Manson Family victim's grandchild found dead ‘in a pool of blood' just like her grandmother 50 years ago
40-year-old Ariana Wolk's mother is reportedly the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca and stepfather Leno LaBianca, who lost their lives in August 1969 when they were murdered
A Colorado woman who was found in a pool of her own blood in July has now been identified as the granddaughter of a murder victim killed by Charles Manson's death cult. 40-year-old Ariana Wolk was found dead in her Denver residence on July 3. Her mother, Suzan Struthers La Berge, is reportedly the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca and stepfather Leno LaBianca, who lost their lives in August 1969 when they were murdered by several of Manson's cult members inside their Los Angeles residence, the Mercury News reported.
Authorities arrested 24-year-old Jose Sandoval-Romero for Wolk’s death and charged him with first-degree murder. Responding officers “found the victim in a pool of blood in her bed having suffered sharp force injuries to her neck," according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Wolk's body was initially discovered by a friend who had been staying with her to help her “battle her alcohol addiction,” an affidavit said. The friend told authorities that Wolk would often "become intoxicated and invite random transients to come to the house.”
Surveillance footage reportedly showed Wolk in the company of a man who was carrying a Starbucks cup that detectives later found discarded on the front lawn of the property. The affidavit stated that authorities were able to match a fingerprint found on the cup to 24-year-old Sandoval-Romero. Police said the video had also captured a “distinct red tattoo” on the suspect's forearm. Investigators tracked Sandoval-Romero's whereabouts to Colorado Springs, where he had allegedly fled after the killing.
According to the affidavit, Sandoval-Romero had “two separate, partially healed cuts” to his right hand that police said were consistent with a knife slipping as he was making stabbing motions. The killer later admitted stabbing the victim multiple times in her bedroom and fleeing the scene immediately after. He recalled how he discarded his bloody clothes in the trash and traveled to Colorado Springs.
Like her granddaughter, Rosemary LaBianca was also found dead in a pool of her own blood with at least 16 stab wounds across her body. Meanwhile, Leno LaBianca was stabbed several times with a carving fork, according to CrimeOnline. Prosecutors said Manson had ordered his cult followers -- namely Charles “Tex” Watson, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Kerwinkel -- to kill the LaBiancas and provided them the address to the home. All three were convicted in the double homicide and sentenced to life in prison.
According to CrimeOnline, Manson didn't know the LaBiancas personally but knew of their home after having previously attended a party at a neighbor's residence. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Wolk's high school friend Maya Halverson Baldwin described the slaying as “shocking and tragic."
“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,” she said. “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.”
Wolk was described as a “beautiful, sweet person” who was a loving mother. Le Berge, now 72, told the Daily Mail she was grieving and "too upset" to comment at this time.