Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chicken Coop, Cave and Children


Four of the youngsters believed to be offspring of Manson 'Family' member

Tom Paegel Times Staff Writer

Five Children ranging in age from 1 to 10 were found living in a manmade cave beneath a dilapidated chicken coop on an abandoned ranch four miles west of Lancaster, sheriff's deputies reported Wednesday.

Four of the youngsters were believed to be the children of Dennis Rice, a Manson "family" member who was indicted Dec. 18, 1970, along with four others on charges of having conspired to murder Barbara Hoyt, a state witness in the Tate-LaBianca trial, by giving her an LSD-spiked hamburger.

The children were identified as Kathryn Rice, 10, and her brothers, Joseph. 7, Samuel,6, Nickolas, 3.  A fifth child, a girl believed to be about 1 year old, was not identified.

2 Youths Booked

Sheriff's Sgts. Armond J Licht and Carolyn Boston went to the ranch at 4011 W. Ave. I on a tip that a 14 year old runaway girl from the Los Angeles area was living there.

The officers said they found the girl, whose name was withheld, and the five children.

Also taken into custody were two 19 year old "hippie types" identified as Patrick R. Walleman and David Lee Stoffer.  They were booked at the Antelope Valley substation on suspicion of endangering the health and safety of minor children and on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

Sheriff's deputies said the children were "very dirty", poorly clothed and appeared to be undernourished.  The were taken to McLaren Hall in El Monte.

Investigators were trying to determine how long the children had been living in the 3-by-9 foot plywood-lined cave. 

This much is known about the four Rice children:  A missing persons report was filed at Temple City sheriff's station last Feb. 14 by their mother, Sarah Rice,29, Santa Rosa, formerly of Temple City.  The report stated that she had separated from her husband and left the children in his care because she was "in poor health and not capable of caring for them."

Husband Left

The report added that Mrs. Rice understood that her husband had left the children in the custody of "members of the Manson family" when he was jailed.

She told investigators, the report said, that her husband warned her not to notify authorities because the children's lives would be in danger.

The report also stated that Mrs. Rice contacted "some Manson followers who were living in a van truck."  She said they told her they knew where her children were but would not tell her.

The whereabouts of Dennis Rice was not immediately learned Wednesday.

However Rice and his codefendants were given 90-day jail sentences after pleading no contest to a reduced charge of conspiring to prevent a witness from attending a trial in the Hoyt case.  He later was given a jail sentence in an unrelated misdemeanor assault case.

From:  The Los Angeles Times  July 1, 1971 and sent to us by Paul Dostie, thank you Paul! 


ColScott said...

Yeah as I said before. really sad the Dennis is passed away. Fine upstanding family man.

orwhut said...

Please tell me who that baby belonged to. It's preying on my mind.

orwhut said...

According to my calculations, Ivan Pew was the right age to have been that baby.

Matt said...

Pugh. LOL.

You could be right.

Farflung said...

For those who aren’t from California, there are certain cities which are considered portals of despair, weirdness, or general WTF-ness. Salton City, Corona, and Lancaster fit those descriptors for various reasons, but suffice it to say; if you read a news account from those towns it won’t have a happy ending.

Lancaster is on the high desert of Los Angeles County and attracts defense industry employees on one side of the spectrum, and anti-gubberment conspiracy wackos on the other end. Certainly a bizarre pairing, but each group is needed to resonate off the other I suppose.

The housing reflects the same oddly happy detachment from reality which is demonstrated by the residents of Lancaster. Bluegrass lawns are forced to grow in front of wind blasted, two story, stucco homes, which in spite of having air conditioning units running furiously, keep the upper floors uncomfortably hot. Then there are trailers in various stages of decay scattered around the outskirts of town. The wealthier trailer occupants will also have a lean-to on one side of their abode, or added to one of several vehicles on the property. The fencing of choice is chain link, and No Trespassing signs replace Hello Kitty and NFL banners found in suburbia. It’s the separate, but adjacent views of America conjured by the likes of David Lynch and Hunter S. Thompson; or Trona without the glitter.

If you copy and paste these numbers into Google Maps you can see the ‘Rice Farm’:


Over forty years later and this slice of heaven apparently developed into a desert storage area for….. sand. Yep, those are piles and piles of sand deposited along the former chicken ranch and daycare center. Charming place for children to run and play, but in defense of Rice, the children were never subjected to any dangers outdoors since they were hiding in a cave, richly appointed with plywood walls.

DebS said...

@orwhut, probably not Ivan as the article says the baby was a girl. The article could be wrong about the gender.

Do you figure that the Patrick Walleman who was arrested was really TJ? If so, maybe the baby was one of his children with Bo.

@ Farf thank you for answering the mystery about what looks like puffy things when doing a google map of the Lancaster address! I thought it one of the strangest images I've encountered and couldn't make heads or tails of what it was.

Matt said...

Damn. Looks like a total wasteland...

Patty is Dead said...

Patty wonders if Dennis had a good relationship with his kids later in life? Anyone? Col don't speak I'll of the dead or the leprechauns will come for you.

DebS said...

