Sharon Tate: A Life

Ed Sanders. De Capo, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-306-81889-9
Since Sharon Tate’s murder in 1969 at the hands of Manson Family members, many authors have tried to make sense of the 26-year-old actress’s tragic fate. Sanders, who wrote The Family, an in-depth 1971 account of the Manson murders, returns to the infamous crime, focusing on Tate’s short life and death. Lacking the earlier book’s broad focus, this offering is a loosely compiled assemblage of facts, theories, newspaper headlines, and rumors held together by the thinnest of threads. Sanders is obviously still troubled by Tate’s murder, but this lifeless biography provides very little new information or insight. Relying on secondhand accounts and interviews with now-deceased celebrities, the author is eager to link Tate’s counterculture activities, including her alleged drug use and metaphysical interests, with the horror films she and Polanski worked on. At the same time, he suggests her murder was a ritualistic act committed by crazed occultists possibly associated with Robert Kennedy’s assassination. That curious premise might be worth exploring, but Sanders is unable or unwilling to do the serious research required to substantiate such an incendiary idea. The most heartfelt passages come in an opening dedication to investigator Larry Larsen, who died while helping the author compile data for the book. Rick Veitch’s striking black-and-white illustrations accompany the text. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-306-82240-7
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