The granddaughter of Manson family victim Rosemary LaBianca has been brutally stabbed to death in a chilling repeat of the infamous murders 51 years ago, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Ariana Wolk, daughter of Rosemary’s daughter Suzan LaBerge, was found murdered in a Denver, Colorado apartment back in July.
Single mom-of-one Ariana, 40, was discovered ‘in a pool of blood in her bed’ after being stabbed multiple times in the neck, Denver District Attorney’s office said.
Jose Sandoval-Romero, 24, has been charged with her murder, apparently confessing to the crime when cops caught him four days later.
Ariana Wolk, granddaughter of Rosemary LaBianca, was found murdered in a Denver, Colorado apartment back in July
The family of Rosemary’s granddaughter is now mourning Ariana’s tragic loss. ‘Ariana was a single Mom with one son who was the joy of her life. We are bringing him here from Colorado for her burial and memorial gathering,’ the family wrote
Cult leader Charles Manson is pictured after his arrest in 1969. He and his followers mudered Ariana’s grandmother
The DA’s office said: ‘During his interview with law enforcement, Sandoval-Romero admitted that he had stabbed Ms. Wolk, fled the scene, and discarded his bloody clothes before fleeing to Colorado Springs.’
According to an affidavit for Sandoval-Romero’s arrest released by the DA a post-mortem found Ariana had ‘several stab wounds to her neck and apparent defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands’ indicating she put up a fight against her attacker.
Jose Sandoval-Romero, 24, has been charged with her murder, apparently confessing to the crime when cops caught him four days later
The brutal murder is chillingly similar to that of Ariana’s grandmother Rosemary who was killed with her husband Leno in their Los Feliz, Los Angeles home on August 10, 1969 by Charles Manson and three of his followers.
Rosemary, 38, and Leno, 44, who owned of a chain of grocery stores, were stabbed dozens of times and Leno was left with a carving fork sticking out of his stomach and the word ‘war’ cut into his flesh.
The murderers scrawled ‘Rise’ and ‘Death to pigs’ in blood on the wall and misspelled ‘Healter Skelter’ on the fridge door.
The previous night Manson had ordered the brutal murder of eight month pregnant Sharon Tate and four others at her home on Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon.
At the time of the murders Ariana’s mother Suzan was just 21 and didn’t live with her mother and stepfather but was among those who found their bodies the next day.
And this comes as one of Rosemary’s killers, Leslie Van Houten, was again denied parole in recent days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a parole board decision to free her.
It’s the fourth time a governor has blocked her release and the 23rd time she’s been denied parole.
The family of Rosemary’s granddaughter is now mourning Ariana’s tragic loss.
Her sister Rommi Wolk, who lives in California, posted a GoFundMe page online on behalf of her mother Suzan LaBerge.
Friends donated more than $7,000 to help pay to transport Ariana’s body back to her native California.
Rommi wrote: ‘On July 3 my sister Ariana Wolk was murdered in her apartment in Denver Colorado. She was a very happy, sweet, kind loving child and gifted her family with many fond memories…Although Ariana did not live here at this time, her heart was always here and she visited every opportunity she had. She loved the County Fair, Festivals and the river, mountains and forest.
‘Ariana was a single Mom with one son who was the joy of her life. We are bringing him here from Colorado for her burial and memorial gathering.’
The single mom-of-one, 40, was discovered ‘in a pool of blood in her bed’ after being stabbed multiple times in the neck, Denver District Attorney’s office said
According to an affidavit for Sandoval-Romero’s arrest, a post-mortem found Ariana had ‘several stab wounds to her neck and apparent defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands’ indicating she put up a fight against her attacker
Her grandmother Rosemary LaBianca was killed with her husband Leno in their Los Angeles home in 1969 by Charles Manson and three of his followers
Rommi also posted a fundraiser for people to donate to a trust fund for Ariana’s young son Xander.
When contacted by DailyMail.com Ariana’s mother Suzan, 72, who lives in Northern California, was too upset to comment simply saying she was ‘grieving’.
