Abigail Folger’s death was just as senseless and tragic as any other that happened on Cielo Drive on August 9th, 1969, and the following night.
Abigal was stabbed a staggering 28 times.
But she was more than a Manson family’s victim. The 25-year-old heiress was nothing short of amazing due to her charitable nature, empathy, and love for art.
The sad truth is that Abigal was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Her boyfriend, Wojciech Frykowski, also murdered on August 9th, took her to the getaway house as a favor to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate.
Since Folger and Frykowski’s romance was fading away, the young Folger Coffee Company heiress could’ve easily avoided being in the house of horrors. But, she was there, and she will forever be known as one of five people executed in one night because of Charles Manson.
Abigail Folger Was Passionate About Art
Since childhood, Abigail, nicknamed Gibbie, had enjoyed playing the piano and painting. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in Art History.
Gibbie was the daughter of Ines Mejía, whose enthusiasm, curiosity never left her. Ines died shortly after celebrating her 100th birthday. Despite losing her only daughter, she kept herself busy, and as her friends say, never lost her sense of humor, even in the darkest days.
Abigail’s dad, Peter Folger, conducted his own investigation into the death of his beloved daughter. Though Abigail’s parents divorced in 1952 when she was only 9, they shared custody, and Abigail had loving and caring homes.
After graduating, Abigail started working at Berkley but received an offer from New York and decided to leave California in 1967.
The Californian native met Wojciech Frykowski through a mutual friend. Though Wojciech Frykowski did not speak English, they both knew French, and their accidental encounter turned into a romance.
They soon found a place in New York City but decided to move to California in the summer of 1968.
As soon as the couple was in California, Abigail became a volunteer social worker for the Los Angeles County Welfare Department.
Abigal, like her mother, was passionate about changing the world. She would spend her days helping children and fighting for civil rights.
She famously gave large amounts of money to Tom Bradley, a black councilman running for mayor.
But, without seeing any results, young Abigail soon felt lost and depressed. Working in ghettos took a toll on the young woman, and she told a friend:
“A lot of social workers go home at night, take a bath and wash their day off, I can’t. The suffering gets under your skin.”
She knew she had to make changes.
Moving Into Ciello Drive House
When Abigail and Frykowski moved to the L.A. area, they had a home in Woodstock Road in Laurel Canyon.
In the spring of 1969, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate had to go to Europe for work. Polanski did not want the Cielo Drive 10500 house to be empty. So, the director asked Frykowski and his lady to house it.
The offer came at the perfect moment since Folger was already thinking about leaving her job and searching for her next passion project.
It was also, at this time, that the couple was on the verge of splitting up. So, for Wojciech Frykowski and Abigal Folger, moving into Cielo drive was suppose to mark whether they will continue together or go their separate ways.
Sadly, the couple never got a chance to decide. We don’t know much about their whereabouts until the ill-fated night. Apparently, the two were arguing and taking drugs.
The last time they went out for dinner was hours before the killings, on August 8th. Abigail and Wojciech joined Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring for dinner at El Coyote, a Mexican restaurant on Beverly Boulevard.
The four went to the house, and Wojciech fell asleep on the couch. Abigail was on the phone with her mother before retracting to her room to read. Shortly after midnight, Abigal saw Susan Atkins, and that was the beginning of the end.
Two days before her 26th birthday, Abigal was stabbed to death.
Abigail Folger’s Funeral And Legacy
Though it feels unfair that Folger’s death is overshadowed by Sharon Tate’s, keep in mind that Tate was not just a Hollywood royalty. She was days from giving birth to her first child.
Also, the Folgers tried hard to keep their daughter’s name out of the spotlight. That is why there is little information about her short but productive life.
According to her killers, Abigail, at some point, managed to break free and got outside. But, Patricia Krenwinkel followed and caught up with Abigal. Tex Watson soon came to give Abigail final wounds.
According to her killers, the young heiress said:
“I give up, you’ve got me.”
“I’m already dead.”
The following morning, her lifeless body was found soaked in blood. In a nutshell, Abigal Folger died because Charles Manson, a failed musician, wanted to kill producer Terry Melcher. Manson’s family clearly did not care that he was not renting the home anymore.
Abigail was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California, on Wednesday, August 13, 1969. The vigil was held in a church her grandparents built.
Her mother Ines started an Abigail Folger Library Fund that will continue to live on.
The trial for the Tate-Labianca murders began in June 1970 and concluded in January 1971. Though they escaped the death penalty, the Manson family members responsible for the killings ended up in jail.
Susan Atkins died in prison in 2009. She committed nine murders in the span of five weeks.
Patricia Krenwinkel is serving a life sentence.
Manson’s right hand, Tex Watson, is also still alive and serving a life sentence.
Charles Manson died in prison in 2017.
In the movie Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, Samantha Robinson played the late Abigail Folger.