‘Manson Family’ Children Reunited With Mother
Thursday, July 8th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 8 — The four “Manson family children,” trained to hide in holes to prepare for the revolution, were back with their mother today, but it will be up to child welfare authorities in Northern California to decide whether she can keep them.
The four, ranging in age from 3 to 10, were found hidden in a plywood-covered hole beneath a chicken coop on a tumbledown ranch about 85 miles north of Los Angeles last week.
The ranch housed a hippie commune, including many of the members of the Manson family not in jail. Leader Charles Manson, already sentenced to the gas chamber for the Tate-Labianca murders, is now on trial for two other killings.
The four children were reclaimed by their mother, Mrs Sarah Rice, 29, child welfare authorities said yesterday. Mrs. Rice said earlier she left the children with their father, Dennis Rice, 31, because she was on drugs, but no longer takes narcotics and wants the children back.
She said her husband trained the children to hide in holes so they could protect themselves when “the revolution” broke out.
Manson family members said Rice left the children with them, and they were “super
kids,” who dug hiding places for themselves, slept outdoors on the ground and learned to eat cactus and bushes on survival expeditions into the Mojave Desert.
Rice disappeared after serving 90 days for feeding an LSD-spiked hamburger to a prosecution witness at the first Manson trial.
Mrs. Rice took the children to her new home at Healdsburg in Sonoma County in Northern California.