Symbionese Liberation Army
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
|Symbionese Liberation Army|
SLA seven-headed cobra symbol
|Leader(s)||Donald DeFreeze, a.k.a. "General Field Marshal Cinque"
Died in police shootout May 17, 1974 (aged 30)
|Motives||Guerrilla warfare and proletarian revolution|
|Active region(s)||California, United States|
|Notable attacks||November 6, 1973 shooting of two school administrators
February 4, 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst
April 15, 1974 Hibernia bank robbery
May 16, 1974 Mel's Sporting Goods shot up
May 17, 1974 LA shoot out most members are killed
April 21, 1975 Crocker National Bank robbery
|Status||Final action and confrontation in 1975|
The United Federated Forces of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was an American self-styled left-wing revolutionary group active between 1973 and 1975 that considered itself a vanguard army. The group committed bank robberies, two murders, and other acts of violence.
The SLA became internationally notorious for kidnapping media heiress Patty Hearst, abducting the 19-year-old and her 26-year-old boyfriend Steven Weed from their home in Berkeley, California. Interest increased when Hearst, in audiotaped messages delivered to (and broadcast by) regional news media, denounced her parents and announced that she had joined the SLA. She was subsequently observed participating in their illegal activities. Hearst later alleged that she had been held in close confinement, sexually assaulted and brainwashed.
- 1 Beliefs and symbols
- 2 Formation and initial activities
- 3 Murder of Marcus Foster
- 4 Kidnapping of Patty Hearst
- 5 Conditions of the initial captivity of Patty Hearst
- 6 Activities during the period of Hearst's membership
- 7 Known and notable members
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Beliefs and symbols
In his manifesto "Symbionese Liberation Army Declaration of Revolutionary War & the Symbionese Program", Donald DeFreeze wrote, "The name 'symbionese' is taken from the word symbiosis and we define its meaning as a body of dissimilar bodies and organisms living in deep and loving harmony and partnership in the best interest of all within the body."
Although the SLA considered themselves leaders of the black revolution, DeFreeze was its only black member. His seven-headed SLA cobra symbol was based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa, with each head representing a principle. The Swahili words for these seven principles are: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).
The appearance of the symbol of the seven-headed cobra on SLA propaganda indicates that it was copied from the ancient Sri Lankan / Indian seven-headed nāga; carved stones depicting a seven-headed cobra are commonly found near the sluices of the ancient irrigation tanks in Sri Lanka and are believed to have been placed there as guardians of the water. The particular graphic of the seven-headed cobra used by the SLA may have been copied from an illustration in The Lost Continent of Mu by James Churchward.
Formation and initial activities
Prison visits and political film
The SLA formed as a result of the prison visitation programs of the radical left-wing group Venceremos Organization and a group known as the Black Cultural Association in Soledad prison. The idea of a South American–styled urban guerrilla movement, similar to the Tupamaros movement in Uruguay, combined with Régis Debray's theory of urban warfare and ideas drawn from Maoism, appealed to a number of people, including Patricia Michelle Soltysik (a.k.a. "Mizmoon").
Some activists within the New Left and the social justice movements compared the US prison system to concentration camps designed to oppress African Americans. They believed that a majority of African American convicts were political prisoners and that black power ideology would naturally appeal to them. Group member Willie Wolfe developed this ideology into a plan for action, linking student activists with prison militants.
DeFreeze escapes prison
The SLA formed after the escape from prison by Donald DeFreeze, a.k.a. "General Field Marshal Cinque." He had been serving 5–15 years for robbing a prostitute. DeFreeze took the name Cinque from the leader of the slave rebellion who took over the slave ship Amistad in 1839. DeFreeze escaped from the Soledad State Prison on March 5, 1973 simply by walking away while on work duty in a boiler room located outside the perimeter fence.
DeFreeze had been active in the Black Cultural Association while at the California Medical Facility, a state prison facility in Vacaville, California, where he had made contacts with members of Venceremos. He sought refuge among these contacts, and ended up at a commune known as Peking House in the San Francisco Bay Area. For some time he shared living quarters with future SLA members Willie Wolfe and Russell Little, then moved in with Patricia Michelle Soltysik. DeFreeze and Soltysik became lovers and began to outline the plans for founding the "Symbionese Nation."
