Thursday, May 31, 2012

Everything you ever wanted to know about Abigail Folger
(and more, LOL)... by Katie.
Abigail Anne "Gibbie" Folger
(August 11, 1943 – August 9, 1969)
Abigail was born in San Francisco, California to Peter Folger & Ines Pui Mejia. Peter was Chairman and President of the Folger Coffee Company. Abigail wasn’t gorgeous like Sharon, but she was very handsome in her own right.

Her parents divorced in 1952 when she was still young, after her mother ended the marriage on the grounds of extreme cruelty (which means he was cheating on her). In 1960, her father married again, this time to his 24-year-old private secretary, Beverly Mater, who was already pregnant with his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, born in January 1961.

Growing up in San Francisco, Folger was raised in the closed tradition of San Francisco society. As a young girl she was interested in art, books, poetry and playing the piano.

Gibby in The Goldoliers play
Abigail was very intelligent and accomplished. She attended Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California, near CarmelShe graduated with honors in June 1961.
She then matriculated at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the fall of 1961. During her stay at Radcliffe she became an active member of the college's Gilbert and Sullivan Players, a musical theatre group. She starred in two of its productions, starting with The Sorcerer in April 1963 where she played the part of one of the town's villagers. In December 1963 she starred in The Gondoliers as one of the Contadine. She graduated with honors from Radcliffe College in 1964. 

While a freshman in college, she became a
debutante on December 21, 1961 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, where she made her official debut into San Francisco's high society. Her debutante ball was one of the highlights of the social season, with Folger wearing a bright yellow Christian Dior gown that she had purchased in Paris the previous summer.
St. Francis Hotel
After graduating from Radcliffe, she enrolled in the fall of 1964 at Harvard University, also in Cambridge, where she did graduate work and received a degree in Art History. After graduating in the spring of 1967, she took a job at the University of California Art Museum in Berkeley, California as a publicity director.

In September 1967, Folger decided to move away from California in order to find herself and to probe the other side of life. She soon made the move to New York City, where she got a job working for a magazine publisher. She eventually left for a job at the Gotham Book Mart on 47th Street. While living in New York, she lived well below her means. As the daughter of an incredibly wealthy family, Folger's annual income from her inheritances, after taxes, was $130,000 a year. That was a LOT of money in 1967.

It was at a bookstore party in December 1967 where she met Polish author Jerzy Kosinski, who was  married to American steel heiress Mary Hayward Weir. Weir ran in the same wealthy circle as Folger, and it was she who introduced Kosinski to Folger. In early January 1968, Kosinski introduced Folger to his friend, aspiring writer Wojciech Frykowski, at a party and the two hit it off. Frykowski had been living in the United States for about a month at the time.

Frykowski was not then fluent in English, but, like Folger, he was fluent in French. She gave him a tour of
New York, began to teach him English, and they fell in love (or something).
He moved into her New York City apartment and she supported him financially.

In August 1968, both Folger and Frykowski decided to move to Los Angeles, California.
He wanted to pursue his writing career while Folger wanted to get involved with a new welfare project that was currently under way. She rented a car, and she and Frykowski drove across the country. She could easily have afforded airline tickets, but decided to drive all the way. I’ve read that she was doing a “drive return”, which is cheaper. 
2774 Woodstock
In Los Angeles, she found a two-story hilltop home to rent at 2774 Woodstock Road for her and Wojciech in Laurel Canyon, and bought a 1968 yellow Firebird.
Their neighbor was singer Cass Elliot of the rock group The Mamas & the Papas, whom the couple quickly befriended. Through Frykowski, she met Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate. Through the Polanskis, Folger and Frykowski were introduced to Jay Sebring. The five quickly began to hang out together and were known to be a part of 'the beautiful people crowd' in Hollywood.

Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic
Like her mother, Ines, who was active doing charity work with the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic in San Francisco, Folger continued to be involved with volunteer work. Earlier, in the spring and summer of 1968, she attended fundraisers set up by her mother to aid the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. It was around the same time many of the Manson family women were being treated there. Folger's work as a social worker soon began to take a toll on her and she became depressed.

From April to May 1968, Folger became a political volunteer for the ill-fated presidential campaign of New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy. She donated both time and money to the Kennedy campaign. The campaign soon came to an end when Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in early June.