@ Patty I tried to figure that out before posting by looking through records at Ancestry. Two of the boys have addresses in the same town where Dennis lived. The third boy lived in another state. I could not find the daughter but likely she has married and has a different last name.

I also tried to find what happened to the ex-wife and beyond two divorce filings, both from Dennis, I could not find her either. She and Dennis filed for divorce Oct. 1968 in LA County and then again April 1976 in Sonoma County. They were originally married Aug, 28, 1961 in San Francisco.

orwhut said...

Thanks for answering. I've run across that photo at least twice recently and both times have noticed that the baby was unidentified. It's being a girl would pretty well eliminate Ivan.
If Patrick Walleman was 19 at the time the article was published, he probably wasn't TJ. CharlieManson.com gives TJ's dob as 12-18-42 making him 28 for most of 1971.

Patty is Dead said...

from a reader: "ANONYMOUS INPUT

In Onjya Sipe's book, Devil's Dropout: Manson Follower Turns to Christ, she said the baby was hers."

orwhut said...

Look what I found. The child herself, even commented about it, on this very blog. My memory never was very good. http://www.eviliz.com/2012/02/babies.html?showComment=1332869304025#c5416935253445560802

Ajerseydevil said...

What was Dennis locked up for. Was this the Barbara Hoyt incident or Hawthorne Shoot out

orwhut said...

The Times clipping is dated July 1, 1971, and the Hawthornw shootout didn't occurr untill August 21, 1971. I also think the article or the post mentions it was the Barbara Hoyt incident.

Patty is Dead said...

Thank you whut! Patty missed that whole exchange the first time around.

Ajerseydevil said...

Thanks orwhut

beauders said...

the baby was a little girl I believe she was onya sipes daughter. sipes wrote about it in her book. dennis rice should have done time for child endangerment.

beauders said...

supposedly all of rice's children became christians and are involved in various ministerial work.

Matt said...

Thanks orwhut for reminding us about that.

AustinAnn74 said...

Poor kids!

eviliz said...

I just finished reading Onya Sipes book, can't recall the title of the book at the moment but her daughter was one of the chicken coop kids.

beauders said...

I think the book was titled "Devil's Disciple." there has been a couple available on ebay recently.

Unknown said...

Wasn't it below a chicken coop in the Lancaster area where a gay pedophile in the 1920s stashed the boys he kidnapped? This was the basis for the recent suspense film, "The Changeling". I think it was produced by Clint Eastwood. It was a riveting account of an earlier historic crime spree in the Southern CA desert. There were amazing cgi effects showing old Los Angeles.

Yes, Lancaster is high on the creepiness scale.

DebS said...

Yep, the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. The town changed its name to Mira Loma after that incident.

Unknown said...

Just for the record... the children were not living in the cave. They were told to run and hide there when the authorities arrived. Patrick Walleman is definitley NOT TJ Walleman, although he may well be his brother. The children, although clearly dirty, were being loved and cared for by the 14-year-old runaway referenced in the story. She had run away to be with Pat Walleman. She said they were quite happy and not neglected.

Matt said...

Too young, shoot me an email. We'd like to chat with you.

Emily P Strange said...

Too Young is right -- the "cave" was a hidey-hole to run to in case authorities showed up. The baby was the daughter of Kitty and Bobby. I was there. I left - walked out carrying another little one -- a baby boy named Gabriel, around a week before. In fact, the Family (who I had just left when I walked out) blamed me for the raid. I had nothing to do with it. But I am glad the kids were rescued. I don't know who the "runaway" is -- when I was there, it was just Beau and me and the kids. I left Beau alone with the kids when I left. Mayve some other kids came in afterwards? Does anyone know if Beau was there when they were raided?

I was known as Jenny then BTW -- and NO, I am not the Ginny/Jenny who called into a talk show with Tex (no idea who that was) although I did join up with the family approximately the same time as the Ginny/Jenny who called in said she did. Someone impersonating me? If Tex recognized their voice, he would know it wasn't me as I only met him once if at all. (there were some members I had little to do with, depending on where we were. I was mostly in the Duarte House -- the cave outside of Lone Pine, the ranch where the kids were found in the raid, and another run down old mountain resort we were at for a while too (I was driven in blind folded / told to lay down on seat so I could not see out) to both the last two places). Spent a few days at the Hall of Justice in the van.

AND I am the Jenny Ojya Sipes mentions in her, it seems, almost entirely fictional account of her very brief time with the family. I hate to say it as we were tight friends as teens but it seems she wanted to profit from that brief experience and had to grossly gild the lily to make the book marketable.

I am stunned at the prices I see on it now -- and its pure fiction.

Too Young -- do we know each other?

Unknown said...

Hi! Im trying to find any discussion about the fact that the kids participated in the orgies as they said in the 1973 documentary, but NOBODY seems to talking about this. I've read so many articles about the manson family and the individual members. I've found out that the children in the documentary are Kathryn, Nicholas and Joseph Rice, Dennis Rice's children. I understand that the Rice children don't want any publicity, but I am so curious about this. I mean, nobody is talking about it, but they mention it in the first documentary ever made. Is it even true? Why didn't more than 20 people react to this? How did Charlie make that happen?

ghosthighway said...

The unidentified 1 year old female was the daughter of Joann Cook.