Friday, December 6, 2013

A conversation with Onjya Sipe

This summer Patty was fortunate enough to have been put in contact with Onjya Sipe, author of "Devil's Dropout: Manson Follower Turns to Christ." If you don't know who she is, you may remember that her children and Dennis Rice's children will forever be known in Manson lore as the "chicken coop kids." Onjya, who no longer uses that name, and Patty had a long, slow conversation that Patty has reproduced for you below:

P: Hi, Onjya. Thanks for (corresponding with) me. It's awfully difficult to come by a copy of your book. Amazon has just a few of them, the cheapest one is $75! Your story has become a collector's item. I only just know a little bit of it. Did (name redacted) tell you that I write for and I'd like to ask you questions? My screen name is Panamint Patty.

P: I understand that you and your family are Evangelical Christians. Did I also see where your faith is involved in prison ministries? Like Dennis Rice was?

O: No I’m not in prison min. But I know Dennis.

P: How did you meet the Family? What attracted you to them? How do you view what happened in retrospect? Are you open today about having known them? How if at all did the experience affect your faith? Is there anything left to learn from them?

O: I met the family through a friend Jenny who I sort of grew up around. Just got back to my mom from a hippy commune and had (my daughter). She was one yrs. old. and my Hippy husband. Jenny said u have to meet these people there not who the news say they are. They found the truth. Just what u want. So they picked us up at my moms. The attraction seemed of a supernatural attraction they were very different. Dead to their self. Free. Seem like they found truth. But of course I had questioned (sic).

P: Wow, is Jenny the girl who called in to the Larry King Show with Little Paul in the 90's? Someone got him all upset and no one is positive if she said "Jenny" or "Ginny" as in Ginny Good. How is it you sort of grew up around her, and which commune were you living in?

O: In Joshua Tree.

O: I like when the Mansons are still getting interest and on the news I get to share with others how Jesus delivered me. Did u know Bill Nelson the expert on the Mansons? He wrote a book “Behind the Scenes.”

O: he was recopying.

P: other people’s work, you mean? Plagiarizing?

O: Bill Nelson was making copies of my book and selling them without my permission. He passed away. The main part of my story was the Mansons took me, (my) children, (and) Dennis Rice’s children from the cops. The girls ended up kidnapping (my daughter) on Charles' request. I got ahold of my brother (name redacted) whom I trusted to help me find her. He drove out to the cave and began to tell me that Jesus was what I was searching for and that he was the truth not Manson. I told him we needed to get guns and scare them. He said no I am going to pray for a miracle that god will find her and then will u give Jesus a chance? A few days later it was all over the news that they found her and the other kids in Lancaster. My brother came back to the cave to tell me and get me. He said remember would u give Jesus a chance? I did and I asked him into my heart it was glorious like a piece of pure gold that was a perfect fit. He is the answer and filled my emptyness. I heard about Jesus all my life but little did I know he was real. Manson family was a cult.

P: WOW where was the cave located? Thank you so much for sharing. Do you think the family was a cult rather than a gang or a political group, or all of those things?

O: 29Palms. Desert lonepine. I think a cult because Charles used twisted bible verses and made them into poems. Very twisted! Got to charge phone... 

And...that's all she wrote. Patty asked for more details a few times, but she gets the sense that none of this really matters to Onjya any more. However, Patty does find her absolutely lovely, and wishes to thank her for her time and for this fun quote: "If life throws you down, cover it with glitter." Amen to that!


Patty is Dead said...

Patty broke down and shelled out the $ just knew she would.

maudes harold said...

Patty, that's too bad you spent $75,the book is located at Truth on Tate La Bianca for free.

Patty is Dead said...

Thanks La, Patty wanted a hardcopy, though. Feels more permanent that way and like collecting vinyl, you get cover art and "liner notes"

Patty is Dead said...

telling details also, like the quality of the paper used, the printing process, the marketing of other books that sometimes comes in a paperback. Library of congress number, edition number, its all history and provenance. Plus, Patty is an antiquer and she loves how old books smell. Thats just her though.

maudes harold said...

I hear that Patty. I haven't been able to do the Kindle thing yet--I must be old school, I still love the smell and feel of a 'real' book.

maudes harold said...

