Are the Murders of Marina Habe and Reet Jurvetson Connected? Re-examining the Manson Family Link
New Year’s Day 1969, the body of Marina Elizabeth Habe, 17, was found in the bottom of a ravine, along Mulholland Drive, in Hollywood, Calif. She had been tossed down a ravine like a piece of garbage and found the following day by the property owner’s dog.
In a 1988, Los Angeles Magazine (LA Mag) article, “The Charlie Conspiracy,” writer Michael Bendrix reported, when police arrived, the dog’s owner told them he wanted his name in the paper. A bizarre request.
Habe was born February 23, 1951, a University of Hawaii student who had returned home to visit her mother for the Christmas holidays.
Habe had gone on a double-date with her long-time family friend John Hornburg, 22. Habe drove Hornburg to his home located at 13326 Sunset Blvd., at approximately 3:30 a.m. and drove back to her mother’s home about 20-minute drive northeast.
Habe’s mother, actress Eloise Hardt, resided at 8962 Cynthia Avenue, in West Hollywood. On the evening of told police, she awakened by the sound of a loud muffler. when her daughter arrived home late that fateful evening.
Her mother watching from a window, saw her daughter standing by her sports car with a man whose description she could not make out. She heard a man’s voice yell the word, “Go!” and the man disappeared into the other vehicle. Habe never came inside.
Habe’s body was later found by police in heavy brush found her in heavy brush 30 feet down a slope in the 8800 block of Mulholland near Bowmont.
They found Habe's car in the driveway with the handbrake so firmly set, police doubted she had the strength to do it on her own.
Habe was missing for two days before a couple walking on a fire road just off Mulholland Drive discovered Habe's purse about 2 p.m. on New Year's Day.
Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1969, “Co-Ed Found Slain – Officers Withhold Details of Writer’s Daughter,” reported Habe was fully-clothed, wearing brown capris, a white turtleneck, and a brown coat. Various sources reported, Habe had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest, head, and back but not raped. Her murder has never been solved.
In sharp contrast to the Los Angeles Times report, the LA Magazine reported Habe had been held for a day, given food, raped, and stabbed numerous times in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and back. A horrific murder.
Police never officially confirmed details of the case, “citing an ongoing homicide investigation.”
Eleven months later another beautiful young woman with a similar appearance would be found, stabbed over 150 times, with more than striking and disturbing similarities to Habe’s murder.
Both murders have a remained a mystery for nearly 50-years.
Habe was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, following a requiem mass at the Beverly Hills Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church.
Daughter of a Famed Author and Hollywood Actress
Habe was the daughter of the famous Hungarian and American writer and newspaper mogul Hans Habe.
Born Janos Bekessy (1911-1977), in Budapest, Hungary on February 12, 1911, his family moved to Vienna after World War I. There he became a reporter for the Vienna Sunday and Monday Post. The following year, Hans became the editor for the Austrian Evening News, becoming the youngest editor at age 20.
Married several times, his ex-wives include Margit Bloch and Erika Levy, heiress to the Tungsram light bulb company.
After the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in March 1938, Hans was expatriated and exiled to France by the Nazi government. During 1940, he was captured and held at the Dieuze Dulag camp. Managing to escape, he emigrated to the United States in 1941.
Quite successful during his early career, ironically, it has been said Han’s is the first person to discover Adolf Hitler’s real name was Schicklgruber. In addition to his newspaper career, Hans became a successful novelist with A Thousand Shall Fall published in 1941 and The Mission, later on in 1966. He wrote 25 novels and over 10,000 newspaper articles.
He married his third wife, the heiress of General Foods, Eleanor Post Hutton, and in 1944, had a son Anthony Nicklas Habe-Bekessy (1944-2016).
1942, Hans was drafted into the US Army and studied Psychological warfare at the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Md. By 1944 Hans became an instructor of Psychological Warfare at Campe Sharpe, near Gettysburg, Pa.
After the American occupation in 1945, Habe returned to Germany, creating 18 newspapers. He then married German film actress Ali Ghito and settled in Switzerland.
In 1948 he married his fifth wife, actress Eloise Hardt, and Marina Elizabeth Habe was born in 1951.
