10050 Cielo Drive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
10050 Cielo Drive
The road to the villa in 1997
10050 Cielo Drive is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
10050 Cielo Drive
General information
Architectural styleFrench Country
LocationBenedict Canyon, Los Angeles
Coordinates34°05′38″N 118°25′57″W / 34.093895°N 118.432467°W / 34.093895; -118.432467Coordinates: 34°05′38″N 118°25′57″W / 34.093895°N 118.432467°W / 34.093895; -118.432467
Construction started1942
Technical details
Floor area4,600 sq ft (430 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectRobert Byrd

10050 Cielo Drive is the street address of a former luxury home in Benedict Canyon, a part of Beverly Crest, north of Beverly Hills, California, where the Charles Manson "family" committed the Tate murders in 1969.

The residence had been occupied by various famous Hollywood and music industry figures. In 1994, the house was demolished, a new house was constructed on the site and the street address was changed to 10066 Cielo Drive.


The original house was designed by Robert Byrd in 1942 and completed in 1944 for French actress Michèle Morgan.[1] It was extremely similar, but not exactly identical, to the house which sat on its own plateau directly below 10050, 10048 Cielo Drive, which was often called the Twin House. They were originally built on land called[by whom?] The Bedrock Properties and were built at the same time.

The French country-style structure was located on 3 acres (1.2 ha) a private drive on Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, an area west of Hollywood in the Santa Monica Mountains that overlooks Beverly Hills and Bel Air.[1] The hillside structure faced east and featured stone fireplaces, beamed ceilings, paned windows, a loft above the living room, a swimming pool and a guest house, and was surrounded by thick pine and flowering cherry trees.[1]


Michèle Morgan, French actress for RKO Radio Pictures, had architect Robert Byrd design and J. F. Wadkins build the luxury home resembling an early 19th-century European style farmhouse. The house was completed in 1944, with an address of 10050 Cielo Drive. Beverly Hills, California. By the end of World War II, Morgan had returned to France and in 1946 Lillian Gish moved in with her mother while filming Duel in the Sun (1946).

Rudolph Altobelli (1929-2011), a music and film industry talent manager, bought the house for $86,000 in the early 1960s (equivalent to US$720,000 in 2018) and often rented it out.[2] Residents included Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon (it was their honeymoon nest in 1965[3]), Henry Fonda, George Chakiris, Mark Lindsay, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Samantha Eggar, and Olivia Hussey. Charles Manson visited the house in late 1968, when it was occupied (from May 1966 to Jan. 1969) by couple Terry Melcher (the son of actress Doris Day) and Candice Bergen with roommate/talent-manager Roger Hart.[4] The couple split in early 1969, with Melcher relocating to Malibu.

In February 1969, Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate began renting the home from Altobelli. On August 8/9, 1969, the home became the scene of the murders of Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, and Steven Parent at the hands of the Manson "Family".[5] William Garretson, Altobelli's caretaker and an acquaintance of Parent, lived in the guest house behind the main house and was unaware of the murders until the next morning, when he was taken into custody by police officers who had arrived at the scene. He was later cleared of all charges.

Altobelli moved into the house just three weeks after the murders and resided there for the next 20 years. During an interview on ABC's show 20/20, he said that while living there, he felt "safe, secure, loved and beauty."[2] He sold the property for $1.6 million in 1989 (equivalent to $3.2 million in 2018).[2][6]

Nine Inch Nails[edit]

The final resident of the original house was the musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor began renting the house in 1992 and set up a recording studio there.[7] This studio, dubbed "Pig" (sometimes called "Le Pig") in a reference to murderer Susan Atkins' writing "Pig" in Tate's blood on the front door of the house, was the site of recording sessions for most of the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral (1994).[7] Reznor moved out of the house in December 1993, later explaining "there was too much history in that house for me to handle."[8]

Reznor made a statement about working in the Tate house during a 1997 interview with Rolling Stone:

Reznor took the front door of the house with him when he moved out, installing it at Nothing Studios, his new recording studio/record label headquarters in New Orleans.[10][11] Nothing Studios was sold and the façade of the building was changed. The front door Reznor moved from 10050 Cielo Drive is currently preserved in the possession of the owner of the building.


Altobelli, who lived there from 1969 (3 weeks after murders) to 1989, demolished the house in 1994 and built a replacement home called Villa Bella. The replacement home has a new street address of 10066 Cielo Drive. The owner of the property as of 2013 is Hollywood producer Jeff Franklin. The new property does not resemble the residence in which the Tate murders occurred.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Wells, Simon (16 April 2009). Charles Manson. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-84894-328-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "How to Sell a House of Horrors". ABC News. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  3. ^ Roberts, Jerry (20 November 2012). The Hollywood Scandal Almanac: 12 Months of Sinister, Salacious and Senseless History!. The History Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-60949-702-6. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. ^ Chermak, Steven; Bailey, Frankier (30 October 2007). Crimes and Trials of the Century [Two Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 303. ISBN 978-1-57356-973-6. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  5. ^ Terry, Maury (1 August 1989). The Ultimate Evil: An Investigation into a Dangerous Satanic Cult. Bantam Books. p. 589. ISBN 978-0-553-27601-5. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  6. ^ Ryon, Ruth (17 September 1989). "You`ll Love Lucy`s House, For $7.8 Million". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b SPIN Magazine (1 October 2010). SPIN: Greatest Hits: 25 Years of Heretics, Heroes, and the New Rock 'n' Roll. John Wiley & Sons. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-470-89109-4. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  8. ^ Making Records: Where Manson Murdered Helter Shelter (214), Entertainment Weekly, 18 March 1994, retrieved 1 November 2007
  9. ^ Trent Reznor Lost Highway Interview, Rolling Stone, 6 March 1997, retrieved 25 December 2007
  10. ^ "Trent Reznor & Nine Inch Nails Recorded "The Downward Spiral" In The Infamous Tate/LaBianca Murder House". FeelNumb.com. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  11. ^ "Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails - Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  12. ^ Mikul, Chris (2008). The Cult Files: True Stories from the Extreme Edges of Religious Belief. Murdoch Books Pty Ltd. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-74266-211-4.