Patty Hearst Kidnapped!
By Patrick Mondout
On February 4, 1974, Patricia
Campbell Hearst, the 19 year old granddaughter of William Randolph
Hearst, was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment by a terrorist group
called the Symbionese
Liberation Army (SLA).
The apartment was one she shared with her 26 year old fiancÚ Steven
Weed. He was badly beaten by the group, which included Donald DeFreeze,
Willy Wolfe, and Nancy Ling Perry. The couple were watching The
Magician on TV around 9:00 p.m. when someone knocked at the front
The terrorists had pulled up in a stolen 1964 Chevy Impala and Perry
alone asked if she could use the phone. As Weed opened the door, Wolfe and
DeFreeze emerged, burst in, and started kicking Weed in the face.
Patty was to spend most of the next 56 days in a closet while being
both physically and sexually abused.
The terrorists hoped to "exchange prisoners" with the U.S. as
two of their own were being held for the
assassination of Marcus Foster, which the group had taken credit for
earlier. Quite obviously the pair were not released and the SLA made
demands for millions worth of food to be distributed to the poor of
California as an article of good faith on behalf of the Hearst family. In
other words, it wasn't what they wanted in exchange for Patty.
Some $6 million worth of food was distributed, resulting in near riots
in some locations and Patty was not released. In fact, audio tapes from
the group featuring an increasable militant Patty Hearst herself began
appearing and she soon informed the world that she was joining the group
and had taken on the name 'Tania.' Criminal psychologists who studied the Stockholm
bank robbery a year earlier knew what had happened to her. It is now
Public opinion towards Patty really started to swing against her when
she was seen participating in the Hibernia
Bank robbery on April 15, 1974. She was also used a semi-automatic
riffle to free fellow SLA members Bill & Emily Harris during an
attempted robbery of ammunition from a sporting goods store the day
before the infamous televised
shootout between the SLA and the LAPD, which left six other SLA
was captured (or liberated from her previous captors, if you prefer),
on September 18, 1975.
Her kidnapping, transformation into a bank robber, capture, and
subsequent trial and conviction gripped the nation. Her picture was
everywhere - FBI wanted posters, the covers of Newsweek, the Berkeley
Barb, Time, and other magazines, radical posters, books, newspapers, and
nightly news coverage. Everyone had an opinion on the case and seemingly
everyone shared their opinion.
- Shana Alexander, Anyone's
Daughter: The Times and Trials of Patricia Hearst,
- Carolyn Anspacher & the San Francisco Chronicle, The
Trial of Patty Hearst, Great Fidelity Press, 1976.
- Marilyn Baker, Exclusive!:
the inside story of Patricia Hearst and the SLA, Macmillan
- Mary F. Beal, Safe
House: A Casebook Study of Revolutionary Feminism in the 1970's,
Northwest Matrix, 1976.
- Jerry Belcher & Don West, Patty/Tania,
Pyramid Books, 1975
- David Boulton, The
Making Of Tania Hearst, Bergenfield, N.J., U.S.A.: New American
- John Bryan, This
Soldier Still At War, (on Joe Remiro) Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
- Patty Hearst with Alvin Moscow, Patty
Hearst: Her Own Story, New York: Avon, 1982. This was the title
after the movie came out. Original title: Every Secret Thing.
- Sharon D. Hendry, Soliah:
The Sara Jane Olson Story, Cable Publishing, 2002.
- Janey Jimenez (U.S. Marshal who escorted Hearst between prison and the
court during the trial) with Ted Berkman, My
Prisoner, Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1977.
- Jean Brown Kinney, An
American journey: The short life of Willy Wolfe, Simon and Schuster,
- Vin McLellan, Paul Avery, The
voices of guns: The definitive and dramatic story of the twenty-two-month
career of the Symbionese Liberation Army, one of the most bizarre chapters
in the history of the American Left, Putnam, 1977.
- John Pascal, The
Strange Case of Patty Hearst, New American Library, 1974.
- Findley & Craven Payne, Life
and Death of the SLA, Ballantine, 1976.
- Robert Brainard Pearsall, Symbionese
Liberation Army: Documents and Communications, Rodopi, 1974
- Fred Soltysik, In
Search of a Sister 1976.
- Steven Weed, with Scott Swanton. My
Search for Patty Hearst, New York: Warner, 1976. Weed was Hearst's
boyfriend at the time of the kidnapping. That was the end of their
- Video: Patty
Hearst, based on Every Secret Thing, directed by Paul
- Video: The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (1979) (TV)
- Video: Patty Hearst: The E! True Hollywood Story (2000) (TV)
- Video: Neverland:
The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army aka Guerrilla:
The Taking of Patty Hearst, Directed by Robert Stone, 2004,