Wojciech Frykowski

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Wojciech Frykowski
Born (1936-12-22)December 22, 1936
Łódź, Poland
Died August 9, 1969(1969-08-09) (aged 32)
Los Angeles
Cause of death
Homicide
Resting place
Saint Josef's Cemetery
Nationality Polish
Occupation Actor, writer
Spouse(s) Ewa Maria Morelle (1958–?)
Agnieszka Osiecka (1963–1964)
Children Bartłomiej "Bartek" Frykowski (1959–1999)

Wojciech Frykowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈvɔjt͡ɕɛx frɨˈkɔfskʲi]; December 22, 1936 – August 9, 1969) was a Polish actor and writer who was murdered in the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski by members of Charles Manson's "Family".

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Łódź, Poland to Jan and Teofila Frykowski, Wojciech grew up in a wealthy, well-known family and was educated exclusively at the film school in Poland. He had two younger brothers Jerry and Matt. His parents owned a small textile factory in their hometown of Łódź. His younger brother Jerzy "Jerry" Frykowski is a movie producer well known in Central Europe.

In his early years, Frykowski was a very close friend and financier of film director Roman Polanski and played the part of a thief in one of Polanski's early Polish-made short films, Mammals, in 1962. In 1966, Frykowski moved to France, then a year later to the United States in the hope of furthering his writing career, but was not successful.

Personal life[edit]

In 1958 Frykowski married Polish model Ewa Maria Morelle. The couple had a son, Bartłomiej "Bartek" Frykowski, in 1959 before divorcing.

In 1963, he married Polish songwriter and author Agnieszka Osiecka in Zakopane, Poland. The couple divorced a year later and had no children.

Relationship with Abigail Folger[edit]

Wojciech Frykowski was in a relationship with American coffee heiress Abigail Folger. The couple met in New York City in December 1967, when Folger was introduced to him by his old friend, author Jerzy Kosiński. She gave Frykowski a tour of New York and their friendship began. At the time he had little command of English, but like Folger he was fluent in French. They fell in love while she was teaching him how to speak English.

According to Roman Polanski's 1984 autobiography, Folger was very good to Wojciech, paying all of the couple's living expenses at the time. After living together for several months in her New York City apartment, the couple eventually decided to move west to Southern California. Frykowski wanted to get back financially on his feet hoping that Polanski would get him a job in the movie industry, while Folger wanted to be a social worker. In August 1968 they arrived in Los Angeles County, and they rented their first hilltop house on Woodstock Drive, in a wealthy section of Hollywood Hills, just off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. Their neighbor was famous singer Cass Elliot. Frykowski then introduced Folger to Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate. Through the Polanskis, the couple met celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring and other people from their circle.

The couple had been taking care of the Polanski residence since April 1, 1969 when Polanski had left for London, England to work on two different film projects. On July 20, 1969 right after Sharon Tate returned home, Wojciech and Folger agreed to remain at 10050 Cielo Drive with Sharon, who was eight months pregnant, until Polański returned from Europe. Polanski was expected to return to California on August 12, 1969.

Death[edit]

In the early morning hours of August 9, 1969 just after midnight, Wojciech Frykowski and Folger were murdered, along with Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent by members of Charles Manson's "Family" who broke into the Polanski residence at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Frykowski was shot twice, struck thirteen times over the head with a blunt object and stabbed in total 51 times, according to his killers — Charles "Tex" Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins.

During the fight with their assailants, Wojciech and Folger escaped the house only to be overwhelmed and stabbed to death. Their bodies were discovered the next day by Sharon Tate's housekeeper, resting not far from each other on a front lawn of the property.

Wojciech Frykowski's body was cremated on August 22, 1969 in Los Angeles. After a private memorial his remains were claimed by his Polish relatives and buried in the Saint Josef's Cemetery in his native Łódź, Poland.

Aftermath[edit]

Frykowski's son, Bartłomiej, was 9-years old and living in Poland when his father was murdered in 1969.[1] In 1971, he filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkle, Susan Atkins, and Charles "Tex" Watson for damages and suffering. He won a $500,000 judgement but did not collect any money because the defendants had no assets. As required by law, Bartłomiej's attorney renewed the lawsuit every ten years.[2]

In 1993, Guns N' Roses covered Manson's song "Look at Your Game, Girl" which appeared on their album "The Spaghetti Incident?". The album went on to sell over 2 million records worldwide.[1] In accordance with Frykowski's lawsuit, Guns N' Roses' label, Geffen Records, paid Bartłomiej Frykowski Manson's share of the royalties – $62,000 for every million copies of the album that were sold.[3] Bartłomiej later became a cinematographer. He died on June 8, 1999.[4]

In Vincent Bugliosi's book Helter Skelter, Wojciech Frykowski's first name is rendered as "Voytek".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paddock, Richard C. (August 6, 1994). "COLUMN ONE: The Long, Chilling Shadow of Manson : The rampage in 1969 still evokes fear and fascination. Survivors of the victims fight to keep the 'family' behind bars. The cult leader remains unrepentant.". latimes.com. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Clark, Brooks; Hewitt, Bill; Hubbard, Kim; Jerome, Richard; Lasswell, Mark; Levitt, Shelley; Reed, J.D.; Schindehette, Susan (April 3, 1995). "Bearing Witness". People 43 (13). 
  3. ^ "VICTIM'S SON GETS MANSON ROYALTIES". nytimes.com. December 26, 1996. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Wojciech Frykowski at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]