LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sharon Tate’s sister Debra wants to set the record straight about her sister.
“I need them to see what they killed,” she says, “there was never a better person born on this Earth and I’m quite sure of it.”
Debra Tate sat down with KCAL9’s Stacey Butler to discuss her new book, “Sharon Tate: Recollection.”
Tate wanted the public to know about her famous older sister — beyond the headlines and the horrific way she died.
Sharon Tate, whose career was taking off at the time she was killed, was one of seven people murdered by Manson family members in the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969. She was 8 and one-half months pregnant with husband Roman Polanski’s child. Tate and her baby were murdered and mutilated. (Polanski writes the foreword in “Recollection.”)
If Debra Tate could go back in time, she candidly admits she would.
“Everything would have been so different,” she says now, choking back tears.
Of that time and of the crime, she still can’t wrap her head around it.
“It’s horribly unfair, and it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” she says.
She knows she can’t rewrite history. Any mention of her sister will mention her death at the hands of the Manson cult. Tate knows their names are inextricably linked — but she wanted to try with her new book.
Tate wanted to write about how her sister lived and not how she died.
“The gift that I wanted to give people,” Tate says, “it’s something deeper than that. If you look into her eyes, you can see it.”
Her new book, a table-top memoir due in book stores next week, reveals stories and never-before-seen photos of Tate — growing up, as a young girl, as an ingenue, famous Hollywood wife, glamor girl, from the film “Valley of the Dolls.” She wanted her sister to be seen as anything but a victim. In addition to the rare photos, there are essays from friends like Jane Fonda, Joan Collins, Patty Duke, Lee Grant and Michelle Phillips.
“That’s my job as the last standing heir,” says Tate.
Her message to readers is simple. Even though her sister was considered by many to be one of the most beautiful women of her day, or any day for that matter, what made Sharon Tate shine was more than skin deep.
“Beauty is on the inside, is more important than beauty on the outside,” she says.
While going back is not an option, looking back with happy memories most certainly is. She’s hoping that looking back at all the good will help shine light one of the darkest times in California history.
“People [need] to be reminded of the heinous-ess of this particular act,” Tate says.