Friday, March 22, 2013

Debra Tate did an interview recently
with her photgrapher, Alan Mercer.
Debra states that she's hoping to write a book with David Wills.
(All Photos:  Alan Mercer   Lighting:  Eric V.)
Alan Mercer:
I have always LOVED the film work of Sharon Tate so I was very excited when my friend David Wills asked me if I would do a photo session with Debra Tate.  Of course I was quite familiar with her name and I knew of her hard work.  What I didn’t know was that Debra would be so warm, intelligent, engaging and beautiful.  Having the opportunity to take some photographs and visit with her on a recent Saturday afternoon was a total delight.  

Debra’s older sister, Sharon Tate was a rising young movie star in such films as ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ and just 26 when she, along with four others, were fatally attacked by Charles Manson and his cult members on August 8, 1969.  She was married to movie director Roman Polanski and eight and a half months pregnant.  Debra called Sharon that day asking her if she could spend the night at her house, but Sharon said no. Debra was almost seventeen at the time.

Debra Ann Tate is the middle child of Colonel Paul James Tate and his wife, Doris Gwendolyn.  She was born in El Paso, Texas.  Debra got married in 1984 to William E. Mussenden, their daughter and only child Arieana Tate Mussenden, was born in 1985.

After her mother’s death in 1992, her sister Patty continued to work on her mother’s foundation, The Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, when Patty died 13 years ago, Debra took over.  Doris Tate was the first person to make such an impact statement under the new law, when she spoke at the parole hearing of one of her daughter's killers, Charles ‘Tex’ Watson. She believed changes in the law had afforded her daughter dignity that had been denied her before, and that she had been able to "help transform Sharon's legacy from murder victim to a symbol of victims' rights.”

Over the years we have seen Debra on several television shows and documentaries plus she has been a guest in Dateline NBC and Larry King, among many others.  She has no intention of slowing down in her determination to do the right thing.

The Interview:

AM:  What is going on that you need some photographs Debra?

DT:  At this moment I am looking for some photographs that will put me in a good light.  I’m doing a lot of television work with the news like CNN and the Fox Network.  This has to do with the possible release of Bruce Davis who is a Manson family equal, not a follower.  They want to release him into the middle of Los Angeles.  The Governor has 30 days starting February 1st to make that decision.  Hopefully we can stop this because this man is a true menace.

AM:  I can’t even believe this.

DT:  People don’t know.  There is an agenda in the state of California.  This particular governor wants his political career to end on a high note that he has balanced the unbalance-able California budget.  They have already released all the minor prisoners they can.

AM:  Why are they doing this?

DT:  What the public needs to take into consideration is any inmate over the age of fifty, just like the rest of us, becomes a medical liability.  The costs can be millions of dollars.  So the governor doesn’t care who they are or what they’ve done.  He wants them out.  It helps him balance that budget. 

AM:  What can we do as members of the public?

DT:   All of us need to email the Governors office at and let him know how we feel as citizens, that we don’t want this man released into the general population.  The clock is ticking.  The parole board granted Bruce a parole date.  The Governor got the papers on his desk February 1st.  He has thirty days to make up his mind, but he could make up his mind anytime before March 1st.

AM:  Obviously this is a personal crusade for you.

DT:  It is a personal crusade and it isn’t.  At this point in time there is nothing that can be done to help my immediate situation, but what I can do is to prevent it from happening to anybody else with the best of my abilities.

AM:  You seem to know a lot about these people.

DT:  I do sit in the parole room with each of these individuals and I can honestly say they are definitely sociopathic individuals.  There is no cure or deprograming for a sociopath.  I’m genuinely worried that it’s business as usual.  They have cell phones and Internet connections.  They are still speaking with each other and they are very organized.  There’s no reason for me to believe that there’s any other agenda with those factors in place. 

AM:  Is this something you are prepared to do for the rest of your life?

DT:  Yes.

AM:  Are you aware of how much the public feels for you?  Do you feel this energy aimed at you?

