The 1992 erotic thriller “Basic Instinct,” starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, was primarily filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area. The opening murder scene takes place at this home in San Francisco, which was under renovation at the time of our visit.
LOCATION: 2104 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94115
Catherine Tramell, played by Sharon Stone, lives at this house, also located in San Francisco.
LOCATION: 2930 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Detectives are told Catherine is at her beach house, which can be found in Carmel-By-The-Sea, a small beach town near Monterey. Detective Nick Curran, played by Michael Douglas, is seen arriving at this front gate. A wall obscures most of the view of the home.
LOCATION: 157 Spindrift Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
You can in fact see a small portion of the home over the wall, but it’s not much. The same home appeared in the TV show “Big Little Lies.”
Nick’s apartment can be found back in San Francisco. While now painted another color, the property for the most part still looks similar to how it appeared in the film.
LOCATION: 1160 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133
In one scene, Catherine waits for Nick at his home and the two talk in this area, at the corner of Montgomery St and Green St.
In the opening of the 1992 comedy “Sister Act,” a flashback scene is shown at “Saint Anne’s Academy” in 1968. A young Deloris, Goldberg’s character, is seen misbehaving in a Catholic school. The building can be found in Reno, Nevada.
LOCATION: 310 W 2nd St, Reno, NV 89503
An adult Deloris is now a singer in Reno, Nevada. Early in the film, the famous Reno Arch is prominently featured.
LOCATION: 155 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501
After witnessing a murder, Deloris goes to a police station. They agree to put her under witness protection until she can testify in court.
LOCATION: 50 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501
The exterior of the church where Deloris becomes a nun is the St Paul’s Catholic Church, which can be found in San Francisco.
The 2007 Farrelly Brothers comedy “The Heartbreak Kid” was filmed in both Northern and Southern California, as well as in Mexico. The opening shot of the film takes place on the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
LOCATION: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
Eddie, played by Ben Stiller, has pie with Lila, played by Malin Akerman. The interiors were filmed at the former Quality Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles. The cafe was a one-time staple of films, appearing in “Seven,” “Training Day,” “Ghost World,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Another Day In Paradise,” “(500) Days Of Summer” “Million Dollar Baby,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and dozens more. However, it was not an actual restaurant open to the public. Instead it was used solely for filming (much like Johnie’s Coffee Shop in mid-town L.A.). Unless the building was being set up for a production, most of the time it was closed up and locked by a large metal door covering the front windows. So catching a glimpse of it was rare. Sadly, it ceased to function as a filming location and was completely renovated in 2014. The interior of the property no longer bears any resemblance inside to how it appeared in so many films.
LOCATION: 1238 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (since closed and remodeled)
Late in the film, Eddie sneaks back into the United States from Mexico, in search of Miranda, played by Michelle Monaghan. He visits her parents’ house, supposedly located in Mississippi. The real home can be found in Pasadena.
LOCATION: 1480 N Michigan Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104
Eddie then finds Miranda’s house, also supposedly located in Mississippi but actually found in Pasadena.
LOCATION: 939 N Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104
The filming angles were clearly chosen as to avoid showing the mountains and palm trees in the distance.
The 2007 David Fincher film “Zodiac” is primarily set in the San Francisco Bay area. However, production was split between Northern and Southern California, with quite a few scenes shot in the Greater Los Angeles area. The opening scenes show a young Mike Mageau, played by Lee Norris, being picked up for a date by Darlene Ferrine, played by Ciara Moriarty on July 4, 1969. While set in Vallejo, California, the scene was actually filmed in Long Beach. The camera rolls past a series of houses on Gundry Ave, beginning around 3938 Gundry Ave and stopping five houses down at Mike’s place.
LOCATION: 3964 Gundry Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807
The couple drives to this diner, also located in Long Beach, where Darlene says it’s too crowded and decides to go some place quiet. The same diner has also appeared in the films “Corrina, Corrina,” “The Real McCoy” and “A Cinderella Story.”
LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807
Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, lives in a house that is only seen from interior views in the film. However, a couple shots help pinpoint the neighborhood to Angelino Heights in Los Angeles. For example, the street outside of his home can be seen here when he takes his son to school early in the film.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 1406 Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026)
Robert drops his son off at for school at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco (460 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118).
Robert works as a cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle. For exterior shots, the real newspaper building was used.
LOCATION: 901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Interiors for the San Francisco Chronicle were filmed at the old United States Post Office – Los Angeles Terminal Annex in Downtown Los Angeles. The building has also been used in such films as “City of Angels” and “Dear God,” as well as such TV shows as “Southland,” “EZ Streets” and “No Ordinary Family.”
