Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Do you remember the Symbianese Liberation Army?  I recall that it was the topic of discussion in the teachers' lounge on certain cold, winter days in 1974.

The most-noted member of the group was poor little rich girl, Patty Hearst who was kidnapped by the group and later joined them in their criminal activities, including the robbing of a bank which was owned by the family of Patty's one-time best friend.

Following a year on the FBI most wanted list, Ms. Hearst was arrested on September 18, 1975.  Following her trial, she served 22 months in prison before the sentence was commuted by President Carter.  Her criminal record was expunged when President Clinton granted her a pardon.

Most any discussion of the case will eventually evoke the phrase "Stockholm Syndrome," and conversely discussions of Stockholm Syndrome will often evoke the name Patty Hearst.

Ms. Hearst has written memoirs, has pursued an erstwhile acting career and is currently a wife and mother of two children living in New York State.


Shelly said...

I was in middle school then and I remember discussing it in current events. It was hard to understand the Stockholm syndrome. I am glad Patty seems to have lived a fulfilling life since then~

Vee said...

Interesting case. Had she been poor, she would, no doubt, have served out her term rather than being released and becoming a productive citizen. Which prompts me to comment that I don't think our justice system works well.

Secondary Roads said...

Yes I remember Patty and the SLA. I followed the story on shortwave radio. Sylvia, the boys and I were living in Ecuador at the time. American Forces Radio and Television Service had a shortwave transmitter on a Caribbean island, and I had great reception. It was our means of keeping in touch with news from the states.

vanilla said...

Shelly, I think the Stockholm syndrome is a difficult concept.

Vee, that is almost a certainty. Lots of questions.

Chuck, it was good that you were able to stay in contact with the home territory!

Sharkbytes said...

Yes? Back then I thought it was a pretty lame excuse for typical 1970s behavior. Now, I guess I understand it better.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, perhaps I've not gotten my thinking out of the seventies yet.