Our article on Season 1 of the TV series “True Detective” remains one of the biggest location searches we’ve ever done, through the small towns of Southern Louisiana. For the second season of the show, writer Nic Pizzolatto shifts the setting to Southern California in the fictional city of Vinci, loosely based on the city of Vernon, which had a corruption scandal not unlike what is depicted in the show.
The locations are just as plentiful as the first season, spanning from Santa Paula to Santa Ana, from Mt. Baldy to Beverly Hills and everything in between. The show presents a more gritty look into Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Visiting the locations is a deep dive into Southern California and one that should only be done if you’re a fan of the show, as it won’t take you to any tourist destinations. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself in somewhat unsafe neighborhoods.
The following article contains numerous spoilers for the show, so we recommend only reading if you’ve seen the complete second season. As is often the case with TV shows, many of these locations appear in multiple episodes, so we’ll cover each location by where they first appear.
Episode One – “The Western Book of the Dead”
The season begins with Detective Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell, dropping his son off at school.
LOCATION: 2125 Lincoln Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
The Black Rose bar, where Ray frequently meets Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn, over the course of the series is located in Vernon. It is mostly seen from interior views in the show, but the building is not actually a bar. It is a private building closed to the public and it is unclear if the interiors were actually filmed here or elsewhere. The exterior is seen a few times in the show as well, however. Frank gives Ray info on who assaulted his ex-wife, leading Ray to seek revenge on the assailant.
LOCATION: 2465 E 53rd St, Vernon, CA 90058
The establishing shots of the fictional city of Vinci were shot around Vernon.
LOCATION: Seen from the parking lot behind 3666 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058
The casino where Frank works could be found in Gardena. The actual casino has since closed down.
LOCATION: 1045 Rosecrans Ave, Gardena, CA 90247
Detective Ani Bezzerides, played by Rachel McAdams, runs an eviction raid on this home, which is located in Santa Paula, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 593 Orcutt Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060
Ray’s house can be found in Vernon. It is located right next to City Hall, also seen in the show.
LOCATION: 4322 Furlong Pl, Vernon, CA 90058
Bezzerides follows a lead on a woman to the Panticapaeum Institute, a spiritual retreat run by her father. These scenes were filmed at Wayfarers Chapel in Ranchos Palos Verdes. The same location was featured in the 1980s comedy “Innerspace.”
LOCATION: 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Here are the stairs from which the detectives approach.
The chapel is a very scenic place to visit, offering views overlooking the ocean.
The California Highway Patrol Station where Highway Patrol officer Paul Woodrugh, played by Taylor Kitsch, works could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the film “Zodiac.” The building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250.
Ray parks outside of this apartment building, where he plans to attack the man he believes raped his ex-wife Gena.
LOCATION: 15464 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
The apartment where he stages the attack is located across the street.
LOCATION: 15445 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Ray visits this house at night, where a boy who has been bullying his son lives. Ray beats the boy’s father in front of him at the front door, as a warning to stop bullying.
LOCATION: 19825 Needles St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Bezzerides gets escorted out of a casino when she receives a call about a new case.
LOCATION: 6580 Auto Center Dr, Ventura, CA 93003
Woodrugh discovers the body of Ben Caspere sitting on a picnic table at Point Magu Rock, overlooking the ocean. Detectives Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides are called to the scene, where the three officers meet and the stage is set for the case. There are no picnic tables at the actual location, but it is a popular scenic overlook.
LOCATION: Point Magu Rock, 799 Pacific Coast Hwy, NAS Point Mugu, CA 93042
Episode Two – “Night Finds You”
Ray visits the city of Vinci, where he sees kids playing in the toxic water draining into this river channel. In the same area, he meets with Frank. The drainage hole was a visual effect added by the show.
LOCATION: Near 2715 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Woodrugh visits his mother at this trailer park.
LOCATION: 4456 Naval Air Rd, Oxnard, CA 93033
A brief transition shot is shown of these train tracks in Vinci.
LOCATION: Near 2552 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Ray visits this shopping plaza to see his son, but is instead greeted by his ex-wife Gena. Angry over Ray’s violent assault on the bully’s father, Gena tells him she will be petitioning for sole custody. The scene was filmed at the Northridge Mall. It’s a large place, so we’ve provided GPS coordinates below to the specific parking lot.
LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324 (GPS coordinates: 34.240655, -118.556896)
After some men attack a man on the street, Frank pretends to be a bystander, before threatening the man himself. This scene was filmed near the same freeway overpass seen in the films “Heat” and “Scarface.”
LOCATION: Near 749 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Ray and Bezzerides visit the clinic of Ben Caspere’s doctor. These scenes were filmed at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. The property regularly hosts weddings and special events. It is otherwise a private estate, only allowing guests by appointment. The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs. The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the TV series “Too Old To Die Young.”
LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063
Frank visits the mayor at the Vinci City Hall. The opposite side of the building is where Ray’s house can be found.
LOCATION: 4305 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058
Episode Three – “Maybe Tomorrow”
Bezzerides and Woodrugh visit the house of the mayor of Vinci, which can be found in Beverly Hills.
LOCATION: 1091 Laurel Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Ray and Bezzerides follow up on a lead when their car is set on fire under this freeway overpass.
LOCATION: 11502 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90061
Episode Four – “Down Will Come”
Woodrugh is unexpectedly confronted by the press in front of this hotel.
