Ruth Ann Moorehouse

Ruth Ann Moorehouse, also known as Ouisch, is a former member of the Manson family. She met Charles Manson for the first time when her father, Deane Moorehouse, a former minister, picked up three hitchhikers, Charles Manson, Lynette Fromme and Mary Brunner and brought them home.

Charles Manson immediately took a liking to young Ruth and he hatched a plan to get her alone. The next day Manson picked her up not too far from her home.

They drove to Mendocino, went to the beach and had sex in his van. While Manson and Ruth were at Mendocino, Ruth’s parents had reported her as a runaway. The cops found them, Manson tried to dissuade the cops not to take Ruth and he was booked for interfering with an arrest.

Marriage

Manson wanted Ruth to join the family but because of Ruth’s young age Manson recognized the potential trouble he would get if he took her with him. Manson told Ruth she could come with him if she was married and was “her own woman”.

In May 1968, then 16-year-old Ruth married a 23-year-old bus driver named Edward Heuvelhorst in an effort to become emancipated. One day after the marriage Ruth left Edward and joined the Family.

According to Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Helter Skelter, Ruth’s father, Deane Moorehouse, went to Spahn Ranch to kill Manson for stealing his daughter. “He ended up on his knees worshiping him.”

LSD Laced Hamburger

During the Tate/LaBianca murder trial Ruth Ann Moorehouse tried to poison fellow family member Barbara Hoyt, who by this time was a prosecution witness. Barbara was unsure about testifying and the family offered her an all expense paid trip to Hawaii if Barbara agreed not to testify.

Ruth and Barbara took the trip to Hawaii where Ruth laced Barbara’s hamburger with ten hits of LSD. When the drugs kicked in Barbara started to freak out and eventually collapsed.

Barbara was brought to the emergency room, the next day Barbara’s mother flew to Hawaii and brought her home. Barbara was determined to testify against the family. Ruth along with four other family members were charged with attempted murder. The charge was later reduced to conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying.

Jail Sentence

In ’71 the five family members were given a 90 day jail sentence. Ruth, almost 9 months pregnant, failed to appear at the sentencing hearing and fled to her sister in Carson City, Nevada, to avoid giving birth in jail.

Four days after her arrival Ruth gave birth to a daughter. In 1973 Ruth gave birth to a second daughter, Amber, unfortunately Amber died at age 7. In ’75 the FBI located Ruth in Sacramento. The FBI did not arrest her but did inform Sacramento authorities who subsequently picked her up on the long-standing warrant.

On November 4, 1975 Ruth again appeared in court to be sentenced. The Judge did not give Ruth any jail time, instead he ruled that because she was abandoned by her father and “thrown willy-nilly into the Manson cult” she could go free with time served.

From The Los Angeles Times, 1975:

Ruth Ann Moorehouse, still wearing a bandage over plastic surgery she underwent to remove the forehead X that had marked her as a member of the Manson family, Tuesday made a brief and tearful court appearance in Los Angeles.

With Moorehouse at his side, unsuccessfully trying to fight back her tears, Fitzgerald (Ruth’s lawyer) told the judge that she did not appear for sentencing because she was nine months pregnant at the time.
“The ‘family’ told her she had to shave her head and that she had to have her baby in jail.” Fitzgerald explained “And she wanted none of that.”

Today Ruth lives a quiet life somewhere in Minnesota.

Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins, known within the Family as Sexy Sadie, was a member of the Manson Family. Atkins was a participant in the murder of Gary Hinman and the Tate murders.

Susan Atkins was born on May 7, 1948, in San Gabriel, California. She was the second of three children born to alcoholic parents, and grew up in Northern California.

After she dropped out of high school to support herself (her mother died when Atkins was 15 and her father abandoned the family), Atkins moved to San Francisco and became a topless dancer. In early 1967, while staying with friends, Susan Atkins met Charles Manson.

Atkins joined the Manson Family at their ranch, where she gave birth to a son, whom Manson named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. Manson Family member Dianne Lake cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.The child was eventually removed from Atkins’s and later adopted.

Hinman Murder

In the summer of ’69, The Family started to attract police attention at their current home at Spahn’s ranch. The Family began looking for funds to move to a new hide out in Death Valley.

Manson heard that Family aquantance Gary Hinman inherited money and send Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner and Robert Beausoleil to Hinman in order to get the money. After several days of torture they killed Hinman.

Tate Murders

Atkins was part of the murder squad send to 10050 Cielo Drive. Atkins first claimed she was the one that killed Tate but during the Tate/LaBianca murder trial Atkins stated that she held down the pregnant Tate while Tex Watson stabbed her to death.

Atkins was arrested in October 1969 for her involvement in the murder of Gary Hinman. At that point, the police did not know who was responsible for the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Jail and Death

Atkins implicated herself in jail, when she told her cellmates that she stabbed Tate, tasted her blood and used Tate’s blood to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.

In October 1969, the entire Manson Family was arrested, and they were tried for the murders. The series of trials was circus-like, and the defendants’ bizarre behavior became a striking trait of the proceedings.

On March 29, 1971, Atkins was sentenced to death, later the sentence was reduced to life in prison. Atkins died on September 24, 2009 at age 61.

A year before her death Atkins received a diagnosis of brain cancer and had a leg amputated. At the time of her death, Atkins was California’s longest-serving female inmate.

Related: The Tate Murders | Hinman Murder

Nancy Pitman

Nancy Pitman is a former member of the Manson Family. Nancy first met the Manson family trough her friend Deirdre Lansbury, the daughter of actress Angela Lansbury.

