Glasses may be clue in Sharon Tate case
Friday, October 24th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 24 – Police have disclosed that the person who killed actress Sharon Tate and four others last August dropped a pair of spectacles indicating he was nearsighted.
They believe this may lead to capture of the killer.
Detectives said Thursday they found the thick-lensed tortoise shell eyeglasses when they discovered the honey blonde Miss Tate, 26, and four companions slain last Aug. 9 in her Bel Air home.
Near Miss Tate’s body was the body of her former boyfriend, hair stylist Jay Sebring. Their heads were hooded and joined by a cord.
Outside the house were the bodies of coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish playboy Voityck Frokowsky and Stephen Parent, friend of a caretaker.
All were shot, stabbed or both.
The eyeglasses, Detective Lt. Robert Helder told a news conference Thursday, were found inside the home, where they “probably fell off during a struggle.”
Police tried to keep the glasses a secret, Helder said, because they were useful in lie detector tests as long as suspects weren’t aware detectives knew about them.
But six weeks ago detectives asked eye specialists to help them find the owner of the glasses, and word that police knew about the spectacles leaked out.
In addition to correcting nearsightedness, the glasses—as described by Helder and Dr. Wayne W. Hoeft, one of the first optometrists to examine them —indicate their owner was between 20 and 40 years old with a small head, characterized by Heoft as “volleyball-shaped,” and had ears close to his face.
Hoeft said the left ear was a quarter to a half inch higher than the right, the eyes were wide apart, and the wearer was active enough to require break resistant plastic lenses, yet careless enough to scratch them up.
The owner “would have difficulty getting along” without glasses, Helder said. “He might be able to read, but he would have a great deal of difficulty in operating a vehicle.” Police think the killer has replaced the spectacles or soon will.
https://www.cielodrive.com/archive/glas ... tate-case/
Police Solid Clue in Tate Murders
Sunday, October 26th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 —The killer of actress Sharon Tate and four other persons left a pair of amber-rimmed eyeglasses at the scene, police revealed Thursday.
Detective Lt. Robert Helder, the man in charge of the investigation, told a news conference police have been able to reconstruct from the glasses a sketchy portrait of the murderer.
He is probably a man between 20 to 40 years old. He has a small head and one of his ears is about a quarter of an inch lower than the other. He is extremely nearsighted.
Helder said there were some fingerprint smudges on the glasses, but no identifiable “ridges” investigators could use to trace their owner.
The glasses were intact, no blood was found on them and there was no hair caught in the frames. Helder said they were “one of the key pieces of evidence” in the murders, but he would not elaborate except to say no murder weapons had been found.
Police still have no motive for the macabre slayings Aug. 9 at the Benedict Canyon estate leased by Miss Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski.
“It could be almost anything,” the detective said. “If we could pinpoint a motive, we’d be halfway home.”
Helder said police had the glasses analyzed by experts in optometry and determined that they were inexpensive, had a popular American-made frame and a “not highly unusual” combination of lenses kept by many optometrists in “bins” in their offices.
Helder said it was his opinion the killer lost the glasses while struggling with one of the murder victims. He said the assailant, because of his nearsightedness, probably left quickly.
A flier describing the glasses was sent six weeks ago to the 2,968 members of the California Optometric Association, the Chicago headquarters of the American Optometric Association with 15,000 members, the Los Angeles City Optometric Society and the Ophthalmologists Society of Southern California.
Helder said police have received no replies from anyone remembering prescribing similar glasses.
https://www.cielodrive.com/archive/pair ... e-murders/