Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sharon Tate
Joanna Pettet
Barbara Lewis
On the last day of her life, Sharon Tate was joined by two friends for lunch. Their names are Joanna Pettet and Barbara Lewis. They arrived for lunch around 12:30pm on August 8th. Winnie Chapman served them lunch. They were later joined by Voytek & Gibby. They stayed and chatted until mid-afternoon. The talk was mostly centered around “baby shop talk”.

Even though these two ladies escaped the slaughter that later ensued at Cielo Drive, their lives didn’t end up with happy endings. Both women were shattered to hear of Sharon’s untimely murder and nervously shaken by their own close call with death.

Joanna Pettet was a British born actress who was very beautiful and resembled Sharon Tate. She garnered fame when she was discovered by director Sidney Lumet for his sumptuous 1966 film adaptation of Mary McCarthy’s novel, "The Group". Coincidentally, the movie plot is similar to "Valley of the Dolls", and one of the stars of "The Group" was Candice Bergen. Another degree of separation?

Joanna was married to Alex Cord who was one of Jay Sebring’s clients. Jay and Alex were both in the movie "Synanon", a drama about a real-life drug rehabilitation center once headquartered in Santa Monica, California. It was founded in 1958, but by the 1970s, it had evolved into a cultish religion with tax-exempt status. By the end of the 1980s, it folded after years of scandal involving the bizarre behavior of its founder, Charles E. Dietrich (played by Edmund O'Brien in the movie). Dietrich, as his 1997 New York Times obituary documents, is the man who came up with the oft-quoted line "Today is the first day of the rest of your life". Jay had an uncredited role as “Jay the Barber” in the movie.

Joanna’s last acting appearance was in a bad action film called "Terror in Paradise" that was produced by Roger Corman. By then, she had lost her enthusiasm for acting and decided it was time to bow out gracefully from the entertainment industry.

The grief over the sudden death in 1995 of her son, Damien Zachary Cord, at age 26 (same age as Sharon at her death), caused Pettet to retreat even further from Hollywood. For a time, she lived in a reclusive area of California until she moved to London.

Barbara Lewis was a popular singer in the 60’s, with such hits in 1965 as "Baby I’m Yours" and "Make Me Your Baby". She began to withdraw from the music industry after the decade was over. Some say it was due to Sharon’s savage and cruel murder.

Barbara Lewis - Baby I'm Yours
 Jay Sebring and Alex Cord (Joanna Pettet's Husband) in "Synanon"
Joanna was married to Alex Cord who was one of Jay Sebring’s clients. Jay and Alex were both in the movie "Synanon", a drama about a real-life drug rehabilitation center once headquartered in Santa Monica, California. It was founded in 1958, but by the 1970s, it had evolved into a cultish religion with tax-exempt status. By the end of the 1980s, it folded after years of scandal involving the bizarre behavior of its founder, Charles E. Dietrich (played by Edmund O'Brien in the movie). Dietrich, as his 1997 New York Times obituary documents, is the man who came up with the oft-quoted line "Today is the first day of the rest of your life". Jay had an uncredited role as “Jay the Barber” in the movie.
Submitted by Katie!  Thanks Katie!!


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Very interesting information Katie!


katie8753 said...

Thanks Lynyrd! Night!

You did a great job on this thread! I appreciate all your hard work. I know how much trouble it is.

Kudos to you!

I'll comment tomorrow! :)

johnnyseattle said...

Synanon in the 60's and early 70's was a cultish organization.

Synanon back then had an 'enforcement arm.' They felt they were were under attack in the press from an 'enemy' who specialized in Cults (attorney Paul Morantz-more about his connection to Manson). They responded by sending Lance Kenton (son of bandleader Stan Kenton -age 19) and one other out to put a live rattlesnake -that had had the rattler portion removed- in the writer's mailbox. Not very nice. Both Synanon members were convicted.