The next year during the month of April and continuing through most of May, she was a political volunteer for the campaign of Tom Bradley, a black councilman running for mayor of Los Angeles. She contributed both her time and a large amount of her own money to the Bradley campaign. Bradley lost to Sam Yorty in late May, which left Folger feeling bitter and disillusioned. This led her to become very involved with the civil rights movement that summer.

On April 1, 1969, while Roman Polanski was away in Europe filming movies, Folger and Frykowski moved into the Polanskis' Cielo Drive home in Benedict Canyon, at Polanski's request. It was around this time Abigail made the decision to quit her job with the Welfare Department, and she also started considering leaving Wojciech. Their relationship had begun to sour, they fought constantly and both started using drugs more frequently.

On Wednesday August 6, 1969 film director Michael Sarne invited Folger, Frykowski and Tate over for a dinner party at his rented Malibu beach house. After dessert had been served, Tate began to feel unwell, so it was decided that Folger and Frykowski would drive her home.

On August 8, 1969, Folger, Tate, Sebring & Frykowski all went to eat at El Coyote. And we all know what happened after that.
Abigail Folger's funeral was held on the morning of August 13, 1969, at Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Portola Valley, a church that had been built by her grandparents, the Mejias, in 1912. Following a Catholic requiem mass, Abigail Folger was entombed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California.

After her death, investigators reported that Folger's estate was worth $530,000.

She left no will


katie8753 said...

Thanks Lynyrd for all your hard work on this thread. I know I subjected you to many various-sized pictures and you worked "your magic" on them. S.W.A.K. a doodle to you. HA HA.

I wanted to do a thread on Gibby because I think she's swept under the carpet too many times.

Like others in this drama, she was overshadowed by Sharon because of her beauty and fame, but she's completely misunderstood, like many in the TLB drama. I will get to each one as I can. LOL.

Gibby was a very intelligent, accomplished woman, and in spite of her wealth, she was very conscientious of others who were struggling.

She made some bad "boyfriend" decisions, but this doesn't mean that she wasn't a good person.

She's taken a hit, like others, by folks who like to "blame the victims".

Gibby did nothing wrong. I applaud her! She was a good person! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice work, Katie. Beautifully written.

Marliese said...

I agree, well done Katie. I knew Abigail was well educated, but this really emphasizes just how well educated, hardworking and generous she was...thanks.

When i saw the first two photos, i thought for a second they were photos of Dominique Dunne...Dominick Dunne's murdered young daughter.

katie8753 said...

Hi Cease! Hi Marliese!

Hey...that rhymes! HA HA.

Marliese, you're right, she does look like Dominique.

Abigail took at job at UC Berkeley in the Art Museum and Mary Brunner worked in the library at UC Berkeley in 1967.

Hmmm....wonder if Gibbie ever checked out a book there? LOL.

pvm777 said...

Her mother lived to be 100 1907-2007 and was very active right into her 90s. She has a little half- sister that was born with a different mother (Daddy wed his 24 yr old secratary) and her sister Elizbeth was born in 1961 or 1962. I wonder what her sister is up to now. Hmmmm. She also has a brother named Peter around the same age as her.

Mrstormsurge said...

Great job, Katie!!! You guys spoil the rest of us.

katie8753 said...

Hi Paulina!

Ines was an INCREDIBLE woman!! I just can't say enough about her. But this thread isn't about her. HA HA.

You can read a little more about her here:

The big difference between Ines and Doris is that Ines was boundered by society's rules.

The Folgers were upper crust San Francisco Society, and as such, had to act dignified, much like the royal family.

I believe it was Gibbie's brother Peter who managed to erase anything he could regarding Abigail after the murders. I can't blame him. The Folgers were suffering the same beatings that the Tate family and every other victims' family was suffering after the murders....that the victims caused their own death because of satanism, drugs, sex videos, etc.

Which was simply not true.

You can Google Elizabeth, Abigail's half sister, and find images and info about her.

katie8753 said...

Hi Stormy!!! You're so sweet!!! Little Pall Mall pacifier boy! LOL.

katie8753 said...

I also wanted to mention that one of the BIG reasons that Gibbie was interested in social work was that she was following in her mother's footsteps. Her mother was "filthy rich" but spent more time with needy people than most street people. Her make the world a better place.

Gibbie could have been spending her time on the Riviera hobnobbing with all kinds of rich, eligible men, but she chose the commoner's way of life.

It really sucks that she was killed so viciously for no reason at all except to "kill some pigs".

She is truly a sparkle in God's eye. :)

MrPoirot said...

Gibby was a lot like Mary Bruner; only rich.

katie8753 said...

