It was a warm night in August 1969. A night just like any other summer night in LA — at least until the evening twilight had long dissipated and complete darkness set in. You see, it wasn’t until well after midnight that the infamous Manson “family” descended on an innocent household in Benedict Canyon, slashing their way into history and leaving behind them a bloodbath up there on Cielo Drive…
We won’t dive any further into the gruesome details or pause to ruminate on the motives that caused several outwardly normal folks to commit such a brutal crime. And in any case, it’s not like we could bring any new info to the table. But we did feel the need to mention it as the property we are going to discuss today will always be in the shadow of the gruesome murders. Quite literally. This house sits directly below and adjacent to the Tate Murders property.
Aside from the fact that it is merely next door, this estate is also forever bound to the Tate house in another regard. In fact, it was once known as the “Twin House”, due to the fact that both properties were built at simultaneously by the same developer and featured nearly identical floorplans.
Both homes have long since been demolished or remodeled to the point of being utterly unrecognizable, of course. The Tate family home was demolished in 1994 by “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin, who built and now resides a hulking Richard Landry-designed beast in its place. He also had the numeric address changed to ward off bad juju or perhaps in an effort to confuddle the ghosts, should they attempt to use Google Maps to come haunt his place.
The “Twin House”, however, still stands. But the ol’ gurl has been remodeled and expanded so many times since the murder days that we really couldn’t possibly say it was the same house and still keep a poker face.
Not quite two years ago, in October 2014, the house was sold for $5,500,000 to a couple named Richard & Christina Makowsky. If their surname sounds vaguely familiar, yes, they are indeed related to real estate mega-baller Bruce Makowsky, whom both Yolanda and Your Mama has discussed on multiple occasions. They are his brother and sister-in-law, respectively.
Though the house had been completely transformed by architect Gus Duffy for the previous owner, the Makowskys gave the place a another very quick refresh and renovation. Just six months after receiving the deed to the estate, they flipped it back on the market with a woefully ridiculous $24,000,000 ask. The massively overpriced compound suffered several Hulk-sized pricechops and at least one failed escrow before it finally sold more than a year later (July 2016) for $13,100,000.
Listing info proudly touts the home’s unique style: “Cielo Retreat: Where St. Barths Meets Beverly Hills,” it reads. Guffaw if you dare, but we think it may have been that description that attracted our big-bucks buyer. Though the spendy purchaser is shielded in property records behind something called “Tin-Rez Corporation” that lists a Florida address, Yolanda just happens to know that the new owner is a fellow named David Haring and his wife Celeste, both citizens of the Bahamas.
Just who are Mr. & Mrs. Haring, and just how did they get so rich? Well, apart from a few scattered news reports we pulled out of Google, there’s really not much we can tell y’all. The couple seem to keep themselves to themselves, at least as much as those with wealth at this level are able. We don’t even have a picture of the pair. Yep. Even Yolanda isn’t as omnipotent as you might think!
But here’s what little we do know. Mr. & Mrs. Haring reside primarily in the Bahamas. (Probably in a mansion in or near Nassau, but we’re just guessing.) Mr. Haring is the 100% owner of an offshore entity known as Pine Trading Limited, which in turn is (or was) the largest shareholder of a publicly-traded Florida-based company formerly called Imperial Holdings. Imperial’s main line of business, apparently, is making lump-sum payments on legal settlements and life insurance policies.
Back in September 2011, Imperial generated a substantial kerfuffle when its offices were raided by the FBI. Almost immediately thereafter, the firm became the target of numerous shareholder class action securities fraud lawsuits targeting their life insurance business. And Mr. Haring — through his Pine Trading entity — quickly sold the entirety of his shares in the firm. Oddly enough, however, Mr. Haring and Imperial’s Chairman and CEO Antony Mitchell still appear to be partners in various other businesses and projects.
Out Mr. Haring was among many prominent folks worldwide named in the gamechanging Panama Papers leak scandal. Though perhaps that’s not too surprising, given that he actually resides offshore. Or at least, he did.