Just to give you a taste of where Synanon was coming from, here is the leader of Synanon, 'Chuck Dederich in which he said, "We're not going to mess with the old-time, turn-the-other-cheek religious postures...our religious posture is: Don't mess with us. You can get killed dead, literally dead...these are real threats," he snarled. "They are draining life's blood from us, and expecting us to play by their silly rules. We will make the rules. I see nothing frightening about it...I am quite willing to break some lawyer's legs, and next break his wife's legs, and threaten to cut their child's arm off. That is the end of that lawyer. That is a very satisfactory, humane way of transmitting information. I really do want an ear in a glass of alcohol on my desk."[17]Dederich was arrested while drunk on December 2, 1978. The two other Synanon residents, one of whom was Lance Kenton, the son of the musician Stan Kenton, pleaded "no contest" to charges of assault, and also conspiracy to commit murder. While his associates went to jail, Dederich himself avoided imprisonment by formally stepping down as the chairman of Synanon.
Much of the violence by Synanon had been carried out by a group within Synanon called the "Imperial Marines."
read more at Wiki Link below:

Synanon was very popular with some jazz folks. Art Pepper, Joe Pass, Frank Rehak, etc. One reason why Stan had his son go to Synanon.
They even released jazz albums such as this

Here is something really freaky. Before he went to Law School, Paul Morantz worked in a wig shop selling to young ladies. One of his good work buddies at the time, a young man he liked was Charles 'Tex' Watson. Said the Charles Watson he knew then was nothing like what he became.

And that is a helluva story. Check out his time with Tex, before he became a mansonite.

johnnyseattle said...

here is another connection, art pepper -a great jazz sax player with a horrible drug addiction- did many many years of his life in a variety of california prisons. he would alternate between being a top jazz musician and convict before ending up at Synanon.

as paulina has stated, he knew charlie from his prison days. just like red rodney knew charlie.

starship said...

Very interesting, Katie, excellent work.

The presence of these women at lunch at Cielo is also a main reason why so much of the rumors about what transpired that day can be dismissed. Between them, Mrs. Chapman and the gardners and bicycle delivery guy the day is very well documented.

johnnyseattle said...

Forgot to say, great thread idea Katie on the last day.

(if the Synanon stuff is off topic feel free to delete)

katie8753 said...

Johnny, excellent!! I read a lot about Synanon while I was researching for this thread. I had not heard of it previously. It really fits right in with this case. How it evolved into a cultish, dangerous society.

You and I think alike. I ran across that article by Paul Morantz about a year or so ago. I discussed doing a thread on it with Lynyrd, but I guess somehow it just got dropped. Interesting stuff!!

Please feel free to make any comments you want. That's how we all learn...from each other!! :)

katie8753 said...

Thanks Starship!!

I know everyone has read that the 2 women had lunch with Sharon that day, but I've never really read anymore about it. I was just curious about exactly who these 2 friends of Sharon were.

I haven't read anywhere exactly how the murders affected these 2 women but it's got to have had a great impact on them. Just knowing they were on the property that just a few hours later would be invaded by the killers. That's a close call with death.

katie8753 said...

I also want to say thanks to Venus & Kimchi for their help on this thread!

Thanks girls! :)

johnnyseattle said...

thank you for the kind words.

It's up to you, but feel free to stip out the Paul Morantz and the Synanon stuff if you want and make them separate threads. they are distinct enough to do so and maybe later on someone will google search for these items and land on this blog.
just a thought.

starship said...

From the trailer it looks like we should use that film to torture our enemies. I wanted to jump out my window just watching that short little preview.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Johnny! I'll talk to Lynyrd about that.

katie8753 said...

I know Starship. That movie is "star packed" but it's just UNWATCHABLE. LOL.

Eartha Kitt says "I was what they call...a swinger. I did nothing but get high...and sold myself to pay for it" And everyone kind of nervously shifts in their seats.

And according to the narrator, she only got $2/per session. LOL.

Venus said...

I watched this movie only to see Jay's appearances. I skimmed forward until I saw him and that was it. if you want to see him in action and hear him speak, check it out. Otherwise, IMO, this film should only be used as a cure for insomnia.

katie8753 said...

Hi Venus. Is this movie available online?

Venus said...

I googled Synanon online and found lots of links to watch the full film. I have it, come on over and bring the popcorn and Dr. Pepper. We'll just watch Jay and some other goodies I have. :-)

katie8753 said...