LOCATION: 900 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Zodiac kills a taxi driver at the corner of Washington and Cherry in San Francisco. This film shot at the real location where the murder took place, however their access was limited, as the neighborhood did not want the production there or the attention it would draw. The location is revisited several times in the film, as the characters hope the killer might return to the site on the anniversary of his crimes. For the night scenes, the Presidio Heights neighborhood was actually recreated on a studio lot at the former Downey Studios (12214 Lakewood Blvd, Downey, CA 90242), with blue screens used to add further backgrounds to the practical sets. Downey Studios has since been demolished.
LOCATION: 3893 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Robert stops his son from getting on the school bus at this location. This is again in the Angelino Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from the spot where he drives his son to school early in the film.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 908 Douglas St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)
Detectives visit the house of Melvin Belli, played by Brian Cox, after the Zodiac writes him a letter. Later in the film, Robert also visits the home. Belli’s house is located in Hancock Park at Fremont Place, which is one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles and therefore inaccessible to the public. A popular filming location, many productions have shot inside Fremont Place, such as “Taken,” “The War Of The Roses” and “Rocky III.” Fincher himself returned to the same neighborhood for “Gone Girl,” where the house of Desi Collings can also be found.
LOCATION: 72 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr., has an argument with Inspector David Toschi, played by Mark Ruffalo, outside of the Riverside Police Department. The building used in the scene is actually located in Culver City. The same location was also featured in the film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”
LOCATION: 4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
Toschi shares a sandwhich with his partner William Armstrong, played by Anthony Edwards, at the former Callahan’s Diner in Santa Monica. The location actually appears in three separate scenes in the film, with the latter two featuring Toschi meeting with Robert. According to information online, some shots were done on a set. Callahan’s Diner, formerly located at 1213 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, has long since closed and a different restaurant now operates there.
A time lapse is shown of the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid building. This was of course a CGI creation.
LOCATION: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Toschi catches a screening of “Dirty Harry,” where he is unimpressed with the depiction of the Zodiac inspired villain “Scorpio.” The exterior of the building still exists (295 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133). However, the interior scenes were filmed at the former National Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles, which was demolished in 2008. Here is the area where it formerly stood.
LOCATION: 10925 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The Golden Gate Bridge is briefly seen in a transition shot when Robert makes his way to the Vallejo Police Department. The bridge is one of the most often seen locations in film, having appeared in “Vertigo,” “The Rock,” “Pacific Rim,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Superman: The Movie,” “San Andreas,” “A View To A Kill,” “Dirty Harry,” “Hulk,” “Lords Of Dogtown,” “The Bridge” and many more.
LOCATION: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
The Vallejo Police Department, where Robert obtains more information on the case, could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the second season of “True Detective.” The building has since been demolished. Here is the area where it formerly stood.
LOCATION: 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (now demolished)
Robert meets up with Toschi at the Wilshire Collonade to tell him about the progress of his own personal investigation. Toschi encourages Robert to keep investigating and directs him to seek out Melvin Belli. The same location was featured in numerous films, such as “Wrath Of Man,” “Stealing Harvard” and “Earthquake,” as well as such TV series as “Californication,” “American Crime Story: Impeachment” and more.
LOCATION: 3701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Robert calls Toschi from a payphone in front of San Francisco City Hall, following a lead on Zodiac’s birthday.
LOCATION: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102
Robert approaches Inspector Toschi again at the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco, seeking more information on the case. Toschi lets Robert know the case is unlikely to ever be solved at that point and tells him to not disturb him anymore.
LOCATION: 350 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102
The building is located next to City Hall, which can once again be seen in the background of some shots.
Robert is picked up by Bob Vaughn in front of the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro. The same theater also appeared in many other films, including “Pearl Harbor,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Seabiscut,” “Remote Control,” “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton,” “Ghosts Of Mississippi,” “Boys And Girls,” “Live By Night,” “Worth Winning,” “Mark Of Love,” “Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here” and “From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks.” It has also appeared in such television series as “The O.C.,” “Party Of Five,” “Melrose Place,” “T.J.Hooker,” “7th Heaven” and “Cousin Skeeter.”
LOCATION: 478 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Near the end of the film, Robert tracks down a suspect he believes may be the Zodiac working inside this hardware store in South Gate. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 3948 Tweedy Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280
In the closing scenes of the film, an older Mike Mageau is brought in at the Ontario Airport to look at photos of potential suspects. The airport has appeared in many other films, including “Catch Me If You Can,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Blow,” “Argo” and more.
