And it's about time too, as this should have been fairly well cleared up long ago, and many of us should probably feel embarrassed that we have allowed this to go on for so long.
Is it possible it was just a typo? Groove on this:
As it often happens, this begins with a newspaper story (See Below).
Slain Woman Had Estate Of $2 Million
Friday, August 22nd, 1969
Police have theorized the slayer or slayers were imitating whoever murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others the day before.
Rosemary LaBianca, 38, was found stabbed to death in the hillside home she shared with her second husband. Leno LaBianca, 44, a supermarket chain owner.
Near the LaBianca’s bodies, police found scrawled in blood words including “pig” leading to the theory the slayers mimicked those of Miss Tate, hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie writer Voityck Frokowsky, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and 18-year-old Steven Parent. On Miss Tate’s door was scrawled “Pig.”
The LaBiancas were slain on Aug. 10 – a day after the bodies of Miss Tate and the others were found in her Bel Air estate, five miles away.
Superior Court Judge Ben Koenig appointed Suzan Struthers, 21, Mrs. LaBianca’s daughter by a previous marriage, executor of the estate. An exact breakdown of Mrs. LaBianca’s estate was not revealed in open court.
Miss Struthers and her brother Frank, 15, are Mrs. LaBianca’s sole survivors, court records showed. The LaBiancas had no children.
That's it. Really. There is nothing more to this than a newspaper story - which was never followed up on - and so, because it was the only newspaper story, it survives in the online ether for 45 years and drives us 21st century internet bloggers batshit crazy wondering how an immigrant woman in 1969 with a modest dress shop, whose husband was officially in debt up to his you know what, could possibly be worth a couple of million buckaroos? Especially, when like it says in the above report, that an EXACT BREAKDOWN WAS NOT REVEALED.
But really, it wasn't. It was only ever an estimate, a hastily made one too, which was thrown together by Rosemary's daughter Suzan and her lawyer, and it included an estimate of "community property" which Rosemary would have owned along with Leno, some of which she probably would have known about - like real estate and such - and some, she may not have known about, like ownership shares in a number of racehorses whose total value might have been worth ????
The LaBiancas apparently died without having a will in place. And so, it looks like Suzan was the first to lawyer-up and get moving in order to claim her fair share for her and her brother... while Leno's family (some of whom were his business partners like his own mother) and his grown children from his first wife, were still asleep at the wheel, probably still reeling from the murders. And so, on August 19, 1969, a mere nine days after the murders, her lawyers filed on her behalf a Petition for 'Special Letters of Administration.' This document, and others, may be found on the Truth on Tate-LaBianca website and it really is fascinating reading too, but now, to the point:
Suzan's petition includes real property value and income as 'unknown' and only estimates personal property value and income at $60,000. But it also includes this juicy tidbit:
"The deceased was murdered along with her husband, LENO LA BIANCA, and there are businesses owned and operated by both deceased, and race horses, which are, or may be, community property, joint property, or separate property, and which need immediate care, operation, and protection."
And furthermore it states: "There is insufficient time to give prior notice of this application to the persons interested in the estate and such notice should be waived." Hmmmmmm.
Was Suzan really just being a good daughter and itching to be named executor, because if not, then some horses may have starved to death? Or... was she just sharper than the rest and looking out for her and her brother's best interests? Or what?
There is nothing in any of the other documents (that are dated later) that would indicate that Rosemary truly had anything worth $2 Million lying around. And it appears, that her businesses may have been foreclosed upon eventually, as well. So my guess, and yes it's only a guess (however it is a logical and plausible one, as it is based on a careful review of the documents available), is that the $2 Million figure came about because that's the estimate that Suzan and her lawyers arrived at, especially when the worth of Leno's stake in Gateway and Rosemary's boutique and dress shop may still have been unknown at the time.
Or perhaps, the clerk meant to type in $200,000?