Catherine Share, aka Gypsy, was born in Paris, France, on December 10, 1942. Her mother and father were members of the French resistance against the Nazi occupiers. Her maternal grandmother died in a ghetto in Eastern Europe, and her paternal grandparents both died in a concentration camp. Share’s parents committed suicide when she was two years old. After the death of her parents, she was placed in an orphanage. When Share was eight years old, an American couple adopted her.
The couple who had adopted Catherine had ended their marriage before she moved to America. The husband had been unfaithful to his wife, leading her to file for divorce. After a legal battle, Patricia Johnston was awarded custody of Catherine, and the two eventually found a new home in Hollywood, California. Patricia married a man named Sidney Share, and Catherine took on his last name.
According to Share, her childhood was largely a happy one until her adoptive mother was diagnosed with cancer and tragically took her own life in 1959. Despite this immense loss, Share continued to live with her adoptive father until she graduated high school in 1961. Soon after, her father remarried and Share left her childhood home to travel around California.
In 1967, Share encountered a young actor and musician named Bobby Beausoleil while filming the soft core porn movie ‘The Ramrodder’. She soon began a passionate affair with him. It was through Beausoleil that she became acquainted with Charles Manson and moved into the family hangout at Spahn Ranch. Share took on the role of ‘recruiter’, bringing both Linda Kasabian and Leslie Van Houten into the tribe.
While Share was not involved in the Tate/LaBianca murders, she and several others were charged with conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying after attempting to poison fellow family member Barbara Hoyt with a staggering ten hits of acid. They were initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were later reduced to conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying. Share was eventually sentenced to an abridged 90 days in prison for her involvement in the conspiracy.
On January 5, 1971, while Share was still incarcerated, she gave birth to a son, Phoenix. The baby was placed into foster care while his mother served out her sentence. It was later revealed that Steve Clem Grogan is the father of the child.
On August 21, 1971, Catherine Share, along with Como, Brunner and two other associates of Manson, attempted a daring robbery of a Los Angeles gun store, stealing an estimated 150 firearms in the process. However, their plan was foiled after setting off a loud alarm, leading to a shootout with the police.
Share herself sustained three bullet wounds during the ordeal. In her confession, Share revealed that they had planned to hijack a 747 airplane and take the passengers hostage in order to secure the release of Manson and other family members. As a result, she was sentenced to a five-year prison term.
Catherine Share Today
Following her release from prison in 1975, Catherine Share severed her ties with the family and sought surgery to have the “X” carved into her forehead. She married Como, although the marriage didn’t last long. Share was arrested again for her involvement in a credit card scam, and she was imprisoned for a few years before eventually cleaning up her life and maintaining a low profile. Share remarried and became a born-again Christian, leaving her tumultuous past behind.