But we digress. That’s about all we know about Mr. Haring, so let’s take a look at the house Mr. & Mrs. Makowsky just sold to him.
A pleasantly unassuming driveway gate flanked by mature trees and assorted foliage offers little hint of the extravagant resort-style compound 500 feet within. In addition to the main house, which now spans about 7,500-square-feet with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, there’s a detached four car garage and a guest house with 2 more bedrooms and baths.
Now, kiddies, we admit Yolanda’s real estate tastes are relatively uncivilized. All we do is look at something and our brain tells us if we like or loathe it. So although the listing clearly says that “the newly completed compound marries European sophistication & Californian style”, we’re going to have to be uncouth and say that all we see is a rather too-glammed-up Mod-Mediterranean sort of confection with faaaaaar too much terrazzo flooring and far too many of those ridiculous wood beam decorations. It’s just personal taste, remember that. “Mod-Med” happens to be one of Yolanda’s least favorite architectural styles.
But obviously there’s an arse for every saddle. Right?
The master suite encompasses the entire second floor of the main house and includes a maze of wood ceiling beams, more terrazzo flooring, and numerous French doors that take in the over-the-treetops views of Century City and downtown Beverly Hills. The bathroom is not separated from the bedroom, which kinda seems sexy until you realize that you’ll probably have to watch or listen to your partner brushing their teeth or using the toilet. Yikes!
There’s also a gigantic dressing room with his-and-hers closets and three brightly-colored Hermes handbags that were hopefully included in the purchase price.
There’s also a large, completely mirror-walled gym and an office in the main house. Check out that serious weaponry — Mansons beware!
Two of the other bedrooms in the house. We’re not quite sure why one is “blessed” with a spider-like sculpture of those wooden ceiling beams and one is not. Maybe they ran out?
Numerous resort-like outdoor recreation amenities and areas dot the 1-acre estate, among them a bocce ball court, a lagoon-style swimming pool, a ping pong table under an eleborate tent. And best of all: a full outdoor wet bar.
Yolanda nearly plum forgot, but there’s one other thing we know about our enigmatic Mr. Haring. It’s that he’s fairly recently become involved in film production. Perhaps this is what precipitated the move to Hollywood, or perhaps not.
Mr. Haring’s Nassau-based film production company TinRes Entertainment and an LA production house known as Red Granite Pictures co-produced a 2014 Nicholas Cage-starrer called “The Dying of the Light.”
Red Granite, if you somehow weren’t aware, is the scandal-embroiled startup production firm founded by Riza Aziz — stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak — and (allegedly!) funded by hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from Malaysia’s 1MDB fund, and originally intended to benefit the Malaysian public. Red Granite’s largest production to date is the Leo DiCaprio-starrer The Wolf of Wall Street.
Poor rich Mr. DiCaprio (and his oddball private foundation) has recently found himself increasingly scrutinized for his close relationship to the alleged culprits of the theft of funds: Mr. Aziz and our boy Jho Low. In fact, though he was long scheduled to host a fundraiser for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at his home in the Bird Streets, the venue was abruptly changed last week to the home of Justin Timberlake. Reps from both Clinton and DiCaprio’s camp denied the change was related to Mr. DiCaprio’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal, but many media outlets remarked on the timing of the change, which was announced just days after an explosive report was published in the Hollywood Reporter, detailing Leo’s 1MDB ties and the legal but possibly corrupt nature of his private foundation.
As we mentioned, Mr. DiCaprio’s people insist the cancellation is purely due to “scheduling conflicts”. Our boy Leo can’t make it, you see, because he’s busy with a documentary in NYC. No, he’s not starring in it. He’s just producing it and he just can’t find the time to hop on his eco-friendly private jet and honor his dinner commitment.
All Yolanda’s got to say to that is a big fat “Bitch, puh-leeze.”
Mr. DiCaprio, baby. Let’s get real real here. We know damn well some little documentary you’re producing or whatever would never hold you up in New York so much that you’d be unable to make it back for the evening to host a fundraiser dinner for Ms. Clinton, potentially the USA’s first female President. Have a seat!