The details of his relationship with Hardt are minimal. Hans Habe passed away in 1977 in a hospital in Locarno, Switzerland.
One of Han’s Habe’s famous quotes reads, “To forgive without justice is a self-satisfying weakness, Justice without love is a simulation of strength.” One must wonder if he had been contemplating his daughter’s murder at the time he wrote the quote.
Eloise Hardt was born in Lawton, Okla., in 1918. She is known for her films, the Kentucky Fried Movie in 1977, Looker in 1981, and Winter Kills in 1979. She is most well-known for her television career, starring in dozens of series like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Miami Undercover, and Dr. Kildare.
Hardt is now 100-years old and living in a retirement community in Laguna Woods, Calif. Throughout her life, she has never talked publicly about the kidnapping and murder of her daughter.
Hardt had waited for a ransom call, but the phone never rang. In the years following, she blamed herself for not having done more to solve the murder of her only child. If Hardt only knew surviving such trauma, a parent’s worst nightmare - is a feat of courage.
A life spent without her beautiful daughter, and a woman of few words who deserves justice.
Another Body Found Along Mulholland Drive
On November 16, 1969, a fully-clothed body of a young white female was found by a 15-year old boy who was out bird-watching.
The body was discovered in dense brush along Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, approximately 15-feet down an almost 700-foot ravine. A tree branch had prevented her body from falling the remainder of the way down.
An autopsy determined the female victim had been murdered approximately 24-48 hours prior to the discovery. The victim had defensive wounds on her hands and had been stabbed over 150 times in the neck, chest, and torso, with a penknife, some of the stabbing severing the carotid artery.
The coroner determined by examination of the knife wounds, the perpetrator was likely right-handed. The young woman had no alcohol or drugs in her system and it was determined no sexual assault had occurred. No identification was found on the body or surrounding location.
She was named Jane Doe #59 and that remained her name for 47 years when she was finally identified by someone viewing an unidentified morgue photograph on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS) website.
In April 2016, Jane Doe $#59 finally regained her proper name. It was Reet Jurvetson.
A September 2016 People Magazine article “L.A. Cops Search for Two in 1969 Unsolved Murder of Reet Jurvetson, Say No Charles Manson Connection” opposes Vincent Bugliosi’s 1974 book “Helter Skelter” that suggests Jane Doe 59 might have been present at the death of suspected Manson Family victim John “Zero” Haught who died from a gunshot wound in November, the month Jane Doe 59 was murdered. Though Haught’s death was determined a suicide, Manson family members were reportedly present.
During the same time, police investigating Jane Doe 59’s death, also investigated any links to the September 23, 1969, murders of Scientologists 15-year old James Sharp and 19-year old Doreen Gaul. Gaul had been brutally stabbed 50-60 times. Both victim’s right eyes had been cut out. There were also motorcycle tire marks on both bodies. Police believe they were murdered elsewhere and dumped where they were found. This occurred one week after Jane Doe 59 was found.
At the time, Det. Lt. Earl A Deemer, told the Los Angeles Times, “The wounds of Gaul, Sharp and Doe 59, looked like the work of a fanatic.”
Then there were the Sharon Tate/LaBianca murders that rocked the end of the1960s. All were stabbed multiple times, all found near each other.
The Compelling Manson Connection and Beyond
Original LAPD detectives on the Habe murder investigation believed Habe was a victim of random kidnapping and orchestrated by a biker and dope-dealer nicknamed “Spanky.” However, detectives were never able to find evidence to corroborate that theory.
Others who have investigated the case in the years following the murder believe otherwise. One such person was investigative journalist Maury Terry (1946-2015), and author of the national best-seller “Ultimate Evil.”
Terry spent years investigating cases like the “Son of Sam” and “The Manson Family” and exposed correlations between Habe’s murder, the Tate/LaBianca murders and the Manson family who reigned hell on the city of Los Angeles, ending the “peace and Love” and “Flower Children” days of the past decade.
In his book, Terry believed he had uncovered satanic connections between the murders of Roy Radin in 1983, and Arlis Perry, who was the victim of a brutal ritual murder inside the Stanford University church in 1974.
