NewsCovering Kern County


Local man remembers Manson Family Murders

Used to live near site of Tate Murders
Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 21:19:41-05

Michael Richert is living in Bakersfield now, but 46 years ago, he was in a community not far from the famed Hollywood Hills.

"The whole community was open, and it was a very peaceful and comfortable time," Richert said of August 1969. "Until you end up with a mass murder. Then things begin to change."

Richert talked to 23 ABC about being a child living near the site of the infamous Tate Murders carried out by the Manson Family.

"For the first time during the summer, we locked up the house," Richert said.

The brutal killings began on August 9, 1969, at the home of actress Sharon Tate. The first set of victims were Tate, who was eight months' pregnant; a celebrity hairstylist named Jay Sebring; coffee fortune heiress Abigail Folger; writer Wojciech Frykowski; and Steven Parent, a friend of the family's caretaker.

The next evening, another set of murders took place. Supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were killed at their home. Although Manson ordered the killings, he didn't participate.

"When your parents get scared as a kid, you get scared. They're locking up the house and walking the house and setting guns by the doors, everybody gets a little nervous. And as a kid at 12 years old, I was terrified," Richert said.

Manson died at age 83 in a Kern County hospital. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been unable to confirm which hospital Manson was treated in. For more on Manson's death, click here.