He Protected Sharon Tate Up To His Death

H. Allegra Lansing
9 min readSep 21, 2020

The story of Manson Family victim Jay Sebring

Actress Sharon Tate in the summer of 1969, with her ex-boyfriend Jay Sebring

The nephew of hairstylist Jay Sebring, one of the victims of the Manson Family Murders, is releasing a new documentary about his uncle.

“Jay Sebring: Cutting to the Truth” will be released tomorrow, September 22nd, 2020 on various streaming services. It was directed by Sebring’s nephew, Anthony DiMaria. DiMaria had few recollections of his late uncle, murdered when he was just three years old and yet the legacy of the murder has lived with him and his family since August 1969.

I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell you a little bit about Jay Sebring.

Jay Sebring was born Thomas John Kummer in October 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama. One of four children born to a quiet accountant and his wife, the family relocated to the suburbs of Detroit when Jay was a child. There, the boy grew fond of cars and racing. After high school, he joined the Navy and served four years including the Korean War Conflict. Following his service, he moved to Los Angeles and changed his name (‘Sebring’ was homage to the racing circuit). In L.A., Jay enrolled in beauty school.

He became a licensed stylist and opened his first shop, on Fairfax in Hollywood. Jay Sebring was not just a barber or even a men’s hairdresser — he actually invented a new way to style men’s hair. ‘Hair architecture for men’, he called it and began to attract the most fashionable young males in Southern California. His shop had dark wood paneling and lush, exotic plants everywhere. Nowhere on the signage outside did it say anything as dull as ‘barber’ or ‘hair salon’. The sign was a bold red ankh (the Egyptian symbol for life) and Sebring’s shop was one of the first in the nation to use hand-held dryers, a recent European invention. Clients were shampooed, cut, dried and styled so their hair took on an edgy, fashion-forward look. Prices were comparable with top-end women’s stylists. Soon, the stars began to drop in.

‘’Henry Fonda would be there when I went in; there’d be starlets shampooing hair. It was the hottest place in Hollywood in the afternoon. There was gossip, coffee, pretty girls and the haircuts were damned good,” reminisced Joe Hyams, former West Coast bureau chief for The New York Herald Tribune. Sebring hired the best…

H. Allegra Lansing

Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series. https://www.mansonfamily.net/