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Very important, folks! Please read!

 

Patty Hearst Captured!

By Patrick Mondout

On September 18, 1975, four Symbionese Liberation Army members and kidnapped heiress turned 'urban guerilla' Patricia Hearst were finally captured without incident. Hearst's kidnapping, the bank robbery she participated in, the SLA shootout in LA, and her capture were four of the biggest news stories of the decade.

The big break came when Jack Scott's loose-lipped brother Walter told local police and then the FBI about how his brother had driven Patty Hearst across the country. Rather than simply contend the statements were false, Jack Scott and his attorney attempted to frame it as an attempt to harass him and his family and also used the opportunity to take shots at his brother, "The FBI has shown a willingness to exploit Walter's personal, emotional, and physical problems in order to turn him against my family." No one bought his ridiculous defense, least of which the FBI and they soon discovered the long abandoned farmhouse used by Scott and his companion Micki to harbor the terrorists.

The FBI eventually became aware of a pair of San Francisco safehouses used by the group. How they learned of the addresses is complicated:

  1. Wendy Yoshimura was part of an earlier terrorist group known as the Revolutionary Army.
  2. That group included future SLA member Michael Bortin plus Wendy's boyfriend Willie Brandt and Paul Rubenstein.
  3. A note from the Revolutionary Army claiming responsibility for a planned bombing of an ROTC building was found in Yoshimura's car, tying her to Brandt.
  4. Kathleen Soliah attracted the FBI's attention when she visited Brandt in the Soledad prison he had been sentenced to.
  5. Wendy Yoshimura's finger prints were found in a Jack Scott's Pennsylvania safehouse known to have been used by Patty Hearst and Bill & Emily Harris.
  6. When FBI agents noticed the possible connection between Soliah and Yoshimura (Brandt), they checked the backgrounds of friends and family members, who told them that some of them worked as contract painters.
  7. They eventually interviewed Bill Osgood, manager of the Pacifica Apartments, who recognized Michael Bortin as one of the "hippie" painters he had hired.
  8. They were soon on the trail of Kathleen, and followed her to an apartment that happened to be were Patty Hearst was staying (they would learn later).
  9. They trialed Steven Soliah the next morning as he went to the apartment where Bill & Emily Harris were staying.
  10. The Harrises went out for a morning jog. Agents waited until they came back before arresting them. Emily tried to make a run for it, but was unarmed.
  11. Expecting to find Patty in the Harrises apartment, the agents were disappointed. They'd find more joy in the apartment they had steaked out the night before...

FBI agents surrounded the apartment Steven Soliah had been seen leaving that morning. They slowly made their way to the top floor, where both Wendy Yoshimura and Patty Hearst were staying. As agent Tom Padden looked in through the window in the door, Yoshimura was looking right back at him! He yelled, "Freeze! FBI! Freeze!" Wendy didn't move. Patty jumped out of her chair and headed for the bedroom but Padden again yelled, "Come out or I'll blow her head off!"

Hearst stopped and the "manhunt" for the most famous woman in America ended. When she was booked, she was asked for her occupation. "Urban guerilla," was her famous reply.

Steven Soliah, showing a callous disregard for his own freedom, actually went back to the Harrises apartment after heard about the arrests and was promptly arrested himself. His sister Kathleen and James Kilgore became the only SLA members who were still on the run. They would elude police for a quarter of a century.

Most Americans were happy that the SLA members seemed to be either in jail or dead, but "Free Tania!" and "We Love You, Tania!" posters were all over places like Berkeley and Madison. She was defiant at first, but eventually listened to F. Lee Bailey and other legal advisors. Hearst was later convicted for her role in the Hibernia Bank robbery in March of 1976.

References/Bibliography

 

 

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TANIA/PATTY

Patty's mug shot

San Mateo Police Department


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