Sherry Cooper

Sherry Cooper, nicknamed Simi Valley Sherry, was born in 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Sherry Cooper was a fun-loving and horse-obsessed girl who often visited the notorious family during their time at the Spahn Ranch. Just 7 miles (ca. 11 km) away in Simi Valley, Sherry lived a life of adventure and exploration in the heart of Southern California.

Spahn Ranch Raid

Law enforcement arrested Sherry Cooper with the rest of the family during the infamous Spahn Ranch raid on August 16, 1969. After her release from jail, Sherry decided to make the journey with the clan to the Barker Ranch in Death Valley. Sherry made a daring escape alongside Barbara Hoyt after Hoyt overheard Susan Atkins confess the Tate murders to Ruth Ann Moorehouse. The duo walked 27 miles through the treacherous terrain of Death Valley in order to get away from the group.

When Manson found out that Sherry Cooper and Barbara Hoyt had fled, he began pursuit and eventually tracked them down to a local diner in Ballarat. Despite his attempts to convince them to stay with the family, he was forced to let them go, and provided them with $20 for their bus fare to L.A.

Unidentified Body

In 1969, an unidentified body, Jane Doe #59, with 150 stab wounds was discovered on Mulholland Drive. Rumors circulated that the body might have belonged to Sherry Cooper, leaving a 46 year mystery that was finally solved in 2015. After intense police investigations, the woman was identified as Reet Jurvetson, a Montreal native who had moved to Los Angeles the same year she was killed.


In 1970, Sherry’s then-boyfriend, Danny DeCarlo, was called to testify in the Manson trial. After the trial, Sherry and Danny moved to Canada, where the two married. Sherry and Decarlo had a daughter named Gina who died in a car accident in 1991. From a newspaper article:

Gina Decarlo was traveling as a passenger in a vehicle eastbound on I 10 when the vehicle rear ended a tractor trailer rig. The accident happened on April 29, 1991 at 7:00 am. Decarlo was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, CA. She had major head trauma. Decarlo was declared brain dead nine days later and taken off life support.

Sherry Cooper Today

Sherry and Danny eventually broke up. In 1977, Sherry married a man seventeen years her senior, and they remain together to this day. Today, Sherry lives in a small town in Northern California.