Onya has a fascinating tale to tell. After reading her book, I looked at Pitman and Grogan in a different, far more brutal way than I had before. Her comments about Grogan raping that young girl and Pitman SCREECHING at an infant to be quiet, were very telling of them. Glad she got her baby back and got away from them.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why she never answered the Ginny/Jenny question.

hippiekiller said...

La-de-la do you have a URL for the book on Truth on Tate? I can't find it...

maudes harold said...

I think this is it, hippiekiller.


hippiekiller said...


orwhut said...

There's a photo at Kat's site of Dennis Rice's children. His daughter, Kathryn, is holding an unidentified baby. I guess the baby must be Onjy's child.

Patty is Dead said...

yes, that is correct.

DebS said...

We also have the Chicken Coop story and pictures at this site.

orwhut said...

Thank you, Patty. That's another mystery you've solved for us. Great work!!!

orwhut said...

Thank you. I think I saw it latest at Cat's so I checked there first.

Patty is Dead said...

cant take credit but thanks, Whut. Patty is always pleased when u enjoy her posts.

Patty is Dead said...

Regarding the Jenny/Ginny thing, it could not have been Ginny Good who passed away in 1982. Probably Jenny/Ginny Gentry. Is that the same Jenny Onjya is talking about? Patty will ask one more time.

Patty is Dead said...

No reply...Patty got her copy of the book in the mail yesterday. it looks just like the one above, except that the subtitle: "Manson Follower Turns to Christ" is pasted on with an avery label. The work of Bill Nelson? Anyone?

beauders said...

Nelson was selling photocopies of the book.

Emily P Strange said...


I found this tonight and, as I am the Jenny that "Onjya" is talking about, I can tell you for a fact that a good deal of what she has written about her experience with the family is pure fabrication. I was shocked when I first heard her "story".

Yes, I am using a fictitious name to post here as my life has moved very far away from what it was the last time I saw "onjya" (whose real first name was JoAnn (Joey as we called her before she changed her name).

No I am not Jenny/Ginny Gentry. I never made a call in to a tv interview with Watson. But I did join up with the family approximately 6 mos prior the murders. It was during the time they had left Sphan Ranch and had moved in with friends of mine in Duarte.

Anyway, I write here to just tell you that after reading of what I have of Onjya's book, if you are serious researchers of the Family, toss her book as having much if any value. I know she was a pretty mixed up girl - we both were then - but it seems she went on to create a larger drama and use her experience for attention-seeking. It irks me to have her do this as what facts people are willing to give should not be muddied by fabrications like hers.

Emily P Strange said...

I am not sure if my first attempt to post comment here went through or not. I am the "Jenny" Onjya talks about and since I am using a fake profile to post regarding the family, this is a new account. I think I may have lost my first post attempt when setting up the account. So I will try again.

I feel compelled to comment because Onjya's account - or the little bits of it I have read over the years - is, from what I can tell, mostly fabrication. I am telling you this because, if you are serious researchers on the family, then I suggest disregarding anything she has written unless it's validated through another source, too.

Onjya (or Joey / Joann as I knew her by before she changed her name right before her brief stint with the family) was a mixed up young woman then. We both were but it seems her particular way of dealing with this experience was to try to profit from it by creating a fictional account and getting lots of attention through her church for her miraculous journey.

to be continued..........

Emily P Strange said...

part 2

Just to clear up more about me and some of the speculation I have read about myself -- No I never made a call in to a talk show with Tex or anyone else. No, I am not Ginny/Jenny Good (I recall a Sandra Good with the family who I met only 1-2x).

I did join the family approximately 6 mos after the murders -- it was in Sept or Oct 1970, after I returned from the PNW where I had been fruit picking with friends and the man I was living with at the time.

We broke up during that trip and so I did not want to return to Joshua Tree where we had been sharing a home. My friends who owned a house in Duarte invited me to stay with them, telling me "by the way, there are some nice people staying here, too. Their ranch just burned down so they are staying with us". I later learned, after living with them for a week or so and everyone opened up to me, who they were.

You have to realize that I had been living in the desert in a house with no electricity - thus no radio or tv -- and I had only heard about the murders 1x - I guess right after they were discovered - on the news when I had popped into my parents house briefly. All I remember is being kind of interested because they were saying some hippy types committed the murders and then Squeeky was saying something on camera and I remember she inserted "you know" over and over again. (at the time I did not know her name but later, as we lived together and she still used "you know" I realized who she was.

