The Manson Family Babies

Who were the children born to the notorious Manson Family — and where are they now?

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Manson Family member Ruth Ann Moorehouse with one of the children

The Manson Family were an anti-establishment commune, later understood to be a sex-trafficking and criminal cult. But during their years together (1967–1971), the members of the Family believed they were bonded in their disdain for conventional trappings of society, unnecessary laws and limitations, and in their devotion for their leader, ex-convict Charles Manson.

Originally formed in the spring of 1967 in Berkeley, California, the Manson Family coalesced around Charlie, an itinerant musician and street preacher who had culled together a philosophy based on his prison teachings including Dale Carnegie, Native American beliefs, New Age teachings, and Scientology.

His first ‘follower’, assistant librarian Mary Brunner, was the first to conceive a child with Manson, who already had two sons born in the previous decade. Estranged from his children and their mothers, Charlie was especially hopeful about Mary’s baby, when she announced her pregnancy in autumn ‘67.

Charlie, Mary and the others who joined them that year (including Lynette Fromme, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins) spent late ’67 on the road, traveling across the west coast and southwest in an old school bus they painted black and converted into living space.

At the start of 1968, the group settled in the Los Angeles area. And that season, Manson’s group did begin to resemble a family, with a father (Manson), a mother (Mary), and generations of youngest to oldest clustered around. Manson’s Family was mirroring a societal shift to what they believed was a better lifestyle than what they had grown up in.

Jeffrey Melnick, in his 2018 book about the Family, wrote, “Manson and the Family were social entrepreneurs. They recognized that the post-World War II experiment in family reorganization (essentially the move to a male-directed nuclear family that lived under one roof with no other relatives present) had run its relatively short course and needed to be replaced… The new institutions created were called ‘communes’ and ‘crash pads’, ‘shelters’ and ‘families’. The breakdown in what had been conventionally (and misleadingly) called the ‘traditional family’ contributed a considerable amount of energy to wider conversations taking place all across society that were concerned with child-rearing, gender and power, the best way to live in groups, and sex… There was a remarkable amount of cultural agreement that the American family was undergoing some kind of paradigm shift.” Creepy Crawling: Charles Manson and the Many Lives of America’s Most Infamous Family by Jeffrey Melnick ©2018 Arcade Publishing

The choice to craft an alternative family was based largely on the rising rates of divorce across America, the cultural shifts that Melnick alludes to above, but also the fact that many of the Manson Family had been abused or broken by their biological families long before they met Charlie.

Babies were an important milestone in the brief history of the Manson Family, lauded as mini-saviors, offering their parents and de-facto aunts and uncles a chance of redemption, of making what they believed were wiser decisions for the next generation. Ultimately though, the babies did not fare well in the Manson Family, providing Charlie with valuable insurance against his followers which he leveraged constantly. Many wound up being raised by others after their parents were incarcerated.

Let’s look at each of the babies conceived within the Family between 1967–1970:

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Baby Valentine Michael Manson with his mother

The first baby born in the Manson Family was Charlie’s son with Mary Brunner. Brunner was the first ‘follower’ of Manson’s, an assistant librarian working at UC Berkeley who entered into a relationship with Charlie in early 1967. That fall, while the two were traveling along with Lynette Fromme (an 18-year old redhead Manson met in Southern California), Mary learned she was expecting.

The travels continued, with the trio then picking up Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Ella Jo Bailey before the end of 1967. But at the start of ’68, Charlie decided to settle in the Los Angeles area. This was for two reasons: he wanted to position himself near the music/recording industry connections he needed to get a record deal, and also to provide a safer place for Mary to delivery her child.

But Mary’s final trimester was marked by tension, even violence. The other women noted that from time to time, Mary sported a black eye. When pressed, Charlie threatened Lyn or Susan to shut up about it.

Valentine Michael Manson was born on April 5, 1968 in Topanga. It was the day after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Mary is rumored to have smoked pot to help with her labor pains. She was attended by the women and Charlie, who cut the umbilical cord. The baby’s name was homage to the main character in the novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

Dianne Lake later wrote, “The household was buzzing with energy until things took a turn for the worse and something was terribly wrong. She {Mary} was in agony and the baby didn’t seem to be moving in the right direction. We brought over a neighbor who had either a background as a midwife or a nurse, and she confirmed the baby was in breech position, which sent everyone into a panic. Charlie grew quiet in a way I had never seen before — so scared he seemed almost in tears. The neighbor told Mary to squat to help the baby move through the birth canal. She got into the position, and Mary delivered the baby with his feet first not long after. We all cheered once it was clear.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

After Valentine’s birth, Charlie explained that the baby would be everyone’s responsibility. To make sure that their hang-ups didn’t trickle down to their kids, everyone had to play a role in raising them. Raising them, in Charlie’s eyes, mostly meant letting the little ones do what they wanted. Anytime the Family got arrested, the babies and toddlers showed signs of extreme neglect.