LOCATION: 7023 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Frank pays a visit to this apartment, where he informs the owner he is now 40% partner of the property. The apartment complex is seen from the interior courtyard in the show. The apartment next door was also featured in the film “Collateral.”
LOCATION: 1029 S Union Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Woodrugh’s girlfriend informs him she’s pregnant at this restaurant.
LOCATION: 2601 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058
Woodrugh locates a stolen watch at this pawn shop.
LOCATION: 5901 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
After Bezzerides find out she has a sexual misconduct complaint filed against her, she has an argument with her partner outside the police department. The same location was featured in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” This building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 333 N Prairie Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301.
The pawn shop lead brings the detectives to a suspect. While the cops are watching the area ahead of their raid, workers file into this building.
LOCATION: 615 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Protesters gather in front of this building.
LOCATION: 560 S Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Bezzerides and her team approach past this building to begin the raid.
LOCATION: 607 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023
A shootout ensues from this building, with a large explosion on the top floor.
LOCATION: 621 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Ray and Woodrugh make it through the gunfire over to this door at foot of the building.
They then cross these stairs in front in pursuit of the suspects in a vehicle.
The suspect vehicle then crashes into a bus at this intersection, where another shootout ensues.
LOCATION: Jesse St / S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023
Episode Five – “Other Lives”
Burdened by financial issues, Frank is forced to move into a more modest home.
LOCATION: 1400 N Spaulding Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Bezzerides meets the woman she ran a raid on in the first episode at this hotel. While speaking to her, she obtains information on a private party.
LOCATION: 401 S Westlake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Ray follows a group of prostitutes to a nondescript building. He parks in front of this building.
LOCATION: 1951 Staunton Ave, Vernon, CA 90058
He sees the prostitutes enter into this building.
LOCATION: 2001 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90058 (seen from E 20th St)
Frank has a business meeting, where a man offers him a deal to own some land again, if Frank can locate a hard drive owned by Ben Caspere. The location is next to Union Station and the establishing shot shows Union Station, then pans slightly toward the building to the right, where the meeting takes place.
LOCATION: 800 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, panning towards 700 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ray meets his ex-wife Gena at this scenic area overlooking Dodger Stadium and Downtown Los Angeles. His wife informs him her rapist was captured and it wasn’t the man Ray believed it was, therefore the information Ray had was incorrect. This area is the Elysian Park Helipad. There is parking nearby and a path that leads up directly to this area. It is not a difficult walk to reach it. This area is located close to where a dream sequence in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” was shot.
LOCATION: Elysian Park Helipad, Solano Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (GPS coordinates: 34.082766, -118.236997)
Bezzerides and Woodrugh follow a lead in the Caspere case to a lodge in the woods. Known as the Harwood Lodge, it can be fount in Mt. Baldy, about 50 miles away from Los Angeles. There is a dirt road that leads up to the lodge, which is sometimes best reached by walking, depending on weather conditions.
LOCATION: 6700 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759
Bezzerides notices birds circling in the air in the woods nearby, leading them to the discovery of another crime scene.
Episode Six – “Church in Ruins”
Frank and his crew arrive at this home in search of a prostitute. Instead, he finds out the home belongs to the Mexicans criminals seen previously in the show, when Frank refused to form a partnership with them. Frank now renegotiates.
LOCATION: 1521 Colton St, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (seen from Lake Shore Terrace)
After the Mexicans put Frank in touch with the woman he’s been searching for, he arranges to meet her at this location, only to discover her dead body there. The Mexicans have killed her as retribution against Frank for not accepting their initial terms.
LOCATION: 2901 Fruitland Ave, Vernon, CA 90058 (seen from E 50th St)
Episode Seven – “Black Maps and Motel Rooms”
After Ray and Woodrugh rescue Bezzerides from a party in which she was drugged and attacked, the three stay at this motel in Mt. Baldy, located not far from the cabin seen in episode six.
LOCATION: 6867 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759
Woodrugh searches police records at the LAPD building in Downtown Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 100 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Woodrugh goes to meet a man who is blackmailing him at the Hall of Records. It turns out to be a set-up.
LOCATION: 320 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (seen from N Hill St)
Woodrugh is shot at the steps of old Los Angeles Police Department in Downtown Los Angeles, which has since been demolished. The same building was featured in the film “Inherent Vice.”
LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (now demolished)
Episode Eight – “Omega Station”
Frank sends his wife Jordan, played by Kelly Reilly, away at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. The same location was featured in such films as “Rain Man” and “Memoirs of an Invisible Man.”
LOCATION: 1000 E Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Jordon refuses to leave until Frank finally persuades her.
Ray and Bezzerides enter this home and discover a lot of evidence about the case, as well as the fact that Laura and Leonard Osterman were behind the attack on Caspere.
LOCATION: 1000 El Mirador Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815
Bezzerides sends Laura Osterman away on a bus at this station. The real location is not a bus station at all, rather a boarding terminal for cruise ships in San Pedro.
LOCATION: 100 Swinford St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Frank makes his way to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center to meet the corrupt cops under the agreed plan of exchanging incriminating evidence in his possession.
LOCATION: 2626 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806
Ray makes his way to the upper level inside the building.
Leonard Osterman then attacks one of the men and a shootout begins.
Ray parks at this intersection to see his son one last time, only to discover a tracking device on his vehicle. The intersection really is located next to the school, seen in the first episode.
LOCATION: Lincoln Ave / Apple Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
The Mexican criminals kidnap Frank at this intersection.
