Nancy Ling Perry

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Nancy Ling Perry
Born September 19, 1947
San Francisco, United States
Died May 17, 1974(1974-05-17) (aged 26)
Los Angeles, United States
Other names Nancy Devoto
Lynn Ledworth
Fahizah
Movement Symbionese Liberation Army

Nancy Ling Perry (September 19, 1947 – May 17, 1974) also known as Nancy Devoto, Lynn Ledworth, and Fahizah, was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).

Background[edit]

Nancy Ling Perry was born in San Francisco to an upper-middle-class family. She attended Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, where she was a cheerleader and a Sunday school teacher. In 1964, while in high school, she was a campaign worker for Barry Goldwater.[1] While in high school, Ling Perry was also involved in Job's Daughters (Bethel #16) and served as their Honored Queen. She began university at Whittier College. After a few semesters at Whittier, however, she transferred to the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley she majored in English.

Ling Perry met African American jazz musician Gilbert Perry when he was working for a state employment office, and the couple were married December 26, 1967. Married for six years, their relationship was described as a "love-hate affair" which ended when Gilbert left Nancy.[1]

Ling Perry worked as a topless blackjack dealer in San Francisco and went through a period of heavy use of psychedelic drugs and amphetamines.[1]

Symbionese Liberation Army[edit]

Perry became involved with the SLA through a conjugal prison relationship with Vacaville medical facility inmate, and eventual SLA leader, Donald DeFreeze. It was considered somewhat unusual for the authorities to allow such a relationship, as Perry and DeFreeze were not married, and a marital relationship is usually a requirement for conjugal visits to be authorized. The SLA first made headlines with the murder of Oakland schools superintendent Marcus Foster on November 6, 1973. Perry, by then a member of the group, narrowly avoided arrest a few days later on November 11 when a serial rapist unconnected with the SLA attempted to assault her. Perry was confronted at the front door of her house by the rapist, but was able to stop the assault. Neighbors alerted the police but Perry was able to give her statement to police on the front lawn, avoiding having the police find the plethora of SLA materials—including weapons, plans, and literature—inside the house. The rapist was later apprehended.[2]

On May 17, 1974, Nancy Ling Perry, along with several members of the SLA, was killed at 1466 East 54th Street, during a shootout with the Los Angeles Police Department. As their hideout burned, Perry and fellow SLA member Camilla Hall exited the back door. Police claimed that Perry came out firing a revolver while Hall fired an automatic pistol. Police shot them both immediately. Perry was shot twice; one shot hit her right lung, the other shot severed her spine. Hall was shot once in the forehead. Investigators working for her parents claimed that Perry had come walking out of the house intending to surrender.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Toobin, Jeffrey (2016). American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0385536714. 
  2. ^ Schreiber, Brad (August 2, 2016). Revolution's End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 1510714251. 
  3. ^ Bryan, John. This Soldier Still at War. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975. ISBN 0-15-190060-4.