A week after the birth, everyone was arrested when their bus broke down in Oxnard. Mary was ticketed for ‘indecency’ (she was breastfeeding the baby in a ditch when the officers found them). Actually, everyone was naked when the cops showed up.

The Family spent the spring of ’68 squatting in various properties in the Topanga area, and then at the palatial rented home of Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson. Wilson made numerous efforts to help Charlie with his music career, including allowing the Family to stay at his home. But Charlie soon realized that he couldn’t stay in Wilson’s good graces if the Family remained at his home, especially with a crying baby underfoot. He sent Mary, Valentine Michael and several women north to Mendocino County. They were to stay a couple of months there and recruit as many young men as possible.

The women drove first to San Francisco, where they visited the Free Clinic. Valentine Michael had a yeast infection in his mouth, passed from mother to son during delivery. On June 22nd, the women were arrested. They’d befriended three teenaged boys in the neighborhood where they were staying. But when one of the boys had a bad trip on their drugs and freaked out, his mother called police. The cops found a sizable amount of marijuana and acid. Mary was arrested for possession of narcotics. Katie (Patricia Krenwinkel), Sadie, Yeller and Stephanie were arrested for prostitution.

The women were held over. Katie told officers that Valentine Michael was her child (Mary’s charges were more serious, and she worried she would lose custody of her son). The baby was put in temporary foster care with Dr. Roger Smith (Charlie’s parole officer) and his wife, and the women were tossed in the local jail.

Once the women were freed from jail later that summer, they returned to Manson (who was staying at Spahn Ranch in Simi Valley). Charlie learned that his baby boy had been nicknamed ‘Pooh Bear’ in homage to the well-loved cartoon. He hated that nickname — but it stuck.

On the evening of August 8, 1969 (the night of the Sharon Tate murders), Mary was in jail in downtown Los Angeles on charges of using a stolen credit card. Her son was at Spahn Ranch, along with several other children. She wouldn’t see him for several months — by the time she got released that fall, Pooh Bear was in Wisconsin with her parents. He’d been taken by Social Services after an August 16th auto theft raid at the ranch, and from there to stay with his maternal grandparents.

Mary kept the baby with her folks when she returned to California in 1970, initially to testify during one of the murder trials but ultimately to support Manson and the Family. During that time she committed armed robbery. Mary was wounded during the robbery attempt, arrested, tried and sentenced to several years in prison. During those years, Pooh Bear was raised by his grandparents (who he believed were his parents) and his name was legally changed to Michael Brunner.

Michael was reunited with his mother in the late ’70s and later, the two moved to Illinois where she found an administrative position with a hospital. As a young adult, he joined the Army and then worked a professional career for several years.

Today, Michael Brunner lives in the Midwest, is married and has children. He and his family live ‘off the land’ as best they can, according to a recent interview.

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Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, pictured here with other members of the Manson Family during the 1970 trials

The public had no knowledge of this until recently, but according to Lynette Fromme (aka Squeaky), she also conceived a baby with Charlie around the same time that Mary announced she was pregnant in the fall of 1968. Lynette revealed in her 2018 memoir that she miscarried. She never had any other children.

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In this blurry (and inappropriately watermarked) photograph from late 1968, we see Susan Atkins (far left) holding her infant son. Valentine Michael is the blond child standing in the front seat.

In February 1968 (two months before Valentine Michael was born), Susan Atkins (aka Sadie Mae Glutz) took off with a friend of the Family. They headed for Arizona but when Susan returned a few weeks later, she was pregnant. She later claimed a drifter named Michael Weine was the father, although for a time Charlie believed her baby was his.

Susan and Charlie had an acrimonious relationship. She wanted him to control her, yet defied his control at every opportunity. Charlie found her to be difficult, rebellious and constantly seeking his approval and attention.

Pregnancy only made her more impulsive and headstrong. Sadie continued to defy Charlie and to flout his authority. She was also dropping so much acid the first months that the women held an intervention.

