“What do you suggest, that we sit here and sing ‘Garbage Dump’ or something?”
Dec. 17 – For this installment of the Audio Archives, we will travel back to December 30, 1969 and listen to LaBianca detectives, Sergeants Phillip Sartuche and Michael Nielsen interview Ruth Ann Moorehouse in Inyo County.
In this interview, Sartuche and Nielsen unsuccessfully try to get Ruth to talk about her knowledge of the murders. The three talk about Charlie Manson, Ruth’s nickname and her father Deane while Ruth bums cigarettes and a Milky Way bar off of the officers.
The detectives let Ruth look at a book of family mugshots. Pointing to a photo of Sherry Cooper, Ruth asks, “Where’s she?”
“That’s you,” responds Sartuche.
“No it ain’t,” Moorehouse corrects the officer and explains that Sherry would use her name at times. “But the last detective told me she was dead…”
For the purpose of voice identification, the first detective to speak is Sergeant Phillip Sartuche. The detective who says “another smoker, happy to see that” is Sergeant Michael Nielsen.
Ruth Ann Moorehouse
Ruth Ann Moorehouse, 17 years-old at the time of this interview, first met Charles Manson in 1967, after her father, Dean Moorehouse (a former minister) picked Charlie up hitchhiking.
Before leaving for Los Angeles, Charlie told Ruth Ann she could come with if she was married. A few weeks later, she married a bus driver, left him, and joined the family in L.A. She began living with the family at various residences, including Spahn’s Movie Ranch. The ranch’s owner, George Spahn, gave her the nickname Ouisch, pronounced üsh
Sergeant Phillip Sartuche
Sergeant Phillip Sartuche, 30 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 9 years. Sartuche had been a 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. and also received a Masters Degree in English from L.A. State.
Sartuche became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in February of 1960. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Phillip had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.
Sergeant Michael Nielsen
Sergeant Michael Nielsen, 35 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 12 years. Nielsen had attended Loyola University studying Psychology, as well as taking police courses at LA State and Valley College.
As a Private First Class in the United States Army, Nielsen was assigned to the Heavy Weapons Infantry Company stationed in Berlin, Germany.
Nielsen became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in October of 1957. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Mike had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.