Maya Halverson Baldwin, a friend of Ariana’s who went to high school with her in Carpinteria, California, paid tribute to her.
Maya, who knew Ariana for most of her life, told DailyMail.com: ‘Ariana was a beautiful sweet person, loving mother to her son Xander and a stunningly gorgeous girl in our small seaside town.
‘Every boy I knew in our tiny graduating class was at one time or another in love with Ari… it was funny to me to watch them catch ‘Ariana fever’ like a dose of chicken pox.
‘I was aware that she had split with her son’s father, but we had both been busy the last few years, so I wasn’t in frequent contact. To hear of her murderous death was an absolute gut punch. Her poor son. Her last moments, the terror she must have felt, all gripped my mind.
‘Her death is shocking and tragic. It’s hard for me to even visualize what happened, she was a tall strong woman.’
Posting the fundraiser on Facebook, Ariana’s brother Lyle Benjamin LaBerge described his sister as an ‘amazing light’.
Devastated Suzan LaBerge, who has now lost her mother and daughter in similar circumstances, suffered a nervous breakdown after the murder of her mother and step-father and later became a born again Christian. Ariana was born in 1979 – ten years after the killings.
Notoriously Suzan came to forgive Tex Watson, Manson’s self-described right hand man, who took part in both the LaBianca and Tate murder sprees.
In the mid 1980s she started writing to Watson, also a born-again Christian, in prison and after a year decided to reveal who she was and began visiting him.
Explaining the bizarre decision, she once said: ‘My motive was to bring understanding to the tragedy of losing my parents.’
At the time of the murders Ariana’s mother Suzan LaBerge (pictured) was just 21 and didn’t live with her mother and stepfather but was among those who found their bodies the next day. Devastated Suzan suffered a nervous breakdown after the murders and later became a born again Christian
Ariana was born in 1979 – ten years after the killings. She’s pictured with her father Henry Wolk
The LaBiancas were first tied up by Manson before the killing by his followers. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are pictured together
According to the LA Times she became convinced of Watson’s remorse, forgave him and began spending time with his family and friends.
In an odd twist Suzan ended up living in the same coastal California town as Patti Tate, Sharon’s younger sister, leading to a chilling meeting in 1990.
According to the 2012 book Restless Souls co-written by Patti’s daughter Brie (Patti died of cancer in 2000), her mother met Suzan in the middle school playground as they picked up their daughters.
They began to chat and Patti revealed she was the sister of Sharon Tate to which Suzan replied she was the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca.
Believing it to be a coincidence and interested to meet another victim, Patti let her eldest daughter Ally go home to the LaBerge house that day, just two miles from hers.
However, according to the book, Suzan then called Tex Watson’s wife and she informed him about the development in prison.
A few hours later Patti got a frantic call from her mother Doris who had been told about Suzan befriending Watson.
Patti rushed over to the LaBerge house to collect her daughter, turning to Suzan to say, ‘How could you?’ before driving off, the book states.
The book describes how Doris was told Watson boasted to another inmate in jail how ‘Suzan LaBerge, nee LaBianca, is my ace in the hole’ and how she would testify at his next parole hearing and he hoped Patti Tate would too, adding: ‘The Tate kid is playing in Suzan’s front yard as we speak.’
Recounting the story when the book was released, Restless Souls co-author Alisa Statman told the New York Post: ‘It was just horrifying. Possibly the most horrifying experience of her life.’
Suzan did appear at Watson’s parole hearing later in 1990 and advocated for his release, telling the parole board: ‘During our visit, I shared the forgiveness I felt toward him and I felt very certain that Charles was deeply remorseful for what he had done.’
The night before the LaBiana murders, Manson had ordered the brutal murder of eight month pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at her home on Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon
Manson Family killers Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten in 1971 are pictured. Krenwinkel and Van Houten participated in the LaBianca murders
Notoriously Suzan came to forgive Tex Watson, Manson’s self-described right hand man, who took part in both the LaBianca and Sharon Tate murder sprees
The Tate family were also there to oppose his release. Watson was denied parole and is still in prison.
