First, as an introduction:
Because she is Sharon Tate’s sister and considers herself to be the only surviving member of Sharon’s family, Brie and I fully expected Debra Tate would not approve of Restless Souls. And, like most reasonable, civilized adults, we would have respected her opinion–if it had stopped there.
I’ve been told that while Debra Tate’s website (which ran a post accusing Brie and I of many false things and a challenge to take a polygraph) is obviously approved by Debra Tate it is run by Robin Olson–who has been stalking me (Alisa Statman) on and off the internet, under various blogs/discussions/sites, under a variety of monikers, for 13 years. Robin Olson is a highly disturbed individual who began negative rumors and out-right lies about me the year that my partner, Patti Tate, died.
For twelve years I ignored Robin Olson’s BS, her harassment, and her bullying. I ignored the 20-page expose she made on me filled with lies, childish hatred, and gay bashing that she presented to PJ Tate in 2001. I ignored her lies on the internet that I sold Sharon’s possessions and crime scene photos. I ignored her initial claims that because she was Patti’s best friend she was certain Patti and I were never in a relationship. And I ignored her later reflection that I had brainwashed Patti with my satanic-like powers to make her gay. I was gracious enough not to call the police when Robin Olson and Debra Tate pounded on my door demanding entry with an absurd claim that I was holding Patti’s children hostage inside. And I set aside her disgusting attempt to get Patti’s personal possessions by bribing her children with a $100 cash reward for stealing said possessions and giving them to her.
Instead, I chose to take the high road and write off all of her transgressions to that of a depraved and damaged mind that is incapable of rational thought. But, there comes a time when we all hit the proverbial wall and say enough is enough. My time is now.
Why, one might ask, does Olson have a personal vendetta against me? Because just after Patti died, Robin Olson was selling $10 views of personal home videos of Patti on her website, Robinsweb, for which she supposedly sent the proceeds to The Doris Tate Crime Victims’ Bureau (which, for the record, they never received) and I nor Patti’s children approved of her endeavor. This caused a heated argument between us and her assault on me began shortly thereafter in 2000.
Just after the release of Restless Souls in 2012, Robin Olson made threatening and disturbing phone calls to family members that Brie and I are close to; asserting, amongst numerous other things, “I’m a writer too, you know”–and I think that comment alone speaks volumes. Envy is a very ugly emotion that brings out the worst in all of us.
As previously stated, we expected that Debra Tate would not support our book. What we did not expect was a personal attack on our credibility as two people who cared so much about the individuals depicted in Restless Souls that we made it our mission to share their incredible life stories.
We did not expect to be attacked by harassment letters and phone calls from Robin Olson and her supporters. We did not expect to have our emails hacked, alias’ created in order to create fake blogs under our names posting personal information, photos of innocent babies for Manson family members to see, and gross accusations and misrepresentations about our character.
We did not expect Robin Olson to make up a variety of monikers so that she could post multiple negative reviews and opinions on blogs and discussion groups about us and the book in an effort to show that she had more negative support than she actually had.
In essence, we did not expect the personal vindictiveness practiced by two grown adults that have behaved like eight-year-old bullies in a playground.
DEBRA TATE’S & ROBIN OLSON’S POLYGRAPH QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Their questions are in italics, my responses in normal text.
Before moving into the guesthouse at Cielo, did you express to others your intent to write about my sister Sharon’s murder?
Response: Absolutely not. The thought of writing a book was not even a blip on my radar. These allegations were perpetrated first by author, Bill Nelson when he said that I had burned him (see Deemer answer below) and ended our working relationship in order to ingratiate myself with the Tate family and then picked by Robin Olson on various websites under various monikers shortly after Patti Tate died.
Did you begin working on or researching a book about my sister Sharon’s murder before you met Patti?
Response: Same answer as above with the note: In order to avoid replication of answers, please see my answer in more detail under the Lt. Deemer question.
Is it true that you used the photographs you stole from Lieutenant Earl Deemer’s collection to meet my sister Patti?
Response: As in tabloid stories there is often an increment of truth to what they write—and that is the situation here. First, there’s a back story.
Bill Nelson approached me by sending a cold letter to the Cielo house after I had moved in. In the letter he lied to me and told me that he was working on a show for HBO which would revolve around the victims’ POV of the murders and that this was a project approved and in collaboration with Doris Tate. He asked if I wanted to be a part of it and I jumped at the chance for two reasons: 1: A friend of mine had recently been murdered and I was already delving into the topic of victims’ rights. 2: I worked in the film/television industry and this would be my first chance to have creative input.