LOCATION: E 16th St / Hooper Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
They proceed onto the freeway here.
LOCATION: E 17th St / Naomi Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Bezzerides escapes to what is supposedly Venezuela. In reality, the scenes were shot in Downtown Los Angeles, with a lot of set decoration and some visual effects to fill the city backdrop.
LOCATION: E 11th St / Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
There remain dozens more locations we did not document from the second season. Some are minor, others are major, but not easily visible for photography. Los Angeles is a constantly changing city and just a few short years later, several locations already no longer exist. We’ve tried to document as any as we could here. If you do plan to visit the season 2 filming locations, it requires a lot of time and distance, so do your research and allow yourself many days to navigate it all.
The 2003 sequel “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” much like the first two films, was shot mostly around Los Angeles, California. Early in the film, the advanced T-X, played by Kristanna Loken, is sent from the future, where she arrives nude in the middle of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. She walks past this shop.
LOCATION: 238 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The T-X passes a famous shopping center known as Two Rodeo, where she steals a car.
LOCATION: Intersection of Dayton Way / N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The T-X gets pulled over while supposedly still in Beverly Hills. In reality, this scene was filmed over in Culver City.
LOCATION: Intersection of Washington Blvd / Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (in front of 9600 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232)
Arnold Scharzenegger returns as the iconic Terminator. In a riff of the second film in the series, he once again arrives at a roadside bar and searches for clothes. The exterior shots were filmed at this location in Agua Dulce, which is used exclusively for filming purposes. The interiors were shot at the Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth (21635 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311).
LOCATION: 13800 Sierra Hwy, Agua Dulce, CA 91390
The T-X works her way through a hit list of victims, arriving at the drive thru of this burger restaurant near the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The same location also appeared in the Matthew McConaughey film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”
LOCATION: 1901 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
The mausoleum housing the grave of Sara Conner was filmed at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. The property is quite large and the exact spot can be difficult to find. The easiest solution is to search for the Whittier Heights Mausoleum. GPS may attempt to have you enter through Sycamore Canyon Rd from Workman Mill Rd at Gate 14. That entrance may or may not be open. Instead, you’ll likely need to enter just down the road through Gate 17, which has a guard post. A guard will approach and ask your purposes for visiting. Once inside, you can navigate to the mausoleum. The exact GPS coordinates are 34.007627, -118.053266.
LOCATION: Whittier Heights Mausoleum, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary, Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601 (GPS coordinates: 34.007627, -118.053266)
The history of The Manson Family and their victims is long and vast, scattered all across California and beyond, spanning through the heart of Hollywood, into the far reaches of the desert. We’ve previously we posted articles covering Spahn Ranch and Barker Ranch. Here we will take a look at many additional sites related to the history of The Family, in semi-chronological order. We do not endorse any of the crimes related to this subject matter. This article’s sole intention is to simply acknowledge the places where these events happened and show them as they stand today.
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who would become the second member of The Manson Family and one of the most devoted, did not get along with her father from a young age. Not far from LAX airport, you’ll find the childhood home of Lynette.
LOCATION: 6511 W 82nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Of particular interest is the lamp post in front of the home. On the cement in front of it, Lynette scrawled her name as a child, which remains there to this day. Eventually Lynette ran away from home, leading her to Venice Beach, where she met a recently paroled Charles Manson.
When released from Terminal Island in San Pedro in 1967, Charles Manson headed north to the Bay Area. He played guitar at the UC Berkeley campus, where he would meet Mary Brunner, the first member of the Manson Family. Here is the famous Sather Gate at the Berkeley campus.
LOCATION: Sather Gate, Sather Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720
Just inside the gate is the courtyard area where Manson played his guitar and met Brunner. Here are some views of what the general area looks like today.
Mason became a resident of the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Fransisco during the “Summer of Love” in 1967, renting an apartment unit in this building. It was in San Francisco that he also met future family member Susan “Sadie” Atkins.
LOCATION: 636 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Around this same period, Bobby Beausoleil, who would later become involved in the first of the Manson Family murders, was also in San Francisco. He posed for a famous photo on the front stairs of this house, which at the time was occupied by underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Anger filmed portions of his short film “Invocation of My Demon Brother” at the house, which featured Bobby Beausoleil and Anton LaVey, with music by Mick Jagger.
LOCATION: 1198 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Here are the stairs where Bobby posed for his photo. While serving his sentence for his murder conviction, Beausoleil later composed the score to Anger’s film “Lucifer Rising,” after a score by Jimmy Page was rejected. You can read a bit more about this home in our separate article about the Kenneth Anger House.
Eventually Manson would make his way back down to Southern California. Susan Atkins joined Manson in his trek south, along with other Family members. Sadie worked as a stripper at the Candy Cat One in Chatsworth, California. The Candy Cat remained open for decades until 2017, when it finally closed its doors. You can still see the faded letters where the sign once was.
LOCATION: 21625 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Just across the street from the former Candy Cat One is The Munch Box, a staple of the San Fernando Valley that has been in business since 1956. Charles Manson used to sit and eat at The Munch Box, waiting for Sadie to finish her work shifts. A market also once stood in this area, which was one of the spots the women of the Manson Family would go digging through the dumpsters, looking for discarded food.