Venus, sounds like a plan. I'm heading your way. LOLOL!

Venus said...

Ok, I'll leave the light on!

katie8753 said...

Hi Bobby!!!! Thanks!! :)

johnnyseattle said...

thank you for the kind words Bobby.

I am a Southern Californian by birth and when I grew up in the 60's/early 70's Synanon was something my older relatives/friends talked about.

if you liked jazz, the musicians that they brought in such as Joe Pass (he is on the youtube link I gave) or Art Pepper or Frank Rehak is just amazing. Some of the best all time all junkie bands :)

Joe Pass is a virtuoso on the jazz guitar and the music they made still holds up.

For awhile, it really was amazing. They put out records got a movie made, etc.

Then they really spiraled out of control. If you want to read a good account, check out 'Straight Life' by Art Pepper.

johnnyseattle said...

check out this clip on Synanon. You really get a feel for gravel voiced Chuck.

(you'll recognize the shaved heads deal of some of the girls for Chuck)

johnnyseattle said...

he kind of reminds me of the old SNL Skit played by Chris Farley 'you will end up in a van by the river.'

MrPoirot said...

Katie this is the only inference by Garretson that he knew Krenwinkle

Dilligaf said...

I spent a day at the Synanon compound in Badger, CA back in 1979. The members were "extremely" friendly, asking what might seem as fairly innocuous, but were actually well crafted questions, designed to find out details of a person that would allow the members to manipulate. The compound did have it's own police, as well as it's own fire department. The children were housed separately from the adults, with the blood parents having no more say in how the children were raised than any other adult. The marriages between members were contractually based, with a specific time, typically 5 years. At the end, you could either choose to renew your marriage with a new contract, or just walk away.

It absolutely had a cult-like feel, but being a young college student with girls fawning over you, and the guys acting like your new best friend, it was easy to see how some could fall into such a trap.

And no, I was not there for treatment, but as part of a college sociology course....

beauders said...

synanon was also suspected of kidnapping children and giving them synanon parents---look up anna waters, she was kinder-gardener i went to school with in half moon bay, ca. she lived one canyon away from me, we were very isolated. one day she disappeared and was never found again. some people think she drowned in a near by creek but no body or even a scrap of clothing was found. she also had a crazy biological father who may have took her and given her away. the other suspect was synanon.

CarolMR said...

Thanks, Katie, Venus, and Kimchi. It's amazing how much Joanna looks like Sharon. If I'm not mistaken, neither Joanna nor Barbara ever gave any interviews nor spoke about Sharon to anyone. I always admired that.
Katie - do you know how Joanna and Alex's son died?

sunset77 said...

Thanx for the upload. I'd never heard of "Synanon" until this post.

After a bit of searching, I noticed what I considered to be some interesting similarities between "Synanon" and the Manson family.

In a YouTube vid, the leader of Synanon Charles E. "Chuck" Dederich, calls himself "Big Brother" and "Big Daddy".

Wikipedia says: Control over members occurred through the "Game". The "Game" could have been considered to be a therapeutic tool, likened to a form of group therapy; or else to a form of a "social control", in which members humiliated one another and encouraged the exposure of one-another's innermost weaknesses, or maybe both of these.[5] Beginning in the mid-1970s, women in Synanon were required to shave their heads, and married couples were made to break up and take new partners. Men were given forced vasectomies, and a few pregnant women were forced to have abortions.[6][7]

There are other similarities as well, to detailed to list, particulary concerning people "diappearing".

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Dilligaf.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Synanon reminds me of the many stories, which Saint C (and Lynn) have told us about COS (Church of Scientology).

After one of Saint's posts, I watched a documentary about a reporter who intentionally went "underground" with a COS group, for about 3 months.
There are some unsettling common threads...

katie8753 said...

Mr.'re kidding...right? Please tell me you're kidding....

katie8753 said...

Thanks Dill. I agree with Lynyrd, this Synanon reminds me of the Scientology Church. I'm glad you put the explanation on how a young man might be tempted to join this group. It's so mind boggling to understand why anyone would want to get involved in such doings.

katie8753 said...

