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A rejection from DORIS DAY’s record producer son TERRY MELCHER ignited madman CHARLES MANSON’s HELTER SKELTER slay spree – book.
When madman Charles Manson dispatched his murderous minions to slaughter everyone in a particular ritzy house overlooking Beverly Hills, his target was Doris Day’s only son, Terry Melcher, NOT pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who actually got slaughtered!
That’s the shocking claim in a book that reveals Manson felt humiliated, outraged and hellbent on revenge after being rejected for a recording contract by Melcher, a whiz-kid Columbia Records producer with a slew of chart-topping songs.
“You’re good, but I wouldn’t know what to do with you,” Melcher tactfully told the wanna-be rocker, writes author Jeff Guinn in Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. “And with that, Charlie Manson’s dream of becoming a rock star more famous than the Beatles was essentially over.”
As a result, Manson ordered several members of his cult-like “family” to massacre everyone at the 10050 Cielo Drive home on Aug. 9, 1969.
But Melcher and his gorgeous live-in girlfriend Candice Bergen had moved out months before.
Meanwhile, movie director Roman Polanski and his beautiful “Valley of the Dolls” star wife had moved in. Polanski was away that night, leaving 8 1/2-months pregnant Sharon and a handful of friends to pay the tragic price for Manson’s savage rage.
At age 26, Melcher had produced more than 80 hits and had carteblanche to sign any musician he wanted. Close pal Dennis Wilson, drummer for The Beach Boys, introduced the young tycoon to Manson.
A lover of booze and women, Wilson had taken home several of Manson’s female followers after picking them up hitchhiking on Sunset Boulevard. The girls had so much fun they later brought Manson to Wilson’s place – and the family didn’t want to leave. They foraged in Wilson’s refrigerator and cut up Wilson’s wardrobe to make clothing for themselves. Manson ran up the Beach Boy’s credit cards and stole and wrecked his cars – at a cost of about $100,000.
But Wilson accepted it all in exchange for Manson setting up orgies with the family’s willing - to-please girls.
To Manson, any celebrity or their child was prey. his biggest catch was Didi Lansbury, teenaged daughter of “Murder, She Wrote” star Angela Lansbury. He and family members would “pick up Didi at her high school after class was out and go stock up on clothes or car parts without any concern for cost, because Didi paid for everything with her mother’s credit cards,” Guinn writes. Eventually, Angela cut off the money flow, saving Didi from the maniac’s clutches.
So Manson was desperate for a record deal. Wilson was his connection to Melcher, who agreed to meet the twisted guru and some of his gang at Wilson’s home. But the music magnate grew more interested in one of Charlie’s girls, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, the runaway daughter of a former Congregationalist minister, than the group’s leader.
Melcher wanted to move Moorehouse into his Cielo Drive home as a housekeeper, “but Candy Bergen knew what kind of housekeeping chores Terry had in mind and vetoed the plan,” says Guinn.
Manson grew livid that he never got an invite to attend Melcher’s star-studded parties, and felt doubly humiliated when the record exec was a no-show to hear Charlie sing at Spahn Ranch, the family’s San Fernando Valley base.
The snub was the kiss of death to Manson, who wanted Melcher butchered. But Melcher and Bergen moved into a beach house Doris Day owned – saving them from certain death. Instead, Tate and her guests – hairdresser Jay Sebring, aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski and Folger coffee fortune heiress Abigail Folger – paid the deadly price of being in the house that fateful night.
Writes Guinn, “Manson had NO idea Melcher didn’t live at Cielo anymore.”