Hearst in 2010
Patricia Campbell Hearst
February 20, 1954
San Francisco, California
|Other names||Patty Hearst|
Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Known for||Being kidnapped and indoctrinated by the Symbionese Liberation Army|
Bernard Lee Shaw
(m. 1979; died 2013)
|Children||2, including Lydia Hearst|
Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954) is an American author, actress. A granddaughter of the American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, she became internationally known for events following her 1974 kidnapping by a left-wing terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hearst was found 19 months after being abducted, by which time she was a fugitive wanted for serious crimes committed with members of the group. She was held in custody, and there was speculation before trial that her family's resources would enable her to avoid time in jail.
At her trial, the prosecution suggested that Hearst had joined the Symbionese Liberation Army of her own volition. However, Hearst testified that she had been raped and threatened with death while held captive. In 1976, she was convicted for the crime of bank robbery and sentenced to 35 years in prison, later reduced to 7 years. Her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and she was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
- 1 Background
- 2 Criminal activity as avowed SLA member
- 3 Legal consequences
- 4 Prison life
- 5 Life after release
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Hearst's grandfather, William Randolph Hearst, created the largest newspaper, magazine, newsreel, and movie business in the world. Her great-grandmother was philanthropist Phoebe Hearst. The family was associated with immense political influence and a position of anti-Communism since before World War II.
Early life and education
Patricia Hearst, called "Patty", was born in San Francisco, California,[a] the third of five daughters of Randolph Apperson Hearst and Catherine Wood Campbell. She grew up primarily in Hillsborough, and attended the Crystal Springs School for Girls there and the Santa Catalina School in Monterey. She attended Menlo College in Atherton, California, before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley.
Hearst's father was only one of a number of heirs, and did not have control of the Hearst interests, so her parents did not consider it necessary to take measures for their children's personal security. At the time of her abduction, Hearst was a sophomore at Berkeley, studying art history. She lived with her fiancé, Steven Weed, in an apartment in Berkeley.
On February 4, 1974, 19-year-old Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment. She was beaten and lost consciousness during the abduction. Shots were fired from a machine gun during the incident. An urban guerrilla group, called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), claimed responsibility for the abduction.
The SLA was formed through contacts made by a study group, coordinated by a University of California, Berkeley professor. It was organized to tutor black inmates, and over time the group's ethos became increasingly radicalized. Eventually, its members came to consider black convicts as heroic political prisoners, victimized by a racist American society.
On March 5, 1973, Donald DeFreeze escaped from prison in California. Radical penal activists Russell Little and William Wolfe, who later became SLA members, took DeFreeze to Patricia Soltysik's house. DeFreeze became the leader of the SLA. After his prison acquaintance Wheeler left, DeFreeze was the only African American in the group. By the time the group became active, most of its members were women. Some of them, such as Soltysik and her roommate Nancy Ling Perry, have been described as having lesbian relationships. Other members included William and Emily Harris, and Angela Atwood.
DeFreeze was suspected by many of being a government provocateur, but his race and prison time gave him unquestioned authority in the SLA. He also had sexual dominion over women in the group. The group acquired resources by robbing homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first proposed operation, assassinating the head of the state penitentiaries, was cancelled because of possible repercussions for inmates. Instead, then, the group targeted and killed Marcus Foster, a black educator whom the SLA considered a fascist for bringing police onto school campuses.
DeFreeze's estimation of the military strength of the dozen-strong SLA group was hyperbolic; he gave himself a concomitantly grandiose title of "field marshal". Soltysik developed the group's ideological materials, saying that it was opposed to "racism, sexism, agism [sic], fascism, individualism, competitiveness, possessiveness and all other institutions that have made or sustained capitalism."
Hearst's kidnapping was partly opportunistic, as she happened to live near the SLA hideout. According to testimony, the group's main intention was to leverage the Hearst family's political influence to free two SLA members who had been arrested for Foster's killing. Faced with the failure to free the imprisoned men, the SLA demanded that the captive's family distribute $70 worth of food to every needy Californian – an operation that would cost an estimated $400 million. In response, Hearst's father took out a loan and arranged the immediate donation of $2 million worth of food to the poor of the Bay Area, in an operation called "People in Need." After the distribution descended into chaos, the SLA refused to release Hearst.