Hi Sunset. I had never heard of Synanon either and started reading up on it. I read about "the game". Creepy stuff. It is closely reminiscent to the Manson Family's activities.

katie8753 said...

Hi Carol. I think Joanna's son died of a drug overdose.

I have always thought that she and Sharon looked a lot alike. I'm assuming that Sharon's friendship with Joanna blossomed because of Jay & Alex's relationship.

I don't have any idea how Sharon was close to Barbara Lewis. I didn't know that she was involved with people in the music business.

Mrstormsurge said...

Joanna Pettet was one beautiful woman. She was the star in an episode of my all-time fav series, The Fugitive back in 1966 or so. It's an episode entitled "Shadow of the Swan." She played a troubled girl that develops an affecting for David Janssen. You can probably catch it on Youtube.

Mrstormsurge said...

affection not affecting

katie8753 said...

Hi Stormy!

Yes she was very beautiful. I've seen her in many movies and TV shows. I've always thought she looked a lot like Sharon Tate. She's about as close as you can get for that time period.

Lynn said...

Synanon is like the Church of Scientology but also like the Moonies (arranged marriages), the Rajneesh (they were easy to spot, the dressed in Orange, Red and Pink- they had a compound in Laguna Beach) and the Hare Krishnas. Some of the Krishna houses were laid back but many were not. I remember having dinner at one in San Diego and the questions seemed innocent enough, but they weren't at all- they were designed to find out more about you and who might be the most vulnerable to get to join the cult. No longer do they sell cookbooks at the airports but they are still around. At one time, they owned more real estate in San Diego than anyone else. They now have yoga centers open that appear to be such opened to the public but they are centers to try and get you into Hare Krishna. They have vegan restaurants (just like Scientologists have coffee houses) They also are at most concerts, selling knock off t-shirts etc.

katie8753 said...

Hi Lynn!

Wow that's some crazy stuff.

I've never seen a Hare Krishna at the airport, but wasn't there a funny scene with one in Airport 1970?

Venus said...

Katie, that scene was in the movie "Airplane." What a great parody that was. I saw it int he theater when it first came out and you couldn't hear much of the dialogue due to the laughter!

katie8753 said...

Venus I LOVED that movie. HA HA. It was just a delight!

"I picked a bad time to quit smoking." LOL.

katie8753 said...

Bobby, do you mean "The Sunshine Carpet Cleaners"?

That was hilarious!! Love that Seinfeld!

sunset77 said...

I have a bit of experience with the Krishna's. When I was in college in the early 80's in Morgantown WV, there were Krishna's wandering the streets handing out literature. They had kooky haircuts and wore what looked to me like orange satin tablecloths. All the kids were scared to death of them, they would cross the street and run when they seen one. I walked right up and took their papers, they said things like "Chant 3 times: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Krishna Krishna-and your life will be sublime". Also, "You have a home at New Vrindaban".

The Krishna's built a "Palace of Gold" in the sticks of WV near Moundsville, the state pen was in Moundsville, Manson sent a letter there once to the warden asking to be transferred there.

The tiny town of New Vrindaban is named after the town of Vrindavan in India. A vid of the Palace of Gold can be seen here.

I must say I had no bad experiences with the Krishna's whatever. They are very devout and I don't think they believe in any type of violence or drugs.

katie8753 said...

Okay Sunset, here is a dumb question.

Is the Krishna religion kinda like Buddhism? Sadie said Gary Hinman was chanting something when he got his ear slashed.

Lynn said...

Krishna's believe in Hinduism. They are either vegan or vegetarian, cannot remember. They are peaceful from a street glance but not necessarily so on the inside...but then again, each temple is different. I stayed a couple of weeks with them...long, long time ago.

katie8753 said...

Bobby! I totally agree. These cults always end up in ruins. Too many to enumerate.

"By their works you shall know them."

Biblical words. So true.

sunset77 said...

I'm certainly no expert on Eastern religions.

Wikipedia says: Krishna (Sanskrit: कृष्ण Kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə] literally "black, dark blue"[1]) is a Hindu deity, worshipped as a "complete" avatar of the preserver-god, Vishnu."