On October 7th at Spahn Ranch, Sadie gave birth to a baby boy, two months premature. Initially, Charlie thought she was pretending to be in labor and to go away. Once it was clear that she was, indeed, about to deliver then Charlie took his sweet time, shaving and preening in the mirror before he let Sadie focus on her labor pains.

Dianne Lake recalled, “We all dropped everything and gathered around Sadie and got her onto a bed. A birth was a huge and exciting event but whenever anything happened to Sadie, it took everyone’s energy… Charlie took charge and told us to boil water and sterilize things such as a razor blade. We were all gathered around her on all sides while Charlie talked her through the delivery… After the baby whooshed out in a pool of fluids and afterbirth, Charlie told me to cut the baby’s umbilical cord with my teeth.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

Sadie’s son, named Ze Zo Ze Ce Zadfrack (Lord!) was born several weeks premature but without defect. The Family left Death Valley shortly after his birth, but first Sadie and baby Ze Zo went to stay at nearby Fountain of the World, a messianic cult near Spahn Ranch.

Once Sadie and her baby joined the others in Death Valley, she witnessed the way that Charlie both fawned over and abused the children. “He frequently became cruel, manifest most horribly when he would take my baby by the feet and swing him around and around high over his head and then down to within an inch of the rocky ground. He was crazy at those moments. But a split-second later he would seem to be full of love for the children, which he continued to think of as gods or kings.” — The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins-Whitehouse ©2012 Menelorelin Dorenay

The Family stayed in Death Valley for a couple months, then returned to Los Angeles. In early 1969, Charlie kicked Sadie out. He kept baby Ze Zo, claiming that his mother wasn’t caring properly for him. When he decided he needed her again, he summoned her back like a dog. Charlie told her, “Sadie, the trouble with you is you don’t fear me enough.” — Charles Manson quoted in Child of Satan, Child of God by Susan Atkins with Bob Slosser ©1977 Logos International

But when Manson brought Sadie back to the Yellow Submarine that winter, she was in rough shape. She had contracted a contagious form of hepatitis and was weak and jaundiced. The other women took care of her, feeding her soup and letting her rest.

Dianne Lake recalled that, “Despite how sexually active we were… we were a pretty closed group. Sadie was the exception. She would pick up guys and sleep with them. She may even have been prostituting herself because she seemed to have money to bring into the group. It upset Charlie because word would get around about our not being clean.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

The Family returned to Spahn Ranch later that spring. In July and August, Susan Atkins helped murder six of the Family’s victims.

Like Valentine Michael, Ze Zo was at Spahn Ranch in August 1969 during the auto theft raid. He, too, was taken by Child Protective Services and given to a foster family to care for. Four weeks later, Sadie tracked down the home that had been fostering Ze Zo, broke in and took him. She then brought him to the desert where the Family fled after the murders.

Susan may not have been quite the terrible mother that Charlie and others once claimed. “Twenty or twenty-five years after my conviction I was in a State­-mandated child development class and my codefendant Leslie happened to be in the class as well. I’d been… talking about how I’d been kept away from my son during his early development and how much I resented that. During the break Leslie came up to me and apologized. She told me for over twenty years she’d disliked me because… Manson had told her my son was being kept with the other children because I didn’t want him. Since Leslie and I didn’t interact back then she had no way of knowing it wasn’t true.” — The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins-Whitehouse ©2012 Menelorelin Dorenay

When Susan was arrested in October 1969 in Death Valley, her son was again taken into foster care. Susan Atkins never saw her son again. While in jail, she told several other inmates about the events at Cielo Drive.

“Sadie’s just a stupid little bitch… You know, I only made love to her two or three times. After she had her baby and lost her shape, I couldn’t have cared less about her. That’s why she told that story, to get attention. I would never personally harm anyone.” — Charles Manson quoted in Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry ©1974 W.W. Norton & Company

Susan testified during the December 1969 grand jury, and then during the 1970 trials. She was found guilty of murder on several counts, sentenced to death, and then later her sentence was commuted to life in prison.

While in prison, Susan found Jesus and married twice, the second time to a young law student. During her first years in prison she learned that baby Ze Zo had been adopted by a doctor and his wife, and was living a good life free from his mother’s notoriety. Susan claimed that she was happy about this, and that she thought his new name might be Paul — which is ironic, since the child that Sharon Tate was expecting at the time of her murder was also to be named Paul.

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Ivan Pugh, son of Sandra Good and Bobby Beausoleil, sits on his mother’s lap in this late 1969 photo. Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme sits behind Sandra.