Murder of Marcus Foster
On November 6, 1973, in Oakland, California, two members of the SLA killed school superintendent Marcus Foster and badly wounded his deputy, Robert Blackburn, as the two men left an Oakland school board meeting. The hollow-point bullets used to kill Foster had been packed with cyanide.
The SLA had condemned Foster for his plan to introduce identification cards into Oakland schools, calling him "fascist". In fact, Foster had originally opposed the use of identification cards in his schools, and his plan was a watered-down version of other similar proposals. An African American, Foster was popular on the Left and in the black community.
On January 10, 1974, Joseph Remiro and Russell Little were arrested and charged with Foster's murder, and initially both men were convicted of murder. Both men received sentences of life imprisonment. Seven years later, on June 5, 1981, Little's conviction was overturned by the California Court of Appeal, and he was later acquitted in a retrial in Monterey County.
Little has stated: "Who actually pulled the trigger that killed Foster was Mizmoon. Nancy [Ling Perry] was supposed to shoot Blackburn, she kind of botched that and DeFreeze ended up shooting him with a shotgun."
Kidnapping of Patty Hearst
In response to the arrests of Remiro and Little, the SLA began planning their next action: the kidnapping of an important figure to negotiate the release of their imprisoned members. Documents found by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at one abandoned safe house revealed that an action was planned for the "full moon of January 17". The FBI did not take any precautions, and the SLA did not act until a month later. On February 4, 1974, publishing heiress Patty Hearst, a sophomore at the University of California at Berkeley, was kidnapped from her Berkeley residence at Apartment 4, 2603 Benvenue Avenue. The kidnapping followed by less than three months a November 1973 San Francisco Chronicle story in the "Society" section announcing the Hearst-Steven Weed betrothal (with the apartment's address given). The SLA had chosen to kidnap Hearst to increase the news coverage of the incident.
Initially, the SLA issued an ultimatum to the Hearst family: that they would release Patty in exchange for the freedom of Remiro and Little. When such an arrangement proved impossible, the SLA demanded a ransom, in the form of a food distribution program. The value of food to be distributed fluctuated: on February 23 the demand was for $4 million; it peaked at $400 million. Although free food was distributed, the operation initially came to a halt when violence erupted at one of the four distribution points. This happened because the crowds were much greater than expected, and people were injured as panicked workers threw boxes of food off moving trucks into the crowd. After the SLA demanded that a community coalition called the Western Addition Project Area Committee be put in charge of the food distribution, 100,000 bags of groceries were handed out at 16 locations across four counties between February 26 and the end of March.
Conditions of the initial captivity of Patty Hearst
The FBI was conducting an unsuccessful search, and the SLA took refuge in a number of safe houses. While in the SLA's custody, Hearst later claimed she was subjected to a series of ordeals that her mother would later describe as "brainwashing". The change in Hearst's politics has been attributed to the Stockholm syndrome, a psychological response in which a hostage exhibits apparent loyalty to the abductor. Hearst was later examined by specialist psychologist Margaret Singer, who came to the same conclusion.
Although Hearst's attorney F. Lee Bailey used the Stockholm Syndrome argument in her defense at trial, Terence Hallinan, the first attorney who represented her, was planning to argue involuntary intoxication, a side effect of which is amnesia, due to similarities in her reactions after capture to previous experiences taking LSD with her boyfriend Steven Weed.
At Hearst's subsequent trial, her lawyer claimed that she had been confined in a closet barely large enough for her to lie down in; that her contact with the outside world was regulated by her captors; and that she was regularly threatened with execution. In addition, Hearst's lawyer contended that she had been raped by DeFreeze and Wolfe, but, because both men died before Hearst's capture and trial, charges were never brought against them. Hearst was thought to have had a relationship with Willie Wolfe, and described him at one point as "the gentlest, most beautiful man I've ever known." The SLA claimed to be holding Hearst according to the conditions of the Geneva convention.
The SLA subjected Hearst to indoctrination in SLA ideology. In Hearst's taped recordings, used to announce demands and conditions, Hearst can first be heard extemporaneously expressing SLA ideology on day 13 of her capture.