ISKCON New Mathura Vrindaban is strictly vegetarian and believes that meat consumption creates negative karma. Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances (such as drugs) are prohibited in the main Holy sites around the Temple of Understanding Circle Drive.[8]

"Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha (meaning "the awakened one" in Sanskrit and Pāli)."--Wikipedia

I don't know the differences between the 2.

Yes, I've read that Gary Hinman was chanting some type of Buddhist prayer before or during his murder. I've also read he was "forced" to make this prayer. I looked it up one time and found the temple Hinman belonged to, I sent them an e-mail but received no reply.

katie8753 said...

>>>Sunset said: Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances (such as drugs) are prohibited in the main Holy sites around the Temple of Understanding Circle Drive.[8]>>>

Smart guys! LOL

>>>Yes, I've read that Gary Hinman was chanting some type of Buddhist prayer before or during his murder. I've also read he was "forced" to make this prayer. I looked it up one time and found the temple Hinman belonged to, I sent them an e-mail but received no reply.>>>

Thanks Sunset. I'm surprised they didn't reply. But maybe they didn't want to get involved....don't know.

MrPoirot said...

Katie, email them again. Tell them you want to convert because you like the orange table cloths they wear.

CarolMR said...

Joanna Pettet has had a sad life. Not only did she lose her son, but she was friends with two famous murder victims - Sharon in 1969 and Janice Wylie in 1963. Wylie was one of the victims in the "Career Girl Murders" in Manhattan. The wrong man was arrested and years later they finally found the right murderer. It was made into a Kojak TV movie starring Telly Savalas.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Carol. I remember reading about The Career Girl murders years ago. I didn't realize Joanna knew her too.

Wow, talk about a double whammy. Having 2 friends brutally murdered. And your son die on top of that!

CarolMR said...

Hi, Katie. Yes, poor Joanna. She has had too many tragedies for one person to handle.

katie8753 said...

Well Casey Anthony is going to have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the her January 2013 trial.


I hope nobody busts a gut when she takes the oath.


TomG said...

Who speaks for the Republicans tonight? Anyone I should stay up for? Always up for enlightenment.

katie8753 said...

If Casey Anthony had only been born 30 years before and had joined the Manson Family, I could just hear The Artful Dodger singing:

Consider yourself...well in. Consider yourself....part of the furniture. We've taken to's clear...we're going to get along."


katie8753 said...

Tom, I just received my tax return for 2011 back from the IRS. It puzzles me!!! They are questioning how many dependents I claimed.

I guess it was because of my response to the question: "List all dependents."

I replied:

12 million illegal immigrants;
3 million crack heads;
42 million unemployed people on food stamps;
2 million people in over 243 prisons;
half of Mexico;
535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate; and
1 useless President.

Evidently, this was NOT an acceptable answer.


TomG said...

I don't like it anymore than you do. But what is your solution?

When you cut the safety net, reform entititlements, cut social programs, does your population become responsible citizens and go out to fend for themselves?

Or do they become homeless, criminals, crawl in your back window in the middle of the night?

Why does every Mexican and Russian I know have a job, sometimes two, while kids I went to high school with are unemployed.

Because Obama is bad?

katie8753 said...

Tom they will become homeless criminals no matter what.

What planet are you living on?

No matter what help-meet you give these losers, they don't try to better themselves.

Do you think that any of these creeps are going to get a fucking job???

It's like the Manson Family. Did any of them GET A JOB? NOOOOOOOO!!!

It's the same fucking thing. We need to stop these handouts and make people accountable......PERIOD!

katie8753 said...

As long as you're giving money to these losers, they will NEVER find a job.

Why should they?

They don't have a man that doesn't care about them. They're just losers.

Stop bothering me.

I'm talking about Casey Anthony.

TomG said...

Then you empty the mental institutions and the drug rehabs and the penitentiarys and have your sidewalks filled with alot of dangerous people.

But the upside is you save a couple hundred dollars in tax money.

katie8753 said...

Casey Anthony is going to take the stand, and put her hand on the Bible and swear to God to TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH....SO HELP HER GOD."

Now in layman's terms, that means if you swear to God to tell the truth and you don't then he's gonna swoop down and take you to Big Daddy Heaven.


