Abigail Folger- The unsung victim of the Tate Murders.

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Abigail Folger was one of the 5 victims of the brutal murders done by members of the Manson Family.

The killings were done by Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins under the orders of infamous cult leader Charles Manson. The other victims of the Tate murders are Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent. The murders took place at Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski’s home at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles on August 9, 1969.

With the involvement of Actress Sharon Tate, the murders were classified as high profile and hence the focus was mainly on her. The other victims were overshadowed by her fame, one such victim was Abigail Folger. So who exactly was Abigail Folger and what was her story?

1) Abigail Folger- The daughter of prominent socialites.

Abigail was the daughter of prominent socialites Peter Folger and Ines Mejia Folger. Her father was the chairman of the popular Folgers Coffee Company. Folgers Coffee Company was once the 3rd biggest coffee wholesaler in the United States. Abigail Folger grew up in the Folger Mansion which is located in Woodside, California. After her death, her father’s desire of living at that estate diminished.

Additionally, after Abigail’s death, Peter Folger conducted his own investigation surrounding her death and saw to it that she was protected from indecent gossip. Moreover, he threatened legal action against anyone who used her name in any articles or books about the Tate Murders. Hence very little information is available about her.

A photo of Abigail Folger
Abigail Folger- The unsung victim of the Tate Murders

2) Abigail Folger was a talented young woman with a passion for art.

Since childhood, Abigail had a passion for art and used to paint in her free time. Additionally, she was also a talented pianist. She attended a Catholic school and went to Radcliff College where she graduated top of her class. She then completed her graduate work from Harvard and received a degree in Art History.

In 1967, she was employed at the University of California art museum in Berkeley, California. However, she didn’t stay at Berkeley for long and shifted to New York where she ended up doing a job at the Gotham Book Mark. It was during a bookstore party there that she met Author Jerry Kosinski who introduced her to aspiring writer Wojciech Frykowski.

Frykowki knew very little English but was fluent in French. He and Abigail conversed in French, and she would give him tours of the city. Soon a relationship bloomed between them. After sharing an apartment, they decide to move to California.

Abigail Folger with her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski
Abigail Folger with her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski

3) Abigail Folger- A philanthropic woman.

Abigail did a lot of charity and volunteer work and began working as a volunteer social worker for the Los Angeles County Welfare Department. In 1968, she attended the fundraisers held by her mother to aid the Haight Asbury Medical Clinic. This was a clinic where many Manson family women were being brought in for treatment. Additionally, Abigail spent her time volunteering in the ghettos. She was also very involved in the civil rights cause and contributed quite a lot of money to back the campaign of Tom Bradley, a black councilman running for the office of the mayor.

4) Charity work was taking a toll on her mental health.

Abigail was getting overwhelmed and felt that her efforts were not enough to make a change. She further confessed to her friend that the suffering she saw was getting under her skin.

5) Abigail and her boyfriend housesat at the Cielo Drive house for months before the murders.

Wojciech Frykowski was good friends with Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski who were the owners of the 10050 Cielo Drive home. In 1969, they left for Europe to work on projects. In their absence, they didn’t want the house to be left unattended. Hence, they asked Abigail and Wojciech to house sit for them, to which the couple obliged. They moved in on 1ST April 1969.

Photo of the house 10050 Cielo Drive where the murders took place
10050 Cielo Drive- The murder house

6) The night of the murders.

On August 8, 1969, the couple joined Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring for dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. Sharon Tate’s husband Roman Polanski was away for a project in Europe at the time. After dinner, the four returned to 10050 Cielo Drive. Once at the estate, Abigail retired to the guest bedroom to read a book. At around 10 P.M, she called up her mother to let her know that she had booked a flight to San Francisco the next morning.

Later that night, one of the murderers passed through Abigail’s bedroom, Abigail waved at her thinking she was someone’s friend. Little did she know about the horrors which would take place shortly.

7) Abigail Folger’s haunting last words.

Susan Atkins, the killer who Abigail had waved at, entered the room shortly. She was carrying a knife and ordered Abigail to go to the living room. In the living room, Tex Watson instructed her, Sharon, Wojciech and Jay to sit on the floor. The killers started tying everyone up, but then Tex shot and started stabbing Jay due to which chaos ensued. Abigail was also stabbed numerous times in the process. However, she managed to break free and ran down the hallway to escape. Patricia Krenwinkel followed her and tackled her down on the lawn. Patricia then continued to stab her and Tex joined in. According to her murderers, she begged them to stop stabbing her, saying that “they have got her and that she was already dead!”

A photo of the murderers- Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel
Manson Family members- Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel

8) The discovery of the body.

Abigail Folger’s body was discovered lying on the lawn the next morning. The white nightgown she was wearing was soaked by copious amounts of blood and as a result, had turned crimson red. Folger was stabbed a shocking 28 times!

A photo of a body being taken out from the cielo drive house
A body being taken out from the 10050 Cielo drive house

9) Why was Abigail Folger killed?

The most chilling fact is that Abigail’s assailants did not have a motive to kill her and probably did not even know her, nor did they hold any grudge against her or the other victims. Charles Manson, the perpetrator of the murders, claimed that these killings were supposed to instigate a race war but the real cause is completely different.

The actual reason for the killings was a petty grudge held by the cult leader. Manson was a failed musician and he was angry that he did not get a record deal from music producer Terry Melcher. Terry Melcher was the previous renter of 10050 Cielo Drive.

Holding on to this grudge, Charles Manson instructed his followers to kill everyone present at 10050 Cielo Drive, as brutally as they could.

A picture of infamous cult leader charles manson arrested by authorities
Infamous cult leader Charles Manson

10) Justice for Abigail

The People Vs Charles Manson trial began in June 1970 and concluded in January 1971. The Jury declared Manson and those involved in the killings, guilty of murder. Charles Manson spent the rest of his life in jail and died at the age of 83 in 2017.

Abigail Folger’s body is buried at a church built by her grandparents. She is currently entombed at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California.

Interested to read about other brutal killings in history? Read our article on mind-numbing brutal killings in history.

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