In August 1969, Hollywood and the nation was rocked by the brutal murders of actress Sharon Tate and friends which included coffee heiress Abigail Folger and Tinseltown’s hair stylist to the stars Jay Sebring. Charles Manson and members of his “family” would eventually be convicted and serve life in prison for this Crime. At the time, Manson was an aspiring but struggling musician with a largely female cult of followers. As fate would have it, two of them were hitchhikers picked up by Dennis Wilson on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in 1968.

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Mike Love, who is Dennis Wilson’s cousin and co-founder of the 1960’s rock and roll band The Beach Boys, writes about Wilson’s agonizing guilt birthed from that night. In his Book “Good Vibrations.”

According to Love, it was a guilt which haunted Wilson until his death from an accidental drowning in 1983. Not long after, the women told Wilson their guru Charlie was a songwriter, Manson and his family got a little chummy and soon began plying the band with women and drugs.

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Although the relationship did not last long, no one in the California-based band ever expected the horrendous murder spree to come in the summer of 1969.

Murder, music and madness

Dennis Wilson introduced Manson to record producer Terry Melcher, who was also the only child of actress Doris Day. In 1968, Manson wrote a song entitled “Cease to Exist.” It was later changed to “Never Learn Not to Love” and recorded by the Beach Boys after Wilson took over copyright due to Manson owing him $100, 000.

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Love told People magazine that Wilson once witnessed Manson kill an African American man and stuff him down a well at Spahn Ranch. According to Love, the alleged incident was the breaking point for Wilson and his cousin never forgave himself for allowing Charles Manson into his life even for only a moment.

The house at 10050 Cielo Drive

Eventually, Manson would come to feel slighted by Terry Melcher. Prior to the Tate murders, Melcher informed his mother Doris Day of Manson’s frightening antics.

But when he mentioned Manson had been at his house, the now 92-year-old movie legend urged her son to move. Believing Melcher still resided at the Benedict Canyon home which he shared with then-girlfriend (actress Candice Bergen), Manson sent a group of his followers to the house. Tragically, it was Tate and her friends who ended up being slaughtered. Mike Love noted that Melcher's move from the house was probably the result of his mother’s intuition, thus saving his life.

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Terry Melcher passed away from cancer in 2004.

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