been a stretch, but I would interpret it to mean due to the stigma of being identified as the killer- especially since it said "future earnings". Remember that the real killers had not been identified yet.

I'm not aware that he flip-flopped multiple times as somebody indicated- just once, and his revised story is corroborated to a large extent by the polygraph. It makes sense to me that he dummied up, given the amount of fear he must have legitimately felt, and the way he had been accused of the murders.

As to his being a coward, remember that he didn't believe murders had occurred. He had heard things that scared and confused him, and they were quickly over with.

So even though everyone posting here would have been a tremendous hero in that situation at 19 years old, and wouldn't have minded being wrongly accused of five murders in the press and held for days, I'm not quite sure how any of that makes him a "douche".

Ex-Angelino said...

I'm of the belief that Rudi allowed William to stay in the guesthouse due to William's rumored large endowment. Most likely meeting him at Numbers, a popular and discreet high end bar on Sunset that catered to straight/bi hu$stlers and older, successful gay men. As a gay man myself, I can tell you for certain that Rudi was indeed playing on my team. William was not the brightest tool in the shed and after living in L.A for 20 yrs, I can attest to how easy it is for even the straightest of men to become "flexible" Bi-sexual or gay-for-the-right money. Hollywood is full of this duality. Furthermore I believe that William was involved with supplying or arranging for casual drug transactions. William saw and/heard what was happening that night. The lights to the guest house HAD to have been on, to say nothing about the loud music playing. It is not implausible to believe that William was tweaking or still under the influence of whatever during this time and either, turned out the lights and hid in the guest house or hid out behind it, in the bushes or hillside. There is much more to this story than we are being told. Reputations and careers were at stake.

Ralph D said...

Ex-Angelino's comment makes a lot of sense. It was very interesting to listen to that Internet radio interview. Garretson indicated he moved into the guest house before the Polanski's moved into the main house so this must have been late 1968 or January 1969. Altobelli did not leave for Europe until late March so the two had to be living together for a period of time. I recall Manson showed up at the guest house in March looking for former renter Terry Melcher. Altobelli had just got out of the shower and met Manson at the front door.

Ralph D said...

I understand Garretson found the Lord in his later years. Good for him. It will give much needed peace and rest to his troubled soul.

Christopher Peterson said...

well i think he was a cowered.And immature!He was small,and maybe a little inhibited on something.He was probably scared to die so he didnt even attempt a getaway!Staying in the house was all he could do!After experiencing all he heard then the door knob jiggle,im thinking opening the door was the last thing this"KID"wanted to do.I think after being interrogated by police for murder"im shure he wasnt ready to admit to police he heard anything"let alone plead guilty"!for him im sure caught in hes web of cowardice he didnt want to admit what he seen or heard"until later maturity and acceptance for hes position by others allowed him to own'up!"As for falling asleep"well eventually thats what a kid seems to have done,exhausted by fear and maybe in hideing think he was safe enough during his long anticipation just fell off to sleep...He was a cowerd!"but at hes age and life experience,it dont surprise me"!

meret said...

Be honest. If you heard that outside would you go anywhere? You would stay inside too. That being said, he still has not told the whole story. They say their ghosts wander the area. They will until the truth is told.

Margery McCardell said...

people sure do jump to a lot of conclusions.He passed the poly as to murder but muddy whether he might have heard something. THey did tests at the crime scene and determined with the stereo setting at 4-5 and blasting away and all the windows closed he would not have heard any gunshots or screams.........period. The guest house was tucked away at the far corner of the property. Krenwickel said she checked to see if anybody was in the guesthouse but got to the door and didn't go further. The door was locked. Where Garretson may have been fuzzy is at some point he may have gone out the back door of the guest house way after the murders that night, even further away from the main house, to the edge of the property on the extreme south side to let the dog go to the bathroom. His trigger seems to be the down turned French door handle indicating somebody tried to enter the door plus no sleep for a long time in his shaky answer on whether he left the guest house at any point fri nite. He was a lucky bystander that had nothing to do with any of this. And the police didnt capture him, he was sleeping in the guest house and the police came in and arrested him. His story changed 20 years later on E...but it seems his brain is probably somewhat fried and Im guessing he embellished the story to make it more sensational for e tv. Per the district atty at the time of the investigation, a persons initial testimony is usually the most accurate. Garretson, one lucky son of a gun.

Ex-Angelino said...

Well Margery. Anyone can jump to conclusions, including you. I happen to know someone who lived in the Tate house after the murders.