With each successive taped communiqué, Hearst voiced increasing support for the aims of the SLA. She eventually denounced her former life, her parents, and fiancé. At that point, she claimed that when the SLA had given her the option of being released or joining the SLA, she chose the latter. After she adopted the SLA's ideology, she announced that she was using the nom de guerre "Tania", after Che Guevara's associate "Tania the Guerilla".
Activities during the period of Hearst's membership
Hibernia Bank robbery
The next action taken by the SLA was to rob a branch of the Hibernia Bank at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco; during this incident, two civilians were shot. At 10:00 a.m. on April 15, 1974, SLA members burst into the bank.
Hearst participated in the robbery, holding a rifle, and the security camera footage of Hearst became an iconic image. (Hearst was tried and convicted for her involvement in the Hibernia Bank robbery. Her sentence was later commuted by Jimmy Carter and her crime eventually pardoned by Bill Clinton.) She has denied willing involvement in the robbery in her book, Every Secret Thing. The outlaw group was able to get away with over $10,000.
Move to Los Angeles and police shootout
The SLA believed that its future depended on its ability to acquire new members, and realized that, because of the killing of Marcus Foster, few if any people in the Bay Area underground wished to join them. Cinque suggested moving the organization to his former neighborhood in Los Angeles, where he had friends whom they might recruit. However, they relocated in a sloppy manner and had much difficulty in becoming established on their new turf. The SLA relied on commandeering housing and supplies in Los Angeles, and thus alienated the people who were ensuring their secrecy and protection. At this stage, the imprisoned SLA member Russell Little claimed that he believed the SLA had entirely lost sight of its goals and entered into a confrontation with the police rather than a political dialogue with the public.
On May 16, 1974, "Teko" and "Yolanda" (William Harris and Emily Harris) entered Mel's Sporting Goods Store in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California to shop for supplies. While Yolanda made the purchases, Teko on a whim decided to shoplift socks. When a security guard confronted him, Teko brandished a revolver. The guard knocked the gun out of his hand and placed a handcuff on William's left wrist. Hearst, on armed lookout from the group's van across the street, began shooting up the store's overhead sign. Everyone in the store but the Harrises took cover, and the Harrises fled the store and drove off with Hearst.
As a result of the botched shoplifting incident, the police acquired the address of the safehouse from a parking ticket in the glove box of the van (the vehicle had been abandoned). The rest of the SLA fled the safehouse when they saw the events on the news. The SLA took over a house occupied by Christine Johnson and Minnie Lewisin. One of the people in the house at the time was a then-17-year-old neighbor named Brenda Daniels, who was sleeping on the couch. Brenda recalls the events that day:
I went down to Minnie’s every Thursday evening to play some cards and drink a little. I fell asleep early and when I woke up around two A.M. I saw four white women and three dudes—two blacks and one white. I saw guns spread out all over the floor, an’ I asked them why they had guns, more than I’d ever seen in my life. They didn’t answer, and, instead, the black dude asked me my name and then introduced me to everyone.
[When asked if Patty Hearst was there]Man, how can I tell? All white women look the same to me.—Brenda Daniels, 
The next day, an anonymous phone call to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) stated that several heavily armed people were staying at the caller's daughter's house. That afternoon, more than 400 LAPD officers, under the command of Captain Mervin King, along with the FBI, California Highway Patrol, and Los Angeles Fire Department surrounded the neighborhood. The leader of a SWAT team used a bullhorn to announce, "Occupants of 1466 East 54th Street, this is the Los Angeles Police Department speaking. Come out with your hands up!" A young child walked out, along with an older man. The man stated that no one else was in the house, but the child intervened stating that several people were in the house with guns and ammo belts. After several more attempts to get anyone else to leave the house, a member of the SWAT team fired tear gas projectiles into the house. This was answered by heavy bursts of automatic gunfire, and a battle began.
Two hours later, the house caught fire. Two women left from the rear of the house and one came out the front (she had come in drunk the previous night, passed out, and woken up in the middle of the siege); all were taken into custody, but were found not to be SLA members. Automatic weapons fire continued from the house. At this point, Nancy Ling Perry and Camilla Hall came out of the house. Investigators working for their parents would claim that they walked out intending to surrender and that they were unarmed but police later stated that Hall was shot in the head by police as she charged towards them and Perry was providing covering fire. After Hall's body fell to the ground, it was pulled back inside the burning house by Angela Atwood. Perry followed Hall out of the house and was shot twice in the back. Her body remained outside the house.
