Wojciech Frykowski came to the US in 1967, looking for fame and fortune. Two years later, he became worldwide news as one of the victims of the Manson murders at Cielo Drive 10050.
The Polish artist was Roman Polanski's friend. He kept company to pregnant Sharon Tate, who married Polanski in 1968. Alongside the two was Frykowski's girlfriend, Abigail Folger.
Wojciech Frykowski was 32 when he was brutally murdered. An aspiring writer, a part-time actor with a degree in chemistry, was asleep on the couch when Charles Tex Watson kicked him in the head and said:
"I'm the Devil, and I'm here to do the Devil's business."
Frykowski fought like a lion but eventually died after getting shot twice and receiving 51 stab wounds. It all happened in one of the most vicious attacks in Hollywood, on the night between 8th and 9th August of 1969.
Wojciech Frykowski's Early Life
Frykowski was born on December 22, 1936, and for that time, his family was wealthy and somewhat known. His dad had a small textile printer and fought against the Nazi occupation while keeping a family of five alive.
Wojciech Frykowski and Roman Polanski met when they were quite young, becoming great friends despite the initial mishaps. Though he got a degree in chemistry, Frykowski was drawn to filmmaking, and he financed and produced Romanski's short film Mammals.
Then, he was a lifeguard at the shooting of Knife in The Water, Polanski's first hit from 1962.
Despite not being an actual part of the film industry, Wojciech Frykowski is now considered part of the Łódź Film School community.
As Polanski confessed, Wojciech had a tough exterior and was a troublemaker. However, he was also "good-natured, softhearted to the point of sentimentality, and utterly loyal."
Before leaving for Paris, then New York, Wojciech married twice. His first marriage was to model Ewa Maria Morelle, who had Frykowski's only son, Bartlomiej, in 1959, a year after the wedding.
His second marriage was to a famous Polish writer, Agnieszka Osiecka. The two only lasted for a year, between 1963 and 1964. Wojciech Frykowski soon left Poland, leaving behind two brothers and his son.
Wojciech Frykowski And Abigail Folger
After spending months in Paris, Frykowski went to New York, despite not knowing English. In December 1967 or January 1968, Jerzy Kosinski, a famed Polish-American novelist, introduced him to Abigail Folger, heiress of Cafes Folger.
She taught him English, and American traditions, while they spoke French. Abigail showed him New York, and Wojciech Frykowski moved in with her in no time.
During their time in New York, Frykowski wrote a diary about American customs and poems. But to make it in America, he had to be in Los Angeles. So, the couple rented a car and left New York in August of 1968.
They rented the property at 2774 Woodstock Rd in Hollywood Hills, California. As a Polish artist dating an elegant, educated, American heiress, the two enjoyed popularity among chosen circles.
However, everything was about to change.
Moving Into 10050 Cielo Drive
It cannot be confirmed, but there are claims that Wojciech Frykowski started dealing drugs while in the Los Angeles area. Some say he was a playboy and a drug dealer, so the media even tried to blame the Manson slayings on Frykowski.
Frykowski was not the cause for Manson's killings despite his drug involvement, as we would learn a bit later.
Wojciech and Abigail moved into Roman and Sharon's Beverly Hills home in April 1969. They were housesitting while the couple was in Europe.
Sharon Tate came home in July and introduced them to Jay Sebring, Sharon's hairdresser, and close friend. Abigail financed Sebring's hair salon, and though there were tensions between the couple, they were all spending time in 10050 Cielo Drive, waiting for Roman to come to his wife and their baby.
Sharon was heavily pregnant, but that did not stop the foursome from throwing memorable parties. It appears that Wojciech Frykowski's drug abuse grew during that time, and the relationship with Abigail was falling further apart.
Frykowski, known as Voytek, and Abigal, promised Polanski they would stay with Tate despite the tensions.
Wojciech Frykowski's Death
On the evening of the murder, all four housemates had dinner at El Coyote, then went home around 10 pm. Voytek and Abigal were already moving their things, as they planned to go back to their home to Woodstock Rd.
Sharon was eight months pregnant, and Polanski was coming back from London. As one couple was expecting, people close to Folger already gossiped about her plans to leave Wojciech Frykowski.
Manson ordered his followers to destroy everything on the property. First, they gathered the victims in the living room. Then, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian started their bloodbath.
Frykowski was tied with a towel, but he freed himself and wrestled with Atkins. That's when he received the first four out of over 50 knife stabs.
Wojciech Frykowski and 25-year-old Abigal Folger resisted the hardest, making the killers act more cruelly.
Voytek fought Tex while calling for God. He got outside and was still alive when everyone in the house was already slaughtered. But, while exiting, the Manson killers made sure not to leave anyone behind. So, they stabbed Frykowski on the porch several more times.
He was cremated on August 22. His ashes were sent to Poland, and he now rests in the family burial of Stary Cmentarz in Łodzi.
Wojciech Frykowski, or simply Voytek, and Abigail were both on drugs on the night of the murders. The media wanted it to be a drug deal gone wrong. It would make more sense.
But, a night later, the LaBianca couple was killed almost in the same manner. It became evident that the killings were not supposed to make sense.
Bloody messages, clothes soaked in blood, a movie star, an heiress, an unborn child, a writer, and a celebrity hairstylist all died, leaving Hollywood, and the world, in utter disbelief.
Wojciech Frykowski's Family
Bartłomiej Frykowski's body was found with the knife in his stomach in July 1999. After four months, the authorities concluded it was a suicide.
The case of Wojciech Frykowski's son found dead in a similar manner, 30 years after his father's death, raised many eyebrows. It was not only because of the name but also because the knife allegedly had no fingerprints.
Bartłomiej's body was found in the mansion of his alleged lover in Warsaw. Later in 1999, he was supposed to go to the States to collect over million dollars as compensation from Charles Manson. Wojciech Frykowski's son was granted compensation after Manson's wealth started piling up, despite being locked up for life.
The father of three was a successful cinematographer.
One of his daughters, the granddaughter of Wojciech Frykowski, Maja, was in the Polish version of Big Brother and continued working as an anchor, poet, actress, and singer. She moved to Switzerland in 2012, married, and gave birth to a daughter.
Much of Frykowski's short life remains unknown. It comes as no surprise since his death, alongside others murdered by the Manson cult, overshadowed not just their lives, but put an end to a summer of love and careless, free-loving 60s.
And just like others killed in the Tate-LaBianca murders, Wojciech Frykowski was a victim of a madman and his deranged supporters. The Manson's followers had killed before and after their most well-known slayings.