Remember the excessive medial coverage of a certain heiress being sent to jail for a few weeks the other year for a DUI (Drinking Under the Influence)? Well, the unfortunate fate of Ms Hotel Heiress fades in comparisation with that of heiress Patti Hearst. It's not difficult to picture that the Hearst saga must have created some serious headlines in the press and media waves worldwide in the 70's, of when it's dated.

Patti Hearst is the mother of model Lydia Hearst and heiress of newspaper publishing giant William Randolph Hearst (on whom the character of Charles Foster Kane in Orson Wells' Citizen Kane was supposedly based) and was in 1974 at the age of 19 captivated by gunpoint from her appartment for ransom money by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The SLA was a left-wing urban guerilla group that committed bank robberies and various acts of violence. The SLA orginially conditioned Hearst's realease by the release of jailed members of the group but later demanded the Hearst family to make a donation of $70 million worth of food to needy Californians. A small portion of the demand was met by the family which did not result in a subsequent release.

Later Patti Hearst announced on audiotape that she was no victim and had joined her captors in their aim "of freedom of all opressed people" and would be assuming the pseudonym "Tania". Patti Hearst a.k.a Tania participated in a robbery of a branch of the Hibernia Bank (founded by the family of her close friend Patricia Tobin) which wounded two people who were shot. The videotape from the surveillance system saw Hearst entering the bank with other members of the SLA holding a rifle and yelling: "I'm Tania. Up against the wall, motherfuckers!". The group fled only a few minutes later.
At one point the police surrounded a house where many of the SLA members were residing which led to a shoot-out ending in six of the members getting killed and the house burning down in flames (which could be seen live on TV) Hearst was arrested by the FBI 18 months after her kidnapping and when asked about her occupation she stated "Urban guerilla". Adding to an already sensational story and cashing-in on the insatiability of its readers TIME magazine even manipulated her mugshot before publishing it, making it look like Hearst had been beaten and was drugged at the time of her being caught. Her trial was called "the trial of the century" and she was sent to prison on the charges of armed bank robbery and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

After serving two years of jail time her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. Heart claimed she had been brainwashed by the group and also been victimized by rape and abuse. Hearst however initially refused to provide evidence against members of the SLA.. In his last official act of office President Bill Clinton granted Hearst a full pardon.

Postat av: Kosh

Ja, jävlar vilken grej det måste ha varit à l'époque alltså. Still enjoy reading about this case.

2009-05-09 @ 12:57:02
Postat av: Ash

"I'm Tania. Up against the wall, motherfuckers!"

2009-05-09 @ 13:04:55

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