Anyway - I stayed with the family until some time after Charlie was convicted. I can't give dates. In the last days I was with with Beau, out in Death Valley, at a run-down ranch in the middle of no where. We had Rices kids and a baby boy (his name was Gabriel and approx 3 mos old) who I had taken over primary care of. Being out there with Beau who was pretty quiet and into herself and away from the core family, I started to feel things just were not right and I made plans to leave.

I lay in bed at night and could hear traffic off in the far distance in one direction so I assumed there was a road out there. One day I strapped Gabriel on in a carrier, brought a bota bag of water and a bottle for the baby and told Beau I was going for walk. I kept walking until I hit that highway and then hitched out.

A week or so later I turned Gabriel into Childrens Services as I realized I could not really care for him and that his parents may be looking for him. "

At the same time, this ranch was busted and the rest of the kids were taken. I tried to visit them because I cared for them and had hated how they were treated (especially Katie, the eldest and the only girl). But since I was not a relative (and I am sure they would not have wanted a family member to have access anyway) I was not allowed.

I heard through the grapevine that the family thought I had turned in the location of this Death Valley ranch and was responsible for the raid and the kids being taken away but truly, I had not. In fact, I myself had found out about the raid having taken place while I was in process of handing over Gabriel to Children's Services.

I still have the photo of Gabriel that Childrens Services gave to me when I gave him up - a polaroid. I still think of him.

Anyway, I just had to set this straight. I hate to go against someone who was an old friend and who I went through a lot with as a teen but I just can't sit back and say nothing about her fabrications

Emily P Strange said...

PS I just now read about the cave/chicken coop! (

NO that baby girl was NOT Onjyas daughter -- Onjya, her baby and her "husband" Erutan (Nature spelled backward - I kid you not, that's how he introduced himself) left LONG before that,

The girl was the daughter of one of the family members -- red blond hair -- pretty girl, I can't recall her name right now as I only met her once, when we picked up the baby from her to take out to the ranch. Kitty? That's the name that comes to mind. I think Bobby Beausoleil. For some reason I can't remember her daughter's name. I do remember she was just learning to walk at the time and Beau would not pick her up -- or allow me to -- when we were walking in the desert and she kept falling down and crying because she could not keep up. That was one of the reasons I felt I had to leave. It was just plain wrong.

Emily P Strange said...

If you want to verify I am who I say I am, I can probably match answers with Joey/Onjya on things that we shared before the family -- although I wonder now, reading her Family account!

-- She used to say she loved the smell of bus exhaust and hang her head out of windows of cars that had picked us up hitching so she could breath it in

-- She was a couple of years younger than me - she and I had a very bad experience hitching a ride late one night after hanging out at IHOP in Hollywood.

-- I was involved with a guy who lived across the street from her parent's -- he called himself Johnye St Angel.

-- There was a third friend we hung out with -- Janice (aka Crusader Rabbbit)

Most of my memories are of just hanging out together. When we were still living in our parents homes but hanging out in Hollywood. And then later, she was single and my boyfriend Tom and I lived in her little house in Joshua Tree with her for a while. This was probably 6 mos or so (time is kind of hazy now) before the family. I had moved out and into an old house down the highway with my boyfriend. I think Joey had left around the same time -- I am not sure but I think she went to Seattle or WA where she met Erutan and got pregnant with her daughter.

Oh and I read somewhere that she claimed her daughter was disabled when she was born. I have NO recollection of her being anything but fine and healthy during the time I saw her. I can't guess what age she was then - but probably 3-6 mos old. No disabilities of any kind. If Onjya is claiming that she was disabled, that is another fabrication

Emily P Strange said...

If you don't know who she is, you may remember that her children and Dennis Rice's children will forever be known in Manson lore as the "chicken coop kids."

ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. Onjya had left the family long before that -- they took their daughter and left. No drama. No kidnapping. TOTAL BS.

As I said before the kids found in the chicken coop (and they were not "living" in it -- it was a hidey hole -- a place to run to to hide if authorities showed up) were Dennis' kids - Katie, Sammy, Davy and Nicky -- and Kitty's baby girl

REALLY? Did Onjya say in the book that the baby found in the chicken coop was hers? Unbelievable!

