Some articles about Catherine “Gypsy” Share
Manson Cultist Tries New Life
April 15, 1975
Los Angeles (AP) - A6/1
Former Charles Manson “family” member Catherine Share, seeking a new life, says she calls herself by a new name now and is getting medical attention to erase the Manson “X” from her forehead.
Miss Share, known in the “family” as Gypsy, held a news conference Monday to announce, “I don’t intend to let the public’s obsession with what they have been told put me in a bag I don’t belong in. I look to a positive, constructive future”.
Share said her new is Jessica - she won’t reveal her new last name for the sake of privacy - and she is getting medical help to remove the “X” etched into her forehead five years ago as a sign of allegiance to Manson.
Miss Share, an orphan in France before coming to this country, served 3½ years in prison, but not in connection with the Manson murders. She was convicted of taking part in an August 21, 1971 holdup of a Hawthorne gun store to get weapons for breaking Manson out of jail.
Miss Share spoke of her ambition to write and sing and to obtain her son from the undisclosed Southern California foster parents with whom he is living.
FBI Seeks Ex-Manson Clan Member
March 1, 1979
Sacramento Bee - B3/1
Former Manson clan member Catherine Louise Como, 37, was the object of a search by federal authorities Wednesday after a bench warrant was issued for her arrest on a charge of bail jumping.
Ms. Como, known as Catherine “Gypsy” Share when she was a member of the cult of convicted murderer Charles Manson, was indicted by the U.S. Grand Jury Wednesday. She failed to appear February 20 in the federal court in Sacramento to answer to a charge [in which] she [had] made a false statement on an application for a loan from a federally insured bank.
U.S. District Court Judge Sherrill Halbert ordered the issuance of the bench warrant at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s office and set bail at $20,000.
Ms. Como was free on a $10,000 surety bond posted by a Los Angeles bail bond firm following her indictment on the charge she lied on the loan application.
According to FBI, Ms. Como applied for, and was granted, a line of credit by the Carmichael branch of the United California Bank March 11 last year.
The FBI said she filled out the loan application, stating her husband Kenneth, was employed by Hughes Marketing, a subsidiary of Summa Corp., at a salary of $55,000 a year.
The ruse was uncovered when it was confirmed that a telephone number Ms. Como listed to verify her husband’s employment was that of a Los Angeles answering service.
Kenneth Como has been confined to Folsom Prison since his conviction for a 1971 robbery of a sporting goods store in which he and other Manson clan members shot it out with Los Angeles police.
He and Ms. Como, who also served prison time for her part in the attempted looting, were married in a Folsom Prison wedding three years ago.
Former Manson Follower Indicted
On US Charges In Mail Fraud Probe
August 16, 1979
By Steve Gibson
Bee Staff Writer
Former Manson family follower Catherine “Gypsy” Como was indicted in absentia by the federal grand jury Wednesday on six counts of mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Authorities said she is believed to have organized a scheme in which she bilked merchants out of more than $200,000. One official said she’s believed to be the brains behind an operation in which the merchandise was purchased through phony credit card orders placed over the telephone and subsequently delivered to offices set up in Sacramento, Carmichael, Woodland, Redwood City, Roseville, Ceres, and Phoenix, Ore.
According to the indictment, she used the scheme to obtain a diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co. in San Francisco, gold cuff links from Merine Jewelers in New York City, oriental rugs from Chicago, a gold ingot from Atlanta, camping equipment from Colorado, and camera equipment from New York, New Jersey, and Iowa.
As part of the scheme, she “used numerous fictitious names and the names of non-existent business entities to establish mailing addresses in at least eight separate locations for the purpose of receiving the fraudulently obtained merchandise,” the indictment says.
Then she “Hired a receptionist to occupy each office…for the purpose of receiving and signing for the items of fraudulently obtained merchandise.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Malcom Segal said Como has been missing since February when she was indicted for allegedly making a false statement on a bank loan application.
Como was known as Catherine “Gypsy” Share when she was a member of convicted Charles Manson’s cult. She married Kenneth Como during a Folsom Prison ceremony in 1976. Her husband is serving a 20-year sentence for his role in a holdup with other Manson clan members.
When she failed to show up in U.S. District Court in February, she was free on $10,000 bail following her indictment on a charge of lying on the bank loan application.
Ex-Follower of Manson Gets 3 Years
October 20, 1981
Sacramento Bee B3/6
Former Manson family follower Catherine Louise Como, 39, was sentenced by a Sacramento Superior Court judge to three years in prison Monday after she pleaded guilty to charges of receiving stolen property.
The sentence by Judge Ronald Tochterman is to run concurrently with a five-year sentence Como began serving in August at a San Diego prison after she was convicted on federal charges of mail fraud.
If Como had been found guilty of receiving stolen property by a jury, her sentence could have been added on to her federal conviction. The Sacramento district attorney’s office also agreed in a plea bargain not to consider a 1973 robbery conviction which could have added another year to Como’s sentence.
Como was arrested in September 1978 for driving a stolen 1966 Jaguar. Como’s husband, Kenneth, was then serving a 10-year sentence at Folsom Prison for a Southern California robbery intended to get weapons to free convicted killer Charles Manson.
Released from the prison last week, Kenneth Como was ambushed and shot in the arm in La Puente two days later.