The Tate murders occurred nine months after Habe’s death. A reporter at the time had stated on a live broadcast during the Manson trials that Habe had ties to the Manson family but police were not able to confirm this connection or the meaning of the statement. Was she friends with the Manson Family or a victim?
One person disagrees with the “friends” theory, and his opinion carries weight. Michael Bendrix, Habe’s step-brother and writer for the above LA Mag article said, “Marina was a devout Catholic and would have never willingly had anything to do with the likes of Charles Manson.”
In Ultimate Evil, Terry presents evidence for an almost unbelievable claim. That a single satanic network exists in California, Texas, North Dakota and New York, who have committed murders throughout the United States.
Terry gathered several testimonials from David Berkowitz, prison informants, former Satanists, police, and FBI working on the various investigations. Basically, the ring of criminals are “murderers for hire” for drug lords, the elite, and politicians who hire assassins to do their dirty work.
New York Police Department has spent years investigating this link. “NYPD Det. Sgt. Steve Blase was a Board Director of the Nation’s Missing Children Organization from 1994-2000. “There is a band of murderers operating throughout the US, their crimes would shock the public,” said Blase.
The connection, presented in Terry’s book, was both Charles Manson and David Berkowitz were both members of a dark order, the Process. The Process Church of the Final Judgment was a cult operating in both San Francisco and New York.
Founded by Robert and Mary Anne DeGrimston, both disciples of Aleister Crowley the Master Satanist and L. Ron Hubbard, pseudo-Satanist and the creator of Scientology.
After a disagreement and in their pursuit for power, the DeGrimston’s created their own movement, a cult that went by the names the Process Church of the Final Judgment, the Process, Four-P Movement, Four Pi, The Foundation Church of the Millennium, and The Foundation Faith of God.
According to Terry, Robert DeGrimston and Manson traveled the same social circles and on at least one occasion, met in the spring of 1968 at a residence in Topanga Canyon.
According to Ed Sander’s book “The Family,” in December 1968, Manson Family member Bruce Davis went on a pilgrimage to England where he spent roughly five months.
The DeGrimston’s publicly courted Paul McCartney, Mama Cass, John Phillips, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger and girlfriend Marianne Faithful and even Mary Tyler-Moore.
Michael Newton, author of Encyclopedia of Serial Killers wrote, “the cult is also deeply involved in white slavery, child pornography, and the international narcotics trade to include LSD and mescaline.
According to reports, several members of Four Pi indicated many victims were mainly hitchhikers, drifters, and runaways.
What does this have to do with Marina’s murder?
It means there was a very dark element operating close to the locations where Habe and Jurvetson’s bodies were found. Possibly because the killer or killers, were familiar with the area, typically a common motivation for murderers.
It is quite possible, Habe and Jurvetson were both victims of opportunity but one thing certain is they were both victims of a maniacal killer or killers.
The Laurel Canyon Scene
Laurel Canyon is a neighborhood of house lining Mulholland Drive, with non-through streets branching off to include the famous “Lookout Mountain Avenue. It is the woody North-South route between West Hollywood, Hollywood, Studio City, Central Los Angeles, and the main thoroughfare that separates eastern San Fernando Valley.
Laurel Canyon is a place where privacy of beautiful homes scatters the landscape and in 1969, celebrities and musicians gravitated to the area creating a dynamic counter-culture still famous today.
The home of Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork of the Monkees, Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, John and Michelle Philips of the Mamas & Papas all lived, played and sang there.
The occupants of Laurel Canyon made music together, got high together and slept together during those hazy days. Most have hazy memories of that time too.
During that time a charismatic criminal and drug trafficker, who ran a prostitution ring and who had been in and out of jail and detention centers his entire life, re-invented himself into a guru quoting bible verses and lyrics from the Beatles. Charles Manson was described as Christ-like by his followers he recruited from Haight Ashbury, and many would do anything for him. As we would later find out – even kill.
In 1967, before Manson would land in Laurel Canyon, a documentary film “Mondo Hollywood” highlighting the tumultuous and extreme times of the 1960s in the bizarre world of Hollywood. Ironically, the film featured the well-known musician and Manson member Bobby Beausoleil, and none other than Jay Sebring who was later murdered at Sharon Tate’s home.