The rest died inside, from smoke inhalation, burns and gunshot wounds. The coroner's report concluded that Donald DeFreeze committed suicide. After the shooting stopped and the fire was extinguished, 19 firearms—including rifles, pistols, and shotguns—were recovered. Several thousands of rounds had been fired out of the house by the SLA and police in response had fired several thousands of rounds into the house. This remains one of the largest police shootouts in history with a reported total of over 9,000 rounds being fired. Every round fired by SLA members at the police missed the officers.
The SLA dead were: Nancy Ling Perry ("Fahizah"), Angela Atwood ("General Gelina"), Camilla Hall ("Gabi"), Willie Wolfe ("Kahjoh", misspelled by the media at the time as "Cujo", who was reported to be Patricia Hearst's lover), Donald DeFreeze ("Cinque"), and Patricia Soltysik ("Mizmoon," "Zoya"). Most of the bodies were found huddled in a crawl space under the house, which had burned down around them.
New broadcasting technology (smaller portable cameras and more nimble and versatile mobile units that made it easier to cover unfolding news events) had recently been acquired by area TV stations, so Hearst and the Harrises were able to watch the televised siege live from their hotel room in Anaheim.
Return to the Bay Area
As a result of the siege, the remaining SLA members returned to the relative safety of the San Francisco Bay Area and protection of student radical households. At this time, a number of new members gravitated towards the SLA. The active participants at this time were: Bill and Emily Harris, Patty Hearst, Wendy Yoshimura, Kathleen and Steve Soliah, James Kilgore and Michael Bortin.
Crocker Bank robbery
On April 28, 1975, the remaining members of the SLA robbed the Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, California, and in doing so killed Myrna Opsahl, a bank customer. Hearst claimed to have been sitting in the getaway car.
Much later, Patty Hearst, after being granted immunity from prosecution for this crime, claimed that Emily Harris, Kathleen Soliah (later aka Sara Jane Olson), Michael Bortin, and James Kilgore actually committed the robbery, while she and Wendy Yoshimura were getaway drivers and William Harris and Steven Soliah acted as lookouts. Hearst also claimed that Opsahl was killed by Emily Harris, but that she was not a witness.
Capture and conviction
Patricia Hearst, after a long and highly publicized search, was captured with Wendy Yoshimura on September 18, 1975. In her affidavit she claimed that SLA members had used LSD to drug her and had forced her to take part in the bank raid. However, Hearst's recorded statements, along with the fact that she had not escaped when she had the opportunity, made many think she had come to support her kidnappers. Despite her claims, she was convicted of the Hibernia Bank robbery and sentenced to seven years in prison but had served only 21 months when her sentence was commuted by US President Jimmy Carter. She was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
On August 21, 1975, Kathleen Soliah failed in her attempt to kill officers of the LAPD when the bombs she placed under a police car did not detonate.
The FBI caught up with and arrested Sara Jane Olson in 1999 after a tip was received by the television show America's Most Wanted, which had aired her profile. In 2001, she pleaded guilty to possession of explosives with the intent to murder and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of ten years to life, although she had been told as part of a plea bargain that she would serve only eight years. She claimed that she pled guilty because of the climate after September 11, 2001, but that in fact she had not made, possessed, nor placed the pipe bombs.
On January 16, 2002, first-degree murder charges for the killing of Myrna Opsahl were filed against Sara Jane Olson, the Harrises, Bortin, and Kilgore. All were living "above ground" and were immediately arrested except for James Kilgore, who remained at large for nearly another year.
On November 7, 2002, Soliah, the Harrises, and Bortin pleaded guilty to the murder charges. Emily Harris, now known as Emily Montague, admitted to being the one holding the murder weapon but said that the shotgun had gone off accidentally. Hearst had claimed that Montague had dismissed the murder at the time saying, "She was a bourgeois pig anyway. Her husband is a doctor." In court, Montague denied having said this and added, "I do not want [the Opsahl family] to believe that we ever considered her life insignificant."
