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New documentary highlights Manson Family murders of 1969

Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-19 13:58:34-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A new a new documentary is highlighting the Manson family murders and it is set to be released on Tuesday on a variety of video-on-demand services including Amazon, iTunes, and Apple TV.

Charles Manson, 82 was imprisoned just 65 miles north of Bakersfield at Corcoran State Prison. Manson was an American criminal and cult leader.

In mid-1967, he formed what became known as the "Manson Family", a quasi-commune based in California. His followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969.

The murders of actress Sharon Tate and five others horrified and captivated the world in 1969 and more than a half-century later, a new documentary is shining a spotlight on one of the victims who had deep Las Vegas ties.

Jay Sebring was a trendsetter and was largely credited with bringing men's fashion into the mainstream.

Sebring transformed some of the brightest stars Las Vegas has ever seen with the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack, and many others.

Sebring spent years at the iconic Sands Hotel and Casino where he styled the legendary performers.

Sebring's life is at the center of a new documentary created by his nephew, Anthony DiMaria.

"I always wanted to know, even as morbid as it sounds, I had to know what Jay did in the last moments of his life," said DiMaria, in a one-on-one interview with our Scripps sister station KTNV 13 Investigates.

DiMaria, a Las Vegan and Bishop Gorman graduate, spent 12 years filming the documentary to detail the life and accounts of Jay Sebring from Hollywood legends such as Robert Wagner, Quentin Tarantino, and the late Dennis Hopper among many others.

Sebring was rising among the Hollywood elite until the summer of 1969.

"I thought it was going to keep going and getting better, and better, and better, it didn't," said Actor Robert Wagner, as seen in the trailer for the documentary.

Sebring and four others, including actress Sharon Tate who was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time, Abigail Folger, of Folgers Coffee fame, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent were ambushed at a home in the Hollywood hills late in the evening on Aug. 8, 1969.

A group of Charles Manson followers, part of the "Manson Family" cult, carried out the brutal killings at the direction of Manson himself.

The motive was seen as an attack on members of Hollywood for shunning Manson who aspired to be a musician.

Manson and his followers rose to near rock-star fame while Sebring's legacy was overshadowed by salacious headlines.

"References that everybody was running around like chickens with our heads cut off it was upsetting to see that, but I can understand where he confronted in the middle of the night with two hunting knives a bayonet and a long barrel handgun that would be the reaction I learned quite the opposite with Jay Sebring," said DiMaria.

The documentary reveals Sebring died fighting to save his life and others.

The killers were brought to justice and Manson died while serving his prison sentence in 2017.