According to Hearst's later testimony, she was held for a week in a closet, blindfolded and with her hands tied, during which time DeFreeze repeatedly threatened her with death. She was let out for meals and, blindfolded, began to join in the political discussions. She was given a flashlight for reading and SLA political tracts to learn. Hearst was confined in the closet for weeks, after which she said, "DeFreeze told me that the war council had decided or was thinking about killing me or me staying with them, and that I better start thinking about that as a possibility." Hearst said, "I accommodated my thoughts to coincide with theirs."
When asked for her decision, Hearst said she wanted to stay and fight with the SLA. The blindfold was removed, allowing her to see her captors for the first time. After this she was given daily lessons on her duties, especially weapons drills. Angela Atwood told Hearst that the others thought she should know what sexual freedom was like in the unit; Hearst was raped by William "Willie" Wolfe and later by DeFreeze.
On April 3, 1974, two months after she was abducted, Hearst announced on an audiotape that she had joined the SLA and taken the name "Tania" (inspired by the nom de guerre of Haydée Tamara Bunke Bider, Che Guevara's comrade).
Criminal activity as avowed SLA member
On April 15, 1974, Hearst was recorded on surveillance video wielding an M1 carbine while robbing the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank, at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco. Hearst identified under her pseudonym of "Tania". Two men who entered the bank while the robbery was occurring were shot and wounded. According to later testimony at her trial, a witness thought Hearst had been several paces behind the others when running to the getaway car.
Within days, United States Attorney General William B. Saxbe said Hearst was a "common criminal" and "not a reluctant participant" in the bank robbery. James L. Browning Jr. said that her participation in the robbery may have been voluntary, contradicting an earlier comment in which he said that Hearst may have been coerced into taking part. The FBI agent heading the investigation had said SLA members were photographed pointing guns at Hearst during the robbery. A grand jury indicted her in June 1974 for the robbery.
Rescue of Harris
On May 16, 1974, a store manager at Mel's Sporting Goods, in Inglewood, California, observed a minor theft by William Harris, who had been shopping with his wife Emily, while Hearst waited across the road in a van. Accompanied by a female employee, the manager followed Harris out and confronted him. During the ensuing scuffle, Harris was restrained, and his pistol fell out of his waistband. Hearst, who had first used guns with her father, discharged the entire magazine of an automatic carbine into the overhead storefront, causing the manager to dive behind a lightpost. When he tried to shoot back, Hearst, firing single shots with another weapon, brought her fire closer to him.
Escaping from the area, Hearst and the Harris couple hijacked two cars and abducted the owners. One, a young man, found Hearst so personable that he was reluctant to report the incident. At the trial he testified to her having discussed the effectiveness of cyanide-tipped bullets and repeatedly asking if he were okay. Police had surrounded the main base of the SLA before the three returned, so the trio hid elsewhere. On May 17, 1974, the six SLA members inside died in a gunfight with police. It was at first thought that Hearst had also died. Her father publicly worried that she might be killed in revenge. To allay his fears, the abduction victim gave police a more complete account of what took place with her. A warrant was issued for Hearst's arrest for several felonies, including two counts of kidnapping.
According to one account, Hearst and the Harrises (now the only survivors of the SLA unit that abducted her) bought a car blocks away while the siege was going on. It broke down when they happened to stop in an African-American neighborhood, leaving them with a total of $50. They walked a few hundred yards from the car and hid in a crawlspace under a residential building. When a late night party started in the room above, Hearst readied her weapon, saying "the pigs" were closing in on them. In whispers, the Harrises begged her to calm down. Disguised as derelicts, they spent the next two weeks in San Francisco flophouses.
With a few dollars left, Emily Harris was sent to a Berkeley rally to commemorate the deaths of Angela Atwood and other founding members of the SLA, who had died during the police siege. Harris recognized Atwood's acquaintance Kathy Soliah among the radicals, whom she'd known from civil rights groups. Soliah introduced the three fugitives to Jack Scott, an athletics coach and radical who had been asking for an interview with the SLA. Scott agreed to provide help and money. During a car ride to a rural hideout, Scott said that Hearst was incredulous when he offered to take her "anywhere". According to Scott's account, which Hearst later disputed, she had said, "I want to go where my friends are going". Scott was never charged for facilitating a revival of the SLA that eventually resulted in murder.