Sandra Good, the eldest of four daughters born to a wealthy stockbroker in San Diego, joined the Manson Family in the spring of 1968. Initially reserved and self-conscious, Sandy became one of Charlie’s most ardent supporters and is still loyal to him today.

Charlie encouraged the women to get pregnant. Later, as he began to develop his ‘Helter Skelter’ race war theories, new children meant added strength for the Family. “It was the best way to begin expanding the group to the 144,000 foretold in Revelation. When they reached that number, the Family would emerge to take over the world. Every baby counted.” — Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn ©2013 Simon & Schuster

“Charlie was like a modern-day Moses,” wrote Dianne. “He had us preparing to go to the land of milk and honey, where we could live after the Helter Skelter race war… According to Charlie, this shelter from the war was a big hole in the middle of the desert… Charlie also described more benefits of this mystical space, saying things like, ‘None of us will age down underground. When we come up after the race war, we will be as strong and vital as we are now’… we were supposed to have as many babies as we could, so our family could repopulate the earth with beautiful, strong, healthy people.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

Sandra was not a fan of babies, initially. She has spoken about how her own mother was cold, unmaternal and how, until she met Manson, she remained on the pill so that she would not get pregnant and repeat this pattern. But as soon as she met Charlie, he started working on her. He told Sandra, “I see you, and I see you would make super babies. You take birth control pills, huh?” She nodded, and Manson began removing her clothes and then made love to her.

Lynette Fromme recalled that Charlie didn’t consider himself to be “top of the line reproductively,” (Reflexion by Lynette Fromme ©2018 Peasenhall Press) and instead, selected Bobby Beausoleil as top choice for Family breeder. Beausoleil, a fellow musician like Manson but young, good-looking and with more significant contacts in the music business, was one of Manson’s two chief studs (the other being Charles ‘Tex’ Watson) but the most successful: Beausoleil fathered THREE babies in 1969 alone! One was Sandra Good’s so, conceived in early 1969.

Sandra was with Mary Brunner on August 9th when both women were arrested after fleeing a Sears store in the Valley with a handful of stolen credit cards. She was eight months pregnant at the time of her arrest. Unlike Mary (who actually used the card in question), Sandra was released a few days after her arrest and therefore, was at Spahn Ranch in time for the August raid.

The following month, while most of the Family were in Death Valley, Sandra was in Los Angeles when she went into labor. On September 16th, Sandra Good gave birth to her son, Ivan (she called him Cho). The infant was delivered in a Los Angeles hospital after Sandy spent nearly three days in labor. When she delivered, some of her ‘sister wives’ were there for his birth. She claimed Joel Pugh (an ex-boyfriend) as the father of her infant son on his birth records, even though she knew that Bobby Beausoleil was actually the father. She also listed her own name as Sandra Pugh on the birth certificate. Likely, she was worried (with her recent arrest record) that the authorities might take her baby away from an unwed, felonious mother.

After Cho’s delivery, Sadie and Katie visited Sandy in the hospital. Sadie started dropping hints about the name Tate, Katie (true name Patricia Krenwinkel) threw her an angry look and Sandy demanded to know what was going on. They told her about Cielo Drive. They told her that Sharon was pregnant when she was stabbed to death. When Sandy asked them about the unborn baby in the actress’s womb, Katie looked at Cho and said, “You have him in your arms.” Reflexion by Lynette Fromme ©2018 Peasenhall Press

In their lunacy, they believed they had claimed Sharon’s unborn child and passed him energetically to their sister to raise!

Just a few weeks later, Sandra and her baby were in Death Valley when the Family was again arrested. Little Ivan and the other children were again placed in the foster care system, and the adults were thrown into jail in Independence, California. There, Sandy was in distress. She had no idea how long she’d be separated from her son, was in danger of her milk drying up. According to Dianne, “The baby had been taken away… this was an affront to all of us, just another way for the pigs to keep us down. We helped Sandy by taking turns nursing at her breasts. It didn’t seem unnatural to partake of her baby’s food, because we were helping her maintain nourishment for one of our own.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

Sandra was released from Independence and along with Lynette Fromme, remained in the desert to support Manson until he was arraigned to Los Angeles on murder charges.

Sandra’s support of Charlie and the Family continued. She aided and abetted the escape of fugitive Kenneth Como (a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who took over Manson’s Family once Charlie was sentenced for the Tate/LaBianca murders) and supported other criminal activities of the Family.