The guest house was not that far away from the main house. Several images support this. With all of those windows in such a small house, not to mention the outside light, he was very vulnerable.

I believe he was there, hiding on the property until the carnage had passed. He woke up in the house, when the police arrived.

My version is really not that far-fetched.

Droid1058 said...

Bill was definitely a handsome man. He sure looked good shirtless. A smooth buff body with just a treasure trail of hair below the belly button. I'd want him to move in with me also.

Mon said...

Katie can you give a reference to the claim that Altobelli knew Garretson's parents? How would a Hollywood agent come to know a couple like the Garretson's who lived in Ohio other than through picking up their son on the strip and giving him a job?

Stella said...

Sounds like what Kato Kaelin said when OJ banged against his wall that night

charles said...

The cops probably told Bill G.to dont say anything to the press.I was an investigator in the D.A.Office if he was held for 5 days of questioning after passing the most important question; that is did you kill them all? Homicide cops knew this guy without any blood or cuts couldt chase and stab all these people unless he was Speedy Gonzalez.Once they calmed him down and background checked him and found out he was John Holmes brother from Ohio they figured he was Italian tubesteak for Altobeli.Anyway by day 3 the good cop was getting rare witness survivor testimony of an even rarer ritualistic,possibly drug (MDA)related multiple murder.As far as I can tell the cops treated him with kid gloves.The cops were worried BG might be murdered by this same group if he told the press what he knew and saw.I was in Los Angeles from the Boston area from Jan-June 1969.I was 20 and couldn't believe how many hitchhikers there were.I bought a 1957 Century from my landlord not realizing the Ca.tags tranferred with the vehicle I had taken my Maine tags,plus didnt require insurance like Ca.did.I myself bummed rides.Like most witnesses to an unknown perp murder.BG was told that he didnt hear or see anything....Thats why his lawyer did all the TV interview.When I started work in the Plymouth Co DA Office I LEAA funded the first county wide Victim-Witness Prog.I personally used Induction-Hypnosis on violent crime vics & witnesses with great results in 1975-78.Defense attornies complained I was manufacturing evidence.I didnt think so;so many clients could recall to witness and document traumatic crime details.Crime scene forensics was a bit sloppy at the Tate house.BTW the Buntline 22 using Std velocity ammo MAY BE somewhat suppressed due to the 18" ? long bull barrel.Tex used Super X 22 but were they shorts?,longs?,or long rifle? The 'report' would vary in loudness.I have a 1938 Winchester 67A with a 27"heavy bull barrel.When I fire a short std velocity 22 with muzzle velocity @ 1000' sec its like a loud handclap.They stopped making this model after JFK was killed in 1963.These guns dont have serial #'s and only the early 1937-41 have the long heavy barrels that absorb the report. I have since found that BG heard 'fireworks'.He probably tried the dead phone and shit his pants.The pets would be going crazy.BG probably thought an LSD (ie: "I am already dead!") party was bumming out! Sadly,the poor fellow sounded like a 20 watt bulb that burned very bright. I am 67 so I am a contemporary who traveled west from New England to Frisco in Feb 1968 to witness my cousin at San Mateo State get busted by the post office his employer for smuggling high grade grass from Vietnam to SF. A year later I was in Los Angeles's Malibu,Topanga Canyon,Simi Hills,&Chatsworth to establish residency to attend tuition free college.You could buy so much with a US dollar not like the worthless fiat money and leveraged economy of today.$35 a week caretaker!!!!!. Wow that kind of $ was livable.Gas was $.32 gal. Pot was $8-$12 oz.Sorry to see BG pass on. Yeah i think he saw a drug rip of some type,no phone,no car, Parent's car,Open doors.Dogs crazy.He knew he didnt have a gun but someone did.California was otherworldly for how quickly the culture changed.The last 5 yrs of the 1960's seemed like the most violent for the last half of the 20th century. WG was lucky!.

topanga tom said...

Yes. If you could time machine back to 1969 young people of today would be astounded at the 100's of hitchhikers everywhere especially in LA.While attending Pepperdine and driving hack in LA I was told that Parents car had been seen by the newspaperman parked overnight outside the gate and that Parent had delivered drugs to Polanski.Another fare in the valley below the house had heard gunshots,screams,barking,and music off and on from above. Garretson had witnessed parties all summer according to a wife of his friend.I also heard bg was a parolee! That was in the newspaper but I think it was incorrect. Ceilo was a zoo.