After reading that, now I really want to read the entire book. It seems its no longer availabe at the source cited in the comments here. I am sure as hell not going to pay one cent to buy it and contribute anything toward her exploitation and fictional account. Anyone else have any idea where I might be able to read it online?

Emily P Strange said...

Jeeze reading excerpts here -- stunned.

The cave was outside of Lone Pine, near the base of Mt Whitney. NOT near 29 Palms at all. She should know that, having lived in Joshua Tree.

They took her CHILDREN? She had ONE daughter. She and Erutan and the baby left of their own accord. No issues.

What a scam, Joey! I hope you made a lot of money on this fairy tale. Not too sure Jesus is going to approve such lies though.

Emily P Strange said...

I can't believe the prices this dribble is selling for. I can't find a PDF version anywhere. Do any of you know where I can find one? I would LOVE to write a rebuttal of her account.

Sandy Raymonds said...

Is this blog still running? This is Jenny (who has tried to post using the name Emily) and I am trying to set the record straight and clear up any confusion that Onjya's fictional accounts may have caused. I know posts need to go through approval by a moderator but it seems no one is home.

Sandy Raymonds said...

This is Jenny who Onjya wrote about. I posted a few posts yesterday under another of my online aliases (Emily). I know posts need moderator approval but no one seems to be at the helm. Is anyone there or is this blog dead?

If anyone sees this and if this blog truly is no longer functioning, please message me and let me know if there is another credible blog that might listen to a dispute of Onjya's fictional account. Thank you.

Sandy Raymonds said...

PS I found Onjya now on Facebook -- by first finding her new agent and finding a Joann in his friend's list. I sent a message to her agent to explain who I am and that I dispute her account. I also sent her a friend request and a message to let her know I know about her book and that she should be ashamed -- and her supposedly a religious person now. Hypocrite is what she is.

Matt said...

Sandy, email to patty at mansonblog dot com. We've seen your comments.

Sandy Raymonds said...

Hello Matt - If you are seeing my comments. why aren't they being published?

Sandy Raymonds said...

I've pondered on this overnight and today, sussing out why this is so upsetting to me. It's certainly not because of any lingering loyalty to the Family - I have some fond memories of some of the people in it but (so far as I know at this point anyway)Onjya hasn't written anything false about them.

I am not religious in a conventional sense myself so even though I am shocked at the disconnect between Onjya's redemption through religion when it's based on breaking one of the basis commandments of Christianity (Thou shalt not bear false witness, my disgust is not coming from a religious perspective.

But what I do feel is that no one should profit -- via fame or monetary gain or in any other way -- through deceipt. I am an honest person and it bothers me if anyone knowingly tells falsehoods on important issues. And really at the heart of what bothers me most about her account is that she is exploiting the deaths of the Manson victims and also the tragic way that some of the members have suffered because of their involvement at a time in their lives when they were young,looking for something big and important to make sense of things, and were vulnerable to Charlie's charms.

Onjya exploits all of that to profit and it's just not right.

I am an activist for justice - all injustices - and when it is in my power to effect change, to right wrongs, I do. And that is why I am speaking out now.

Sandy Raymonds said...

Hello again

Jenny (aka Emily aka Sandy) here.


I found both "Onjya" and her agent, Reno Reez on facebook and approached them both for friendship, explaining who I really am and offering anecdotal evidence that Joey (Onjya) would know could only come from me.

I also informed Reno that her account (what I have read of it so far) is largely fabricated.

I wrote to Joey and told her basically "Shame on you"

I checked back into my Sandy account on facebook today and see that both Joey and Reno have blocked me.

I suppose Joey/Onjya is a bit freaked to have been found out -- and I can guess that Reno isn't eager to hear that a book whose author he is managing is a farce. Not much profit in that. I guess.

SUGGESTION: It would be great if you would invite Onjya to return to do a follow-up interview and respond to my claims about her.

I would be most interested in participating if you do.

Shemyiah said...

That's my mom, JoAnn... Please quit saying mean things about her.. How rude!!!

Shemyiah said...

My Mom is doing well. I'm also doing good.