When I sat down with my producers to discuss this season’s episodes of Murder in the Family, I insisted that we dig deep into the story of Charles Manson, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. It’s a story of American crime and tragedy that is nearly unparalleled in its brutality and its cast of characters.
The story usually starts the night the Manson family invaded Polanski and Tate’s home. But I wanted to go back farther than normal to examine the enigmatic, deeply flawed, and fascinating character of Polanski. Few know the loss he suffered at the hands of the Nazis decades before ever crossing the dark path strode by Manson and his demon hippie children on a hot August night in 1969.
And there’s another reason I wanted to tell this tale: I spent a day with Manson back in 1988. It was an interview I’ll never forget. We dug deep into my tape vault to find the film so that you can see it in this special episode.
These days, it’s hard to get close to a killer, let alone one like Manson. But in 1988, the rules were different, and Manson and I were next to one another, only inches apart. I could smell his breath and feel up close the evil aura he projected.
He threatened to kill me that day. But I swore to myself I’d never be intimidated by him, and I stood my ground. Manson has been covered quite a bit over the years but I promise you’ve never seen the story told this way, through the eyes of Polanski, who senselessly lost his wife and unborn child to a set of serial killers rampaging through the dark streets of Los Angeles.
I hope you’ll join me as I host Death By Manson: Murder In The Family Special on Saturday, January 23, at 8 p.m. ET on REELZ.
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