It would be many months before I found out the intolerable truth about Bill Nelson, but if you’re going to condemn me for working with him, then you must also condemn Doris Tate who collaborated with him for a couple of years before she too was told the truth about Bill Nelson. Sadly, at the same time that Doris was discovering the truth about Nelson, I was being pulled into his web of lies. Part of this supposed HBO show was to include the homicide detectives from Sharon’s case–Lt. Deemer was to be my first to visit with Nelson.
It wasn’t until I entered Deemer’s home that I got my first inkling about Nelson’s true agenda. Inside, Deemer had his dining room table filled with Manson case “memorabilia” that he was hoping to sell with Nelson’s help. As I sifted through the two-foot pile of items, I came across an envelope that contained a little blue box of slides and negatives. Upon inspection, I noticed that these were pictures of the Cielo Drive murder victims taken at the Cielo house. Due to the extension of Sharon’s belly, they were obviously taken in close proximity to her death.
When we lose a loved one, all we have left are memories and photographs and it was obvious since Deemer held both the slides and the negatives that Sharon’s family (and the other victims) had never seen these photos. I was extremely angry that this man had kept a precious gift from the victims next of kin and so I stole as many as I could fit in my pocket with the intent to return them to who he had stolen them from–the victims’ families.
So, yes, I found Patti’s address through voter registration and sent her a letter informing her that I had the photos. When she responded, I sent her the originals and two copies to give to the Frykowski and Sebring families—sadly, at the time (without the internet resources that we have today), she was unable to find either family.
I did not use the photos as a means to meet Patti, I used them as a means to create a simple act of kindness without asking anything in return. And, because I never asked for anything in return, and, contrary to Debra Tate and Robin Olson’s accusations, I was not ghoulishly curious about her sister’s infamous murder, Patti and I created a bond that turned into a friendship that turned into a relationship.
Bill Nelson was extremely upset that I had taken the photos and demanded that I return them. When I refused, we parted ways. Later, I learned the truth about who Bill Nelson really was.
Did you ever meet my mom Doris Gwen Tate?
Would you swear that the statement in the book as to how it came about is absolutely accurate?
Response: Absolutely. Restless Souls was written as a loving tribute to honor a family that, in spite of all the negativity served up to them, had given so much back to society. It is heartbreaking that a negative spin has been put on this book and doubly heartbreaking that in the blog world of Sharon Tate some have come to know it as a book about why Debra Tate is not in it—some even accusing us of bashing her good name.
The bottom line is that Brie and I knew very little about Debra Tate because she was not a big part of Patti’s life and therefor, not a big part our lives. We tried to make that apparent in the most benign way we could in the first chapter with Patti’s simple commentary on her relationship with Debbie– “my sister Debbie was hibernating in her room because despite how mature she felt, we were the enemy who reminded her she was only sixteen. Unlike my relationship with Sharon, I felt distanced from Debbie. She was too young to be a role model, and too old to be a friend.”
The second commentary on Debra Tate is in Brie’s chapter. Due to Debra Tate taking PJ’s ashes and selfishly not giving him a proper burial (or any burial at all that we know of) and thereby eliminating any possibility for his grandchildren to pay their respect to him, I think Brie was justified in making her comment: “There is my Aunt Debra. Though she is my mother’s sister, she is a far-removed aunt. Never close with Mama, often at battle with her, I knew Debra less than I knew Aunt Sharon. And because we were such strangers to each other, I had no way of knowing if she cared enough to fight to keep Aunt Sharon’s killers in prison. What little I knew about her firsthand was that she’d taken my grandfather’s ashes and, to date, had not given him a proper burial. Under those circumstances I wasn’t sure if she was the one to carry on my grandmother and mother’s work.”
Plus, (see legislative response below) PJ had already shared this sentiment with Brie on numerous occasions and she respected her grandfather’s opinion.
Is every word in the book attributed to Patti exactly what she herself said or wrote?
Response: “Every word” is a strong statement. The original manuscript for Restless Souls was Patti’s autobiography, which was completed before her death. We had an agent and interest from publishers, but sadly Patti was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and her recovery took the front seat to the book. Years later and after her death, when it was transformed into the family memoir, we made every effort to use Patti’s original writings. In fact, we so much wanted to honor Patti’s words that we sometimes had to add bracketed words to give the implied meaning of her comment if it wasn’t clear or grammatically clear. Can I say every word was exact? No.
Did You use any of the materials written and prepared by Robin Olson for Patti’s book in this book?
Response: Are you kidding? First of all, lets use some legal logic here. If we had, wouldn’t Robin Olson have dragged our butts to court for plagiarism?
Second, Robin Olson has made many claims that she and Patti were working on a book together, and as she noted to the family members she called after publication, she feels that she should have been the one to publish the Tate family memoirs. The truth is, that while Patti and I were writing, Olson kept inserting herself into the mix by sending proposed chapters–which, btw, I have copies of, along with Olson’s writing samples for the book and will gladly publish them here at a later time to prove how ridiculously false this accusation is.
