‘Tate Murder House’ Getting a New Owner

Times Staff Writer

The “Tate Murder House” is in escrow!

Adam Jakobson, the Mike Glickman agent who had the $1,999,000 listing, wouldn’t divulge the selling price but was quick to add, “We’re getting very, very close to the asking price, and we have multiple offers.” Escrow is due to close Jan. 5.

So much for skeptics who doubted that the home where Manson Family members killed actress Sharon Tate and four guests in 1969, would sell, Jakobson noted.

The property was only listed in September, and that was the first time it had been for sale in 25 years. The seller--Rudolph Altobelli, the semi-retired Hollywood business agent who had leased the house to Tate and her husband, movie director Roman Polanski--has been living there himself but now wants to travel.


Jakobson denied a rumor that Polanski tried to buy the property. There was one report that the director, who was in Europe when his wife was murdered, offered $1.5 million just to bulldoze the house where the crimes occurred.

Other real estate sources indicate, however, that Belle Halpren and her son, Stephen, did make an offer, which was not accepted. The Halprens just sold the Pacific Palisades home they had bought from President and Mrs. Reagan in February, 1982. They’re leasing back that property, which they sold for about $2 million, until they find other quarters.

And Nancy Reagan reportedly phoned the Halprens the other day to ask if she can buy back some of the furniture the Halprens acquired with the Pacific Palisades house! (She’s probably planning to use it in the place her friends bought for the Reagans in Bel-Air.)

So, who is buying the “Tate Murder House?” It’s John Prell, an investor who already owns actress Joan Collins’ former home off Coldwater Canyon.

Prell bought the Collins home about a year ago and spent $200,000 over budget, by his calculations, on its renovation. “It took a lot longer and a lot more money than we first expected, but it finished better than we had hoped,” he said through his real estate agent, Johanna Falduto of Stan Herman & Associates, Beverly Hills.

Falduto is representing Prell in the purchase of the Tate house and in the sale of the Collins home, a French country-style 5,000-square-footer, which Prell just listed at $1,425,000. It has four bedrooms, seven baths, a media room with a bar, art gallery, gym and pergola garden.


Until he went into escrow on the Tate house, Prell was looking for other Westside properties, at least an acre in size, with renovation potential. The Tate house probably will fill the bill.

“It’s the largest parcel in the area,” Jakobson said. The 3 1/2-acre site, above Benedict Canyon, has a 3,200-square-foot main house and 2,000-square-foot guest cottage, designed by architect Robert Byrd, who was known for his Hansel and Gretel, knotty-pine look.

The home was built in the early ‘40s. So, don’t be surprised if Prell fixes it up and some day puts it back on the market.

Fred Dryer, star of the weekly NBC-TV detective show “Hunter” and former defensive end of the L.A. Rams, has purchased a double lot valued at more than $1 million at Mulholland Estates, a custom-home community that opened last week at Mulholland and Benedict Canyon drives and Beverly Glen Boulevard.

Joe Babajian and Judy Cycon of Fred Sands Realtors, which is handling the project, sold the lots to Dryer, who is now looking for an architect.

Alfred E. Mann, an industrialist and principal of the development, is planning to build a 17,000-square-foot contemporary home there. The 94 estate-sized view lots are priced from $700,000.


Just in time for Halloween. . . . The “Hall of Champions,” an 8,200-square-foot building with meeting rooms and a ballroom at the Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells, is opening Monday with a Halloween (of course!) party for the California Assn. of Tobacco and Candy (how appropriate!) Distributors.

Financed by VMS of Chicago, the $3.5-million building is the first major addition to the 2-year-old resort since the 10,500-seat tennis stadium opened in February, 1987.

Comedian Alan King, one of the resort’s owners, ordered track lighting and spotlights for the ballroom to suit himself, and the building also has a full kitchen, which means that the resort now has 12! (Many hotels and resorts only have one or two.)

Still on the subject of Halloween . . . . Mary Lu Tuthill of Douglas Properties hosted, in costume, an afternoon “haunt” last Thursday of an old New England estate in Brentwood, which is listed with her at $4.2 million.