This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (2023)

Abigail Folger was one of the five victims of the Manson Family's "Tate murders."

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (1)

YouTubeAbigail Folger was heiress to a massive fortune.

Twenty-five-year-old Abigail Anne Folger might never have been at 10050 Cielo Drive at all if not for her boyfriend, Wojciech “Voytek” Frykowski.

He was an acquaintance of star-studded film director Roman Polanski’s from back in Poland. But although it was Frykowski who brought Abigail Folger into the Hollywood circle, Folger was already a famous persona in her own right: she was the daughter of Peter Folger, chairman of the Folger Coffee Company, and she was the heir to his fortune.

The violent murder of a prominent heiress at the hands of the crazed Charles Manson cult would surely have been enough to fill the front pages for weeks on its own. However, such was the fame of the other victims that Folger’s own story was almost totally eclipsed.

Abigail Folger Before The Murders

Abigail Folger was born on Aug. 11, 1943, and would die just two days before her 26th birthday. Born into an über wealthy and Catholic family, Folger’s early life was one of tradition and high-society training. She was a debutante and a model student who graduated from Harvard University with an art history degree.

She worked for the University of California Art Museum in Berkeley, then left for New York where she worked at a book store and then as a social worker in the ghettos. It was in New York in 1968 when she met Voytek Frykowski, who was new to America. He claimed to be an aspiring writer. The two communicated mostly in French as his English wasn’t very good.

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (2)

YouTubeAbigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski’s relationship turned sour after they moved into Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski’s house.

(Video) How Charles Manson Came to Lead One of the World’s Most Dangerous Cults

That August, they drove from New York to Los Angeles and rented a house in the Hollywood hills. In some of LA’s roughest neighborhoods — Watts, Pacoima — Folger volunteered as a social worker.

But Folger and Frykowski had a tempestuous relationship. After moving into 10050 Cielo Drive on April 1, 1969, to house-sit for Polanski and his wife, the Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, they argued constantly.

Perhaps their turmoil stemmed from Frykowski’s abuse of Folger’s money. According to Manson Family prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, the official police report stated that “he had no means of support and lived off Folger’s fortune.” It also might have come from their drug abuse: Frykowski regularly used cocaine, mescaline, marijuana, and LSD, and Folger was reportedly high that last time she talked to her mother on the phone.

Folger’s therapist thought that as of her final appointment that summer, she was ready to leave Frykowski. But she would never get the chance.

Abigail Folger Is Murdered

On August 8, 1969, Tate had been home for three weeks after visiting Polanski, who was preparing to direct a film in London. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant, and her husband asked Frykowski and Folger to stay at the house with her until he returned home.

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (3)

FlickrAbigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski began staying at 10050 Cielo Drive in April 1969. Four months later, they were brutally murdered.

At around 10 p.m., Folger phoned her mother in Connecticut to let her know she had booked a flight to San Francisco the next morning. Shortly after, Folger put on her nightgown and started to read in one of the guest rooms. Frykowski fell asleep on the couch.

Frykowski was then startled awake by a strange man pointing a gun into his face. He asked who the man was to which the stranger replied: “I am the Devil and I’m here to do the Devil’s business.”

The next morning, the Polanski’s housekeeper, Winifred Chapman, ran screaming from 10050 Cielo Drive. “Murder! Death! Bodies! Blood!” she cried as she pounded on the neighbors’ doors.

(Video) The Manson Family Full Episode

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (4)

Police Handout Abigail Folger died in Sharon Tate’s yard. She managed to escape the house until she was tracked down by Manson Family members and stabbed to death.

When the police arrived, they found that the Hollywood home had been turned into a human slaughterhouse. Eighteen-year-old Steven Parent, who was visiting the property’s caretaker, was slumped over in the front seat of his car at the entrance of the property, shot four times.

Police were further horrified to find the word “pig” written in the victims’ blood on the front door.

Inside lay the bodies of Sharon Tate and her friend and ex-boyfriend Jay Sebring. Tate had been stabbed 16 times. A rope was tied around her neck, slung over a rafter, and the other end of the same rope was attached to Jay Sebring’s neck. Tate was in her pajamas.

Sebring had been stabbed and beaten over the head. Out on the lawn was Abigail Folger. She had tried to flee when she was cut down. The nightgown she was wearing was so soaked in blood that it was nearly impossible to tell the now-crimson garment had originally been white. The five-foot-five young woman had been stabbed 28 times.

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (5)

Police handoutPolice put a sheet over one of the bodies found at 10050 Cielo Drive — either Folger’s or her boyfriend’s, Voytek Frykowski.