She served six months in prison starting in 1971, and then in 1975, was indicated for conspiracy to send threatening letters through the mail (to executives of big environmental-threatening corporations). While Sandra served the next nine years in prison, Ivan was in the custody of artist John Friedman aka Partee, a friend of the Family’s. The Friedmans raised Ivan in a large, blended, multi-cultural family and he grew up largely in Baton Rouge, Lousiana.

As a teen, Ivan played high school football, and later became a chef. He owns a successful cajun restaurant in Dallas, Texas today, and supports one of my personal all-time favorite charities, World Central Kitchen. About Sandra Good (who was paroled in 1985) he wrote, “I had many teachers of all race, creed, religion, and political perspective especially my beautiful mother who also did not subscribe to any religion or political party and focused her life on spirituality and loving and caring for other people.” (copied from Ivan’s social media page).

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Ivan Pugh with his father, Bobby Beausoleil. Beausoleil is serving life in prison for the 1969 murder of Manson Family friend Gary Hinman.

Ivan has several siblings through his father, Bobby Beausoleil. Two of those siblings were born within just six months of Ivan — an older brother born to a former girlfriend (she was not associated with the Family) and a daughter, born of his relationship with 16-year old Kathryn ‘Kitty’ Lutesinger.

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Kitty Lutesinger is the mother of Bobby’s third child, Jene. We do not have a photograph of Jene.

Kitty and Bobby met and began dating in the Spring of 1969. By June, when they learned she was expecting, Bobby moved her to Spahn Ranch so she would not be alone while he was working on music projects. He would visit the ranch, but did not officially live there during this time.

In July 1969, Bobby committed the first ‘Manson Family Murder’ of Gary Hinman. It was a botched drug deal followed by a physical altercation, and then an assault by Manson, Beausoleil and others on Hinman, and ultimately the stabbing death of 34-year old Gary. Bobby was arrested for murder the following week and has been in prison ever since.

Kitty ran away from Spahn Ranch a week after the murder of Hinman, because Manson had been threatening her. She did not know where Bobby was or what he had done, but left to protect herself, her child and her family (whom Charlie had threatened). She returned to the ranch just in time for the August 16th raid, and then ran away that fall at the time of the October arson investigation.

Kitty was picked up by investigators of the Hinman homicide team, and she told them about what she knew of the Manson Family’s crimes. In response to hearing that Kitty ratted him out, Charlie added her name to a list of people he wanted killed.

Bobby’s first trial (November 1969) ended in a hung jury, and he was retried in early 1970. Kitty gave birth to a daughter named Jene and shortly thereafter, she returned to the Family, the prodigal daughter.

Jene grew up in southern Califonria, where Kitty worked as a school administrator. Jene is married, with children, and an animal rights advocate. She and her family live in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

In addition to Bobby’s three biological children, he also has three stepchildren with his late wife, Barbara.

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A pregnant Linda Kasabian enters court for a pre-trial hearing. Defendant Leslie Van Houten walks behind her.

Linda Kasabian was a 21-year old young wife and mother from New Hampshire, who joined the Manson Family in June 1969. She left her husband Bob, and brought their 15-year old daughter Tanya, with her to Spahn Ranch.

Linda was especially happy to see other kids at the ranch. She was initially dismayed to learn that they separated children from parents but agreed to let Tanya go with Ouisch and Katie to the back of the property. She accepted the statement that kids were better off not being molded by their own parents, to prevent adults from imprinting their egos on them. Linda said, “I was comfortable leaving my daughter because they had other children there.”[1] But she missed Tanya.

Barbara Hoyt verified Linda’s bond with her little girl: “I babysat the Family children… Linda Kasabian visited her little girl several times a day. She brought her food and treats and toys. She fed her, played with her, loved her. Danny DeCarlo (a biker who left his young son with the Family) also visited his son a couple times a day and Mary Brunner also visited her son about once a day.”

  • From The Manson Family: More to the Story by H. Allegra Lansing ©2019 Swann Publications (including the following citations: [1] Linda Kasabian from the documentary “Manson” ©2009 The History Channel; [2] Barbara Hoyt, impact statement, from Susan Atkins’ 2009 special hearing)

Just a few weeks later, Linda was asked by Manson to commit murder.

She accompanied Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel to the home of actress Sharon Tate, where the other three each committed murder. Linda was a witness and an unwilling accomplice, but did not attempt to kill anyone. She wanted to run and find help, but with her daughter back at Spahn Ranch, she was afraid that Charlie would harm Tanya if she went against him.

Linda was also present the next night, during the drive to the home of the next victims, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. She also did not commit murder that night, although she did participate in the theft of property (Mrs. LaBianca’s wallet).