LOCATION: 21532 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
There are conflicting stories about how Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys came to know The Manson Family. The most common story is that he picked up members Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey in 1968, who were hitchhiking, and brought them back to his place on Sunset Blvd. The story has been disputed, but what is known is that the Family began staying at Dennis Wilson’s home for a time. During this period, Wilson and Manson undertook some musical collaborations. Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” ended up being recorded under the name “Never Learn Not to Love” on The Beach Boys’ “20/20” album, though the sole songwriting credit went to Dennis Wilson.
Eventually the Family would overstay their welcome and Wilson split from them by selling the home. The house still stands, but it is fairly difficult to get a decent view. Fencing and trees surround the entire property along the street. Here is a view of the driveway gate.
LOCATION: 14400 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Here is a view within the property, when one of the gates was open.
Across the street on Will Rogers State Park Rd, the road goes up an incline, allowing for views over the fence. The trees still obscure most of the property though. It should be noted that parking is difficult here. Sunset Blvd is quite busy along this stretch and has no parking shoulder. You can go up Will Rogers State Park Rd, but the nearest parking area is at the top, meaning you’d have a long walk down and back up to return to your vehicle. Your best bet is to take one of the side roads in the vicinity, but many of them are private, so it can be tricky.
Here is a view of the horse stables at the property.
Both Charles Manson and Charles “Tex” Watson visited the famous Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood. Watson is said to have lived on the road just behind it for a time.
LOCATION: 8901 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Members of the Family attended parties at the house of Harold True on multiple occasions. This is Harold’s former house, which was located directly next door to Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
LOCATION: 3267 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Over in Beverly Hills is the original home of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, before they moved to Cielo Drive, where the fateful murders took place. It was here that they first met their maid, Winifred Chapman, who would continue working for them at the Cielo house and would have the unfortunate role of discovering the bodies the morning after the murders.
LOCATION: 1600 Summitridge Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Jay Sebring, another victim of the Manson Family, was a celebrity hair stylist prior to the murders who had connections all over Hollywood, including Warren Beatty and Bruce Lee. His hair salon could be found on Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles. The space remains a hair salon to this day, albeit under different ownership.
LOCATION: 725 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Sebring’s house could be found in Benedict Canyon, about a mile from Tate and Polanski’s house on Cielo.
LOCATION: 9860 Easton Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
In early 1969, Charles Manson rented a house in Canoga Park, where members of The Family stayed with him. They called the house the “Yellow Submarine,” due to its paint color. By this time, Manson had already discovered Spahn Ranch, but he felt it was too disorganized for musical recording and wanted to use the home as a studio. The Family’s time there would be brief and the house was eventually demolished. Today, an apartment complex stands in its place.
LOCATION: 21019 Gresham St, Canoga Park, CA 91304
The most well-known home of The Manson Family was of course Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, California. This is where the murders were ordered. You can read much more detail about the history of Spahn Ranch in our article here.
LOCATION: Formerly 1200 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311 (now defunct), nearest present address is 22601 Santa Susana Pass Rd., Chatsworth, CA 91311
The events that set the stage for the Tate-LaBianca murders really kicked into full motion in 1969 with the shooting of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe. Crowe had agreed to a drug deal with Charles “Tex” Watson, who burned him and kept the money. An angry Crowe called Spahn Ranch and asked for Charles. The name mix-up put him on the phone with Charles Manson, rather than Watson. Crowe threatened to harm Watson’s girlfriend if the situation wasn’t fixed, so Manson headed to his apartment in the middle of Hollywood. There things escalated and Manson ended up shooting Lotsapoppa. Leaving under the belief he had killed Crowe, when Manson watched the news, he saw reports of a murdered member of the Black Panther party. Crowe had in fact survived the shooting and was not a member of the Panthers. However, Manson erroneously believed he was on the hook for murder and that the Panthers would soon visit Spahn Ranch seeking retaliation. Manson also believed that Watson owed him big for having taken care of his situation.
The apartment where Lotsapoppa was shot has long since been demolished. It is now a parking lot for the famous Magic Castle.
LOCATION: 7001 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
More trouble would soon come when Gary Hinman set up a drug deal with a biker gang through Bobby Beausoleil. While Beausoleil denies ever being a member of the Manson Family, he held many ties with them. After the bikers claimed the drugs were bad, they demanded their money back from Beausoleil. Beausoleil went to the house of Gary Hinman, along with Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins and held Hinman captive. Believing he had received a large inheritance, they demanded money from him. Hinman denied having money and also disputed that the drugs were bad. Eventually Charles Manson would visit the house as well, slicing Hinman with a sword.
Bobby Beausoleil would then murder Gary Hinman, with words written in blood on the walls, in an attempt to make it look like a crime committed by the Black Panthers. Not long after, Beausoleil was found asleep in Hinman’s car and charged with murder. Here is the former Hinman house, which has since been remodeled and is obscured by trees and shrubs. There used to be stairs leading up to the house, which have also since been removed.
LOCATION: 964 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga, CA 90290
With Beausoleil arrested for murder, the events fell into place for the first night of the Tate-LaBianca murders. Many members of the Family have claimed the murders were intended to appear as copycat crimes, to make it appear as if Hinman’s killer was still on the loose, thus resulting in Beausoleil’s release. Others have disputed this motive, however.
Steven Parent lived at this house in El Monte, California. Parent had the misfortune of trying to sell William Garretson a clock radio on the night of the murders on August 8, 1969. Garretson was staying in a guest house at the Tate residence when Parent paid him a visit. As Parent was leaving, he encountered Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian. Watson shot and killed Parent in his car in the driveway.