Frykowski, further out on the lawn, had numerous head wounds. He was stabbed 51 times and shot twice.

(Video) The Sharon Tate Murder Story in HD

An investigator on the scene recalled: “I’d worked homicide for five years and seen a lot of violence. This was the worst.”

The Manson Family

It would be months before the Los Angeles Police were finally able to catch the murderers, who killed another couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, the very night after murdering Abigail Folger.

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty ImagesCharles Manson leaves court after deferring a plea on murder charges. December 11, 1969.

The LAPD remained baffled and the community terrified as the killers remained on the loose. The case finally broke when in October of 1969 police raided the Manson family’s ranch in Death Valley and arrested several of its members for auto theft and possession of stolen property.

Among those arrested was a Susan Atkins, who, while imprisoned, bragged to one of her cellmates about murdering Sharon Tate. Atkins told her cellmate how “[Folger] looked at me and smiled and I looked at her and smiled” right before Watson stabbed her in the stomach. The cellmate recalled how “there was not a shred of sympathy on [Atkins’s] part for the victims,” and went to prison authorities, who in turn alerted the police.

It turned out that although Manson claimed the Tate murders were intended to instigate an apocalyptic race war, the supposed reality was that they may have been little more than the bloody end of a petty grudge.

A failed musician, Manson was bitter about not receiving a record deal from producer Terry Melcher, who had previously lived at 10050 Cielo Drive. Manson family members Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel were dispatched with the order to “totally destroy everyone in that house, as gruesome as you can.”

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (7)


Bettmann/GettyManson family members and murder suspects Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie Van Houten.

For many, Charles Manson represented the embodiment of the counterculture’s worst excesses. The disturbingly charismatic man recruited young men and women — usually from relatively privileged families — who were drawn to the hippie ideals of the 1960s, then “manipulated and completely overpowered them, forcing them to partake in group sex, drugs, and ultimately, slaughter.”

The Manson name is now, as Bugliosi once stated, “a metaphor for evil.”

Abigail’s Legacy

The People vs. Charles Manson began in June 1970 and concluded in January of 1971 when the jury determined Manson and family members Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson, and Leslie Van Houten — who helped commit the LaBianca killings — guilty of murder.

This Folger's Coffee Heiress Was The Forgotten Victim Of The Manson Family Murders (8)

YouTubeAbigail Folger wasn’t your ordinary heiress. For much of her adult life, she worked as a social worker.

Although all five defendants were originally sentenced to death, the sentences were commuted to life in prison after California’s 1972 in People v. Anderson. Manson spent the rest of his days behind bars and died in November 2017 at the age of 83.

As for Abigail Folger, her body was returned to San Francisco and her funeral was held on the morning of August 13, 1969, at a church that had been built by her grandparents. Following a Catholic mass, Abigail was entombed inside the Main Mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California.

After this look at the tragic fate of Abigail Folger, read up on some of the grisliest famous murders of all time. Then, check out the sordid true story of Los Angeles’ haunted Cecil Hotel.


Who was the Folger Heiress killed by the Manson family? ›

The group murdered Tate, who was 8½ months pregnant; guests Jay Sebring, a celebrity hairdresser; Abigail Folger, a coffee heiress; her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski, an aspiring screenwriter; and Steven Parent, an 18-year-old visiting the property's caretaker. Polanski was working in Europe on a film.

What did Abigail Folger say? ›

According to her killers, Abigail lifelessly pled for them to stop stabbing saying, "I give up, you've got me", and "I'm already dead". Abigail was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California on Wednesday, August 13, 1969.

Who was the heiress to Folgers coffee? ›

Born in San Francisco, California, on August 11, 1943, Abigail Folger was an American coffee heiress and a victim of the Charles Manson murders.

Who were the victims of the Tate murders? ›

Kasabian acted as a lookout while Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Watson broke into the house and brutally murdered five people: Tate, who was eight months pregnant; coffee heiress Abigail Folger; Polish writer Wojciech Frykowski; celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring; and Steven Parent, a friend of the property's caretaker.

Who is Mrs Folger in only murders in the building? ›

Shirley MacLaine: Leonora Folger, Rose Cooper

It looks like we don't have any photos or quotes yet. Be the first to contribute! Add a photo or add a quote.

Why was Manson Family murdered? ›

Manson's philosophy of the upcoming Apocalypse was the true motive behind the killings. He told his family that “Helter Skelter” was coming. According to Manson, Helter Skelter was the uprising of a racial war between “blackies” and “whiteys”.

