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.
Deane welcomed the hitchhikers to his house and invited them for dinner. When Manson entered the home he noticed the preachers young daughter. 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 the two lovers. Manson tried to dissuade the cops not to take Ruth and he was booked for interfering with an arrest.
When Deane found out Manson had slept with his underage daughter he vowed to kill Manson. Manson calmed him down and slipped him a tab of LSD. Deane was noticeably calmer after the hit of acid. According to Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Helter Skelter, Deane Moorehouse wanted to kill Manson for stealing his daughter. “He ended up on his knees worshiping him.”
Deane Moorehouse and Manson became friends and Manson even stayed at Deane’s house for a couple of weeks. Deane gave Manson a piano which Manson traded for a Volkswagen micro-bus. Deane thought Manson was Christ like, however, Ruth’s mother wasn’t so happy with Manson staying at her home. She left her family and went to live with her sister.
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 wedding Ruth Ann Moorehouse, now Ruth Ann Heuvelhorst, left Edward and joined the Family.
Ruth joined The Family and traveled the West Coast in an old school bus dubbed “The Magical Mystery Bus.” Looking for a more permanent home The Family ended up at Spahn Ranch.
It was George Spahn, owner of the ranch, who gave Ruth the nickname “Ouisch”, pronounced Oo-weesh. Ruth’s main job was taking care of the children, dumpster diving and panhandling.
What does Ouisch mean?
There are several theories about Ruth’s nickname “Ouisch”. One theory is that George Spahn gave her the nickname because of the sound that her pants made when she walked by. This seems to be the most plausible theory since George Spahn was pretty much blind and focused on other senses to identify people.
Another theory is that it’s an old school word for when a man sees a beautiful woman and says ” Oooo-Weesh !”. Whatever the true meaning of her nickname is, it stuck with her and 50 years later people are still calling her Ouisch.
Spahn Ranch Raid
A week after the Tate murders Ruth was arrested with the rest of The Family in the August 16, 1969, Spahn Ranch raid. Several months later while The Family stayed at Myers Ranch in Death Valley, Ruth learned about the Tate murders from Susan Atkins. Ruth responded with laughter and told Atkins she couldn’t wait to get her first “pig”.
Several months later Ruth was arrested again with the rest of The Family in the October 10, 1969, Barker Ranch raid. After being released from jail Ruth briefly lived with her mother in Minnesota. She joined The Family during the Tate/LaBianca murder trial, she carved an X on her forehead and became a regular fixture at the Hall of Justice.
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.
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.
While in Nevada Ruth met a construction worker named Harold whom she fell in love with. In ’72 Ruth got married and gave birth to a second daughter who unfortunately died at age seven. 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.”
In ’79 Ruth divorced Harold, her second husband, and remarried. Ruth and Dale, her third husband, had two sons together. Ruth divorced Dale but she still uses his surname today. Ruth’s mother Audrey died in 2002, and her father Deane Moorehouse died in 2010. Ruth’s first husband , Edward Heuvelhorst, died in 2012. Ruth’s children are aware of their mothers past. Ruth proactively hides her identity online and she never speaks publicly about her past.
The 2010 Social Media Frenzy
Ruth is very camera shy, you won’t find any recent pictures of Ruth Ann Moorehouse online, except for the 2010 hiccup, when Ruth let her guard down and appeared in her sons wedding video, and some people shared video-captures of Ruth and her children online.
Even though the photos are very grainy and you can barely tell it’s Ruth, one of her sons took action and demanded that the sites who posted those pictures took them down. However once in a while the pictures resurface in Facebook groups and on so-called fan-pages. For the record, this website did not participate in sharing the photos.
Down The Rabbit Hole
Even Ruth’s children and grandchildren have been harassed by “researchers” and have all set their social media accounts to private, except for Ruth’s daughter, who stopped posting to social media all together but accidentally left her Facebook page open to the public.
Some of her pictures and even the names of her children, Ruth’s grandchildren, were shared online, along with other personal information, including her hometown, date of birth and line of work. Ruth’s son threatened the person who shared his sisters information with legal action and the blog post was taken down soon after, and Ruth’s daughter deleted her Facebook page.
Ruth Ann Moorehouse Today
Today Ruth Ann Moorehouse is a mother and grandmother, she loves animals and breeds butterflies, and she lives a quiet life, somewhere in the Midwest.