Much like the original “Ant-Man,” the 2018 sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp” divided filming between Georgia and San Francisco, California. The house of Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, once again pops up, located not far from the famous Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
LOCATION: 601 Buena Vista Ave W, San Francisco, CA 94117
Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd, lives under house arrest at this home, where he spends time with his daughter.
LOCATION: 1400 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Scott, Hank and Hope visit Dr. Bill Foster, played by Laurence Fishburne, passing through the famous Sather Gate at the UC Berkeley campus.
LOCATION: Sather Gate, Sather Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720
Later in the film, an action sequence takes place on Lombard St, a popular tourist destination due to it’s winding, downhill curves. The famous stretch runs between Hyde St and Leavenworth St.
LOCATION: Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (between Hyde St and Leavenworth St)
Near the end of the film, Scott once again visits the house of his ex-wife Maggie, played by Judy Greer. Maggie’s house is located in Atlanta.
The 2005 film “Lords of Dogtown” is set in the Dogtown area of Santa Monica during the 1970s. However, the film shot at a variety of different locations around Southern California. Early in the film, the boys are shown waking up early and making their way out to the beach to surf. Stacy Peralta, played by John Robinson, is seen climbing out his window with a surfboard in the early AM hours. Stacy’s house can be found in San Pedro.
LOCATION: 334 W 17th St, Los Angeles, CA 90731
Stacy’s house is mostly seen in close-ups or shots facing the opposite direction.
Jay Adams, played by Emile Hirsch, lives at this house in San Pedro. He is seen skating off the garage roof a couple times in the film. The property seen in the film sits along a back alley behind W 12th St. We’ve provided the GPS coordinates below.
LOCATION: Rear alley behind 565 W 12th St, San Pedro, CA 90731 (GPS coordinates: 33°43’58.4″N, 118°17’21.8″W)
Jay is then seen skateboarding along Speedway in Venice.
LOCATION: Dudley Ave / Speedway, Los Angeles, CA 90291
Tony Alva, played by Victor Rasuk, lives in this home, also located in San Pedro.
LOCATION: 538 W Santa Cruz St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Later in the film, the kids are seen skating in the alley directly behind Tony’s house as they prepare for their first skateboard competition.
LOCATION: Alley near 566 W Santa Cruz St, San Pedro, CA 90731 (GPS coordinates: 33°44’40.8″N, 118°17’22.0″W)
The filmmakers recreated the legendary Zephyr shop in San Pedro. The original building where the real shop was located is in Santa Monica (2003 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405), but it was not used in the film.
LOCATION: 157 N Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Jay, Stacy and Tony catch a ride through town on their skateboards by hanging onto the back of a bus. They are seen riding past Bandini Street Elementary School, where they let go of the bus and continue through a line of cars.
LOCATION: 425 N Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
The boys test out their new skateboard wheels at Mar Vista Elementary School.
LOCATION: 3330 Granville Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Jay is seen skateboarding down Bicknell Ave in Santa Monica, where he informs Stacy he didn’t make the team. This is very close to where the real Zephyr shop was formerly located.
LOCATION: Ocean Ave / Bicknell Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405
The restaurant where Stacy officially joins the team and a fight breaks out with the manager is Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica. A staple of film and television, Rae’s has been seen in such films as “True Romance,” “Bowfinger,” “Starsky & Hutch” and more. The restaurant is only seen from interior views in this film.
LOCATION: 2901 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Skip Engblom, played by Heath Ledger, scolds the boys for missing practice while they eat at Venice Beach.
LOCATION: 1425 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 (facing Market St)
The Ocean Front Skate Festival scenes were filmed at the Fisherman’s Village shopping mall in Marina Del Rey.
LOCATION: 13755 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
The boys discuss offers from a competitor at a gas station in Seal Beach. The real building is actually a restaurant, located in San Pedro.
LOCATION: 3401 S Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731
After shifting business alliances to Topper Burks, played by Johnny Knoxville, Tony Alva chooses a new logo for himself at the Byrdview house in Chatsworth (also known as the Farralone Estate and Fox House). It has appeared in many films, including “Swordfish,” “Transformers,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “The Salton Sea,” “Bewitched,” “Tomcats” and “Dreamgirls.” It has also appeared in such TV series as “Six Feet Under,” “Mad Men,” “Californication,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Aquarius,” “Moonlight” and “Good Girls Revolt.”