DT:  I know that some power somewhere feels I’m doing the right thing and I feel support from that power.  I’m not sure that I realized it was from people or not because I do have a small group of vocal haters.  Sometimes I feel that’s the more prominent voice.  So sometimes I doubt myself.   

AM:  Please do not doubt yourself at all.  

DT:  I would like to state that one reason I’m not aware of my following in the general population is because I can work my rear end off, and others can as well, and I have never been able to break more than 80 letters against the killers release.  I need all the support I can get.   

AM:  Why do you think people don’t do it?

DT:  I realize there’s a strong possibility that people are afraid to put their names and addresses on things but I’d like to take this opportunity to assure them that, I really need the help and all the names and addresses are blacked out by the prison board.  Nobody ever gets to see them.  

AM:  Have you given any thought to getting the word out on social media like facebook and Twitter?

DT:   My webmaster runs facebook for me.  I haven’t done it myself.  I’m scared due to the fact that I get at least four death threats a year.  I don’t want to taint anything to do with Sharon with this negativity.  Now these threats have been around whether I’m on facebook or not.  They have always managed to find their way to me.  Also, I have many crazy stalkers and imposters and people who try to say I’m not a member of my own family.  It’s all absolutely absurd.  It all hurts my feelings.

AM:  I think it’s the fact that your personal story has taken on a mythological status.  The story is just so famous.

DT:  I think you’re right. It just seems like people with weak personalities want to be me.  I don’t get it.  I don’t think I’m famous and I certainly don’t have any money as a result of all this.  All of this business has just cost me, it’s never made me a dime.  It’s a terrible waste of notoriety.  It’s not what people think it is.   

AM:  It’s not even possible to imagine what you’ve been through.

DT:  I wouldn’t want anyone to even try to imagine it.  It was all so brutal.  I counsel people who have had to deal with a brutal murder on a regular basis.  I will be there for anybody at anytime for something like this.  It’s all so devastating.  So those people who want to be me are are not reality based. 

AM:  You were so young when the incident happened.

DT: I was almost seventeen at the time, but I was integrated right into Sharon and Roman’s social crowd.  Being a military brat, when you are traveling the globe every three years, the only thing that’s consistent in your life is your family members, so Sharon and I were extremely close, even though there was almost a ten year age difference.  

AM:  She was the big sister you idolized.

DT:  She was everything.  She was my whole world.   

AM:  Are you happy with the way Sharon is remembered?

DT:  No, not at all.  

AM: What would you like to change?

DT:  Well I’m hopefully going to be doing a beautiful book about Sharon with David Wills that will say nothing about the last twenty minutes of her life.  Sharon had an amazing body of work.  I don’t know when she had time to interact with friends and family, she was so incredibly busy.  I want to fortify her beauty as a person and as a style and fashion icon.  I want to put that back out there again because she is not just a victim.  That was a very small portion of her life. 

AM:  Well you’re a beautiful person and sister yourself Debra.

DT:  Thank you.

AM:  Do you think Sharon has a bigger following today than ever?

DT:   Her fan base is growing again.  It’s been growing for the last five years or so.  Fashion repeats itself every thirty years so since the Sixties styles came back in again, the Stars have been wearing the Sharon Tate hairdo and the Sharon Tate look.  She is reaching a younger generation who is becoming aware of who and what she was.  I’m told that Kelly Osborne is a big fan.  Drew Barrymore did a VOGUE layout that was modeled after Sharon.

AM:  I hear about her all the time.  She is a contemporary ongoing subject.

DT:  She should be.  The maniacs shouldn’t be able to take that away. 
(All Photos:  Alan Mercer   Lighting:  Eric V.)


starship said...

If those pictures are recent, that dude is some fantastic photographer.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

You ain't kidding...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


I added the word "Official" to the Blog's title.
'Cuz, everyone knows using that special word, makes a blog really important right? LOL

How ridiculous.

"The Colonel" has a Monty Python avatar for cripes sakes...

Get a life.

maudes harold said...

OMG Lynyrd !!!! This is absolutely, brillantly, uniquely priceless!!!!

Kudos on your reaction!!

Unknown said...