Involvement in later SLA crimes
Hearst helped make improvised explosive devices. These were used in two unsuccessful attempts to kill policemen during August 1975, and one of the devices failed to detonate. Marked money found in the apartment when she was arrested linked Hearst to the SLA armed robbery of Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, California; she was the getaway car driver for the robbery. Myrna Opsahl, who was at the bank making a deposit, was shot dead by a masked Emily Harris. Hearst was potentially at risk for felony murder charges and could testify as a witness against Harris for a capital offense.
On September 18, 1975, Hearst was arrested in a San Francisco apartment with Wendy Yoshimura, another SLA member, by San Francisco Police Inspector Timothy F. Casey and his partner, Police Officer Laurence R. Pasero, and FBI Special Agent Thomas J. Padden and his partners, FBI agents Jason Moulton, Frank Doyle, Jr., Larry Lawler, Monte Hall, Dick Vitamonte, Leo Brenneissen, and Ray Campos. While being booked into jail, Hearst listed her occupation as "Urban Guerilla" and asked her attorney to relay the following message: "Tell everybody that I'm smiling, that I feel free and strong and I send my greetings and love to all the sisters and brothers out there."
At the time of her arrest, Hearst's weight had dropped to 87 pounds (40 kg), and she was described by Dr. Margaret Singer in October 1975 as "a low-IQ, low-affect zombie". Shortly after her arrest, signs of trauma were recorded: her IQ was measured as 112, whereas it had previously been 130; there were huge gaps in her memory regarding her pre-Tania life; she was smoking heavily and had nightmares. Without a mental illness or defect, a person is considered to be fully responsible for any criminal action not done under duress, which is defined as a clear and present threat of death or serious injury. But for Hearst to secure an acquittal on the grounds of having been brainwashed would be completely unprecedented.
Psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, a professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), was appointed by the court in his capacity as a brainwashing expert and worked without a fee. After the trial, he wrote a newspaper article asking President Carter to release Hearst from prison.
Hearst wrote in her memoir, Every Secret Thing (1982), "I spent fifteen hours going over my SLA experiences with Robert Jay Lifton of Yale University. Lifton, author of several books on coercive persuasion and thought reform, ... pronounced me a 'classic case' which met all the psychological criteria of a coerced prisoner of war. ... If I had reacted differently, that would have been suspect, he said."
Her first lawyer, Terence Hallinan, had advised Hearst not to talk to anyone, including psychiatrists. He advocated a defense of involuntary intoxication: that the SLA had given her drugs that affected her judgment and recollection.[page needed]
He was replaced by attorney F. Lee Bailey, who asserted a defense of coercion or duress affecting intent at the time of the offense. This was similar to the brainwashing-type defense which Hallinan had warned was not a defense in law. Hearst gave long interviews to various psychiatrists.
Hearst alone was arraigned for the Hibernia Bank robbery; the trial commenced on January 15, 1976. Judge Oliver Jesse Carter (who happened to be a professional acquaintance of a junior member of the prosecution team's) ruled that Hearst's taped and written statements after the bank robbery, while she was a fugitive with the SLA members, were voluntary. He did not allow expert testimony that stylistic analysis indicated the "Tania" statements and writing were not wholly composed by Hearst. He permitted the prosecution to introduce statements and actions Hearst made long after the Hibernia robbery, as evidence of her state of mind at the time of the robbery. Judge Carter also allowed into evidence a recording made by jail authorities of a friend's jail visit with Hearst, in which Hearst used profanities and spoke of her radical and feminist beliefs, but he did not allow tapes of psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West's interviews of Hearst to be heard by the jury. Judge Carter was described as "resting his eyes" during testimony favorable to the defense by West and others.
According to Hearst's testimony, her captors had demanded she appear enthusiastic during the robbery and warned she would pay with her life for any mistake. Her defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey provided photographs showing that SLA members, including Camilla Hall, had pointed guns at Hearst during the robbery. In reference to the shooting at Mel's Sporting Goods Store and her decision to not escape, Hearst testified that she was instructed throughout her captivity on what to do in emergency situations. She said one class in particular had a situation similar to the store manager's detention of the Harrises. Hearst testified that "when it happened I didn't even think. I just did it, and if I had not done it and if they had been able to get away they would have killed me."