What were Abigail Folger last words? ›

At Tate's home, she chased and stabbed heiress and social worker Abigail Folger 28 times. It's believed that Folger's last words were: “I don't know why you're doing this… I'm already dead.” Krenwinkel later said she felt “nothing” while attacking Folger: “I mean, what is there to describe?

Why was Abigail guilty? ›

In The Crucible, Arthur Miller demonstrates that it is Abigail's flaws-lust, dishonesty, and jealousy- that lead her to be guilty for the tragedy of the witch-hunts in Massachusetts.

What happened to Abigail while she was at dinner? ›

Cheever finds a needle in the doll, which he takes as proof of Elizabeth's guilt. Abigail fell on the floor screaming at dinner and pulled a needle out of her stomach, claiming that Elizabeth's familiar spirit stabbed her.

Where were the bodies found in the Tate murders? ›

The Tate/Polanski living room where the bodies of Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring were discovered. Abigail Folger's body was dicovered on the front lawn, most assuredly, she was literally running for her life. Wojtek Frykowski's body as it was found just outside the home's entrance.

Who found the Tate murders? ›

Shortly after midnight, Tate, Sebring, Frykowski and Folger were murdered by members of the Manson Family cult. Their bodies were discovered the following morning by Tate's housekeeper Winifred Chapman.

Is Folgers Coffee being sued? ›

Folgers Coffee Co., and its parent company, J.M. Smucker, were sued in federal court for allegedly inflating the number of servings contained in certain canisters of Folgers' ground coffee.

Does Starbucks own Folgers? ›

The Folgers coffee brand is owned by the J.M. Smucker Company. The Smucker Company acquired the Folgers brand in 2008 from Procter & Gamble.

Is Folgers Coffee related to Benjamin Franklin? ›

Benjamin Franklin is related to the Folger Family

Benjamin Franklin's grandfather, Peter Folger, was an ancestor to the founder of Folgers. This entire family was bound for success from the beginning!

Who pushed the girl in Only Murders in the Building? ›

Theo was the reason Zoe is dead

Oscar might have been the one in prison for years, but he wasn't the one who caused Zoe to die. That was Theo (James Caverly): He pushed Zoe, and she fell to her death. But due to his dad Teddy Dimas' (Nathan Lane) money and power, he was able to keep it under the wraps for years.

Is Leonora Folger Rose Cooper? ›

Only Murders in the Building in its penultimate Season 2 episode reveals that the woman who presented herself as Leonora Folger at Bunny's memorial is actually Rose Cooper.

Who is Bunny Folgers mother? ›

Shirley MacLaine appears as Bunny's mom in episode two, and her story raises some interesting questions.

Did the Manson Family cut the baby out? ›

“She was nine months pregnant, and there was an X cut on her stomach.” In fact, however, the coroner's testimony at the murder trial would make clear that she received multiple chest wounds, including around the breast, but it was not “cut off” and her stomach was not carved.

Who was the father of Sharon Tate's baby? ›

Both mother and baby are now deceased. The father was Roman Polanski.

Who is the most popular serial killer? ›

The following list explores some of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever known.
  • Jack the Ripper. ...
  • Jeffrey Dahmer. ...
  • Harold Shipman. ...
  • John Wayne Gacy. ...
  • H.H. Holmes. ...
  • Pedro Lopez. ...
  • Ted Bundy.

How old was Abigail Folger when she died? ›

How many Manson girls were there? ›

There were the three women who were tried with Manson: Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel, who the Associated Press reported arrived to the final day of their trial in “prison uniforms with ribbons in their long hair,” famously shaved off that hair after Manson shaved his head partway through the ...

Who disappeared with Abigail? ›

February 15, 2:45 p.m.: Authorities positively identify the two bodies found Tuesday as Abigail Williams and Liberty German during a press conference held in Delphi. Autopsies were performed earlier that day in Terre Haute, according to authorities.

Why did Abigail stab herself? ›

It is clear to the reader that Abigail has watched Mary stick the needle in the 'poppet' and has later stabbed herself with a needle, knowing that by this time the doll will be in Elizabeth Proctor's house. She wants to revenge herself upon Elizabeth.

Who committed adultery with Abigail? ›

John Proctor is a tormented individual. He believes his affair with Abigail irreparably damaged him in the eyes of God, his wife Elizabeth, and himself. True, Proctor did succumb to sin and commit adultery; however, he lacks the capacity to forgive himself.

What sin does Abigail commit? ›

Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller's The Crucible commits several of these sins, including lust, envy, and wrath. These sins will also have a “domino” effect, for if one hadn't been committed, then the other two would not have been, either.