Third, as previously stated, Robin Olson tried to insert herself into the project. She did this also by trying to find Patti an agent. She recommended a man named Mel Berger. Patti had me call Mr. Berger, who requested the first chapter of our manuscript–which we sent. After reading it, he insisted on a ghostwriter and wanted to do a quick, down and dirty publication to meet the next Manson parole hearing. We passed.
Fourth: I have the dated floppy disks (and eventual CDs) in a safe deposit box, along with everything else that proves the dates we started writing and our various drafts of the manuscript as it evolved up until 2011.
Fifth: I have the signed contract with myself, Patti & our agent dating 1998. Patti was a true and kind soul, why on earth would she have a legal contract with me and yet a promise to Robin Olson for a book collaboration? Answer? Patti would never do that to anyone and Robin Olson is making it all up.
Did you change, alter, or add anything to my dad’s unpublished manuscript prior to publication?
Response: This question is a non-starter because we never claimed to use this unpublished manuscript as a substantial part of Restless Souls—and for the record, only one paragraph was lifted from the Manuscript.
At no point did Brie or I claim to write/copy verbatim from any one of the Tate family’s unpublished manuscripts. Never did we state that words were taken directly from PJ’s (or Doris’) manuscript(s). I state very emphatically in the introduction: “I unearthed a treasure of the Tate family’s home movies, audio and video recordings, journals, and letters dating back to 1961, as well as a massive archive of police and court documents from Sharon’s murder case…. It took months to catalog it all…”
PJ Tate actually wrote two unpublished manuscripts during the period of 1970-1972. By the time of beginning Patti’s autobiography, much of his thoughts in both manuscripts were outdated, therefore, a majority of PJ’s information came from discussions with him and his actual files that he kept.
Did you change, alter, or add anything to my mom’s unpublished manuscript prior to publication?
Response: Doris Tate wrote eight different unpublished manuscripts with a variety of co-authors. While we gleaned information from these unpublished accounts we got most of our information (and Doris’ actual words) from personal tape recordings that she made throughout the years, her taped letters to PJ and Sharon, her public interviews, and Patti, PJ, and Brie’s personal recollections. Again, had we used any part of these unpublished memoirs that had co-writers we could have been hit with a plagiarism suit.
Can you provide independent corroboration to verify the many verbatim conversations given in the book between people now deceased?
Response: This answer would coincide with the above answer. Because we were fortunate enough to have tape recorded letters, tape recorded journals, public interviews, and the recollection of the individuals, we are actually able to provide independent corroboration.
Can you provide independent corroboration to verify the account of my sister Sharon’s murder appearing in your book?
Response: Of course not—nor was it meant to be a factual account. Instead, it was meant to be Patti’s interpretation of what she perceived happened there.
In Restless Souls, the entire book is written in past tense except for two inserts, the dream sequence and the murders. This was done to show that it’s what’s occurring in Patti’s mind as it’s happening and open to her interpretation and hers alone.
The section on the murders is also the one of two portions of the book in which we switch out of first person narrative and go into third person narrative to show that it’s not a personal experience.
Finally, Patti’s account of the murders was written before her death. To honor her thoughts, we published it as is because she deserved to have an opinion—no matter how inaccurate. Her perceived account of the murders may be no more or no less accurate than any of the over 100 accounts that have been written on the Cielo Drive murders. But, Patti is/was entitled to her opinion of what she thinks happened that night—and that goes for the imagined dialog between victim and murderer.
Did my dad order you to turn over to me all Tate family materials left in the Palos Verdes house?
Response: No. In fact, his request was just the opposite. I was instructed by PJ to pack up only one trunk of Sharon’s belongings for Debra Tate to have. PJ further stated that Debbie was not to enter the house to get the trunk, but rather it would be placed at the end of the driveway for her to retrieve, which we complied with.
Did you turn over to my dad or to me, as requested, all Tate family materials in the Palos Verdes house?
Response: This request was never made by PJ Tate—in fact, just the opposite. PJ’s request to me was that all items that remained in the house be given to Patti’s children after his death.
Again, let’s look at the legal logic here. After Patti died, two of her children and I remained in the Tate family home from 2000-2005. In that time, PJ Tate was the owner of the home. If at any point in that time he had wanted items from his home all he needed to do was walk in and take them. If at any point I had refused PJ access to his home or access to personal items that he wanted from his home, he need only call the authorities to settle the situation.
If, as Debra Tate has once claimed, PJ became incapacitated and could not make the trip himself, it would have been very simple for him to assign a representative of his interest to demand entrance into his home and demand any personal items PJ may have wanted. But again, these were not his wishes.
