Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Roman Polanski

The Night of the Rape

On March 10, 1977, Polanski arrived again at the Gailey home, two hours late. In a hurry, Polanski and Samantha dashed off unaccompanied by either her mother or the friend that Samantha had planned to ask to come along. First, they went to Jacqueline Bissett's house on Mulholland Drive. There, he shot mostly straight photos of her, though he persuaded her to pose without a bra. She posed near the pool while several of Bissett's friends watched through the windows of the house.

But the light again seemed to be fading too fast again, and Polanski proposed that they shoot indoors at Jack Nicholson's house, only a few minutes away.

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson

Polanski phoned Jack Nicholson about coming over, but the actor was out of town, skiing in Aspen. The house-sitting neighbor, Helena Kallianiotes, told him to come over.

Though their earlier shoot had been mostly unremarkable, Samantha now began to become increasingly uncomfortable. In the ride over, he began to pry. He asked Samantha if she was a virgin, and if she knew about masturbation.

She told him she had lost her virginity when she was eight. She told him she had a boyfriend.

Once they got to the house, Samantha asked for something to drink. Instead of grabbing one of the myriad of sodas or juices, he poured three glasses of champagne, for himself, Samantha and Kallianiotes.

Kallianiotes then left for work, and Polanski resumed taking pictures of Samantha. Sensing that she was relaxed, he asked Samantha to take off her top again. She posed with the glass of champagne against her breast, the Hollywood lights flickering behind her.

"We weren't saying much now and I could sense a sort of erotic tension between us," said Polanski.

He asked her to get into the Jacuzzi.

Before she did so, she called her mother, who asked if she was all right or needed to be picked up. At that time, Samantha said that everything was fine.

After the phone call, Polanski brought out a Quaalude broken into thirds. He took one piece, and she took another.

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