Arrests Made in Foster Assassination
By Patrick Mondout
A pair of Symbionese
Liberation Army members were pulled over by police in the Oakland
suburb of Concord on the night of January 11, 1974. Officer Dave Duge
pulled the two over after he noticed their van slowly casing the
neighborhood. Russell Little, the driver, explained that he was looking
for the "DeVoto" residence.
The officer checked with dispatch and found that there was no "DeVoto"
family in the neighborhood. The officer asked the pair to step out of the
car and Joseph Remiro, a former Vietnam veteran, came out of the van
Little took off in the van and was hit by a stray bullet, but not
seriously hurt. The van was soon found with Little was slumped over the
steering wheel. Remiro, who took off on foot, was taken into custody after
a four hour search of the neighborhood.
Police found weapons and SLA literature in the back of the vehicle.
Ballistics reports showed that the .38 caliber gun Remiro used to shoot at
the officers was the same used to kill Marcus
Oakland police also announced in a related case that they had an
"female Oriental" in custody after she was stopped earlier in
the day with with weapons in her car. That description would appear to
Yoshimura, though how she got out of that jam is a mystery (she had
many aliases and had used false identities before).
Later that night, SLA member Nancy Ling Perry timed explosives to take
out the three bedroom house they were using as a headquarters. It did not
go off as well as planned and the police were still able to find SLA
literature, more cyanide-dipped bullets, a picture of Marcus Foster, and
One piece of evidence they should have paid more attention to
was an SLA "arrest warrant" for Patty Hearst to be carried out
"on the night of the full moon, January 7." Perhaps since that
date had already passed without incident, they ignored it. The next full
moon was on February 6th, though it was almost full on February
Perry tried to downplay the significance of the building and their
bungled destruction of it in a communiqué released about a week later in
order to make the group appear more competent and larger than the small
headquarters and poorly-executed explosion indicated.
Little and Remiro were charged in connection with the
murder of Dr. Marcus Foster. They took the unprecedent step of moving
the unconvicted prisoners to San Quentin, where they held them in
confinement for their own protection (the police had well-founded fears of
reprisals against the accused murderers of an African-American leader).
The police were also said to be searching for Nancy C. DeVoto, but that is
just one of many aliases of Nancy
Ling Perry, who actually shot Foster (and was the name Little used
with police when pulled over). They police caught up with Perry during a
televised 1974 shootout in LA, but were unable to take her alive.
During the trial of Little and Remiro, a defense witness named Rudy
Henderson, who owned the "Fruity Rudy" fruit juice stand where
Nancy Ling Perry worked until seven weeks before the killing, said that
Perry told him that she had killed Foster along with Willy
Wolfe and Donald
Rudy, who was a jazz musician like Perry's first husband, was also her
lover. Henderson told reporter Lacey Fosburgh all about Perry in April of
1974 without once mentioning that she had been in on the murder. Clifford
"Death Row" Jefferson also claimed during the trial that he
Wolf to do the Foster murder from his jail cell and that Little and
Remiro had nothing to do with it. Jefferson had earned his nickname, had
known some of the SLA members from their work in the prisons, and had
nothing to lose. It is common in such cases for such people to take the
blame or blame those already dead.
Both were convicted, but Russ Little's sentence was overturned in 1979
due to faulty jury instructions. Little's retrial resulted in an
acquittal. Remiro, who was dumb enough to carry the "Foster gun"
around with him, is serving a life sentence.
- 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,