Dean Allen Moorehouse in 1971
Aug. 17 – Dean Allen Moorehouse (born 2/13/20 in Minnesota, male Caucasian, 5-5, 157 lbs., gray hair and blue eyes) grew up in the Minneapolis area and had at least two older siblings – one brother, two sisters. In 1939, at the age of 19, Dean married Audrey Lucile Sirpless and during the course of the couple’s 28-year marriage, they produced four children; Kathleen Adair (1940), Deane Thomas (1941), Sharon Lee (1945) and Ruth Ann (sometimes 1951/1952/1953)
In 1967, the then 47-year-old Moorehouse reportedly was employed, or formerly employed as a protestant minister and was residing in San Jose, California with his family. Around this time, Dean befriended Charlie Manson after picking up the ex-con hitchhiking through the area. Manson had recently been paroled from federal prison after serving almost six years of a ten year sentence for forging a $37.50 check in May of 1959.
Moorehouse invited Manson to dinner at his home and Charlie ended up staying the night. Manson and Moorehouse discussed the Bible, sang religious songs and when Charlie admired an old piano at the house, Dean told him he was welcome to have it. Moorehouse told Charlie he was always welcome in his home and Manson became a frequent visitor, taking a special interest in Dean’s youngest daughter, Ruth Ann.
Sometime that summer, Manson found a Volkswagen Microbus for sale in Moorehouse’s neighborhood and negotiated a deal with the owner to trade it for Dean’s piano. Shortly after acquiring the Microbus, Charlie took Ruth Ann on a trip up the coast which prompted her parents to report her as a runaway. The pair were eventually apprehended by Sheriff’s deputies on Friday, July 28, 1967. Ruth Ann was returned home and Charlie was arrested for trying to interfere with the police. The following month, Dean and Audrey officially ended their marriage, filing for divorce in Sonoma County.
Dean was arrested on Thursday, March 21, 1968 and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, after he was found in a Redwood Valley home that Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies raided for marijuana. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 11 individuals on a range of charges and Dean was slapped with the delinquency charge because the majority of those in the home were not of age.
Dean was arrested again in May, after Roger Tholan and Gertrude Romanski told authorities that the $50 of LSD they were found in possession of, was sold to them by Moorehouse. Dean was charged with a violation of Section 11912 of the Health & Safety Code.
A few weeks later, Ruth Ann married 23-year-old Edward L. Heuvelhorst in Santa Cruz, California in an effort to become emancipated. According to Ruth Ann, the marriage only lasted one day, and she soon headed to the Los Angeles area where Charlie and the family had relocated months earlier. Soon to follow her was an angry Dean, reportedly hell bent on getting Ruth back. When Dean arrived in Los Angeles, he met up with Charlie at Dennis Wilson’s house where Manson immediately diffused the situation by kneeling down and kissing the preacher’s toes, welcoming him to the party.
Dean spent the rest of the summer at Dennis’ house living in the guesthouse in exchange for taking care of the landscaping duties. He reportedly became a devout follower of Charlie and championed his lifestyle and philosophies. In August, Dean headed back to Mendocino in order to face trial for the LSD arrest back in May. The trial resulted in a hung jury and was set to be re-tried in December. In the meantime, Dean returned to L.A. and reconnected briefly with the family at Spahn Ranch.
Dean’s second trial began on December 17, and this time he was found guilty. He returned for sentencing on January 2, 1969, when Judge Wayne Burke sentenced Dean to 6 months at the Vacaville Medical Facility. Records show he was received the following day and that he was transferred several times during his incarceration, serving his sentence in multiple facilities, including Folsom and San Quentin.
After the Tate-LaBianca murders were connected to the Manson family, LAPD sent detectives to visit Dean in prison. According to the officers that made the trip, Moorehouse offered little to help their case.
Dean was denied parole on May 7, 1969, March 3, 1970, and August 26, 1970, before he was finally granted parole on March 23, 1971.
Little has been documented about Moorehouse’s activities in the years that followed. Records indicate he lived for a long time in the Redding, California area. In May of 1991, Dean was convicted on charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and given a 8-year term in state prison. He served 52 months of the 8-year term and was paroled on Saturday, September 2, 1995. He violated parole less than two years later and was returned to prison on May 29, 1997. Dean was re-released on parole on May 22, 1998 and discharged from parole supervision on Sept. 9, 1999.
Dean Allen Moorehouse passed away on Saturday, May 22, 2010 in Shasta Lake, California.