Testifying for the prosecution, Dr. Harry Kozol said Hearst had been "a rebel in search of a cause", and her participation in the Hibernia robbery had been "an act of free will." Prosecutor James L. Browning Jr. asked the other psychiatrist testifying for the prosecution, Dr. Joel Fort, if Hearst was in fear of death or great bodily injury during the robbery, to which he answered, "No", but Bailey angrily objected. Fort assessed Hearst as amoral, and said she had voluntarily had sex with Wolfe and DeFreeze, which accusations Hearst denied both in court and outside. Prosecutor Browning tried to show that writings by Hearst indicated her testimony had misrepresented her interactions with Wolfe. She said she had been writing the SLA version of events and had been punched in the face by William Harris when she refused to be more effusive about what she regarded as sexual abuse by Wolfe. Judge Carter allowed testimony from the prosecution psychiatrists about Hearst's early sexual experiences, although these had occurred years before her kidnapping and the bank robbery.
In court, Hearst made a poor impression and appeared lethargic. An Associated Press report attributed this state to drugs she was given by jail doctors. Bailey was strongly criticized for his decision to put Hearst on the stand, as she declined to answer some questions in the presence of the jury. According to Alan Dershowitz, Bailey was wrong-footed by the judge, who had appeared to indicate she would have Fifth Amendment privilege: the jury would not be present for some of her testimony, or would be instructed not to draw inferences, on matters subsequent to the Hibernian Bank charges for which she was being tried, but he changed his mind.
After a few months, Hearst provided information to the authorities, not under oath (sworn testimony could have been used to convict her) of SLA activities. A bomb exploded at Hearst Castle in February 1976. After Hearst testified that Wolfe had raped her, Emily Harris gave a magazine interview from jail alleging that Hearst's keeping a trinket given to her by Wolfe was an indication that she had been in a romantic relationship with him. Hearst said she had kept the stone carving because she thought it was a pre-Colombian artifact of archeological significance. The prosecutor James L. Browning Jr. used Harris' interpretation of the item, and some jurors later said they regarded the carving, which Browning waved in front of them, as powerful evidence that Hearst was lying.
In a closing prosecution statement that hardly acknowledged that Hearst had been kidnapped and held captive, prosecutor Browning suggested that Hearst had taken part in the bank robbery without coercion. Browning also suggested to the jury that as the female SLA members were feminists, they would not have allowed Hearst to be raped. He said that Hearst's having kept an Olmec carving given to her by Wolfe showed that she had lied about being raped by him.
Bailey's closing defense statement was, "But simple application of the rules, I think, will yield one decent result, and, that is, there is not anything close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Patty Hearst wanted to be a bank robber. What you know, and you know in your hearts to be true is beyond dispute. There was talk about her dying, and she wanted to survive."
Conviction and sentencing
On March 20, 1976, Hearst was convicted of bank robbery and using a firearm during the commission of a felony. She was given the maximum sentence possible of 35 years' imprisonment, pending a reduction at final sentence hearing, which Carter declined to specify.
Because Judge Carter had died, Judge William Horsley Orrick Jr. determined Hearst's sentence. He gave her seven years imprisonment, commenting that "rebellious young people who, for whatever reason become revolutionaries, and voluntarily commit criminal acts will be punished".
Hearst suffered a collapsed lung in prison (the beginning of a series of medical problems) and underwent emergency surgery. This prevented her from appearing to testify against the Harrises on eleven state charges, including robbery, kidnapping, and assault; she was also arraigned for those charges. Hearst was being held in solitary confinement for security reasons; she was granted bail for an appeal hearing in November 1976, on condition that she was protected on bond. Her father hired dozens of bodyguards.
Saying he believed that Hearst did not act voluntarily, Superior Court judge Talbot Callister gave her probation on the sporting goods store charge when she pleaded no contest. California Attorney General Evelle J. Younger said if there was a double standard for the wealthy, it was the opposite of what was generally believed and that Hearst had received a stiffer sentence than she might have. He said that although Hearst had no legal brainwashing defense, there was a good deal of equity favoring her in the essential point that everything followed her kidnapping.
Hearst's bail was revoked in May 1978 when appeals failed, and the Supreme Court declined to hear her case. The prison took no special security measures for Hearst's safety until she found a dead rat on her bunk the day William and Emily Harris were arraigned for her abduction. The Harrises were convicted on a simple kidnapping charge (as opposed to the more serious kidnapping for ransom or kidnapping with bodily injury), and were released after serving a total of eight years each. Although some articles were published in legal journals about the issues in the case, the definition of duress in law remained unchanged.