>>>Mr. P said: Gibby was a lot like Mary Bruner; only rich.>>>

Oh really...and how?

Did Gibbie steal credit cards and use them?

Did Gibbie have a child out of wedlock and discard him?

Did Gibbie participate in a musician's death?

Did Gibbie commit perjury on the stand regarding said musician's death about who really killed him?

Did Gibbie hold up a gun store and hold people hostage to get Charlie out?

Did Gibbie do time in prison?

'Splain please. How exactly is Gibbie like Mary???? I'm just a little "misconfused".

katie8753 said...

Mr. P, I love ya. But you got a lot of 'splainin' to do. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant tribute Katie....

Very nicely done :)

I can't change my name again in her honor...

But very true and well pointed out that here is another really great human being who some of us overlook because she wasn't as flashy as some of the other victims, or as weird as some of the savages as who attacked and killed her...

Thank you for making me take a moment to stop and appreciate the very accomplished and all too brief life of Abagail Folger...


katie8753 said...

Hi St.!! Thanks so much!!

We need to see you around more often. I like the way you express yourself! :)

katie8753 said...

Well I dusted off the piano today and played some music from the past. A tribute to Gibbie, or just a tribute to myself. LOL.

Among the pieces I played was Mozart's Sonata in C Major, K545.

This is one of his first major pieces. It's pretty simple so to speak. It's written to play Allegro, with MM 132. It progresses to the last movement, the Rondo which is Allegretto Grazioso, MM 104, a much more light hearted pace and increasingly more difficult to play, with with staccato notes, sharps, flats and naturals scattered throughout the last movement. Vibrato with the left & right hand and plenty of thirds in the left and right hand.

Whew!!! HA HA.

Mozart is the only composer to have the "K" designation when numbering his pieces. He had so many they couldn't keep track of them.

In fact, I believe some of his pieces are still being found and numbered.

Anyway...back to TLB. LOL.

MrPoirot said...

katie8753 said...

Here's a little night music of Mozart (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik) for you to listen to. HA HA.

Anyway. I'm hittin' the hay.

Guten Nacht!!!

katie8753 said...

Squeeze me...this is THE Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Please relax and enjoy.

katie8753 said...

Thanks for the link Mr. P!

"Henchman spilled beans to lawyer". LOL.

I wish they'd just sit down and listen to these tapes and let us know what's on there. Enough speculation already!

Hopefully they have a whole new generation of detectives who won't bungle it this time.

CarolMR said...

Thanks, Katie and Lynyrd! I love the pics of Gibby. I am so tired of seeing the one with a kerchief around her head! I think she was quite pretty. Katie, is Gibby buried in the same Holy Cross cemetery as Sharon?

katie8753 said...

Hi Carol! I hate that photo of Abigail too. Makes her look matronly. I also hate the one where she and Voytek were standing in a doorway and he's got a cig in his hand. That picture makes her look fat and frumpy, and she wasn't that at all. LOL.

Abigail is buried in Colma, CA, which I believe is north of San Francisco. Sharon is buried in Culver City and I think that's in Los Angeles. Any of you Californians (Marliese, Kimchi) please correct me if that's not right. Thanks!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I agree with everyone.

Katie did a fabulous job on this piece.

I learned several things about Abigail, while putting this together.

Katie even took the time to find nice photos, which correspond to each segment of the story, as you read.
AND... the BIO is laid-out in perfect chronological order.

It's true... some victims are woefully overlooked.

While adding Abigail's name to our blog's index... I painfully realized... that Abigail hadn't yet been featured... in even one of our threads.
Not even one...
A sad and pathetic oversight...

Great Job Katie on a GREAT and LONG OVERDUE tribute!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...








I think that's everybody... LOLOL

Marliese said...

Katie...i just have a couple minutes, will try to get back later tonight.

I was glad to see your thread for Abigail because i went to LA this week, Cielo and Waverly...being in front of Waverly brings you to your knees, more on that later. Tried to go to Sharon's grave at Holy's not far from West LA, but we got there just as they were closing the gate. They close early, 4:30 in the afternoon.

Anyway, Colma is just south of San Francisco, I've seen the signs for Colma, though not the cemetery, from the BART on the way to the airport and always think of beautiful Abigail...out there alone all these years. Could easily go off on a rant about Krenwinkel after some recent reading, regardless of how rehabilitated and remorseful she is...later.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Marliese!

Please expound on your feelings when you get a chance.