Let's see what happens.

katie8753 said...

Or maybe he'll take her to hell, which according to Little Nicky, Hitler gets a cock up his ass every day in a maid's suit. HA HA

TomG said...

Also, some of the Manson girls had waitressing jobs in Chatsworth.

No one has ever charged them with being lazy people.

katie8753 said...

>>>Tom said: Also, some of the Manson girls had waitressing jobs in Chatsworth.

No one has ever charged them with being lazy people.>>

And who was that????

katie8753 said...

Please name them. I can't wait!!!! Pant pant

TomG said...

Sandy Good and Lynette Fromme had jobs in Chatsworth, I am pretty sure.

If I'm wrong, I'll retract it. No big deal. I'm not ego driven.

And Mitt Romney's speach sucked, by the way.

katie8753 said...

Sandy Good and Lynette Fromme never worked a day in their fucking lives.

They are fucking losers.

They joined up with a bunch of losers that don't work, they steal from honest hard working people.

Tom you didn't know that???

Don't ever say that any of the Manson Family earned their way. They stole everything they ever got.

Stole it. Stole it. Stole it. -Is that understood??

I've worked so hard for my money and I don't seem to get it.

Those fuckers didn't do a fucking thing except steal credit cards and use them against the owners. Most of the owners were their own fathers......

TomG said...

You overused the F word, when used correctly is effective.

No one said they weren't a crime family. I read somewhere, in I believe Ed Sanders book that some of the girls had jobs. And Sadie stripped.

And they helped run Spahn Ranch.

Not worth an argument now.

Peace Out! On love.

katie8753 said...

The most lonliest day of my life.

katie8753 said...

A day I'm glad I survived.

katie8753 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katie8753 said...

Oh whatever.

katie8753 said...

Sometimes when people don't feel good they want someone to ask about them.

Oh well.

Doesn't ever happen.

MrPoirot said...


I have seen anything this funny since Chris Farley immitated Newt Gingrich in front of the entire house of reps with Newt watching.

I have a Corgie named after Clint Eastwoods character Rowdy Yates in "Rawhide". Rowdy always makes my day.

Anonymous said...

katie8753 said...
Sometimes when people don't feel good they want someone to ask about them.

Oh well.

Doesn't ever happen.

Just woke up to see this, Katie (i'm about 6 hrs out of your time zone, sorry). I hope you are feeling a lot better now, and that maybe one of your pals phoned you even if no one posted here to check on ya. ...I can get really down too sometimes, so I can sympathise.

I heard you on Star City for the first time last night. Really enjoyed it. ...I gotta say, you have a lovely speaking voice. Hopefully Brian will get you on in a regular spot. ...I'd love to hear some of the other bloggers get involved with the show too.

...Best wishes x

katie8753 said...

Thanks Cease! I do feel much better now, thanks for asking!

Come join us tonight at Star City Radio! I'd love to see you! :)

Lynn said...

Reverend Sun Moon just passed away. Bye, Bye Cult Leader.

Lynn said...

The difference between Buddism and Hinduism:

Krishna's can be found most mornings praying on their beads. Sunday night is celebration night....they are also required to go out and reach out to the community. Regarding drugs and alcohol, they are to abstain but once inside, that's not always the case.

dm said...

Wrong Barbara Lewis. The Barb she had lunch with was an LA actress, not a black singer-songwriter from Detroit.

Zach L said...

FYI. I see that this blog thread is quite old and is probably not being checked but you have the wrong Barbara Lewis. The correct one is my mother, now Barbara Leary, who was a young 20 year old model at the time married to a producer named Bob Lewis. Feel free to email me if you'd like the complete story.

Maria Jons-Kristka said...

Is this Barbara Lewis really the one who was present at the Polanski house or not? If you look for pictures of a certain Barbara Lewis, only this singer appears. And I think I've seen another pic that looked like Lewis that was close acquaintance to Tate, but I don't remember anymore. These people who came in and out of what became the infamous address of a massacre had to go on with their lives, but probably spent the rest of their lives recalling the shock of naïve and hedonistic times, also imagining that it could have been them in that horrendous bloodbath.