Anybody around L.A. when this was going on? Was it a scary or freaky time?
Did it compare to the Manson murders?
What was going in LA at the time that so many weird cult things were taking place (Manson Family/SLA/Jonestown)?
SLA was up in Northern CA. Their downfall was coming to LA (the police were much more aggressive, the black community didn't want them around or tolerate them like they did in SF, their neighbors in South Central actually turned them in to the cops.)
Watch the documentary "Guerilla" for the complete SLA story.
and Jonestown originated in San Fran too I believe.
Yes, I watched the SLA’s fiery shootout live on channel 7, the local ABC news station. It was every bit as scarey as the 1997 North Hollywood Bank of America shootout which was aired live on tv. Also watched the Rodney King riots where they yanked the guy out of his cement truck & beat the holy shit out of him. (Insert Randy Newman's I LOVE LA)
I think the shootout was carried live all over. Wasn't it?
(in the documentary they credit the Hearst case as starting the 24 hour tabloid media we have nowadays.)
I'm guessing the Hearst case didn't affect people as much as the Manson family because most people weren't rich heiresses who feared kidnapping.
The Manson family and their home invasions scared everyone. I still get a little weird watching stuff about Manson.
I feel you R4.
There are many people still living in LA who quietly shudder and politely steer the conversation away whenever the word Manson is mentioned.
My BF at the time and I drove over to the SLA shoot out in Compton just for the silly fun of it. Rather uneventful in that the house caught fire almost immediately.
Manson had a far greater impact on LA. I recall it was during his reign and fall when all the driveway gates started going up in Bev Hills.
Where are the Harrises nowadays?
I thought my 8th grade English teacher was Patty Hearst who was underground at the time. They looked a lot alike!
I worked at a hotel where Patty Hearst stayed while on the run. (this was many years later) I still thought this was the coolest thing and would sometimes tell guests about it. Sort of like George Washington Slept Here...Patty Hearst slept here!!!
Drunk history of Patty Hearst at link.
I was young at the time, but I remember the photos of her in the bank were on all the news channels and stories for such a long time. The still photos of her in the robbery were the only images they had to use.
It became iconic in a way. There was a lot of controversy at the time whether she was a willing participant or not.
I've always had an interest in her. Who knew her daughter would become a well-known model?
For me, it was scarier in the SFBA. There was the very violent (for then) murder of Marcus Foster, and the Hibernia Bank heist that took place just blocks from my school.
I've tried to give Hearst the benefit of the doubt all through the years, but I think she was a rich sociopath getting even with mummie & daddums. If her name was Smith or Jones, she'd be awaiting her umpteenth parole hearing.
White privilege is a myth-class privilege is an undeniable reality.
The LA police museum has a cool Hearst exhibit (permanent I think) with SLA artifacts. They also have a replica of the closet where she was kept (seriously). I highly recommend it.
I remember watching the final shoot out here in LA. But I also recall it was getting dark, so it was hard to see everything going on. But it was exciting to watch on live TV.
I was in college at the time in Los Angeles. Patty Hearst and the kidnapping were in the news daily. First the kidnapping of someone so prominent in the United States and then the drama of the SLA and Hiberna Bank robbery up north with the (in)famous photos of Patty H. with a machine gun or rifle The demand for a food handout by her parents to appease the kidnappers.
It was like the Lindberg baby kidnapping of our time.
[quote]If her name was Smith or Jones, she'd be awaiting her umpteenth parole hearing.
I don't know. The rest of the SLA got off pretty light.
[quote]I've tried to give Hearst the benefit of the doubt all through the years, but I think she was a rich sociopath getting even with mummie & daddums.
By most accounts she was a pretty a political almost vapid girl in her youth and even immediatly prior to the abduction she was all about planning her wedding. I think time and the Moromon girl, the Cleveland girls etc. have shown other people going thru the same stuff. Some of her detractors just seem to be into class warfare...the rich are bad the poor good. Sounds kind of like the SLA.... (sorry r14 I don't mean you....)
Greetings to the people! This is Tania. I want to talk about the way I knew our six murdered comrades because the fascist pig media have of course been painting a typically distorted picture of these beautiful sisters and brothers.
Cinque was in a race with time believing that every minute must be another step forward in the fight to save the children!
Gelina was beautiful. She taught me how to fight the enemy within through her constant struggle with bourgeois conditioning.
Gabi crouched low with her ass to the ground. She practiced until her shotgun was an extension of her right and left arms.
Zoya, female guerrilla. Perfect love and perfect hate reflected in stone cold eyes.
Fahizah taught me to shoot first and make sure the pig is dead before splitting. She was wise and bad!
Cujo was the gentlest, most beautiful man I've ever known. He taught me the truth as he learned it from the beautiful brothers in California's concentration camps! Neither Cujo or I had ever loved an individual the way we loved each other. Our relationships foundation was our commitment to the struggle and our love for the People!
I died in that fire on 54th Street, but out of the ashes I was reborn! I know what I have to do.
Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the people!
Do you have the one where she tells off Steve Weed r19? my favorite!!!!
The people are gross. Yuck.
Patty Hearst was before my time, but I've noticed that many gay men who were around back then, whether they were adults or teens, were obsessed with every detail. John Waters was one of them. I've known quite a few gay men who are now in their 50s or 60s who to this day can recite every detail of the whole drama surrounding Patty Hearst and the SLA.
Patty Hearst post kidnapping has been in at least two John Waters films usually as a cameo like John Waters. They are friends. I think Patty Hearst must have great sense of humor as I also like all the John Waters films and find them ironic and hilarious.
As for my ex-fiancé, the fact is, I don't care if I ever see him again. During the last few months, Steven has shown himself to be a sexist, ageist pig.
