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.
Manson immediately took a liking to young Ruth. Manson hatched a plan to get Ruth alone. The next day Manson picked up Ruth not too far from her home. They drove to Mendocino, went to the beach and had sex in Manson’s 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 Manson was subsequently booked for interfering with an arrest.
Manson desperately 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.”
During the Tate/LaBianca murder trial Ruth tried to poison prosecution witness and fellow Manson family member Barbara Hoyt. This incident came to be known as the “Honolulu hamburger caper.”
Barbara was unsure about testifying and the family offered Hoyt an all expense paid trip to Hawaii if Barbara agreed not to testify. Barbara agreed. Ruth and Barbara took the trip to Hawaii where Ruth laced Barbara’s hamburger with ten hits of LSD. Barbara survived and 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.
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.