Catherine Share

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Catherine "Gypsy" Share
Born (1942-12-10) December 10, 1942 (age 79)
Other namesGypsy
Known forFormer member of the Manson Family

Catherine Louise "Gypsy" Share (born December 10, 1942) is a former member of the Manson Family.[1][2] Share was not directly involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders that sent Charles Manson and some of his followers to prison. She was convicted for trying to intimidate a witness against testifying, serving 90 days, and later served five years in prison for armed robbery. Following her release in 1975, she disassociated herself from the "Family" and has spoken publicly about her experiences.

Early life[edit]

Share was born in Paris, to a Hungarian violinist father and a German Jewish mother. Her parents were members of the French Resistance movement during World War II, and committed suicide when their daughter was two. Share's maternal grandmother died in a ghetto in Eastern Europe and both of Share's paternal grandparents died in concentration camps. Before her parents' suicides, her father made arrangements with a French lawyer who was secretly helping the underground to plan his daughter's escape.[3]

Through her father's arrangements, Share was to be adopted by an American couple. During the time before her arrival, the couple was divorced due to the husband's infidelity. This led to a court case whereby the adoptive mother (Patricia Jeanne Johnston) was able to retain custody. She later married an American psychologist (Sidney Share) and they relocated to Hollywood, California. Share graduated from Hollywood High School in 1961.[3] Share's childhood in America was, according to Share, a relatively happy one until her adoptive mother was diagnosed with cancer and committed suicide when Share was 16 in 1959. Share then lived with her blind adoptive father.[4] After her adoptive father remarried, Share dropped out of college and began wandering California, immersed in the 1960s counterculture. In 1965, Catherine Share cut a single for the Autumn label in San Francisco who were already riding high with the Beau Brummels. The recording, under the name of Charity Shayne, was issued in the UK in the 2000s as a track on the Ace/Big Beat CD Someone to Love.

Involvement with the Manson Family[edit]

In early 1967, Share met Bobby Beausoleil on the set of a softcore porn movie entitled The Ramrodder. She eventually began an affair with the aspiring musician and, after meeting Charles Manson through Beausoleil, moved to the "Family" location on Spahn's Ranch.[5] They called her "Gypsy", a name she gave herself after meeting a man named Gypsy, with whom she shared a birthday and believed him to be her cosmic twin.[6] She was not directly involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders, but would testify at the 1970 trial that Family member Linda Kasabian was the mastermind in an effort to absolve Manson of any involvement in the crimes.[4]

On December 18, 1970, Share, along with four other Manson followers: Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Dennis Rice, Steve "Clem" Grogan and Ruth Ann "Ouisch" Moorehouse were charged with attempted murder after they plotted to murder former fellow Manson Family member Barbara Hoyt to prevent her from testifying for the prosecution against Manson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel during the Tate/LaBianca murder trial. Moorehouse was to lure Hoyt to Honolulu, Hawaii, so that she would be unable to testify. If Hoyt could not be convinced in Hawaii to not testify, Moorehouse was to kill her.[7] On September 9, 1970, as Hoyt was preparing to board her flight back to California, Moorehouse bought Hoyt a hamburger and laced it with a large dose of LSD, then left her and flew back to California. Hoyt survived the attempt on her life and Share and the others were initially charged with attempted murder. The charge was later reduced to conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying. Share, Fromme, Rice and Grogan served 90-day sentences at the Los Angeles County Jail. Moorehouse never served her sentence, as she failed to appear at the sentencing hearing.[7]

While incarcerated, Share gave birth to a son, Phoenix Son, on January 5, 1971. The baby was taken from Share and placed into foster care. For years Share refused to confirm the paternity of her son, although denying that Manson was the father. After her release from prison, she was reunited with her son and confirmed that Steve "Clem" Grogan was the father.[8]

On August 21, 1971, Share, accompanied by her then-husband Kenneth Como as well as Family members Mary Brunner, Dennis Rice, Charles Lovett, and Larry Bailey, drove a white van to a Hawthorne, California Western Surplus Store. Once inside the store, the group brandished guns and ordered the store patrons and clerks to lie on the ground. They then went about taking 143 rifles from the premises, loading them into their van, while a store clerk managed to trip the silent alarm. The group had previously held up a liquor store.[9] When a police squad car arrived, Share opened fire on the vehicle, putting a hole in the top corner of the windshield. Police gunfire injured Brunner, Share and Bailey.[9][10] Police alleged that the group's plan was to hijack a Boeing 747 and threaten to kill one passenger every hour until Manson and fellow Family members were released from prison.[9]

Brunner and Share were convicted of one or more crimes[clarification needed] and incarcerated at the special unit created at California Institution for Women as a death row for Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel, who were sentenced to be executed for their involvement in the Tate-LaBianca murders. Share served five years for her participation in the Hawthorne shootout and was released in 1975. Following her release from prison, Share disassociated herself from the "Family". Share, along with other "Family" members, had carved an "X" on her forehead—on Manson's orders—during his trial. In the 2020 documentary Helter Skelter: An American Myth Share stated that she sanded it off herself.[citation needed]

After the Manson Family[edit]

In 1979, Share was convicted in absentia in the state of California on six counts of mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, and fraudulent use of a credit card. Share had initially fled to Canada and then willingly returned to the United States to serve out her sentence.[3] In July 2006, Share returned to the remnants of Spahn Ranch to be interviewed about her role in the Manson Family for the series Our Generation on The History Channel. In 2007, Share was interviewed about her involvement with the Manson Family by forensic psychologist Michael Stone for the American television series Most Evil on the Investigation Discovery network. Share, like many other Manson Family members, became a born again Christian later in life. She has a close relationship with her son and speaks out against cults.[3] Per the Library of Congress in 2008 she sold her memoir “She was a Gypsy Woman” to Paramount Vantage in 2008.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

She is portrayed by Lena Dunham in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).[12]


  1. ^ Manson Cultist Tries New Life, Associated Press, Los Angeles, April 15, 1975
  2. ^ FBI Seeks Ex-Manson Clan Member Sacramento Bee, March 1, 1979
  3. ^ a b c d "Manson2Jesus". Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Crime/Punishment". Archived from the original on December 19, 2006. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
  5. ^ Catherine Louise Share, Evidence: The Story of the Manson Family and Their Victims,
  6. ^ Sederstrom, Jill (August 12, 2019). "Why Did The Manson Family Members Have Nicknames?". Oxygen. Archived from the original on August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Bugliosi, Vincent: Helter Skelter, 1974. pg. 601.
  8. ^ Montaldo, Charles (December 14, 2017). "The Charles Manson Family". ThoughtCo. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Sanders, Ed. The Family. 2002. pg. 474
  10. ^ "Crime/Punishment – Mary Brunner". Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  11. ^ "What Happened to Gypsy's Book?".
  12. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (September 5, 2019). "Every Actor Cameo In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's Manson Cult". Screen Rant.

External links[edit]