Sentences were handed down on February 14, 2003, in Sacramento, California for all four defendants in the Opsahl murder case. Montague was sentenced to eight years for the murder (2nd degree). Her former husband, William Harris, was sentenced to seven years, and Bortin to six years. Soliah has had six years added to the 14-year sentence she is already serving. All sentences were the maximum allowed under their plea bargains.
On November 8, 2002, James Kilgore, who had been a fugitive since 1975, was arrested in South Africa and extradited to the United States to face federal explosives and passport fraud charges. Prosecutors alleged that a pipe bomb had been found in Kilgore's apartment in 1975 and that he had obtained a passport under a false name. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2003.
Sara Jane Olson was expecting to receive a five-year, four-month sentence, but "in stiffening Olson's sentence ..., the prison board turned to a seldom-used section of state law, allowing it to recalculate sentences for old crimes in light of new, tougher sentencing guidelines." Olson was sentenced to 14 years— later reduced to 13 years—plus six years for her role in the Opsahl killing. Hearst had immunity because she was a state's witness, but as there was no trial, she never testified.
On April 26, 2004, Kilgore was sentenced to 54 months in prison for the explosives and passport fraud charges. He was the last remaining SLA member to face federal prosecution.
After serving six years of the prison sentence, Sarah Jane Olson was released on parole and reunited with her family in California on March 17, 2008. But after a discovery that her release was premature because of a clerical error, an arrest warrant was issued. She was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and notified that her right to travel out of state had been rescinded. She was returned to prison.
On March 17, 2009, Sarah Olsen was released, this time correctly, after serving 7 years of her 14-year sentence. She was to check in with her parole officer in Los Angeles where it would be determined if she would be allowed to serve her parole in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and three daughters. Several officials, including the Governor of Minnesota, urged that she serve her parole in California, but she was finally allowed to serve her parole in Minnesota.
On May 10, 2009, James Kilgore was released from prison in California. He was the last captured SLA member to be released.
Founding member Joseph Remiro remains in prison as of 2009.
Some time around June of 2001 an unidentified message was received via wire services that James Michael Hamilton III. a bomb maker for the group. had died of natural causes in or around the Huntsville Alabama area. This was not made know to the public until years later when blueprints for detailed bomb equipment was found in a home in Madison Alabama, once rented by Hamilton. Names of other SLA members were also on the blueprints. They believe Hamilton was not a direct member of the SLA but was recruited when needed. He was never charged with any crimes related to any SLA activities.
Known and notable members
- Russell Little (SLA pseudonym Osceola or Osi), arrested for the shooting of Marcus Foster. Little was in custody during the time when Patty Hearst was with the SLA. Little was sentenced to life in prison in April 1975, but in 1981 he was retried and acquitted of the Foster murder. He now lives in Hawaii.
- Joseph Remiro (Bo), arrested with Russell Little. Little and Remiro were the prisoners whom the S.L.A. intended to swap for Hearst. Remiro was sentenced to life in prison in April 1975. He is serving this sentence at Pelican Bay Prison, Crescent City, CA.
- Donald DeFreeze (General Field Marshal Cinque Mtume), an escaped prisoner and the SLA's only African-American member
- William (Willie) Wolfe (Cujo)
- Angela Atwood (General Gelina)
- Patricia Soltysik, aka Mizmoon Soltysik (Zoya)
- Camilla Hall (Gabi), Soltysik's lover
- Nancy Ling Perry (Fahizah)
- Emily Harris (Yolanda)
- William Harris (General Teko), Emily Harris' husband, and eventual leader of the SLA
Later members (after the Hearst kidnapping)
- Patty Hearst (Tania)
- Wendy Yoshimura, former member of the Revolutionary Army, a violent activist group, with her friend Willie Brandt
- Kathleen Soliah, (a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson) a friend of Atwood's. Soliah became involved when approached by the SLA after the shootout
- Jim Kilgore, Kathleen Soliah's boyfriend
- Steven Soliah, Kathleen Soliah's brother
- Michael Bortin
Associates and sympathisers
- Josephine Soliah, Kathleen Soliah's sister
- Bonnie Jean Wilder, Seanna, Sally (a friend of Remiro's), Bridget - all mentioned in Hearst's book Every Secret Thing as potential members
- Micki and Jack Scott, rented a farmhouse in which SLA members hid for a period to write a book
- James Michael Hamilton III, bomb maker. Died 2001.
