Terry Melcher... (Record Producer)
(aka Terrence P. "Terry" Melcher, Terrence Jorden)
Terry Melcher, 27, the music producer son of Doris Day whom Manson wooed in hopes of getting a record contract.
Terrence P. "Terry" Melcher, born February 8, 1942 as Terrence P. Jorden, was a musician and record producer, who was instrumental in shaping the California Sound and American West Coast rock music, particularly during the nascent counterculture era. He was the only child of actress/singer Doris Day; his father was Day's first husband Al Jorden.
In 1968, Dennis Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys, introduced Melcher to ex-con and aspiring musician Charles Manson.
Manson and his "family" had been living in Wilson's house at 14400 Sunset Boulevard after Wilson had picked up hitchhiking Manson family members Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. Wilson expressed interest in Manson's music and even recorded two of Manson's songs with the Beach Boys. For a time, Melcher was interested in recording Manson's music as well as making a film about the family and their hippie commune existence.
Terry Melcher talked to the grand jury in the Tate case on December 5, 1969. Charles Manson had previously discussed his music with him.|
Manson met Melcher at 10050 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, the home Melcher shared with his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen, and with musician Mark Lindsay. Manson eventually auditioned for Melcher, but Melcher declined to sign him. There was still talk of a documentary being made about Manson's music, but Melcher abandoned the project after witnessing his subject become embroiled in a fight with a drunken stuntman at Spahn Ranch. Both Wilson and Melcher severed their ties with Manson, a move that angered Manson.
Not long after splitting from Manson, Melcher and Bergen moved out of the Cielo Drive home. The house's owner, Rudi Altobelli, then leased it to film director Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate.
Manson met Melcher at 10050 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, the home Melcher shared with his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen, and with musician Mark Lindsay. |
Manson visited the house asking for Melcher, but was turned away because Melcher had moved. On August 9, 1969, the house was the site of the murders of Tate (who was eight months pregnant at the time), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, hairdresser Jay Sebring, writer Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent by members of Manson's "family". Some authors and law enforcement personnel have theorized that the Cielo Drive house was targeted by Manson as revenge for Melcher's rejection and that Manson was unaware that he and Bergen had moved out. However, family member Charles "Tex" Watson stated that Manson and company did, in fact, know that Melcher was no longer living there, and Terry's former roommate, Mark Lindsay, stated: "Everybody speculated that Manson sent his minions up there to get rid of Terry because he was angry about not getting a record deal. But Terry and I talked about it later and Terry said Manson knew he had moved because Manson or someone from his organization left a note on Terry's porch in Malibu."
Melcher was the most frightened of the witnesses at the trial, even though Bugliosi assured him that Manson knew he was no longer living at 10050 Cielo Drive.|
At that time, Melcher was producing singer Jimmy Boyd's music for A&M Records. After initial tracks were recorded, the Manson murders took place, prompting Melcher to go into seclusion, and the session was never completed. When Manson was arrested, it was widely reported that he had sent his followers to the house to kill Melcher and Bergen. Manson family member Susan Atkins, who admitted her part in the murders, stated to police and before a grand jury that the house was chosen as the scene for the murders "to instill fear into Terry Melcher because Terry had given us his word on a few things and never came through with them".
In this aim, the Manson Family was successful. Melcher took to employing a bodyguard and told Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi that his fear was so great, he had been undergoing psychiatric treatment. Melcher was the most frightened of the witnesses at the trial, even though Bugliosi assured him that Manson knew he was no longer living at 10050 Cielo Drive. Melcher testified to both the Grand Jury on December 5, 1969 and during People Verses Charles Watson, on Monday, August 23, 1971.