SLA’s Patty Hearst Captured


On September 18, 1975 kidnap victim and later armed robber, Patty Hearst was captured by police in an apartment in San Francisco. Hearst, who had been kidnapped by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. Patty was the granddaughter of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst allegedly suffered from what had recently been labeled as Stockholm Syndrome, and began to assist her captors. Within 3 months of her kidnapping she was seen on video brandishing an M-1 carbine during a bank robbery with other members of the SLA. She was involved in several crimes during her time as a fugitive from justice. She was accused of making bombs that were later used in the attempted murder of several police officers.

Hearst was arrested by San Francisco Police Inspector Tim Casey and FBI agent Tom Padden in an SLA apartment. On her pedigree card, she listed her occupation as “Urban Guerilla”. At Hearst’s federal bank robbery trial, her attorney, F. Lee Bailey, presented a coercion and duress defense. Numerous psychiatrists testified on both sides of the case. The jury (and seemingly the judge) didn’t buy the Stockholm Syndrome defense. Hearst was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison. President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence after 22 months. President Bill Clinton gave her a full pardon in 2001.

Christopher Flanagan


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