Doris wrote in her journal at the time: ‘Watson watched like a proud parent at LaBerge as she read her pages. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was more going on than mere forgiveness.’
The LaBianca murders happened the day after four members of Manson’s cult brutally murdered Tate while her husband director Roman Polanski was away filming.
The pregnant actress and four visitors were beaten, stabbed and shot and the word ‘pigs’ was scrawled on the front door in Tate’s blood.
Watson, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten murdered the LaBiancas with Manson entering the house first and tying the couple up and then leaving before the killing started (pictured in a mugshot in 2009)
Terror gripped Los Angeles after the discovery of the LaBiancas tortured and killed in a similar fashion the next day.
The killers were arrested later in 1969 and put on trial. Watson was convicted of seven murders. He committed the Tate murders with Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins.
Watson, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten murdered the LaBiancas with Manson entering the house first and tying the couple up and then leaving before the killing started.
Linda Kasabian was there both nights as driver but escaped prosecution by testifying against the others.
At the trial, the prosecution said the motive for the murders was a bizarre plan to trigger a race war known as Helter Skelter, after the Beatles song.
When contacted by DailyMail.com Denver District Attorney’s office declined to comment on Ariana’s connection to the Manson case.
Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for Denver District Attorney’s office, said: ‘As a matter of policy and ethics, we do not discuss information about victims or witnesses.’
Sandoval-Romero had a ‘competency hearing’ scheduled for November 12 but it was vacated, Tyler said.
A status conference for the case is listed to take place on January 28 next year.
The grim details of Ariana Wolk’s death
More details of the brutal murder of Ariana Wolk were described in an affidavit for Sandoval-Romero’s arrest released by Denver’s District Attorney’s office.
The document, which redacted names of witnesses, says a post-mortem found Ariana had ‘several stab wounds to her neck and apparent defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands’ indicating she put up a fight against her attacker.
It says Ariana had been living alone at her apartment for two months after she had been a victim of domestic violence in late May.
However, it says detectives ruled out the man accused in the domestic violence incident as he was fitted with an ankle monitor and the GPS tracker confirmed he hadn’t been to the apartment that day.
In an interview with detectives the man said he met Ariana at a Walgreens store earlier on the day of her death and she was with a young Hispanic male with black hair in his 20s.
The affidavit says one neighbor heard Ariana fall or get pushed down an apartment stairwell and that they observed a young male with black hair in the doorway, who later knocked on her door and asked if she wanted to smoke marijuana.
Another man interviewed by police said he had met Ariana within the past two weeks and had been staying with her since July 1 to help her battle her alcohol addiction.
The man said he had left the apartment on the morning of the murder and returned after 9pm where he found Ariana unresponsive.
He also told detectives that in his short time with Ariana he had ‘observed she would become intoxicated and invite random transients to come to the house’, the affidavit states.
A second neighbor told detectives he ‘heard someone fall on the side stairwell and saw Ariana facedown’. He also said he saw a ‘Mexican male with a box haircut and facial hair around the chin and mouth area standing nearby’ and he ‘thought the male may have pushed Ariana’.
He said they went back into Ariana’s apartment and he saw them later in the day hanging out in the backyard.
In the document it says detectives found CCTV video footage from the day of Ariana’s death showing her with Sandoval-Romero in which he was seen holding a clear Starbucks cup with a pink drink in it.
The cup was later found in Ariana’s yard with his fingerprints on it.
A distinctive red tattoo on Sandoval-Romero’s forearm was also seen in the footage.
The affidavit goes on to say detectives found a phone number for the suspect and obtained a warrant to track it and located him in Colorado Springs where he had family.
Cops arrested him at an address in the mountain city on July 7 observing two partially healed cuts on his right hand, ‘either of which appear consistent with depositing blood drops at the murder scene’.
The affidavit states: ‘This type of injury is consistent with a knife slipping in an assailant’s hand as he makes repeated stabbing motions.’
The suspect was interviewed by detectives later that day and ‘admitted to stabbing the victim multiple times in her bedroom, fleeing the scene, discarding his bloody clothes in the trash and fleeing to Colorado Springs’.