When Rosemary LaBianca retired to bed on the night of August 10, 1969, she was deeply concerned about the murder of Sharon Tate and her friends. In hindsight, she should have been more concerned about her life and that of her husband.
Little did the couple know that they were about to suffer the same fate as Tate and her friends at the hands of the very same killers.
A day before, they were brutally murdered by Manson Family members, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca had been with Rosemary's kids, Frank and Suzan. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca had a big blended family and often spent time with each other's kids.
They went back to their house at 3301 Waverly Drive at the end of the day. This was Leno's childhood home, and they had moved there a year earlier.
As the couple headed home, Rosemary seemed especially concerned by Sharon Tate's murder. During May, Rosemary had been concerned that she would walk into the house and find someone there or something missing.
However, nothing would have warned them that they were about to get a visit from the murderous Manson Family members.
Sharon Tate and her guests had been killed in a ruthless way. The word "PIG" was also written with blood on the wall after the disturbing murders.
The death was particularly shocking because Tate was young, pregnant, famous, and beautiful. More importantly, her death made no sense.
In fact, given her prominent status in society, her death would greatly overshadow the deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca the day after.
Leno And Rosemary LaBianca Were An Average American Couple
Rosemary had left her husband Leno reading the paper in the living room when she went to the bedroom to sleep. Not long afterward, the Manson Family members let themselves into the house and killed them in an unimaginably brutal way.
Their seemingly random murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca was especially shocking to the world. To this day, nobody is sure why the family was targeted.
Some people think cult members chose the couple's home because it was close to a house where Manson Family members had attended a party. Therefore, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's home offered the Mansons some familiarity.
They had even considered attacking a priest at a church and a driver who had stopped close to their car. In the end, the couple's home seemed like the more familiar choice.
People could have reasoned that Sharon and her guests had been targeted because they were famous. For that reason, the brutal killing of Leno and Rosemary made little sense.
Leno was killed four days after celebrating his 44th birthday. He was the son of Italian-American immigrants, and he operated a grocery store, just like his father.
Leno had also fought in the Second World War, and his first wife was his high school sweetheart. After his time in the war, he married her, and together, they had three kids.
Eventually, Leno and his wife grew apart, and after separating from her in 1955, he married Rosemary in 1959. His new wife had lived in an orphanage in Arizona until the age of 12. A couple from California then adopted her. It was not clear where she was born, although she was born in 1930.
Rosemary had been divorced in 1958, and in 1959, she became Leno's wife.
As Leno was busy with his grocery business, Rosemary was busy with a high-end clothing store she had founded.
Leno And Rosemary LaBianca Murders
The first to enter Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's home was Manson and Charles "Tex" Watson, his right-hand man. They subdued Leno and promised him that they were only there to rob the house. Manson went as far as promising that they would not hurt or kill the couple.
However, the promise was broken almost immediately after Manson went outside and asked Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to get into the house and kill those inside. Leno realized that Manson would not keep his promise.
As Watson watched over Leno, the two girls started to look for Rosemary.
Before they could even find Rosemary, Watson stabbed Leno in the neck with a bayonet. She could hear her husband screaming from the bedroom. Leno was pleading with Watson:
"Don't stab me anymore!... I'm dead, I'm dead..."
This gave her an idea of the kind of fate that awaited her. She started struggling when Krenwinkel and Van Houten tried to get her. Van Houten went to the kitchen and brought many utensils, including knives.
Despite her pleas that they could take whatever they wanted and she wouldn't call the police, Van Houten held her down while Krenwinkel stabbed her in the neck. Later, Van Houten testified that she panicked when Rosemary used the word police.
The knife bent, and they asked Watson to come and help, and he came and offered Van Houten a knife, which he used to stab Rosemary in the lower torso. Rosemary ended up with 41 stab wounds.
With Rosemary out of the way, they turned their attention to Leno, whom Krenwinkel stabbed with a fork and then wrote on the wall with blood "Rise" and "Death to Pigs." On the fridge door, they misspelled "Healter Skelter."
They showered after the bloody murders, petted the dogs, and took off.
Manson Thought Of Pinning The Murder On A Black Person
After the cult members left Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's home, Manson got into a waiting car driven by Linda Kasabian. He gave her a wallet which he wanted to be dropped in a Black neighborhood.
The wallet was Rosemary's, and Manson's intention was that a Black person would use the credit cards and get blamed for Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's murders.
The plan was, however, changed before it was carried out.
After stopping at a gas station about 20 miles from where the LaBiancas lived, Kasabian left it in the women's bathroom. More specifically, Kasabian hid the wallet in the toilet tank, where it remained for four months before it was finally found.
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's children found their bodies the following day. Leno was in the living room, and a blood-stained pillowcase was covering his head. Additionally, a cord was around his neck, and his hands were tied behind his back using a leather thong.
Rosemary was on the bedroom floor, with her dress over her head, which exposed her naked body.
The brutality with which they murdered the couple demonstrated just how depraved the Manson Family could get.
The Manson Family Court Trial
Over time the police were able to link Leno and Rosemary LaBianca's murder to the Manson Family.
The trial was unlike anything else people had seen in history. The entire affair looked like a big circus, with Manson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten shaving their heads.
The women disrupted the trial while swearing they loved Manson. In the end, Manson, Watson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten were sentenced to life in prison.
Manson died in jail, ending his drama-filled life as the illegitimate son of a promiscuous and heavy-drinking 16-year-old mom who was imprisoned for armed robbery when he was just five years old.
The other three have unsuccessfully requested parole several times. In all likelihood, they will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
They laughed after getting the sentence, not thinking seriously of their crimes.
Sadly, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were mainly forgotten as Manson Family victims, with Sharon Tate being the face of the cult's bloody rampage.
In the end, it was concluded that Charles Manson was the evil mastermind behind the brutal killings.
The home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca was bought by Zak Bagans, famous as the star of Ghost Adventures. He wanted to use the house for a project but later decided that would be disrespectful to the family and sold it off to another buyer.