In popular culture
The SLA distributed photographs, news releases and radio-quality taped interviews in which they explained their past activities to the press. The first television media frenzy orchestrated by the SLA occurred outside the Hearst family residence at the time of Hearst's kidnapping.
- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, directed by Robert Stone, 2004. (Released under the alternate title : Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army.)
Dramas and docu-dramas
- Abduction, directed by Joseph Zito, 1975. (Based on Black Abductors by Harrison James)
- Tanya, directed by Nate Rodgers, 1976. (Also known as Sex Queen of the SLA)
- Patty, (1976), directed by Robert L. Roberts.
- Patty Hearst, based on Hearst's autobiography Every Secret Thing, directed by Paul Schrader, 1988.
- The Ordeal of Patty Hearst, 1979 (TV).
- SLA Gunfight Los Angeles, Combat Zone episode 8, 2007 (Cable series,The Military Channel)
- Citizen Tania, 1989 (video only), a satirical docudrama directed by Raymond Pettibon and Dave Markey.
- in the 1976 Sidney Lumet film Network, the SLA was paralleled with the fictional "Ecumenical Liberation Army", complete with a black leader and kidnapped heiress, confusing the characters as to which was which.
- Hearst's kidnapping was also the inspiration for the plot of the 2000 John Waters film Cecil B. Demented. (Patty Hearst had previously worked with Waters).
- John Cusack portrays a self-proclaimed Symbionese rebel in the 1992 cult film Roadside Prophets.
- Trance, by Christopher Sorrentino, is a novel based loosely on the SLA and the Hearst kidnapping.
- Contemporary issues of Captain America fictionalize the SLA as the Serpent Squad, including the suicidal shootout & fire.
- Prometheus Rising, by Robert Anton Wilson, mentions Patty Hearst several times, using her as an example of how one's beliefs can be manipulated.
- "This Soldier Still At War" by John Bryan is a biography of Vietnam War veteran and SLA member Joe Remiro.
- Patti Smith's legendary 1974 cover of the popular 1960s song, "Hey Joe", begins with a salacious and provocative monologue about Patty Hearst and the SLA, which puts a feminist spin on the lyrics that were originally about a man who murders his adulterous wife and then flees to Mexico.
|“||Honey, the way you play guitar makes me feel so...makes me feel so...masochistic. The way you go down low deep into the neck...and I would do anything...and I would do anything. And Patty Hearst, you standing there in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army flag with your legs spread. I was wondering: were you gettin' it every night from a black revolutionary man and his women? Or were you really dead? And now that you're on the run, what goes on in your mind? Your sisters they sit by the window. You know, your mama does sit and cry. And your daddy—well, you know what your daddy said Patty. You know what your daddy said, Patty? He said...he said...he said.... "Well, sixty days ago she was such a lovely child. Now here she is, with a gun in her hand."||”|
Thus, Smith's version effectively casts Patty Hearst in the role of Joe "with a gun in her hand"—a violent criminal rebelling against the law and all civil authority. Before the fadeout, Smith sings in the voice of Hearst angrily repudiating both her privileged upbringing as well as the mainstream society which has condemned her as a spoiled, vacuous "pretty little rich girl" who became a terrorist. It is especially sobering to note that this particularly recording was made when Patty Hearst was still a fugitive and members of the SLA were still at large.
- The 1976 Oingo Boingo song "You Got Your Baby Back" is about the return of Patty Hearst to her father after the kidnapping.
- The Camper Van Beethoven song "Tania", from the 1988 album Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, is about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and her activities in the SLA. The album's title is from a lyric in the song.
- The Warren Zevon song "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" from 1978's Excitable Boy contains the lyric "Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it".
- American punk rock band Smoke or Fire has a song named "The Patty Hearst Syndrome" about Hearst's engagement in the SLA.
- The Sex Vid song "Tania" is about Patty Hearst's kidnapping, as well as her activities with the SLA.
- The Ramones song "Judy is a Punk" mentions the SLA in the 3rd verse. "Jackie is a punk. Judy is a runt. They both went down to Frisco, joined the SLA. Oh, I don't know why. Perhaps they'll die!"
- The Avengers song "The American in Me"has the lyrics "It's the American in me that makes me watch TV, See how they burned the SLA"
- Waajeed's "The Patty Hearst Beat Tape" features many audio clips from news stories referring to Hearst's kidnapping.