LOCATION: 11214 Bryant Rd, El Monte, CA 91731
Earlier the same night, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski had dinner at the El Coyote restaurant. The Mexican restaurant was a favorite of Tate’s. It would unfortunately turn out to be their final meal.
LOCATION: 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Here is a view of the front entrance of El Coyote, which remains in business to this day.
This is alleged to be the table where the group ate their dinner.
This is the entrance to the private road of Cielo Drive. Much of Cielo is actually a public road. It is only the portion leading up to the houses that is marked private. It is at the foot of the private road where the killers parked their car, heading up the rest of the way on foot in darkness.
LOCATION: Formerly 10500 Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (now defunct), changed to 10066 Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
While that portion of Cielo Drive is private, the road directly across the street, Bella Drive, is not. It too goes up an incline and from the top you get a clear view of all the homes along Ceilo Dr. The house furthest to the left in front of the city skyline is where the Tate/Polanki residence once stood. The killers’ original plan was to murder the occupants of every house along the block. The Tate murders proved more difficult than they had anticipated, however, so they abandoned plans to enter the other homes. While neighbors did hear sounds the night of the murders, the canyons echoed sounds and it was difficult to place where the noises came from.
LOCATION: Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, as seen from 1436 Bella Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Here is a better view of where the Tate/Polanski home once stood, taken from Beverly View Drive. The home has since been demolished and a mansion belonging to “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin stands in it’s place.
After the murders, the killers traveled about 1.5 miles up Benedict Canyon Drive and stopped at this home on Portola Drive. Here they used a hose to wash off the victims’ blood. However, the homeowner discovered them and wrote down their license plate, which would become a heavily incriminating piece of evidence during the murder trials.
LOCATION: 9870 Portola Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The killers then made their way further up Benedict Canyon. They pulled over to this section of the road, across the street from 2901 Benedict Canyon, where they tossed the clothes they wore during the murders. In 1969, this area was a wide shoulder where cars could pull over. Now a guard rail blocks it, but there is still a strip of land there with enough space to fit a car. Based on descriptions later provided by Susan Atkins, which described the area as mountain on one side and a ravine on the other, a local news station recreated the drive from Cielo, traveling at a moderate speed and changing their clothes. When they finished, they pulled over to the nearest shoulder they could find, leading them to the precise location where the clothes were tossed.
LOCATION: 2901 Benedict Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Here’s another view of the area.
Upon making the discovery, the reporter headed across the street to notify the police.
The killers then made their way over to Beverly Glen Blvd, where they tossed the gun. They believed this area to be an empty canyon where the weapon would not likely be recovered. From the road above, this is the view they would have seen. It was not an empty canyon, however. At the bottom of the hill was a neighborhood and the gun was tossed into one of the back yards.
LOCATION: Beverly Glen Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (near 3627 Longview Valley Rd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423)
This is the home where the gun was discovered.
LOCATION: 3627 Longview Valley Rd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Here you can see a view of Beverly Glen Blvd in the distance, where the gun was tossed as the killers passed.
Not content with one night of murders or with how they were carried out, Charles Manson decided to accompany the group for a second night of killings. After roaming around in search of a suitable site, they made their way over to the neighborhood of Harold True and eventually selected the house next door, belonging to Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. The group consisted of Manson, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, and Steve “Clem” Grogan. Manson entered the LaBianca house and tied up the victims, telling them they were only there to rob the place and would not be harmed.
He then returned to the car with Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet and sent Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten in to do the killings. He told them to hitchhike back to Spahn Ranch and he would take the remaining group out to perform a different set of murders. Here is what the LaBianca house looks like today. A gate and garage have been added and trees planted to obscure the view. Much like the Cielo house, the address was also slightly changed.
LOCATION: Formerly 3301 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, changed to 3311 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Manson then took the second group to this gas station in Sylmar and had Linda Kasabian dispose of Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet in the restroom. Here is the side of the building where the restroom once was. During the trial, the prosecution alleged that this gas station was chosen in a predominantly black area, as to implicate black killers and bring about a race war called “Helter Skelter.” One of the few blows against the “Helter Skelter” motive came when the defense noted that Sylmar was not a predominantly black area.
LOCATION: 12881 Encinitas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
Manson then walked over to this Denny’s and ordered a chocolate shake. The Denny’s still stands there today.
LOCATION: 12861 Encinitas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
Manson, Grogan, Kasabian and Atkins then went to this apartment building on Venice Beach, looking to commit the next murder. They came here because Kasabian remembered a resident there she disliked. After knocking on a door and failing to find the correct apartment unit, which Kasabian later claimed to have done intentionally to avoid more killings, the group abandoned plans to commit murder here. Upon making their way down the stairwell to exit, Susan Atkis deficated in the building before leaving.
LOCATION: 1011 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
The morning after the LaBianca murders, the family arrived at the house. Noticing some unusual activity; the fact that the LaBianca’s boat had been left out and the curtains were drawn closed, they went across the street to phone the police.
LOCATION: 3306 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
In the wake of the murders, The Manson Family fled to Barker Ranch in Death Valley. It was here that Charles Manson was eventually captured. You can read our article about Barker Ranch here.
