Hollywood is weird. It was always a lame dream of mine to buy one of those star maps on the side of the road and spend the afternoon coasting from celebrity home to celebrity home, up Sunset, down Wilshire, and end up at the Chateau Marmont for a $25 mimosa. Except my dream has been a little more offbeat. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re down to drive to Calabasas and find a Kardashian, I’m down too. But what’s more of a draw is the super creep factor that is Hollywood. So much sun, so much money, so much sex, so much mystery. I’ve seen enough E! True Hollywood Story to know that Natalie Wood didn’t just fall off that boat. And so, about a year ago, I was visiting my boyfriend’s family in Los Feliz and after some research, we did a little Hollywood tour of our own—one that involved famous crimes and murders. While we couldn’t hit them all due to the whole gated community thing, here’s what was on the itinerary.
10050 Cielo Drive
The Manson Murders
Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) of Hollywood gone bonkers is Charles Manson and his Family. Before moving to San Francisco, Manson led a life of crime and punishment, spending most of his time in prison cells—and liking it. Once in Northern California, he kept moving his Family around in order to keep them occupied, finally ending up in Los Angeles, taking shelter in various rundown ranches and old film sets. An aspiring musician, Manson recorded with the likes of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, eventually getting nowhere. Jaded and also absolutely unhinged, Manson who had complete control of his Family, spearheaded the March 1969 bloody effort that eventually took the lives of Sharon Tate, her pregnant belly, and four others at 10050 Cielo Drive in the Benedict Canyon area. Years later, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails rented the house and recorded much of Downward Spiral there, dubbing the studio “Pig” in reference to the message the Family left on the door in Tate’s blood.
5609 Valley Oak Drive