In 2006, when I purchased the house, PJ again, whether incapacitated or not, could have gotten into his home before escrow closed to take whatever he owned and wanted to remove before I took legal possession of the home. But again, that was not his wish. His wish was to leave the items in my possession, knowing that I would keep them safe until his grandchildren were ready to take possession of what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted.
In 2008, two years after I had bought the house from PJ and a year and a half after his death, Debra Tate filed a legal complaint through PJ’s estate attorney executor demanding a full inventory of all items in my household. After attorney haggling, she lost because: A: She was disinherited from PJ’s estate leaving her no legal claim to anything, and B: It wasn’t PJ’s wishes for her to have the items.
Did you deny to me that such Tate family materials remained in the Palos Verdes house?
Response: Yes–but again, at PJ Tate’s request and to carry out his wishes. But, they have now been distributed to Patti’s children or are secured in a safe deposit boxes.
Did you sign statements at Holy Cross Cemetery describing yourself as a Tate “stepsister?”
Response: It is indeed true–yes, I stated that I was Patti’s stepsister and power of attorney–2nd part true– but I did not call myself a Tate. I did this because sadly the archdiocese would not recognize my relationship with Patti as family. Since Roman was signing over the right to bury Patti there, it had to be a family member that signed the forwarding documents and since I was the one paying for and arranging her funeral I lied–sue me.
If you’ve ever had to make funeral arrangements for the one person you hold most dear to your heart you’ll understand that you’re not always thinking clearly and you do what you have to do to get the job done. I never thought a private purchase receipt for my partner’s funeral would become public record. And, quite frankly it breaks my heart that Patti’s funeral arrangements have been brought up on Debra Tate’s website for public debate. On Patti’s death certificate, which I knew was public record and an official document, I signed “Friend”.
Did you tell authorities at Holy Cross Cemetery that you had obtained Roman Polanski’s permission to open Sharon’s grave?
Response: First, let me be clear here because there’s been some misrepresentation by Robin Olson that I had Sharon’s casket opened to satisfy my ghoulish curiosity. Sharon’s casket was not opened, only the grave site in order to place Patti’s ashes alongside the remains of Sharon and Doris.
Second, yes I told Holy Cross that I had Roman’s permission to open the gravesite because I did have his permission. And, I have his signed letter of authority to prove it.
Did you try to have legislation passed in California that would allow you, as a non-relative, to attend parole hearings for convicted members of the Manson family?
Response: No. This bill—AB 219—was a long time in the making at the time that Patti died. The bill proposed that a victims’ next of kin could assign anyone–family or not–to be their representative at a parole hearing. It was about to be passed through when PJ Tate made a written request to the state of California that I be his representative at the parole hearings for Sharon’s killers (As previously noted, Brie was not alone in her doubts about Debbie).
When Debra Tate caught wind of PJ’s request she immediately began protesting that I not be allowed to speak on PJ’s behalf and that she would be the sole representative for the Tate family at the parole hearings—which is why Brie too was denied her right to make an impact statement at Atkins 2005 hearing.
The people in Sacramento that were trying to help, hoped that AB 219 would be passed by the time of Atkins next parole hearing so that Debra Tate’s protests could be silenced.
Did I want it passed? Absolutely, so I could carry out PJ’s wishes. Did I personally lobby for it? No. At the time, technology wasn’t very advanced. In order to keep PJ up to date, I printed my correspondence between the people in Sacramento and myself so he could read them. Those copies are still in my possession.
As a side note, at Atkins hearing that year, the impact statement of Paul Tate’s that Debra Tate began reading and Steve Kay finished reading, was the impact statement I had prepared and planned to read had I gone to the hearing.
I would be happy to make arrangements for such a polygraph test at Ms. Statman’s convenience.
Response: As I’ve stated each and every time I’m hit with this question, my answer is and always will be, that I’m more than happy to take a polygraph test—but Debra Tate and Robin Olson have to take one along side me. To date, I’ve not received a response.
To the nay-sayers who insist that Brie and I have undermined the worthy message in Restless Souls with responses such as this, I’d like to remind them that we were not the ones who started this campaign, Debra Tate and Robin Olson did it to try to discredit Brie and I and thereby attempt to diminish the worthy message in Restless Souls. We took the high road and ignored their outrageous lies for a while, but, as is so often the case, silence seems to be equate with guilt in the minds of some; therefore, after relentless attacks by Robin Olson and Debra Tate, we were compelled to state our side of the story in various outlets that brought up the topic of, “Debra Tate Official Statement Re: Alisa Statman”.
For those who rebuke us for responding to the lies perpetrated by Robin Olson and Debra Tate, I’d like to ask: just how much harassment, and bullying, and lies, and degradation of your character and credibility could you take before you took a stand of response?
This has not been a counter attack on Debra Tate, we’ve simply answered the questions that she put out there for the public to debate.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read our side of this sad and pathetic story.