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.

Manson was hitchhiking south when he was picked up by Dean Moorehouse. 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, they discussed the Bible, said a few prayers, and sang religious songs. By the end of the evening, Dean and Manson were best friends, and Manson spent the night. Dean told Manson that he was always welcome at the Moorehouse home. Manson became a frequent visitor.

Manson admired Dean's piano that accompanied their singing the night before. Dean told Manson the instrument was his if he wanted it. He probably thought Manson wouldn't claim the gift, but little did he know Manson really wanted the piano, and, more importantly, he wanted the preacher's young daughter. It wouldn't be long before Manson had both.

One day, Manson was on his way to the Moorehouse residence when he noticed a Volkswagen van. With twenty-five dollars in his pocket, Manson knocked on the door of the owner and began negotiating. The owner agreed to swap the van for the piano, and Manson and Dean hauled the piano over in Dean's pickup truck.

Manson drove away with his first set of wheels since his release from prison. The newly acquired van was not only a means of transportation; it was a home on wheels that afforded Manson a nomadic lifestyle.

The Moorehouse Residence: 4999 Paseo Olivos, San Jose (Google Maps)

Mendocino Arrest

After Manson got the van, it was time to fulfill his next wish; the preacher's daughter. Manson and Ruth went to the beach in Mendocino. There, according to Manson, she provided him with the most memorable and rewarding experience of his life. On that day in Mendocino, Manson took her virginity.

July 1967. Dean Moorehouse, along with his wife Audrey and Ruth had rented a cabin in Leggett, Mendocino. On the night of July 26th, Dean and Audrey got into an argument. The next morning, Audrey left for their home in San Jose. That same morning, Dean also left for San Jose and left Ruth with Charles Manson, Lynette Fromme, and Mary Brunner, who were staying with the Moorehouse family at the cabin.

Manson and Ruth decided to go to the beach. After having spent some time along the shore, Manson took Ruth Ann to his van and the two made love. Meanwhile, Ruth’s mother had called the police and told them that her underage daughter was left alone in the cabin with an ex-con, and asked them to bring Ruth to their home in San Jose. The police took the report of fifteen-year-old Ruth and the thirty-three-year-old ex-convict seriously and went looking for her.

The police found Ruth and Manson at the cabin in Leggett, Mendocino. They told Ruth that her mother 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 her 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.

Documents related to arrest:

Dean Moorehouse Police Statement

Crime Report 1

Crime Report 2

Newspaper Article

Dean Vowed to Kill Manson

When Dean found out Manson had slept with his underage daughter, he vowed to kill Manson. Dean and a friend went after Manson. When they found him, Dean's companion pointed a gun at Manson while Dean went into a rage. Ruth cried, and told Dean that she loved Manson and that she wanted to be with him.

When Dean's temper finally began to subside, Manson slipped him a tab of acid, telling him, “This will keep your blood pressure down.” Dean was noticeably calmer after the hit of acid. Manson convinced Dean to go home. Several weeks later, Dean returned. This time it wasn't for his daughter's sake. Dean wanted more acid and to join a world he had always preached against.

According to 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 stayed with Dean and his family for several weeks. Dean thought Manson was Christ-like. Ruth’s mother felt 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 her he was going to southern California, so she wouldn't be seeing him for a while. Ruth started crying and told Manson she wanted to go with him. Manson told Ruth she could go with him if she was married and was “her own woman”.

Lynette Fromme spent some time comforting Ruth, telling her, “Right now, you're so young that almost anything your parents tell you is law, but if you married someone your parents wouldn't be able to tell you what to do.”

On May 20, 1968, Ruth, who had just turned 16 [image], 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 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 clan ended up at Spahn Ranch, a former movie ranch with an accompanying horse stable. Ruth’s primary duty was taking care of the children, followed by dumpster diving and panhandling.

Sweetest Little Thing

Ruth was one of Danny DeCarlo's favorite girls. He called her one of his sweeties, the other being Sherry Ann Cooper. “She [Ruth] used to be one of my favorite sweeties. You know, that little girl there is so sweet. What really made me sick to my stomach is when she came up one night, when I was up there in the desert, and she said, ‘I can hardly wait to get my first pig.’ “Little seventeen-year-old! I looked on her like she was my daughter, just the sweetest little thing you would ever want to meet in your life. She was so beautiful and so sweet. And Charlie fucked her thinking around so much it turned your guts.”


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 moniker 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 Ouisch is derived from 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 rounded up with the rest of the Family during the Spahn Ranch raid on August 16, 1969. She was taken to the police station where her mugshot was taken [image].

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”.

Ruth was arrested again with the rest of the group during the Barker Ranch raid on October 10, 1969. After Ruth was released from prison, she moved in with her mother in Minnesota. During the trial against Manson and other members of the group, Ruth returned to the Manson clan, carved an X on her forehead, and became a regular fixture at the Hall of Justice.

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. Several members of the Manson clan 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. Ruth told Hoyt that she knew of ten people the Family had killed besides Sharon Tate. 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. Hoyt accompanied Ruth 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 airplane. Just before boarding the airplane, Ruth told Hoyt, “Imagine what it would be like if that hamburger had ten tabs of acid in it.”

Hoyt went to the beach. On the way to the shore, the LSD kicked in. Hoyt freaked out, ran around in panic, and then collapsed to the ground. Hoyt was taken to hospital, where she recovered. Her father picked her up the next day and took her home. The strategy to persuade Hoyt had failed. The plan to poison Hoyt had also failed. But Ruth did accomplish one thing, she had made Hoyt furious. By now, Hoyt was determined to testify against the Manson Family. More details about the hamburger incident here.

Jail Sentence

In ’71, the five Family members involved in poisoning Hoyt were given a 90-day jail sentence. Ruth, almost 9 months pregnant [image] 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, who passed away at age seven. In ’75, the FBI located Ruth in Sacramento. The FBI did not arrest her but informed Sacramento authorities, who 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.”

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 [image], 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.

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 son's wedding video; some people shared video-captures of Ruth and her children online.

Even though the photos [image] 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 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 distributed his sister's 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 at home. She lives a quiet life with her cats and dog, somewhere in the Midwest.

Related: Dean Moorehouse