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Steven Earl Parent (February 12, 1951 – August 9, 1969) was a victim of the Charles Manson murders.

Early life

Parent was born in Californiamarker to Wilfred Elmer, a construction superintendent and Juanita, a homemaker. Parent, along with his three younger siblings, was raised in the Los Angelesmarker suburb of El Montemarker.

Parent attended Arroyo High School in El Monte and spent his time listening to popular folk music and playing the guitar. Steven's main interest was electronics and mechanics, an interest that led to trouble with the law. Parent was arrested several times for stealing radios for the sole purpose of tearing them apart to understand how they worked. He spent time in a youth correctional facility for the crimes. While in custody, Parent tested at a near genius level for electronics.

In June 1969, he graduated from Arroyo High School with plans to attend Citrus Junior College in Azusa, Californiamarker the following September. To earn money for college, he held two jobs. By day, he worked full time as a delivery boy for Valley City Plumbing Company in Rosemeadmarker. In the evenings, he also worked as a salesman at Jonas Miller Stereo on Wilshire Boulevard.

Death

In July 1969, Parent picked up William Garretson, who was hitchhiking in Beverly Hillsmarker. Garretson was a caretaker at 10050 Cielo Drivemarker in Benedict Canyonmarker, which, at the time, was being rented to director Roman Polanski, and his wife, actress Sharon Tate. After Parent gave Garretson a ride back to the estate, the young caretaker thanked him and invited Parent to stop by anytime he was in the area.

On August 8, 1969, after working at both of his jobs, Parent drove to Benedict Canyon and arrived at 10050 Cielo Drive at about 11:45 p.m. He had hoped to sell a Sony AM-FM Digimatic clock radio to Garretson. He demonstrated the clock radio for Garretson, but the caretaker didn't want to buy it. Parent then placed a call to Jerrold Friedman, a friend for whom he was going to build a stereo, and hung around long enough to drink the can of beer Garretson gave him. At around midnight, Steven Parent said goodbye to Garretson and left the guesthouse.

Unbeknownst to Parent or any occupants of the house, members of the Manson family were entering the property with the intentions of killing and robbing the residents. Parent then got into his father's 1966 white AMC Rambler and backed up into the split rail fence. He drove down the parking lot and stopped to push the button that operated the electronic gate. As Parent rolled down his window, he was met by a dark figure that shouted, "Halt!" The figure was Manson "family" member Charles "Tex" Watson with a .22 revolver in one hand and a buck knife in the other. Parent told Watson, "Please don't hurt me. I won't say anything." Parent raised his arm to protect his face as Watson swung the knife at him, slashing Parent's watch off his wrist. Watson then shot Parent four times in rapid succession, hitting him in the face and chest.

On the morning of August 9, 1969, the bodies of Steven Parent, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski were discovered by the Polanski maid, Winifred Chapman. The only survivor, Garretson, had escaped detection and apparently heard nothing from his cottage.

As Parent was carrying no identification when his body was found, for a short time he was known to authorities only as 'John Doe 85.' The body was identified later that afternoon by the Parent family's parish priest, who went to the coroner's office after Parent's family had informed him that he was missing.

Funeral services for Steven Parent were held on August 13, 1969 at the Church of the Nativity in El Monte, after which he was interred at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in nearby Rowland Heightsmarker.

Aftermath

Parent's father, Wilfred, was highly critical of the way his son's death was treated. He stated that he was told by phone of the murder by a Los Angeles Police Department detective. He also criticized the manner in which the media focused on the more famous victims while showing little interest in his son. In recent years, Janet Parent, Steven's sister, began attending the killers' parole hearings. She has also publicly spoken out against Susan Atkins' and Charles "Tex" Watson's requests for parole.

References

  1. Steven Parent. The Victims. Cielodrive.com:: The Story of The Manson Family and Their Victims
  2. Cielodrive.com:: The Story of The Charles Manson Family and Their Victims
  3. The Manson Family Today


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