The Gruesome ‘Mad Men’ Conspiracy Theory That Never Happened


The final season of Mad Men aired in 2015, but some fans still have questions about how things ended up for certain characters. Megan Draper, in particular, didn’t get a very good ending to her run on the show. Don’s second ex-wife was a fan favorite when the two first got together, but through their divorce and Megan’s career struggles in Hollywood we see a more unpleasant side to her character. In the show’s final season she is portrayed a bitter, cold-hearted Los Angeles actress. Was the whole point of her arc on the show just to showcase what happens to someone when they cross paths with Don Draper?

Early in season 6, an internet conspiracy theory gained a following among Mad Men fans that a certain famous 1969 true crime event was going to make its way into the script. This would be pretty normal for the show, they have used other real historical events like the moon landing, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam war, and the death of Marilyn Monroe as backdrops for the plot. As the show neared an end and Don and Megan Draper divorced, fans wondered if Megan might be killed off in style of the times — at the hands of the Manson family.

The theory guessed that Megan was being portrayed as a Sharon Tate type:

  • They were both young woman married to an older, talented artists and businessmen
  • They were both actresses living in the Hollywood Hills during the same time period
  • Megan had recently had a miscarriage, possibly alluding to Sharon Tate being eight and a half months pregnant on the night of her murder

In one a shocking episode before the series ended, fans guessed that Mad Men would reveal that Megan had been killed by the family.

Previously, Don Draper had already shown negligence when it came to his own safety and the safety of those around him. He left his apartment’s door open, leading to his own children being held hostage by a burglar who called herself “Grandma Ida”. It wouldn’t be unlike Don at all to do something that cost Megan her life while Don emerged entirely unscathed.

The conspiracy theory began to snowball towards the end of season 6 as it seemed signs were everywhere the Manson family was coming for Megan. She appeared on the show in the replica of a t-shirt Sharon Tate had famously been photographed in. In Los Angeles, Megan chooses a house in the hills, in a canyon, like Sharon. When Don complains that the home is creepy, viewers can hear coyotes in the background. Famously, the night they were murdered Sharon Tate and her friends dined at El Coyote in Los Angeles. A jar of Folgers coffee is used as a prop in one scene, Abigail Folger was at Sharon Tates home that night. She was stabbed 28 times.

In the end, all the little signs were nothing. The Manson Family murders happened off camera and were only mentioned in passing. No one from the cast was affected and it was never brought up again. Megan simply divorced Don and moved to Los Angeles and I assume she eventually forgot all about SCDP and Partners.