LOCATION: Just off of Goler Wash Rd, Death Valley National Park, Panamint, CA 93592 (easiest access is via Ballarat, CA, GPS coordinates: 35°51′34.57″N 117°5′18.76″W)
While at the Sybil Brand Institute, Susan Atkins confessed to a cell mate named Virginia Graham about the Tate Murders. Graham in turn shared what Atkins had told her with homocide detectives, which eventually helped lead to the indictment of Charles Manson. The prison shut down in 1997, but today the grounds are still owned by the Los Angeles sherrif’s office, where it is used by warehouse companies and for filming purposes. Walking the grounds, however, it still very much feels like a prison.
LOCATION: 4500 City Terrace Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90063
The trial for the Tate/LaBianca murders was held at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 211 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members of the Manson Family who were not incarcerated sat at this corner on Broadway and Temple, speaking with media throughout the duration of the trail. After Manson shaved his head and carved an X into his forehead, the members followed suit.
LOCATION: Intersection of N Broadway / W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
After Manson was convicted and sent to Folsom Prison, Family members Sandra Good and Lynette Fromme moved into the attic unit of this house in Sacramento, in order to be nearer to him.
LOCATION: 1725 P St, Sacramento, CA 95811
There used to be an outdoor starcase on the side of the house leading to the attic unit, which has since been removed.
Over at the Historic Sacramento City Cemetery, a famous photo of Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good wearing robes was taken for a German magazine at this grave plot. The gravestone is marked Heintz at plot B83 276. It actually sits very near the entrance at the intersection of Broadway and Ninth St. From there it can be found 2 plots forward, 4 plots to the left.
LOCATION: 1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818
On September 5, 1975, Lynette Fromme left her house on P Street dressed in a red robe and came to the California State Capitol building in Sacramento. She stood at this tree and aimed a gun at then President Gerald Ford, who was walking past. Secret Service members immediately subdued her with no shots fired. For her crime, she served 34 years in prison before being paroled in 2009. The easiest way to reach the tree where the incident happened is from the intersection of 12th St and L St. Ford was leaving the Senator Hotel and crossed that intersection, heading for the California State Capitol building.
LOCATION: 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814
The final tenant of the original Cielo Drive residence before it was demolished was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. When Trent relocated from Los Angeles to New Orleans, he took with him one piece of the Cielo property; the infamous door that had “Pig” scrawled in Sharon Tate’s blood by Susan Atkins. Trent purchased this former funeral home in New Orleans in 1995 and converted it into a recording studio. He had the Cielo door installed as the front entrance to the studio. Trent would eventually relocate back to Los Angeles in 2004, this time leaving the Cielo door behind for good. The building stood vacant until 2010, when it was purchased by a surgeon looking to convert the property into a retail area. It has since been remodeled beyond recognition, but we managed to visit back when the original building still stood.
LOCATION: 4500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Here is the Cielo door at the front entrance to the former studio on Magazine Street, where it sat behind a steel gate. The door remained until around 2012, when the building was completely remodeled. The door was preserved and sold to a private collector named Christopher Moore, who currently owns it.
After Charles Manson died in 2017, his funeral was quitly held in Porterville, Califonia and his ashes were spread in a nearby, undisclosed location.
LOCATION: 765 W Henderson Ave, Porterville, CA 93257
Here is the back of the funeral home.
There are countless more locations related to these events, which we have not covered. There are also many books that dive much deeper into the subject. We simply aimed to present a visual timeline of one of the most infamous crimes in American history. It is a fascinating, tragic story. It was very real and these are the places where it all unfolded.
The original version of “The Bad News Bears” shot at Mason Park in Chatsworth, California. The field was mostly unchanged for the production, with the biggest addition being a fence. The field still exists today, though it has been heavily remodeled. Curiously, there isn’t even so much as a sign denoting the field’s connection with the film. You would think the parks and recreation would better embrace their history.
Los Angeles appears to better acknowledge their film history. There is a field in the city actually named The Bad News Bears Field (1411 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025). While no filming took place at the L.A. field, it also has a connection with the film. Screenwriter Bill Lancaster enrolled his son in little league at the field. He drew upon the experiences as the basis for the film’s screenplay.
Below is a photo of the Chatsworth field, where the film was shot. Note that there are two baseball fields at the park. The one used in the film is the one nearest to Mason Ave, not the one near Fullbright Ave. The field also appeared in parts of the sequel “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.”
While once used a movie set, Spahn Ranch is mostly remembered for it’s notorious connections with the Manson Family during the late 1960s. It’s a unique and significant part of Californian and American history and we wanted to show it as it is today.
Located in Chatsworth, CA, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles near Simi Valley, you’ll find nothing more than empty land there these days. The property is currently part of Santa Susana State Historic Park, which is owned by the state of California and open to the public. Today, many joggers and bicyclists enjoy the scenic pass. This is what the land currently looks like.
Here is the same area, as seen from Santa Susana Pass.
The property was once located at 1200 Santa Susana Pass Road, but that address has long since been retired. Today, the location is most commonly identified by the large, rocky hill in the background. There is a private road, which starts at a nearby gated entrance and runs behind the former ranch, along the foot of the rocky hill, which is not state property or open to the public. That land belongs to the Rocky Peak Church, which also owns the land across the street. As long as you do not go on the private road or up the rocky hill, the rest of the land, which includes the full area in which the ranch stood, is part of the state park and you are welcome to access it. There is additional land down a steep embankment, which is not visible from the road, which is also part of the state park.
Another way to quickly spot the land is the Santa Susana State Park sign, which is located almost immediately in front of the former ranch. If you’re looking to get there by using an address, the closest would be that of the Rocky Peak Church in Chatsworth.
