Dean Moorehouse

Dean Moorehouse was a former Minister who introduced his teenage daughter, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, to Charles Manson. Both joined Manson and his clan.

Early Life

Dean Allen Moorehouse, aka Baba, was born on February 13, 1920, in Minnesota. Legal documents refer to him as Dean and sometimes as Deane. He was the third of five children. His mother and father were Lee and Lulu Moorehouse. Dean did not get on well with his parents and left the family home at a young age. He was in touch with his parents and siblings for some time, but Dean has severed all contact with his family over the years.


According to legal documents, Dean graduated from high school at Central High in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Minot State College in Minot, North Dakota, with a major in history and a minor in speech and education. He then studied at Wesley Theological Seminary at Grand Forks, North Dakota for two years and then completed two semesters at Hamlin University. Dean was raised Catholic but later became a Protestant.

Marriage and Children

In 1939, Dean married Audrey Lucile Sirpless, and they had four children; Kathleen Adair, 1940, Deane Thomas, 1941, Sharon Lee, 1945 and Ruth Ann, 1952. After Dean and Audrey’s divorce in 1967, the two oldest children broke off contact with Dean, and he only had contact with his two youngest children.

Meeting Manson

In 1967, whilst hitchhiking, Charles Manson was picked up by Dean and taken back to his home. It was there that Manson first met Dean’s daughter, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, who eventually became a member of the notorious family. Read more about Dean, Ruth Ann Moorehouse and Manson here.

LSD Arrest

On Thursday 21st March 1968, Dean was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This followed a police raid of a dwelling in Redwood Valley looking for drugs. Of the eleven people arrested at the scene, most were minors, leading to the delinquency charge for Dean. He was arrested again later that same month after two people identified him as a drug dealer.

Joining Manson

Not long after, Dean’s then 16-year-old daughter, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, married a bus driver. The marriage was only symbolic, and Ruth joined Manson and his clan the very next day. Determined to get his daughter back, Dean tracked them down. His initial plan was to kill Manson, however the charismatic Manson managed to convince Dean to join the family himself, going so far as to kneel and kiss Dean’s feet in an attempt to persuade him.

Dean Introduced Tex Watson to Charles Manson

Charles Manson and Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson had become friends, and Manson and his girls were staying at Wilson’s place for the summer. Dean stayed in Dennis Wilson’s guest house in exchange for doing odd jobs and yard work. One day, Dennis Wilson himself had been hitchhiking when he was picked up by Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, who would later become infamous for killing Sharon Tate. Watson gave Wilson a ride home. When they arrived, Wilson asked him to come in.

In the kitchen, Tex Watson met Dean Moorehouse, who was seated at the kitchen table, accompanied by several young girls. They began to talk, and Dean told Watson that taking LSD had changed him and that through Manson he had found his true faith. He even proclaimed that Manson was the reincarnation of Jesus. Dean then introduced Tex Watson to Charles Manson. Watson and Manson became friends, and it wouldn’t be long before Watson joined Manson and his family.

Road Trip with Tex Watson

Despite their age difference, Dean Moorehouse and Tex Watson became fast friends. In August, when Dean had to appear in Mendocino court for his arrest for dealing LSD, Watson went with him and they drove to Mendocino in Terry Melcher’s Jaguar.

The trial lasted two days, and ultimately, the jury was unable to reach a verdict. A new date for a second trial was set. Dean and Watson lingered in Mendocino for several weeks before returning to Manson and the family, who had moved to the Spahn Ranch in the meantime. When they arrived at the ranch, Manson gave them a tent, which they pitched next to a stream.

Sentenced to Six Months

The second trial against Dean began on December 17, 1968, and this time he was found guilty. On January 2, 1969, Dean was sentenced to six months in prison. He was transferred several times during his sentence and has served in Folsom Prison and San Quentin, among others. After the Tate/LaBianca murders, the police questioned Dean. Dean, who was still in jail for selling LSD, said he knew nothing about the murders. On March 23, 1971, Dean was paroled.

Second Marriage

Following his release in 1971, Dean met and married his second wife, Marilyn Shelly Nicokiris. Interestingly, Marilyn was the same age as Dean’s daughter, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, when the two tied the knot. Dean attempted to reunite the family by contacting members of the Manson tribe, without success.

Sexually Abusive Behavior

Dean has been accused of sexually abusive behavior with children several times in his life. In 1991, he was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Dean was paroled after serving 52 months of his sentence and was released on September 2, 1995.

Later Life and Death

Within two years, Dean had violated his parole and his parole was revoked, leading to him returning to prison on the 29th of May 1997. Dean was released again on the 22nd of May 1998 and remained under supervision for another year. In 1999, Dean, who was by then living in Redding, California, was interviewed by Tom O’Neill for his book about the family, ‘Chaos’.

Dean Moorehouse passed away on May 22, 2010, in Shasta Lake, California. Marilyn Moorehouse remarried after Dean’s death.

Related: Ruth Ann Moorehouse