Two days later she fled Spahn Ranch, leaving Tanya behind. She believed it was the only opportunity to leave, and she felt that her daughter would be safe. That’s because she had a trump card — she had just learned that she was pregnant and told Manson, the night of the LaBianca murders.

Charlie had no way of knowing who the father of Linda’s baby was, but it turns out it was her estranged husband, Bob Kasabian.

Linda fled to New Mexico and later, back to her home state of New Hampshire, but when law enforcement put out a warrant for her arrest several months later, she turned herself into local police and was extradited back to Los Angeles.

On March 7th, while at jail awaiting testifying at Manson’s upcoming trial, Linda delivered a baby boy named Angel.

We know little about Angel, except that he grew up with his older sister Tanya and a younger half-sibling. It is reported that Angel changed his name to Nathan, and lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest.

Tanya has reportedly had trouble with the law, as an adult. Linda has also faced several other arrests and addiction issues, but was never convicted of any crimes.

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Catherine Share and Steve Grogan hold their son while others look on

Catherine Share and Steve Grogan both joined the Manson Family in the summer of 1968. Catherine was 26-years old at the time, a musician and part-time actor who was introduced to Charlie through Bobby Beausoleil. Grogan was a 17-year old high school dropout who worked at Spahn Ranch as an unpaid ranch hand, in exchange for free room and board.

Grogan was one of the men who killed ranch hand Shorty Shea. Share was also involved in numerous crimes with the Manson Family, including the 1971 Hawthorne Shootout, for which she served several years in prison.

Catherine (aka Gypsy) got pregnant in 1970 and delivered a son, Phoenix, on January 5, 1971. Catherine spent most of her son’s early years in prison. He was raised in the foster care system during most of that time. He reunited with his mother after her release.

As a young man, Phoenix joined the U.S. military and moved to the Pacific Northwest. He currently uses his mother’s married name. He has two younger half-brothers through his father, Steve Grogan.

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Ruth Ann Moorehouse, around the age of 17 when she conceived her first child

Ruth Ann Moorehouse was one of Manson’s first followers, and one of the youngest. At just 14-years of age, she met Charlie when her own father brought the ex-con home for dinner. A few weeks later, he had sex with the adolescent. Ruth Ann joined the Family the following spring in Los Angeles.

In 1970, while prosecutors were preparing for Manson’s trial, Ruth Ann got pregnant. There have been rumors of who the father was, but no confirmation.

Ruth Ann was found guilty later that year of attempting to silence a potential criminal witness (Barbara Hoyt, with the infamous LSD-laced hamburger incident). Pregnant, she fled the state, moving to Nevada where she gave birth to her baby. She married a construction worker in Carson City, gave birth to another child, moved to Sacramento and got a divorce.

In 1975, Ruth Ann tearfully appeared before a judge in a Southern California courthouse, pleading for mercy on the charges she fled from five years before. Wearing a bandage over her forehead (following plastic surgery to remove her X), she said she escaped in fear of the Family who wanted her to have her baby in prison.

Her daughter LaDieh lives in Minnesota today, and is married with children. She works in the health care sector.

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Claudia Leigh Smith, mother of Dawn

Claudia Leigh Smith was one of the last people to join the Manson Family before they were arrested in Death Valley. She is believed to have joined them sometime in August 1969. Claudia grew up in Los Angeles county, and graduated high school in 1968.

Claudia was arrested with members of the Family during the October 1969 Death Valley raid, and she also was arrested sometime that fall for writing bad checks.

In 1971, she was discovered living with former members of the Family in western Missouri including William Rex Cole (aka Bill Vance) and Patricia Baldwin (aka Madeline Joan Cottage). They were renting a farm and running, what they said, was a religious mission. But shortly after a reporter came out to interview them about their farming efforts, the trio disappeared along with a fourth person, a man from California.

Remnants left behind when Cole, Smith and the others departed included a hospital bracelet belonging to a ‘Linda Baldwin’ who gave birth a few months before to a child named Dawn. Linda was the alias that Claudia used at that time. It is unclear if baby Dawn was fathered by Cole or someone else. Dawn has never used the name Cole, so perhaps another man was her dad.

Smith and Cole fled to California with baby Dawn, where they married. They were married for several years, and then divorced. Claudia remarried and had more children.

Dawn is married, owns a window-repair business and lives in Antelope Valley, California.

There are certainly other children whose parents were associated with the Manson Family at different times, but these were the children conceived during the era in question.

To learn more about the Manson Family and their crimes, please visit

Written by

Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series.

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