How Sharon Tate's Father Sought Her Murderers

The loss of a child has devastating biological and psychological effects on the parents. Speaking to Fatherly, Deborah Carr, chair of the sociology department at Boston University, called it the "single worst stressor" a human being can experience.

Despite the pain that was undoubtedly gripping his body and psyche, Paul Tate, the father of Sharon Tate, used the time after his daughter's death to search for the culprit. A former colonel in the U.S. Army, Paul Tate embarked on a renegade investigation that saw him explore the underbelly of Los Angeles.

Sharon Tate was killed by members of the Charles Manson Family cult. As reported by History, Manson headed to the edge of Los Angeles in the late '60s and created a hippie commune that would go on to lay the foundation for his notorious family. The hedonistic pleasures of drugs and orgies eventually transformed into a darker focus on Manson's religious teachings and warnings of a race war. The charismatic leader's dire predictions culminated in Manson's followers — the "family" — killing rich white people in hopes that the murders would be pinned on African Americans and accelerate the impending battle.

Paul Tate went undercover as a hippy to find his daughter's killer

Paul Tate immersed himself in the hippie culture during his undercover investigation to find the people who took his daughter from him. According to Desert Sun, the then-46-year-old began by growing a beard and mustache and then dived into the drug dens, hippie communities, and local hangouts he hoped would reveal the whereabouts of his daughter's killers.

The culprits were eventually arrested, but Paul Tate remained tight-lipped about the possible evidence he discovered in his travels and what  — if any — effect it had on the arrest of his daughter's killers. "You don't go around telling the world what information or evidence you have," he said. "You never know for sure whether you have an airtight case."

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Manson and four of his followers  — Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian  — were arrested for the murder of Sharon Tate and others killed across the two tragic nights in August of 1969.