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Good Taste Abounds

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 3, 2006

Last night was not a good one for sleeping for a variety of reasons, including another astounding collapse by the Indians and the way that HeadOn commercial keeps echoing my head. (Last night, I finally looked up what it was for -- understanding at last that it's a headache remedy when I kept thinking it was some kind of zit treatment.) Anyway, I mention this just to explain that you may not find the following e-release as twisted and re-readable as I did. Here 'tis:

The 37th anniversary of the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders at the hands of the Charles Manson family continue to be a fascination, and will be commemorated in typical death hag style by Dearly Departed Tours (, with a special three + hour “Helter Skelter” theme tour the week of August 8, 2006 in Los Angeles, Calif.

“This time of year is like our Christmas,” said Scott Michaels, Dearly Departed’s owner and director of undertakings. “The Manson Family murders are part of our regular tour, and because it always prompts wide-eyed interest I’ve decided to expand and make it an entire tour option for my clientele.”

Besides the murder residences, Michaels will include on the tour sites that relate to the day-to-day aspects of life of the victims, such as victim Jay Sebring’s hair salon, the El Coyote restaurant where the Tate group had their “last supper”, the bicycle shop where victim Abigail Folger purchased her yellow bike the afternoon of her murder. On the other side of town, we retrace the final steps of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, victims of the second night of murders. “These sites make the whole thing seem more real and give life to the victims as everyday people,” said Michaels.

Additionally, guests will see where the murderers threw their clothing and hosed off after the murders, and where they threw the murder weapon out the window of their car. You’ll see a house that was “creepy crawled” by the Manson family, well before the murders, when they would break in to random homes and burgle or just rearrange things. Many sites have been altered since 1969 and with the help of photographs and home video footage; guests are able to relive them on Scott's 13-passenger bus.

The tour will also include a multimedia presentation made up of film and audio clips surrounding the murders and their victims, and a soundtrack playing the Top 20 of August 1969.

The price of the tour is $50, with five dollars of each ticket being donated to The Doris Tate Crime Victim Foundation, ( a California-based lobby & crime victim’s organization focusing on victim’s rights and criminal legislation. It is named in honor of Sharon Tate’s mother who became a crime victim activist until her own death in 1992.

The price also includes a piece of memorabilia – a rock from the actual fireplace of the Tate house, which Michaels himself obtained when the original house was razed in late 1993.

The Helter Skelter Tour runs Tuesday (the anniversary) August 8, through Friday August 11th at 10am, and at 1pm Saturday and Sunday August 12, 13. More dates announced to be announced. Tours depart from 6741 Hollywood Boulevard (the former location of The Erotic Museum, two storefronts from Starbucks). This location is one block East of Highland Avenue, just a tombstone's throw (two blocks East) from the famous Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Reservations are required: to book ahead, please call 1.323.466.3696.

For more information, visit

Since this is a TV blog for the most part, I should also note that ''Helter Skelter'' has been adapted for television twice. It's not only Dearly Departed that finds the murders a source of income.

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