Wojciech Frykowski was born in Poland on December 22, 1936. His father Jan Frykowski was a small textile printer who fought with authorities to remain in control of his business after World War II. Wojciech graduated from school with a degree in chemistry, but chose to spend his time hanging around filmmakers. He met Roman Polanski at a school dance; Polanski was working the door and refused to let him in because Frykowski was a known troublemaker. According to Polanski, the altercation almost resulted in a fistfight. Some weeks later they met again, this time at a local bar, Wojciech bought Roman a drink and the two instantly became friends. Frykowski financed and produced an early short Roman made titled Mammals , but wasn't credited because he wasn't an official member of the film community. He was an exceptional swimmer and was hired to be the lifeguard on the set of Polanski's first full-length motion picture, Knife In The Water . In Roman's own memoirs he told stories of wild nights out at the bar with Wojciech, one of which included a brawl where Frykowski struck a man twice with a chair. "Beneath his tough exterior" Roman said, "Wojciech was good-natured, softhearted to the point of sentimentality, and utterly loyal." Frykowski married twice and had a son, Bartek. One of his marriages was to the famous polish writer Agneski Osiecka.
He left Poland in 1967 and after spending some time in Paris he moved to the United States. In New York, Polish author Jerzy Kosinski introduced him to Abigail Folger. Wojciech couldn't really speak English but both he and Folger were fluent in French. For months the two lived together in New York but then decided to move out west. In August of 1968 the couple rented a car and drove to California where they took residence at 2774 Woodstock Rd., across the street from Mama Cass, in the Hollywood hills. While Abigail tutored him in English Wojciech kept a diary where he would take notes on American customs. He seemed to want to become a writer like Jerzy Kosinski and began writing poetry. He had a brief job with Paramount as a set constructor but was unhappy with the work and quit. On April 1, 1969, Wojciech and Abigail moved into Roman and Sharon's Beverly Hills home to housesit while Polanksi and Tate were abroad working on different film projects. When Sharon came back from Italy Roman asked Wojciech if he and Abigail would stick around until he came back from England in August.
With Abigail Folger 1968
By August, neither Wojciech nor Abigail seemed happy with one-another; they fought constantly and both started using drugs more frequently. Nonetheless, they stayed together and spent their summer hosting several parties at the Cielo Drive house. Through a friend, Wojciech was introduced to a group of Canadian drug dealers and allegedly agreed to traffic their drugs into Los Angeles. Frykowski's actual involvement in the drug trade still remains a mystery and continues to generate controversy among people who believe there was a connection between him and the Manson family. Years later, Roman Polanski denied the rumors about Wojciech selling drugs, stating that the stories were just media sensationalism.
On August 8, 1969, Wojciech and Abigail joined Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring for dinner at El Coyote , a Mexican restaurant on Beverly Blvd. Afterwhich, the four returned back to the Cielo Drive estate, Wojciech fell asleep on the living room couch, Abigail retired to her bedroom to read a book, while Jay sat and talked with Sharon in her bedroom.
Shortly after midnight Wojciech was awoken by the voice of Charles "Tex" Watson. Frykowski, barely awake, asked him what time it was and Watson replied by kicking him in the head. Even more confused, Wojciech inquired, "Who are you?" Watson answered, "I'm the devil and I'm here to do the devil's business." At knife and gunpoint, everyone in the house was rounded up and brought into the living room. Watson ordered Susan Atkins to tie Wojciech's hands with a towel. When it became clear that the intruders intended on killing everyone in the house Wojciech freed his hands and began struggling with Susan Atkins. Rolling around on the floor together Atkins managed to stab him in the legs four times. Losing the battle, Susan called for help; Tex Watson came over and tackled Frykowski, beating him over the head with the butt end of the .22 Buntline revolver. Wojciech, determined to escape, managed to make his way outside. He screamed for help as Tex shot him twice, but finally succumbed to the killer when Watson continued to stab him on the front lawn.
Wojciech Frykowski was cremated on August 22, 1969. His remains were buried at St. Josef Cemetery in Lodz, Poland.
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