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Abigail Folger


Abigail Folger was was an heiress from the famous Folger Coffee family. She was the girl friend of Voytek Frykowski, who was a close friend of film director Roman Polanski. Through Roman Folger and Frykowski met Sharon Tate. Abigail was known as "Gibby"  to friends. She was murdered on Cielo Drive at the hands of the Manson family on 9th of August of 1969. She and Frykowski had been staying with Sharon Tate at her rented Bel Air estate while Roman Polanski was away.  In total five people died that night. Abigail, Voytek Frykowski,Sharon Tate,Jay Sebring and a young man by the name of Steven parent, who didn't live at the address. Parent was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Before her untimely death, Abigail was intelligent,rich,attractive and young.  She was also volunteer for those less fortunate than herself. In Los Angeles, Folger found "something real to live for" as she said, by working as a social worker in the Watts ghetto. For a while it seemed to be an answer.

Agigail's father was board chairman Peter Folger of the famous J. A. Folger Coffee Company. He was quoted as saying his daughter had "more or less commuted" between Southern California and the family mansion in Woodside during the last six months of her life. He mentioned she worked first in Watts and then on the mayoral campaign last spring of Thomas Bradley. Bradley was the African American ex-policeman who was defeated by Mayor Sam Yorty.

"She always led a class life," her deeply grief-filled father said.

The tragic heiress was the great-granddaughter of James Ahearne Folger, the man who created the San Francisco coffee firm in 1850 after he left Nantucket, Massachusetts. At first he had hopes of striking it rich in the California,digging for gold. He ultimately found gold in his coffee business. Later, his grandsons, James III and Peter Folger, built the family business into the third largest coffee wholesaler in the United States The firm was sold in 1963 to Proctor and Gamble.

But the media described described Abigail Folger as a "rich hippie" supposedly involved with a drug users, wild parties and a trendy night life.  People who knew Gibby reported that she once attended a séance. Reportedly, actress Mia Farrow was there as well. In hindsight it's a foreboding thought.

Folger came into contact with the glamorous show business crowd through men's hair designer, Jay Sebring. She also invested money in his chain of ultra modern men's hair salons. Supposedly, some of her family were not aware of many of Abigail's Hollywood friends. Her stepmother, Beverly Folger, said that she and Abigail's father didn't know of Abigail's relationship with Sharon Tate until after the murders.However, Abigail's mother, Ines Mejia Folger, was more in touch. She and Abigail had attended the champagne celebration of the opening of Jay Sebring's new San Francisco hair salon. This event took place during the last month of May that Folger ever had.

Abigail Folger always had an interest in  interest in acting and show business in general. At Radcliff College in Cambridge, Massachusett she was a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan players. She graduated with honors,

Although Folger's parents were Catholic, they divorced in 1952.  Her mother was a member of a prestigious California land family. Ines divorced Peter Folger on the grounds of extreme cruelty. Peter Folger was had been a Yale football playerand also a polo and track athlete. He was a World War II Marine Major. Peter was remarried in 1960...to his 34 year old private secretary. 

Abigail Folger, who died just two days before her 26th birthday, was raised in wealthy style and moved in  upper crust society circles. She attended a private  school for girls named Santa Catalina. The school was near beautiful Carmel in California. Abigail was given a big  party in 1961 as a debutante, a "coming out" party. Later, after she graduated from Radcliffe, Folger took a full-time job at the University of California's art museum, in Berkeley.

"She was very outgoing, very enthusiastic and did a beautiful job organizing the fine art museum council," said her former boss, UC professor Peter Selz. "She may not have lived the most traditional type of existence, but she wasn't a hippie type at all. She didn't look, dress or act like a hippie."

The heiress quit her job because she wanted to go to New York City to live. She found a job in New York at the Gotham Book Mart. A few months later, she returned to the West Coast. Andrea Brown was Folger's boss at the book mart. Brown reported that Folger did not find happiness in New York , and was still searching for more meaning in her young life."When she began working in Watts," Abigail told me, 'I've never been involved in anything so exciting in my life - I finally have something real to live for,' " 

Her search for a meaningful life was never really fulfilled. Abigail Folger was stabbed to death only a few months later at the residence of actress Sharon Tate. Folger died on the front lawn.



Abigail Folger In Pictures