In the weeks before Representative Leo Ryan was murdered while visiting the Jonestown, Guyana, settlement, he was collecting signatures to petition for Hearst's release. He had noted his own mass death threats from Synanon, comparisons to Charles Manson's cult, and questions of the Hearst case. Actor John Wayne, speaking after the Jonestown cult deaths, said it was odd that people had accepted that Jim Jones had brainwashed 900 individuals into mass suicide but would not accept that a group such as the Symbionese Liberation Army could have brainwashed a kidnapped teenage girl.
Commutation, release, and pardon
President Jimmy Carter commuted Hearst's federal sentence to the 22 months served, freeing the young woman eight months before she was eligible for her first parole hearing. The 1979 release was under stringent conditions, and she remained on probation for the state sentence on the sporting goods store plea. President Ronald Reagan reportedly gave serious consideration to pardoning Hearst. She recovered full civil rights when President Bill Clinton granted her a pardon on January 20, 2001, his last day in office.
Life after release
Two months after her release from prison, Hearst married Bernard Lee Shaw (1945–2013), a policeman who was part of her security detail during her time on bail. They had two children, Gillian and Lydia Hearst-Shaw. He died in 2013. Hearst became involved in a foundation helping children suffering from AIDS, and is active in other charities and fund-raising activities.
Media and other activities
Hearst published the memoir Every Secret Thing in 1981. Her accounts resulted in authorities considering bringing new charges against her. She was interviewed in 2009 on NBC and said that the prosecutor had suggested that she had been in a consensual relationship with Wolfe. She described that as "outrageous" and an insult to rape victims.
Hearst produced a special for the Travel Channel titled Secrets of San Simeon with Patricia Hearst, in which she took viewers inside her grandfather's mansion Hearst Castle, providing unprecedented access to the property.
She has appeared in feature films for director John Waters, who cast her in Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, A Dirty Shame, and Cecil B. DeMented. She collaborated with Cordelia Frances Biddle on writing the novel Murder at San Simeon (Scribner, 1996), based upon the death of Thomas H. Ince on her grandfather's yacht. She also appeared in the episode "Lord of the Pi's" in season 3 of Veronica Mars. The character was the heiress of a fictionalized Hearst family, loosely based on aspects of her life. Hearst also made a cameo in Pauly Shore's film The Bio-Dome.
Hearst has participated with her dogs in dog shows, and her Shih Tzu Rocket won the "Toy" category at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2015. At the 2017 show, Hearst's French bulldog Tuggy won best of breed, and Rubi won best of opposite sex.
Films about Hearst's SLA period
- Patty Hearst (1988)
- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004)
- The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (2018)
- Drunk History: The Kidnapping of Patty Hearst (2019)
- American Woman (novel)
- List of kidnappings
- List of people who disappeared mysteriously: post-1970
- Stockholm syndrome
- Pizzitola, Louis (2002). Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11646-2. p. 333–338
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|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). United Press International. 1975
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- "Sara Jane Olson charged with murder", Frank Stoltze, Minnesota Public Radio, January 17, 2002
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- Toobin 2016, p. 156.
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- Westcott, Kathryn (August 22, 2013). "What is Stockholm syndrome?". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
Hearst's defence lawyer Bailey claimed that the 19-year-old had been brainwashed and was suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" - a term that had been recently coined to explain the apparently irrational feelings of some captives for their captors.
- Krassner, Paul. Patty Hearst and the Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials. ISBN 9781629630380. p. 27.
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- 563 F.2d 1331, 2 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 1149, UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Patricia Campbell HEARST, Defendant-Appellant. Nos. 76-3162, 77-1759. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. November 2, 1977.
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- "Escape From The SLA".
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- GRITTEN, DAVID (March 4, 2001). "Welcome to Her Latest Life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
"Secrets of San Simeon" tackles this issue head-on, in a ... Patricia Hearst was also encouraged to make the TV special because...
- Nizza, Mike (February 12, 2008). "Patty Hearst's Comeback, Thanks to the Dog". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- "Patty Hearst's dog wins at Westminster". USA TODAY. February 17, 2015.
- Curran, David (February 14, 2017). "Patty Hearst a double winner at the Westminster dog show". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- Marks, Andrea (January 22, 2018). "'Radical Story of Patty Hearst': Inside New CNN Docuseries". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (2016). American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Knopf Doubleday. ISBN 9780385536714.
- Graebner, William (2008). Patty's Got a Gun: Patricia Hearst in 1970s America. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226305226.
Media related to Patty Hearst at Wikimedia Commons