What did Abigail do to the girls? ›

Abigail uses her authority to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. She threatens the other girls with violence if they refuse to go along with her plans, and she does not hesitate to accuse them of witchcraft if their loyalty proves untrue. Such is the case with Mary Warren.

What did Abigail confess to? ›

Parris's slave, has confessed to witchcraft. Abigail sees Tituba's false confession as a way out of her own dilemma: if she also admits she's a witch, she will be forgiven for casting charms in the woods with Tituba and her friends. Thus, she falsely confesses to witchcraft.

What does Abigail admit to? ›

Abigail confesses to her uncle that she was dancing in the forest with Tituba, but claims that nakedness was not involved. When the Rev. Parris asks why she was dismissed by the Proctors so many months ago, Abigail insists that she still has a good reputation in the village.

What happened to Winifred Chapman? ›

Winifred Chapman(1920-2000)

She died on 18 August 2000.

What happened to the Tate murders? ›

A moratorium on the death penalty in 1972 saw all of their sentences converted to life in prison instead for their roles in the Tate murders. Atkins died in prison of natural causes in 2009. Van Houten, Watson, and Krenwinkel are still alive and behind bars.

Who lives in the Tate house now? ›

Who owns 10050 Cielo Drive now? Sharon Tate's former home at 10050 Cielo Drive is currently owned by Jeff Franklin, the creator of the beloved TV show Full House.

What does Abigail say in the crucible? ›

I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil!

What did Abigail say to Mary Warren? ›

When Mary Warren, the servant of John Proctor, enters she wants to tell the adults what the girls were doing in the forest and says that Abigail will only be whipped for what they did. Abigail tells Mary that if she is whipped then Mary will be too.

What does Abigail say to Elizabeth? ›

She calls Elizabeth a "lying, cold, sniveling woman." Most of Abigail's hateful feelings come from being fired by Elizabeth and for the fact that she is married to John Proctor, the man Abigail claims to love.

What did Abigail say to Parris? ›

She informs Mercy that Parris knows they were dancing in the woods. She also says he knows Tituba called to Ruth's dead sisters. Abigail reveals that Mercy is the female that Parris saw running naked through the woods.

Is Abigail a victim or a villain? ›

Of the major characters, Abigail is the least complex. She is clearly the villain of the play, more so than Parris or Danforth: she tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths.

What is the quote about Abigail lying? ›

I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!”

What happened to Abigail Williams after The Crucible? ›

At the end of the movie, Abigail runs away and never comes back to Salem. The real Abigail Williams completely disappeared after the trial and no historical records of her after her last testimony in June 1692 were found. Many other historical characters were either changed or written off the script of The Crucible.

Who slept with Abigail in The Crucible? ›

The conversation reveals that approximately seven months earlier, Abigail and Proctor had an affair while Abigail lived and worked in the Proctor household. Goody Proctor subsequently dismissed Abigail. Now Abigail accuses Proctor of still being in love with her, even though he will not admit it to her or himself.

Why was Mary scared of Abigail? ›

Mary Warren tells Proctor that she fears testifying against Abigail because Abigail and the others will turn against her. Proctor discovers that Mary Warren knows about his affair. Abigail begins to execute her plan against Elizabeth in Scene 4.

What do the girls do to Mary? ›

What do the girls do to Mary? What is her response? They pretend that her spirit is coming to get them, that she is herself doing some bewitching. Mary tells them to stop it, but when they don't, she ends up breaking down and joining them (for her own protection).

Why did Abigail not like Elizabeth? ›

Abigail has hated Elizabeth for as long as she's known her, because she wants John all to herself. She loves John and feels as if Elizabeth is the reason as to why she's not with John. Of course Elizabeth is not the only reason, because John realizes that the affair with Abigail was wrong of him to do.

Why does Elizabeth think Abigail accused her? ›

Answer and Explanation: Elizabeth believes that Abigail accused her of witchcraft to get revenge for being dismissed from her housekeeping position at the Proctors' and to reignite the affair she had with John Proctor.

What does Parris say Abigail has vanished? ›

Parris also tells Danforth that Abigail and Mercy Lewis have disappeared. Abigail robbed Parris, and he believes she and Mercy boarded a ship. Danforth and Parris discuss a recent rebellion in Andover. Parris worries that the people of Salem will throw out the court, as the people in Andover did.

Why do Abigail and Betty name names? ›

Answer and Explanation: In Act I, Abigail and Betty start shouting the names of supposed witches in order to distract attention from their own misbehavior. They know that the penalty for dancing in the forest is whipping.

What is a key quote from Abigail Williams? ›

"Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you."


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