- Boulton, David. The Making Of Tania Hearst. Bergenfield, N.J., U.S.A.: New American Library, 1975. 224+ p., ill., ports., facsim., index, 22 cm. Also published: London, G.B.: New English Library, 1975.
- Hearst, Patty, with Alvin Moscow, Patty Hearst: Her Own Story. New York: Avon, 1982. ISBN 0-380-70651-2. (Original title: Every Secret Thing.)
- McLellan, Vin, and Paul Avery. The Voices of Guns: The Definitive and Dramatic Story of the Twenty-two-month Career of the Symbionese Liberation Army. New York: Putnam, 1977.
- Weed, Steven, with Scott Swanton. My Search for Patty Hearst. New York: Warner, 1976. (Weed was Hearst's fiance at the time of the kidnapping. That was the end of their relationship.)
- Black Cultural Association
- Black Panther Party
- Black Liberation Army
- Venceremos Organization
- Weather Underground
- Straight Dope Science Advisory Board (May 21, 2002). "Who were the Symbionese, and were they ever liberated?". straightdope. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- Melanie G. Dante (2007). "Coming of the Cobra". Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- The Faculty of Engineering (May 2004). "title" (PDF). The University of Peradeniya ISBN 955-589-067-6. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "Carved stones depicting a seven-headed Cobra are commonly found near the sluices of the ancient irrigation tanks in Sri Lanka; these are believed to have been placed as guardians of the water."
- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, directed by Robert Stone, 2004.
- "Paul Krassner, ''Symbionese Liberation Army''". Foundsf.org. 1999-07-07. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Double Agent Paul Krassner". Emptymirrorbooks.com. 1972-06-21. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Oakland Bullets Had Cyanide". The Washington Post. November 11, 1973 - p. A2. Archived from the original on 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "Investigators say bullets used in the murder of Oakland's school superintendent contained cyanide. Roland Prahl, chief investigator for the Alameda County coroner's office, said Friday that five slugs recovered during the autopsy on the superintendent, Marcus Foster, had the "distinctive odor of cyanide." A coroner's report verified the presence of the poison."
- Around the Nation: Russell Little is Acquitted of Slaying on Coast in 1973. The New York Times. June 5, 1981. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
- "American Experience | Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst | Transcript". PBS. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst. PBS. Retrieved on January 21, 2007.
- "Calvin Welsh, ''The Legacy of the SLA''". Foundsf.org. 1974-03-25. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Paul Krassner. ''Symbionese Liberation Army''". Foundsf.org. 1999-07-07. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Gallery: The Hibernia Bank Robbery". PBS. 2005-02-16. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- Bryan, John. This Soldier Still at War. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975. ISBN 0-15-190060-4.
- "SLA: The shootout". Court TV. Updated October 12, 2001, 11:00 a.m. ET. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "Perry and Hall exited the house, but were shot by officers who concluded they were trying to kill police rather than surrender."
- The Voices of Guns, p. 286
- Sarah Brown (January 17, 2002). "America's hippy extremists". BBC. Retrieved 2007-08-18. "[Hearst] claimed to have been sitting in the getaway car when at some point during the robbery an SLA member blasted mother-of-four Myrna Opsahl with a shotgun as she stood depositing church receipts, killing her instantly."
- court tv (Updated September 8, 2004, 10:27 a.m. ET). "Ex-SLA member gets sentence reduced in attempted bombings". court tv. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- News.Yahoo.com[dead link]
- Ex-1970s News.Yahoo.com, radical set to be freed from prison
- "KTLA.com". KTLA.com. 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- Captain America #180 (December 1974), #181 (January 1975), and #182 (February 1975) at the Grand Comics Database.
- "This Soldier Still at War (Joe Remiro, Vietnam vet who trained the SLA): John Bryan, B/W Photos: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Patti Smith Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Symbionese Liberation Army.|
- Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army at the Internet Movie Database Directed by Robert Stone, 2004
- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst official web site for the PBS movie about SLA
- The Sybionese Liberation Army; House Committee on Internal Security report
- The Parts Left out of the Trial by Paul Krassner
- Google Earth/Google Touring Virtual Tour of significant SLA locations in California