According to court documents, Catherine Como is believed to have been the “key outside” person involved in smuggling an automatic pistol into Folsom Prison in March 1977. The pistol was discovered in the possession of Kenneth Como’s prisoner friends.
During her involvement with the cult headed by Manson, Catherine Como was known as Catherine “Gypsy” Share.
She was a witness for the defense in the trial of Manson and other family members on charges that they were responsible for the Tate LaBianca murders in the late 1960’s.
(Author’s note: That last statement is untrue. Share was loyal to Charlie throughout the trial, keep vigil outside the courthouse with Sandra Good, Squeaky, Cathy Gillies, and Kitty.)
Fugitives Have Long History As Escape Artists
Wednesday, May 12, 1993
Edition Metro Final
Section: Main News Sacramento Bee
Byline source: Stephen Magagnini, Nancy Vogel and Ramon Coronado, Bee Staff
Victor Frank Carrafa — who escaped from a sheriff’s deputy during an eye doctor’s appointment at a midtown clinic Tuesday — and his accomplice Gerald Joseph Gallant Jr. are both escape artists extraordinaire.
They apparently met at Folsom Prison in the mid - 1970’s, where both were serving life sentences: Carrafa for the brutal 1966 beating and shotgun murder of a San Francisco bartender; Gallant for rape, robbery, and other crimes. Both are suspected of trying to break out of Folsom.
Both are believed to belong to the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist prison gang. Gallant, deemed criminally insane, is believed by law enforcement authorities to be an assassin for the Aryan Brotherhood. And both are violent career criminals with links to the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Charles Manson family, two of the most notorious terrorist groups of the late 1960’s and 1970’s.
The 50-year-old Carrafa’s record includes at least six escape attempts — two of them successful — dating back to 1960. He recently described himself to authorities as an unemployed auto mechanic.
"Old Vic — he’s good at that," said his former attorney, Michael Satris, when informed on Tuesday’s brazen escape.
In 1970, Carrafa escaped from the east block of San Quentin, but was caught on prison grounds. He was moved to Folsom, where he was suspected of trying to tunnel his way out by burrowing under the prison library.
While in Folsom, Carrafa shared a cell with Symbionese Liberation Army founder Joseph Remiro. It was also in Folsom that Carrafa, a self-proclaimed “tough guy” received a letter from Joan Vibbard, a 15-year-old runaway from a foster home in Iowa. Vibbard managed to visit Carrafa five times before guards discovered that she was under age.
Despite the foreboding gray surroundings, the prison romance bloomed and the pair sought to be married, only to be denied when prison officials suspected Vibbard of smuggling a handgun and some marijuana to Folsom.
When Carrafa was paroled in 1978, Vibbard became his second wife and they had two children. Officials believed Vibbard to be an associate of Manson family member Catherine “Gypsy” Share, whose husband, Kenneth Como, was a cellmate of Carrafa and Remiro. The unsavory connection led to news accounts speculating about Manson family-SLA plans to stage a huge prison break from Folsom.
In 1979, months after his release, Carrafa was charged with bank robbery in Manteca using a wig and makeup. He later got a nose job to disguise his appearance, authorities said.
In 1980, police in Lexington, KY arrested him with 53 $100 bills, a .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver and a hand-made stamp with seal of the state of Iowa, which police believed he planned to use to forge birth certificates.
In early 1981, while being held in the Contra Costa County jail on a burglary charge, Carrafa hacked his way out with two other inmates. He was arrested 3,000 miles away in Hannibal, NY by the FBI, and returned to Contra Costa County, where he tried yet another escape using a rope fashioned from a bed sheet.
But the most dramatic escape was effected by Gallant, a robber and rapist who escaped from Atascadero State Hospital at gunpoint. Gallant and another escapee took four guards hostage, taunting them and stabbing one in the back, penetrating a lung.
Gallant and his partner broke into a farmhouse in Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County, and took the occupants hostage.
Later, a man who identified himself as Gallant called Petaluma police and reportedly said he and his partner were at a Petaluma supermarket getting ready to steal a car. He told authorities, “You police better get off your backs or you might find the hostage we have lying on the highway somewhere”.
Moments later, police received a phone call from a market where two men were reportedly breaking into a car. Five police cars converged on the parking lot but the suspects escaped on foot.
Gallant and his partner were captured a month later in Ohio driving a car stolen from Oregon.
In December 1974, when Gallant was 35 years old and serving two life terms for rape, robbery, and other charges, he and two other prisoners tried to escape from Folsom Prison.
His accomplices were Como, a reputed member of the Manson family, and Bobby Davis, who was convicted of killing four highway patrolmen in a Los Angeles shootout. The three men used contraband hacksaw blades to cut through the bars of their maximum-security cells, but their attempt was foiled when a guard noticed tiny sheet (metal) shavings outside one cell.
Carrafa, who grew up in Connecticut in a family of 10 children, told authorities that he came to California in 1966. Despite spending most of his adult life behind bars, he told authorities he had managed to attend Sacramento City College for a year.
By 1987, he and Vibbard had separated, and he was living in Crockett. William Glass, who represented Carrafa off and on since 1979, said his and the law enforcement’s view of Carrafa differed. “I like the man — he was liked by everyone in our office and everyone that he ever came in contact with.” - Sacramento Bee.