LOCATION: *Formerly 1200 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311 (now defunct), nearest present address is 22601 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311
If you visit the park, be sure to avoid parking anywhere on Santa Susana Pass, which has moderate to frequent traffic and does not allow parking. Instead, parking is available nearby on Iverson Road. You’ll see a large parking lot on the left on Iverson, which is property of the church and not available for public use. Parking on the right shoulder of Iverson Road, however, is permissible and available to the public.
Before we get into what can be seen there today, we’ll first discuss the history of the land. Santa Susana Pass began as a transportation trail between the settlements of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. By the 1860s, the trail had been expanded for the use of stage coaches. In 1897, a settler by the name of James Williams staked his claim to a section the land, part of which would eventually become Spahn Ranch. Silent film actor William S. Hart later bought the land and started using it to stable his horses, as well as using the ranch for movie productions. In 1948, the land was purchased by George Spahn. Spahn looked to continue to utilize the property as a movie and TV location and further developed the buildings, adding prop storefront signs, such as the “Longhorn Saloon” and the “Rock City Cafe.” Television series such as “Bonanza,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Zorro” all filmed at the ranch.
With the steady decline of the western genre, by the late 1960s, productions at the ranch had likewise diminished, with mostly low-budget, exploitation flicks filming there. Spahn began using the property primarily for families to take horseback rides around the nearby trails. He also staffed a ranch crew and a variety of mechanics for repairing cars (which included future Manson Family member Steve “Clem” Grogan). By 1967, the ranch had fallen into a state of disrepair. Manson Family member Sandra Good knew some of the mechanics at Spahn Ranch and would occasionally visit the property, eventually bringing Charles Manson with her during one of these visits. Manson immediately liked the site, due to it’s isolation, while still remaining adjacent to the greater population of Los Angeles County (the land is much closer to the freeways than you might expect).
By the time the Manson Family arrived at the ranch, George Spahn was 80 years old and blind. With his property in disrepair, Manson offered to have his group maintain the ranch, in exchange for free living quarters, which Spahn accepted. The Family then stole cars and would convert them into dune buggies, intending to take them to their other hideaway, Barker Ranch in Death Valley. Some of the cars are actually still located near Spahn Ranch, a bit further down Santa Susana Pass, where they were pushed down a steep canyon after they’d been stripped for materials.
In the summer of 1969, things reached a fever pitch at Spahn Ranch. The first significant step towards the Tate / LaBianca murders came when Manson Family member Charles “Tex” Watson arranged a drug deal with a pimp in Hollywood, only to rip him off. The pimp, known as Lotsapapa, called Spahn Ranch looking for “Tex,” but instead was put on the phone with Charles Manson, who was unaware of the situation up to that point. Lotsapapa threatened the Family and Watson’s girlfriend, which prompted Charles Manson to visit him in Hollywood, in an attempt to cool the situation. However, the situation instead escalated at the meeting, with Manson ultimately shooting Lotsapapa. Although Lotsapapa survived, Manson believed at the time that he had murdered him. After seeing news on the TV of an unrelated murder of a member of the Black Panther party, Manson mistakenly believed this to be Lotsapapa. Expecting retaliation from the Black Panthers, the Manson Family entered into a heightened state of paranoia and prepared for war at Spahn Ranch.
The next blow came when Bobby Beasoleil, a friend of the Family, murdered Gary Hinman. Bobby had sold some drugs to local bikers, who in turn claimed the drugs were bad and demanded their money back. Bobby had gotten the drugs from Gary Hinman, who insisted the bikers were lying and the drugs were good. With Bobby demanding money and Hinman refusing, the situation escalated, with members of the Family holding Hinman hostage in his house. Charles Manson paid a visit and threatened Hinman, slicing him with a sword. With other members of the Family present, Bobby Beasoleil eventually murdered Hinman. Soon after, Beasoleil was captured and arrested, which sent an already volatile Manson into further anger.
Just after the Beasoleil arrest, Manson Family members Sandra Good and Mary Brunner were also arrested for credit card fraud, after attempting to use stolen credit cards at a grocery store. With dead bodies accumulating, members of the Manson Family in jail and Manson himself believing he was a murderer and that others would soon come for them, be it the Panthers, police or others, Manson became enraged and ordered the first night of murders, which became the Tate murders. The women had suggested the murders be done to look like a copycat of the Hinman murder. Believing the women would not successfully carry out plans by themselves, Manson ordered Charles “Tex” Watson to lead them, insisting Watson owed him for Lotsapopa. It was at Spahn Ranch the murders were ordered and it was there the killers returned after the slayings.
Unhappy with the first night of murders, which Manson felt were not well-executed, he ordered a second night of random killings and went out himself, to show the others how its done. This lead to the LaBianca murders, although after he tied up the victims himself, Manson would leave back to Spahn Ranch, ordering the others to handle the killings instead.
Soon after, Spahn Ranch was raided by police, but not for the murders, which the police hadn’t yet connected to the Family. Instead it was for a car theft ring. Manson and others were all arrested at Spahn Ranch. However, all charges were later dropped after a clerical error on the date on the police warrant invalidated their raid and arrests. The Family then fled to Barker Ranch in Death Valley, where they were ultimately captured.
From here, we will cover a bit of what can be seen at the land today. First up is a view of the land where the ranch buildings used to stand. The entire area is much smaller than most people might expect. You can see the tree tops here, stemming up from the lower embankment, behind where the buildings once stood.