Mondo Hollywood’s haunting film opening:
“Some towns are built on marble.
Some cities built on schemes.
Only one city had been built with magic, only one had been built on dreams.
My town, my town – Hollywood.”
Manson was drawn to Hollywood in pursuit of fame, he wanted his star on Hollywood Boulevard. Manson’s clique reached far and wide – and interwoven with the Laurel Canyon elite. Canyon music scene and drug trafficking brought celebrities into his circle. Manson’s fame would eventually come at great cost.
Manson, an aspiring musician, infiltrated the Laurel Canyon scene through Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and went on to integrate himself creating a fantastic spider web of intrigue.
In 1968, Manson was staying at the home of Wilson of the Beach Boys. Ironically, the man who would become Manson’s “right hand” Tex Watson, was already living at Wilson’s home when Manson and up to two dozen of his followers moved in.
Wilson lived in a beautiful mansion in Rustic Canyon, an approximate 20-minute drive from Laurel Canyon. For months, Wilson hosted at his Laurel Canyon. Manson had free reign, and Wilson later told friends he had spent $100,000 on clothes, food cars, and penicillin shots due to recurrent bouts of gonorrhea spread from member to member. Manson even wrecked Wilson’s, Mercedes Benz.
Wilson would tell a reporter, “I told them (the girls) about our involvement with the Maharishi and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who’d recently come out of jail after twelve years. He drifted into crime, but when I met him I found he had great musical ideas. We are writing together now. He’s dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have learned from him.”
Wilson didn’t seem to mind the Manson “home-invasion” as he was busy being doted on by the many clad dressed women while he was recording Manson in his private home recording studio where friends like Neil Young came over to listen to Charlie sing.
Wilson recorded a song Manson had written with the “Beach Boys” title “Cease to Exist” but changed the title and wording to “Never Learn Not to Love.” Wilson took all the credit for the song which in turn, pissed Manson off.
Van Dyke Parks who worked with the Beach Boys said, “One day, Charles Manson brought a bullet out and showed it to Dennis, who asked, “What’s this?” And Manson replied, “It’s a bullet. Every time you look at it, I want you to think how nice it is your kids are still safe.” Wilson reacted by beating Manson up and embarrassing him in front of many influential people.
Wilson had to cut his ties with Manson and his family and made the break by moving out of his own house and leaving Manson there.
Manson later tried to contact Wilson through his housekeeper, with the intention of asking for money. Manson left a bullet with the housekeeper, along with a cryptic message that was nothing less than a threat, and Wilson perceived it that way he would later tell others.
It was Wilson who introduced Manson to Terry Melcher, a record producer and the only son of famous Hollywood actress Doris Day.
Manson would eventually audition for Melcher, but never signed a record contract. Melcher was also working on a documentary about the Manson family but abandoned the project and both Wilson and Melcher cut ties with Manson, something that would put “Charlie” in a rage!
In People Magazine, “Did Doris Day save Her Son from Being Killed by Charles Manson?” Melcher’s mother Doris Day is credited with saving her son’s life by urging him to vacate the residence shortly before the Tate murders.
It was Terry Melcher’s and girlfriend Candice Bergen’s home at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, that director Roman Polanski and wife, Sharon Tate, had been renting. The same home where the 8-month pregnant Tate would be stabbed 16 times and friends, Abigail Folger, along with boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring and 18-year old Steven Parent were all murdered. Parent had been visiting the caretaker in another residence and was in the wrong place and the very wrong time when the Manson clan entered the Tate property.
Abigail Folger and Frykowski were staying with Tate while her husband Roman Polanski was in Europe producing a movie. Their home was minutes away, just off Mulholland Drive, in a house on Woodstock Road.
Tex Watson, Manson’s enforcer would force Folger into the bedroom to retrieve $70 before she was stabbed 28 times fueling speculation the murders were a robbery or drug deal gone bad.
Many have theorized that it was actually Melcher, who Manson’s army of followers was there to visit. It had been reported Manson had been by the house several times after Tate and Polanski had moved in.