Nancy was born in Springfield, Illinois on January 1 , 1951. She grew up in Malibu and hung out with the rich and famous. Nancy wasn’t getting along with her parents and they kicked her out of the house. She was looking for a new home when her friend Deirdre Lansbury introduced her to The Family. They invited her to stay and from then on she was a Family member.

Crime Scene

There are rumors that Nancy and Manson went to Sharon Tate’s house right after the murders to tamper with the crime scene. This is in line with the police report: “It appeared to investigating officers that someone had handled the victim, as in moving her from one location to another and the blood from the stab wounds had been smeared over other parts of the body.”

Vicious

Nancy Pitman was described by district attorney Vincent Bugliosi as a tough, vicious little girl, filled with hostility that was just waiting to erupt. According to a RXSTR visitor who knew Nancy ” She was NOT vicious. She was a sweet little girl, and I adored her.”

Willet Murders

James and Lauren Willett were associates of the Manson family. After the Tate/LaBianca murder trial Nancy Pitman, Priscilla Cooper and a pair of ex-convicts named Michael Monfort and James Craig, moved into a cabin in Guerneville along with the Willett’s and their infant daughter Heidi.

In 1972, the decapitated body of James Willett was found in a shallow grave with his hand sticking out of the ground. later the body of his wife Lauren was discovered buried in the crawl space of a house in Stockton. Nancy Pitman, Michael Monfort, James Craig, Priscilla Cooper and Lynnette Fromme were arrested for the murders.

5 Year Jail Sentence

Monfort pled guilty to both murders and Nancy pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact in the murder of Lauren Willett. Nancy received a 5 year jail sentence of which she served 18 months. While incarcerated Nancy married Monfort.

Baby Heidi was not harmed and ended up with her grandmother.

Nancy later divorced Montford, remarried and now lives somewhere in Oregon.

Dianne Lake

While the country was still reeling from the news of a two-day murder spree across Los Angeles that left seven people dead, a then-16-year-old girl named Dianne Lake was learning first-hand details about the 1969 slayings that would change her life forever.

While Lake, aka Snake, was still very young, her parents embraced the hippie lifestyle and brought their young daughter with them to Wavy Gravy’s Hog Farm Commune in southern California. It was while living there that Lake met Charles Manson at a party in Topanga Canyon.

Manson took a liking to the 14-year old auburn-haired beauty and it was not long before she became a permanent fixture on the black magic bus. she joined the Manson Family with her parents permission.

Umbilical Cord

The Family moved to Spahn Ranch and Lake lived the commune hippie lifestyle, rummaging through dumpsters for food and taking care of the horses on the ranch. Lake was closest with Lynette Fromme, Susan Atkins would often give her a hard time. This changed when Lake was tasked with delivering Atkins’s baby. When the baby boy was born Manson asked Lake to cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.

Incriminating Evidence

In October of 1969, Lake was arrested with the Family in the Barker Ranch raid. In December, after two months in jail, Lake broke her silence and she provided the District Attorney with loads of incriminating evidence against Manson and the Family.

A year later, at age 17 and after being institutionalized, Lake found herself in front of Manson, this time in an L.A. courtroom, testifying against him.

Once the trial was over and first-degree murder convictions were returned against Manson, Lake tried to move forward with her life, marrying, raising three children and earning a master’s degree in education.

Dennis Wilson’s House

14400 Sunset Boulevard was Dennis Wilson’s home in the late 1960s. Wilson hosted the Manson Family here for a summer to great expense.

Formerly the hunting lodge of Will Rogers, the three-acred estate at 14400 Sunset Boulevard was surrounded with manicure lawns and a swimming pool in the shape of the state of California.

In 1968 Dennis Wilson picked up two hitchhikers, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey and took them to his home at 14400 Sunset Boulevard. Dennis later went to a recording session.

When he returned around 3 a.m. he was met in his driveway by Charles Manson. Wilson asked “are you going to hurt me?” Manson replied, “Do I look like I’m going to hurt you, brother?” Manson then dropped to his knees and kissed Wilson’s feet.

Dennis became fascinated by Manson and his followers. The Manson Family lived with Dennis for a period of time. The Manson girls cleaned the house, shopped and cooked.

At night they provided Wilson with sexual entertainment but Wilson soon put a stop to this. A lot of the Manson girls had a number of venereal diseases and Wilson took all the girls to his doctor for penicillin shots. Susan Atkins teeth needed to be fixed and Wilson paid the dentist bill.

The Family ended up costing Dennis up to $100,000, today that would be around $700,000. Most of the money was spent on car repair bills, clothes, food and penicillin shots. When Wilson finally had enough of Manson’s freeloading Wilson simply moved out of his own house.

After the murders in the summer of 1969, Wilson commented, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world, because i got off only losing my money.”

Charles Manson made the news even before the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders. Here’s Beach Boy Dennis Wilson talking about Charles Manson and the family girls in an interview in 1968, a year before the murders.

“I told them about our involvement with the Maharishi and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who’d recently come out of jail after 12 years. His mother was a hooker, his father was a gangster, he’d drifted into crime when I met him I found he had great musical ideas. We’re writing together now. He’s dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have learnt from him. He taught me a dance. The Inhibition. You have to imagine you’re a frozen man and the ice is thawing out. Start with your fingertips, then all the rest of you, then you extend it to a feeling that the whole universe is thawing out.”