Here is a reverse view towards the street of Santa Susana Pass. The view of the road is obscured by overgrowth. It was towards the left where Manson Family member Susan Atkins posed barefoot on her toes in a pair of bell-bottom jeans, standing in the driveway near the mailbox at Spahn Ranch, for a well-known photograph. The famous photographs of the ranch itself were also taken from atop those rocks across the street.
Towards the left side of the land (right if you’re facing the road) was the last remaining artifact of the original ranch. A wildfire in 1970 burnt down all of the buildings, but remnants of the telephone pole survived the fires and it stood for decades, albeit somewhat hidden in the brush. We managed to capture it while it was still there, but as of 2021, it was taken by unknown persons and no longer stands at the grounds.
On the right side of where the ranch stood, you’ll find a trail, which leads down the embankment to the area behind the ranch. Be sure to wear proper clothing if you visit, as there is a lot of poison oak in the area, as well as possible rattlesnakes. Just keep a keen eye as you walk and these things can be avoided. As you make your way towards the lower area, you’ll come across this open area, where the 1969 exploitation film “The Ramrodder” shot scenes. The cast of the film included Bobby Beausoleil, as well as Manson Family member Catherine “Gypsy” Share.
Once you’ve reached the bottom of the lower embankment, the first thing you’ll see on your left is the location of the most famous photo of the Manson Family. Several Family members gathered under this small cave rock for a photograph for Life Magazine. As you see in the photo, the cave occasionally gets tagged with graffiti, but park rangers are usually quick to clean it off.
Just ahead on the right, you’ll see another location where members of the Family posed for Life Magazine, between these two trees, where a hammock was draped.
Charles Manson used to sit and play guitar on the large rock seen in the next photo. The rock has since been partially destroyed. It was here that Manson performed his audition for Terry Melcher.
There are many trees throughout the lower area, which are littered with bullet holes, where Charles “Tex” Watson and Charles Manson practiced firing guns.
There are, of course, many more sights to be found here, the deeper you dig into the history of the place. Countless books have been written about it. Our intention here is not a comprehensive breakdown, rather a broad overview. If you’d like to see footage of the ranch from when the Manson Family lived there, we recommend the Robert Hendrickson documentary “Manson,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as his sister documentary, “Inside the Manson Gang,” which is mostly comprised of unused footage from the first film. If you’re considering a visit to the area, just be prepared by dressing appropriately and bringing plenty of water. You’ll find it mostly calm and quiet today, but there is obviously a great deal of infamy surrounding the area, so its not for everyone. We simply aim to acknowledge what happened here and show it as it is.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 romantic drama, like many of his films, was shot largely around the Valley, north of Los Angeles, where the filmmaker grew up. However, some key sequences also took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The film begins at Eckhart Auto Body in Chatsworth, CA, where Barry, played by Adam Sandler, houses his offices. The owners are very friendly to fans of the film, so don’t hesitate to approach them if you visit.
LOCATION: 10101 Canoga Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311
The view when Lena, played by Emily Watson, approaches and introduces herself.
Standing at the driveway, looking to your left out onto Canoga Ave., you’ll see the spot where the car crashes at the beginning of the film.
At the driveway entrance is where the harpsichord is dropped off.
The location immortalized on the movie poster is far away from Southern California, on the beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is where Adam Sandler and Emily Watson embrace for their kiss, with the backdrop of Waikiki behind them. Despite being a fairly upscale resort, access to the lobby is easily available to the general public. If you’re coming from Kalakaua Ave., the hotel is behind a large shopping plaza and housed on the beaches, right next to the Sheraton. Entry from the beach is also possible. Just make your way to the Mai Tai Bar of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (same address as the hotel itself, only facing on the beach), which is where Barry and Lena enjoy a meal together in the film, with the band singing and the beautiful Diamond Head peak in the background at sunset. From there you can easily see and enter the hotel lobby where the pair kiss. There is no band performing at the real beach restaurant, in case you had your hopes up for that. It was added by the production.
LOCATION: Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 2259 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815
Back in California, Barry and Lana have dinner at this table at Le Petit Chateau in North Hollywood, which has unfortunately since permanently closed. However, we were able to visit while it was still open. The specific table could be found through the main entrance, on the opposite side of the wall. There was a painting and plaque on the wall above the center of the table.
LOCATION: Le Petit Chateau, 4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Barry excuses himself to the bathroom, where he quickly proceeds to destroy it, after Lana repeats an embarrassing story about him that his sister told her. The scene really was filmed inside the actual restaurant’s bathroom, which has changed only slightly since filming.
Barry is confronted by a staff member here and subsequently gets kicked out of the restaurant for destroying their bathroom.
Barry and Lana make their way out of the restaurant through this entrance way.
The couple then walks out of the restaurant, which is seen in a night shot.
Elsewhere in the the Valley, in Sherman Oaks, you’ll find Barry’s apartment.
LOCATION: 14926 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks 91403
The reverse view out onto Moorpark St. is where Philip Seymour Hoffman’s thugs crash into Barry and Lana’s car.
Near the end of the film, Barry supposedly travels to Utah to confront Dean Trumbell at his mattress store. The real building can be found in Pamona.
LOCATION: 390 W Foothill Blvd, Pomona, CA 91767
Last, but not least, we leave you with a quick shot of Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler discussing the film.