LOCATION: 9361 Farralone Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311
The Seattle skyline is shown from Kerry Park during a skate tour montage. The park is a famous tourist spot, which attracts a lot of visitors. The park was also featured in the films “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Life or Something Like It,” “A Guy Thing” and “The Details,” with this same view also serving as the drawing of the Seattle skyline on the television show “Frasier.”
LOCATION: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119
Stacy films a cameo for “Charlie’s Angels” on the Warner Bros. backlot. It can be seen as part of their studio tour. This facade also served as the Gotham City Police Headquarters in the original “Batman” TV series. The scenes of Stacy in London were also filmed on the Warner backlot.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
Stacy is shown posing for photos in front of the Golden Gate bridge. The bridge is one of the most often seen locations in film, having appeared in “Zodiac,” “Vertigo,” “The Rock,” “Pacific Rim,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Superman: The Movie,” “San Andreas,” “A View To A Kill,” “Dirty Harry,” “Hulk,” “The Bridge” and many more.
LOCATION: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
Tony can be seen getting photographed in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Another of the most iconic locations seen on screen, it has appeared in endless films, such as “Splash,” “The Godfather Part II,” “Superman,” “Escape from New York,” “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” “Ghostbusters II,” “X-Men” and countless more.
LOCATION: Statue of Liberty, New York, NY 10004
The World Professional Skateboard Championship scenes were filmed inside the Long Beach Arena. It is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
Late in the film, Tony Alva is living at this home.
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 Francisco 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. The door at the front entrance to the former studio on Magazine Street sat behind a steel gate and 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.
LOCATION: 4500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
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.
In the 1994 Neil Jordan adaptation of Anne Rice’s “Interview With The Vampire,” Louis, played by Brad Pitt, recounts his story to Malloy, played by Christian Slater at this San Francisco hotel.
LOCATION: 1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Louis lives at this estate, which is the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. The plantation is open to public tours. This house and its distinct row of trees can actually be seen from the road of LA-18. However, you might find it difficult to stop and get a photo, as there is no parking along the street. The same home was also seen in the 1998 film “Primary Colors.”
LOCATION: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090
Lestat and Claudia, played by Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst, wipe out an entire family after Claudia plays piano for them. The exterior scenes, where coffins are seen being carried out, were filmed at the Madame John’s Legacy historic home and museum. The interior of the same building appeared in the film “12 Years a Slave.”
LOCATION: 632 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116
In the film’s closing scenes, Malloy is unexpectedly met by Lestat as they cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
Perched across the corner from Alamo Square Park is the infamous Kenneth Anger house, also known as the Westerfeld House. First built in 1889, the house managed to survive a 1905 earthquake. In 1928, a group of Czarist Russians purchased the home and turned part of it into a brothel. The house became nicknamed by locals as the “Russian Embassy,” or simply, “The Embassy.” In the 1950s, with the rise of the beatniks, the house became occupied by many jazz musicians. It is said that everyone from Allen Ginsberg to the Grateful Dead visited the house.
By the mid-1960s, the area had fallen into decline and in 1966, the house was rented to filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Although his stay was brief, lasting only until 1967, the house took on a new level of infamy during this period. Anger filmed portions of his short film, “Invocation of My Demon Brother” at the house, which featured Anton LaVey and Bobby Beausoleil, with music by Mick Jagger. Anger also claims to have sighted UFOs from the tower of the house.
A documentary about the history of the home is even in the works, known as “Westerfeld House of Legends.”
LOCATION: 1198 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Beausoleil, who not long after would become involved in one of the Manson Family murders, posed for a famous photo on the front stairs of the building. On decidedly less of a counter-culture note, the house sits adjacent to San Francisco’s famous “Painted Ladies,” which readers might recognize from the TV series “Full House.” The creator of “Full House,” Jeff Franklin, later moved onto the property where the Manson Family murders took place.
In 2014, Kenneth Anger himself made a rare public appearance at the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles, which was hosting a collection of his films. It was scheduled to feature the first ever public screening of Jimmy Page’s unused film score to Anger’s “Lucifier Rising” (Page’s score was rejected in favor of one by Bobby Beausoleil, who composed the music from prison while serving out his murder sentence). The screening featuring Page’s score was cancelled, however, reportedly due to legal threats.
Here is a photo of Anger, who briefly spoke at the event.
Lastly, we leave you with Kenneth Anger’s signature and hand prints, which can be found in front of the Vista Theater, one of L.A.’s best vintage theaters.
LOCATION: Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027