Sunday, September 27, 2009

More News and Our Comparison Photo of the Week

This has turned out to be a most noteworthy weekend for news in connection with Sharon Tate.  First, we reported yesterday that Susan Atkins passed at 61.  Today, I found this disturbing article on Polanski:

Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case

Sept. 27, 2009 from

ZURICH (AP) -- Director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police for possible extradition to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said Sunday.

Polanski was flying in to receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old around the world since 2005.

"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming," ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. "That's why he was taken into custody."

Balmer said the U.S. would now be given time to make a formal extradition request.

Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl.

The director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it.

The Swiss statement said Polanski was officially in "provisional detention for extradition," but added that he would not be transferred to U.S. authorities until all proceedings are completed. Polanski can contest his detention and any extradition decision in the Swiss courts, it said.

Polanski has faced a U.S. arrest request since 1978 and has lived for the past three decades in France, where his career has continued to flourish. He received a directing Oscar in absentia for the 2002 movie "The Pianist." He was not extradited from France because his crime reportedly was not covered under the U.S.'s treaties with the country.

In France, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was "dumbfounded" by Polanski's arrest, adding that he "strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them."

Mitterrand's ministry said Sunday in a statement that he is in contact with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, "who is following the case with great attention and shares the minister's hope that the situation can be quickly resolved."

A native of France who was taken to Poland by his parents, Polanski escaped Krakow's Jewish ghetto as a child and lived off the charity of strangers. His mother died at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

He worked his way into filmmaking in Poland, gaining an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film in 1964 for his "Knife in the Water." Offered entry to Hollywood, he directed the classic "Rosemary's Baby" in 1968.

But his life was shattered again in 1969 when his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four other people were gruesomely murdered by followers of Charles Manson. She was eight months pregnant.

He went on to make another American classic, "Chinatown," released in 1974.

In 1977, he was accused of raping the teenager while photographing her during a modeling session. The girl said Polanski plied her with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill at Jack Nicholson's house while the actor was away. She said that, despite her protests, he performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on her.

Polanski was allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges, unlawful sexual intercourse, and was sent to prison for 42 days of evaluation.

Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain. Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France.

The victim, Samantha Geimer, who long ago identified herself publicly, has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement.

Festival organizers said Polanski's detention had caused "shock and dismay," but that they would go ahead with Sunday's planned retrospective of the director's work.

The Swiss Directors Association sharply criticized authorities for what it deemed "not only a grotesque farce of justice, but also an immense cultural scandal."

In my opinion, this case should be dismissed.  The most important person we need to be concerned with in the case is Samantha Geimer.  If she forgives him and agrees to dismiss this then I think we all should.  Now, on the other hand, if she were still tramatized by this, even years later, I think a trial should go ahead.  Please, don't get me wrong, I don't think what Polanski did was right.  It was wrong.  But Polanski has through so much over this, I think it is just time to let the case rest.

The next story I found was this:

From Contra Costa Times:

Murder victims are honored during Day of Remembrance

By Fred Shuster

Relatives of murder victims Ron Goldman and Sharon Tate were among those who gathered Friday in downtown Los Angeles to honor their slain loved ones at the city's first-ever "National Day of Remembrance."

The ceremony, one of many that took place throughout the country Friday, was created to honor fallen law enforcement officers as well as murder victims and to recognize the impact of homicides on surviving family members and loved ones.

Kim Goldman, sister of Ron Goldman, one of the victims in the O.J. Simpson murder case, and Debra Tate, whose sister Sharon was slain by members of Charles Manson's cult, were among those at the event.

Goldman said events like Friday's are important so people "remember that lives are being devastated by homicide on a daily basis."

"Crime is rampant and the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces," she said.

Tate expressed sadness at the many who showed up.

"We're all in the same club - and the way to gain entry in this club is very painful," she said.

One of the people who killed her pregnant sister in 1969, Manson follower Susan Atkins, died in prison Thursday of brain cancer at age 61.

"I actually shed a tear this morning because it was her life choices that led to this," Debra Tate said. "Any wasted human life is a tragedy."

She noted that her unborn nephew, who her late sister had named Robert, would have been 40 years old this year.

Hundreds of poster-sized photos of victims, ranging from infants to the elderly, were hung throughout the sunny county Hall of Administration plaza. Pairs of shoes belonging to the slain were spread in front of a podium.

Family members wearing T-shirts inscribed with the names and pictures of their dead loved ones listened to a recitation of victims' names in English and Spanish. Advocacy groups and support organizations manned information booths. At the end of three hours, white doves were released into the sky.

Politicians and others spoke, many expressing support for Marsy's Law, a year-old constitutional amendment that protects victims' rights in a criminal trial.

"I didn't plan to be a mama of a murdered child," said LaWanda Hawkins, who formed the victims' rights group Justice for Murdered Children in 1996 after her only child, Reggie, was murdered.

"After he was killed, my life was never the same," she said. "I don't even remember what my life used to be. But the thing to know is, anyone can be a victim of this crime - regardless of your race, your financial status or your religion."

Or neighborhood, as Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca noted.

"Any American anywhere in this country can be a victim of violent crime," Baca said. "When will America be free from random, wanton violence?"

California Attorney General Jerry Brown seemed to sum up the sentiments of the day.

"There's just too many people being violated and killed," he said. "How did a society that's so rich have so many killings? Stop the murders!"

The latest edition of US Elle Fashion magazine has some great photos of model and actress Diane Kruger that remind me of Sharon.

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