Ruth Ann Moorehouse

Ruth Ann Moorehouse, also known as Ouisch, first met Charles Manson after her father, Dean Moorehouse, a former minister, picked up a hitchhiker and took him home. The hitchhiker turned out to be none other than Charles Manson.

Dean welcomed the hitchhiker into his home and invited him to dinner. When Manson entered the house, he saw the preacher’s young daughter, and he immediately had a crush on her. Manson gladly accepted the dinner invitation. After dinner, Dean and Manson sang religious songs.

By the end of the evening, Dean and Manson were best friends, and Dean told Manson that he was always welcome at the Moorehouse home. Manson became a frequent visitor. One day, Dean gave Manson a piano as a present. Manson in turn traded the piano with someone for a Volkswagen Microbus. Manson, eager to drive his new van, asked Ruth if she wanted to go with him on a trip to Mendocino.

They drove to Mendocino and took a walk along the beach. At the end of the afternoon, Manson took Ruth to his van and the two made love. Meanwhile, Ruth’s parents had reported her missing. The police took the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Ruth and the thirty-three-year-old ex-convict seriously and went looking for her.

Mendocino Arrest

The police found the two love birds in Leggett, Mendocino County. They told Ruth that her parents had reported her missing and that they would take her home. Manson tried to dissuade the police not to take Ruth; He told them they would have to use force to take Ruth away. The police called for backup, and Manson was charged with interfering with the questioning of a suspected runaway juvenile and booked in Mendocino County Jail [newspaper article].

When Dean 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. Dean was noticeably calmer after the hit of acid. According to Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Helter Skelter, Dean Moorehouse wanted to kill Manson for stealing his daughter. “He ended up on his knees worshiping him.”

Dean and Manson became friends again, and Manson even stayed with Dean and his family for several weeks. Dean thought Manson was Christ-like. Ruth’s mother thought otherwise and packed up her things and moved in with her sister.


Manson wanted Ruth to join the family, but because of Ruth’s young age, Manson realized the potential problems he would face if he took her with him. Manson told Ruth she could go with him if she was married and was “her own woman”.

On May 20, 1968, Ruth, who had just turned 16, married a 23-year-old bus driver named Edward Heuvelhorst [image] 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 Ann Moorehouse, Ouisch, Sandra Good, Lynette Fromme and Catherine Gillies

The Family

Ruth joined the family and they traveled up and down 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, an old movie ranch with accompanying horse stable. Ruth’s main duty was taking care of the children, followed by dumpster diving and panhandling.

It was George Spahn, owner of the ranch, who gave Ruth the nickname “Ouisch”, pronounced Oo-weesh. 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.

[Audio] Ruth Ann Moorehouse Police Interview

Spahn Ranch Raid

A week after the Tate murders, Ruth was rounded up with the rest of the family during the Spahn Ranch raid on August 16, 1969. Several months later while the family was staying 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 during the Barker Ranch raid on October 10, 1969. After Ruth was released from prison, she temporarily moved in with her mother in Minnesota. During the trial against Manson and other members of the family, Ruth returned to the Manson family, carved an X on her forehead and became a regular fixture at the Hall of Justice.

Ruth Ann Moorehouse next to Sherry Cooper during the Spahn Ranch raid
Ruth Ann Moorehouse next to Sherry Cooper during the Spahn Ranch raid

LSD Laced Hamburger

During the Tate/LaBianca trial, Ruth attempted to poison fellow Manson family member Barbara Hoyt. Hoyt, who by this time was a prosecution witness, was unsure about testing against Manson. The members of the Manson family hatched a plan to persuade Hoyt not to testify. They offered Hoyt an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii. The goal was to persuade Hoyt not to testify and if that didn’t work, to poison her.

Ruth and Hoyt went on a trip to Hawaii. Ruth bought two tickets with a stolen credit card. Ruth traveled under the name Amy Riley, and Hoyt used the name Jill Morgan. In Honolulu, the two rented a penthouse at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel. Ruth tried to talk to Hoyt and make her change her mind about testifying. When it turned out that Ruth couldn’t change Hoyt’s mind, she decided to poison her.

On September 9, 1970, Ruth told Hoyt she had to go back to California. Hoyt decided to stay in Hawaii for a while. They went to the airport where they got a hamburger. While Hoyt was paying for the hamburger, Ruth went outside and laced the burger with acid. Hoyt ate the burger while they waited for Ruth’s plane. Just before boarding the plane, Ruth told Hoyt, “Imagine there were ten tabs of acid in the hamburger.”

Hoyt decided to go to the beach. On the way to the beach, the LSD started to kick in. Hoyt started to freak out, ran around in panic and then collapsed to the ground. Hoyt was taken to hospital where she recovered. Her mother picked her up the next day and took her home. The plan to persuade Hoyt had failed. The plan to poison Hoyt had also failed. But Ruth did acomplish one thing, she had made Hoyt furious. By now, Hoyt was determined to testify against the Manson family.

Hoyt talks about the hamburger incident

Jail Sentence

In ’71 the five family members were given a 90-day jail sentence. Ruth, almost 9 months pregnant from a fling with C*, a Vietnam veteran, failed to appear at the sentencing hearing and fled to her sister’s in Carson City, Nevada, to avoid giving birth in jail. Four days after her arrival, Ruth gave birth to a daughter.

In Nevada, Ruth met a construction worker named Harold. The two fell in love and got married in 1972. Ruth became pregnant and gave birth to a second daughter, Amber. Amber sadly passed away at the age of 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.

(* Name edited for privacy reasons)

Ruth Ann Moorehouse X Forehead

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.”

Ruth Ann Moorehouse Pregnant, Lynette Fromme, Steve Grogan, Grand Jury

Later Life

In 1979, Ruth and her second husband, Harold, divorced. Ruth remarried a man named Dale. They had two sons together. Ruth divorced Dale but she still uses his last name. Ruth’s mother, Audrey, died in 2002 and her father, Dean Moorehouse, died in 2010.

Ruth’s first husband, Edward Heuvelhorst, died in 2012. Ruth’s children know of their mother’s past. Ruth masks her online identity and never speaks publicly about her past as a Manson girl. Ruth is on social media, using an alias on her Facebook and Instagram page.

Ouisch, Red, Blue, Cappy Color Photo Manson Family

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 70 years old, she is a mother and grandmother. She loves animals and breeds butterflies at home. She lives a quiet life with her cats and dog, somewhere in the Midwest.

Related: Dean Moorehouse