Oh wow, I was always under the impression Debra was the youngest! Awesome find.

Maybe it's just me.. But I kinda find it invasive that she attends hearings for Leslie and Bruce when they weren't involved at the murder on Cielo Drive.

ColScott said...

As a serious researcher as you aim to be I congratulate you on updating the name of the blog to reflect the current goals. I hope that this will inspire you to move past the shackles that have kept you down and towards the truth we all seek and deserve.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


Whatever Colonel...

Your "theatrics" are just a big act.

When you need comments, you insult someone.
That's your "schtick".
Today it's me... next month... it will be someone else.

Fortunately, most of the smarter bloggers have finally figured you out (and no longer feed into your drama).

At this point, you've insulted so many people, that nobody (with a brain) gives a shit what you think, anymore.
Like "crying wolf"... your behavior has become so redundant and predictable, the shock value is completely gone.

Move down your hit-list... maybe someone else will "bite".
As for me... I couldn't be bothered with your nonsense.

The real morons, are the one's who are still entertained by your bullshit.


For the record:
I revealed that Debra Tate had possibly entered Bruce Davis' parole hearing under shady pretenses, three weeks ago.
That topic was covered by Michael Beckman during his interview with Brian Davis.

"Leigh" also came on the blog, and mentioned it.
(It's the 4th and 5th comments on the Beckman thread).

You invested an entire paragraph (on your blog) insulting me... and yet... you're covering the same topic, in even greater depth.

ColScott said...


I don't have a schtick and I was unaware of a competition. Whatever you "covered" was very hard to follow and hurt my head. It is no doubt due to my smaller brain capacity. I would never insult you. You do your thing whatever that might be and I do mine. There's room for everyone, even the inbreds. Look at the Royal Family for proof of that.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Fair enough Colonel.

You don't bother me, and I won't bother you.
That policy worked well for two years... and that's fine with me.


ColScott said...

Southern Man don't need me around anyhow!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


Seriously Colonel...
I don't think I've ever seen you tell a joke before.

That was AWESOME!

katie8753 said...

Beautiful pictures of Debra. She's a classic beauty like Sharon & Patty.

johnnyseattle said...

Hello come I suddenly feel like 'Tickle' on 'The Moonshiners'

Lynyrd, for a dude busy 'running shine' in the backwoods of Georgia you sure manage to put out a nice blog.

Cousin Johnny Seattle

katie8753 said...

G'night Jugdish! :)

MrPoirot said...

How can the Col call ANYONE an inbred? Shalom Col.

louis365 said...

The Col is gone off the deap end anyhow...

johnnyseattle said...

how come i picture Lynrd, et al on top of the Clampett's truck headed out to Beverly Hills.
You know, that place with all them fancy movie producers...

katie8753 said...

Weeeeeelllllll doggies!

I better rustle us up some smoked owl gizzards and collard greens. Company's a'comin'.

johnnyseattle said...

see ya then at the Cement Pond, Cousin Katie!

IS that big time Moving Picture Producer coming by to cast Cousin Jethro in one of his movies?

(Somehow it seems right to be listening to Brian Davis's podcast of his Max Baer Interview.)

katie8753 said...

I done invited him over for vittles cousin Johnny, but he better bare his head for the Stars and Bars, or I'll just have to take that rascal out to the woodshed.

johnnyseattle said...

I'll let Cousin Pearl know we got a big time Motion Picture Producer coming.
Maybe he'll bring that Dash Riffrock fellow you been spooning over Cousin Katie!

whooooo doggieeeeee!!!

katie8753 said...

That Dash does set my heart to flutterin', but I got my eyes set on that strong, rippled Double Naught Spyin' cousin Jethro. Sigh....

He done got clean thru the sixth grade!!

Remember...incest is best!

ColScott said...

The last few comments kind of say it all about my point.
How about asking the question of when those pics were taken? Cause it ain't in this lifetime.

CarolMR said...

Debra's hair color is incredible.

katie8753 said...

ColScott said: The last few comments kind of say it all about my point.

But you're our inspiration Col!