In a Daily Mail report, “The murders that rocked America: How pregnant Sharon Tate and the Manson family victims were the victims of ill-fated circumstances in a bloodbath that remains seared into public consciousness and pop culture,” references Doris Day’s intervention.
Beach Boys singer Mike Love – Wilson’s first cousin – wrote in his 2016 memoir Good Vibrations that Melcher was encouraged to leave 10050 Cielo Drive by his famous mother.
‘The move was no accident,’ Love wrote. ‘Terry, Doris’ only child, was extremely close to his mom. He had told her about Manson – and about some of his scary antics, his brandishing of knives, his zombie followers – and that Manson had been to the house on Cielo and she insisted he move out.
Others have speculated the Tate murders were tied to drugs as Folger and Frykowski were heavily involved in LSD and cocaine trafficking. It was rumored that Frykowski had burned a major drug trafficker and Manson may have been hired to assassinate both.
After the Tate murders, Melcher abandoned all his contracts, would hire a bodyguard, became extremely paranoid and went into seclusion.
Susan Atkins, known as “Sexy Sadie” within the Manson Family, would testify in front of a Grand Jury that the house was chosen for the murders “to instill fear into Terry Melcher because Terry had given is his word on a few things and never came through with them.”
One has to wonder if the entire story and the “why” of the Manson murders reported worldwide, was in fact - wrong.
Manson instilled fear in others. It was his method of manipulation and control and he was a vengeful soul as Wilson had told his friends that he had seen Manson kill a black man and throw him in a well, causing Wilson to rethink his relationship and begin to withdraw.
Wilson would later claim that he had destroyed the demo tapes he made with Manson and had little memory of the time the Manson Family stayed with him. Later Wilson would have a change of heart, “I know why Charles Manson did what he did,” said Wilson. “Someday, I’ll tell the world. I’ll write a book and explain why he did it.”
The book was never written. Wilson died December 28, 1983, in a suspicious drowning in the marina where his boat was docked.
“Now is The Only Thing That’s Real: A real examination of the Manson murders, motives and mythos” by Neil Sanders, is likely the most recent and thorough examination of the motives behind the Tate murders and intersects with Maury Terry’s book “Ultimate Evil.
Well researched and with the skills of a seasoned investigator, Sanders seamlessly describes Manson’s activities, the A-list celebrities he and his clan interacted with due to drug trafficking and pimping his beautiful girls.
It really is a wicked web, one that may seem hard to believe, and there will always more questions. However, as we dismiss the old “Helter Skelter” story that the Tate murders were “random acts” of a maniac who was Manson.
The facts and statements that have emerged in recent years contradict everything we have been told and may also help us understand how two young girls with seemingly no connections to drugs or prostitution, or in life, were murdered.
Neither Habe or Jurvetson are not known to do any drugs. Jurvetson’s autopsy proved her system was free of any drugs or alcohol.
We must not forget, early on, police speculated that a biker and dope-dealer named “Spanky” was responsible for Habe’s murder.
However, Habe’s own step-brother Michael Bendrix has stated that Habe would have never associated with someone like that and taking into consideration Habe’s disappearance from her driveway seems more like a kidnapping. Possible, her parents were well-known and rich but no ransom call came.
It is more believable the Habe, and even Jurvetson were victims of opportunity.
One thing that can be corroborated from “many” sources is – we know who was crawling the canyon of the Hollywood Hills.
However, if we also take into consideration that all the murders to include Habe, Jurvetson, and the Tate murder victims all involved “overkill” by stabbing – that would be the strongest lead to date.
Someone knows. For the families of all the victims, I do hope the answers will someday be known.
Questions & Answers
The Manson clan murdered a whole lot more people than is known about. My guess would be about five hundred victims, but I could be wrong. My sixth grade teacher had a best friend who was found raped and murdered in the desert, and she felt it was the Manson clan. I am sure she was right. My teacher was Imogene Knight of Hugo Reid Elementary School in Arcadia, California, and this was back in the late '60s or early '70s. What do you think about this?
I do believe there are far more unsolved crimes the Manson Clan was responsible for. I wish we could find out the name of the best friend of your teacher. I would like to research it and possibly include the case in a future article.Helpful 7