How about asking the question of when those pics were taken? Cause it ain't in this lifetime.

They're doing an awful lot with Glamour Shots these days. LOL.

Seriously, I doubt if these were recent pics. But who cares when they were taken? They're beautiful pictures.

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

hey col
how about moving off what people look like and getting into content.

how bout moving the ball forward?

how bout focusing on the real gravitas of what aaron stovitz meant? that was some of your best work.

making fun of how people look is not your best work.

katie8753 said...

I would definitely buy Debra's book if she does write one.

I don't know if I would like it when I read it, but I'd definitely buy it.

johnnyseattle said...

spot on katie. i'll be buying the book.

Unknown said...

Col scums kinda like my old lady. Always lookin for a fight!!

Anonymous said...

"Col scums kinda like my old lady. Always lookin for a fight!!"
Lookin for a verbal hide behind your computer fight. The Colonol is no fighter. Just ask Quentin Tarantino who bitch slapped a cowering Kernal inside of a West Hollywood restaurant.

strix aluco said...

Hi Lynyrd, Been lurking here forever so thought it was time I posted.The name change is a brilliant stroke !

katie8753 said...

Keith don't take it to heart. As Paul McCartney said, "It's just another day".

Jeffrey's right!

Hi Strix! :)

strix aluco said...

Hi Katie.Hello all from a snowed in UK.lOVE this blog. Been reading Manson forums and blogs for years even old Nellies!I am a 50+ female who studied Manson at college for a Criminology course way back in the 70'S.joined this blog as any poster can express their own opinions Lynyrd isnt a dictator who decrees you think like him otherwise everything you say is inane rubbish.
Look forward to having like minded folk to talk to my Husband cannot understand my fascination with it all so having others who do is brilliant.Please forgive any mistakes or un intended rudeness I have never posted on a Blog before only forums so am just learning!

Kimchi said...

Paul McCartney...mmmmmmmmmm

katie8753 said...


Missed you girl!!!!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I hope she didn't want to make a subtle entrance... LOL!

Kimchi said...

Hi Katie!!

Hi Lynyrd!!

Hi Stryx Aluco! - Welcome!!

The Rasberry >>>>>>>>>>>>>>to Col Scott....

Mr. McCartney has a way to make people smile... at least for me he does.....

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I spent the whole day, cleaning-up huge limbs and branches, that were destroyed by winter storms.

We always get a lot of snow in my area... but for some reason... this year's storms were accompanied by very heavy winds (sometimes hurricane force).
All the trees got mauled.

Wielding a chain saw and hauling branches all day (while wearing a winter coat), is freakin' work.
Long story short... I'm f#cking exhausted.

All in all... it was a good day though.
The sun was shining, and I got some fresh air and exercise.

It's days like today, that make all this blog shit seem completely inconsequential.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

McCartney ROCKS!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


How's that maple syrup hobby going for ya?

Isn't this the time of year, when they actually "tap" the tree?
Or, did that season just go by?

I know nothing about how maple syrup is harvested and made...

I just like eating it on a stack of pancakes!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

For Kimchi:

katie8753 said...

I was gonna say my favorite Paul McCartney songs with the Beatles were Let it Be, Hey Jude, I Just Saw a Face, Michelle, Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, and a million others.

My favorite post Beatles song by Paul was Junk. With lyrics.

Kimchi, I'm so GLAD to see you again. Sweet Pea!!!

Night for now!

Unknown said...

when I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


That was a pretty kick-ass live performance of Helter Skelter.

"You might be a lover, but you ain't no dancer!"

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Matt... see if this one moves ya! LOL

Jack White playing Robert Johnson music.

Put your seatbelt on!!!

johnnyseattle said...

folks been missing ya!

starship said...

The Col is acting out because his bracket is definitely busted. He had Georgetown winning it all.


Leigh said...

She was beautiful in her youth as were all the Tate ladies and she looks great here. I hope she is able to find some peace.

fiona1933 said...

Are we kidding? Debra Tate? The Photoshop guy should enter these in the Worth 1000 competitions