Mom should get out of her black dress, that doesn't help at all.
"This is Tania" would be a great name for a band.
There is something campy and funny about taking a vapid socialite and making her an anti-establishment guerrilla in a beret. It actually sounds like a John Waters film. I do pity Hearst and hope she got it together after her ordeal.
was there ever a comedic take on the Hearst kidnapping? on film? TV?
We could cast Lohan....
Patty was better in the role of Patty than Natasha Richardson was....I always thought Richardson was great then I heard Patty herself read the letters herself. She really brought a lot to them.
I see why John Waters cast her!!
[quote]There is something campy and funny about taking a vapid socialite and making her an anti-establishment guerrilla in a beret. It actually sounds like a John Waters film.
He already made it--it was called "Cecil B. Demented" (but it was a vapid actress, not a vapid socialite; and it was terrible).
"Pity Hearst" would be a great name for a band
I have some info on the Hearst famliy. I grew up in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gossip about the Hearsts famliy was always floating around. Here is some small pieces of gossip on the Hearsts that I have heard.
I knew this lady whose father was the Hearst famliy gardener and she played with Patty a lot. She said she was the same age as Patty and Patty's parents always invited her to Patty's birthday parties even though she was the gardener's daughter and they were always very nice to her and her parents. She said Patty's parents were always traveling around the world shopping, and just jet setting leaving behind Patty who was very lonely. Her parents were mainly present on Patty's birthday though.Most of the time Patty was raised by her nannies. Patty's parents had a whole floor designed to the scale of child size. This lady said it was like a small Disneyland and it was incredible. She said the bathroom sink, working kitchen, everything was child size. She said the two of them played for hours on that floor of the mansion. She also said that Patty was really nice ,but she could be bossy.
My sister used to work at the Emporium in Palo Alto ,and her boss would work in the Palo Alto Emporium and the San Fransisco Emporium as well. My sister's boss said they hired Patty Hearst, and she said Patty was so bored, lazy, and just didn't want to work.
My brother once owned a security business years ago, and he and some of his employees had to watch some factory that was closed at night located way out in an industrial area. He said one night a limo pulled up and he and his fellow employees looked at each other like, what the hell? they knocked on the back door of the limo and Patty Hearst appeared as the door opened ,and an empty champagne bottle rolled out on to the ground. She was so drunk and a guy was with her in the back as well. The were having sex in the back seat. My brother said, told her that this was private property and you have to leave. Patty had an attitude like, whatever. She wasn't nasty at all just kind of like, what is the big deal. So they drove off and left the premises immediately.
Here is one more small piece of gossip if anyone is interested. My aunt was a nurse at a hospital, and she had a lot of fun going to work everyday because not only did she love being a nurse, but she worked on the floor where the rich and famous stayed. She loved to see what rich or famous person was going to come in for a face lift, etc. Patty Hearst parents came in ,and her mother had to have some surgery. My aunt had to assist Mrs. Hearst with the paper work that day and she asked her what was her date of birth? Mrs. Hearst made a face at my aunt like, don't ask that question. She sat there ,and just would not answer the question. Mrs. Hearst husband said, OK, I'll leave because you don't want me to know your age. He just shook his head and sighed going to the other room.
What is Emporium? Were the clothing stores? Surprised Patty ever had to get a job.
The Emporium was a California department store. It was a little bit below the Macy's level. I think Patty's parents wanted her to learn how to be independent and have some responsibility.
I was around back then. There was a lot of attention paid, although you have to remember that media coverage of any event was fairly limited compared to today. I and many other friends followed the events closely. It was pretty sensational and scary and ridiculous all at the same time. It was camp come to life. R23 isn't exaggerating the effect it had.
The trial was covered every day on the front page of every newspaper. I still remember one day the huge headline on the front of the Memphis Press-Scimitar (long gone) was PATTY: TOLD I WOULD DIE IF FBI FOUND ANY HIDEOUT. Good times.
I've read a good bit about the SLA since then. The members seemed to have been to my mind--at best--very drab and witless and extremely impressionable.
My uncle was a SF police inspector who was involved with the case. He died awhile ago. I wish I got a chance to get some info from him. He was involved in a lot of high profile cases in SF in the 60's and 70's. We thought he was a very cool guy when we were kids.
Patty got one phone call. Did she call her father?
Are Patty's parents still living? They would have to be ancient by now if they are.
no r39. They divorced and the father remarried but both are dead now.
[quote]I worked at a hotel where Patty Hearst stayed while on the run. (this was many years later) I still thought this was the coolest thing and would sometimes tell guests about it.
Weren't they hiding out on Harbor Blvd., right across from Disneyland, for a while? I always thought that was very odd.
yes r41. This was later on when she was travelling across the country with the Harrises.
I am glad Patty Hearst was pardoned. Bottom Line - she was kidnapped, taken from her home against her will.
The SLA was completely different then Jones and the religious nut cases.
[quote]I am glad Patty Hearst was pardoned. Bottom Line - she was kidnapped, taken from her home against her will.
I too am glad she was pardoned. She never should have been convicted. I think it was envy against the rich that worked against her.
Did they ever file rape charges against her captures or were the captures killed?
I loved Patty in, "Serial Mom".
[quote]Did they ever file rape charges against her captures or were the captures killed?
The two who raped her were both killed. The prosecution was all about getting her. Hearst was mad that she was the only one prosecuted for the bankrobbery. They just never bothered to try the Harrises.
Honey, even Patty Hearst couldn't "pull off" a beret, and she had money and a gun.
She became an interesting woman as she aged. She became convinced she was a freak and that no one could ever take her seriously again, which is one reason why she was willing to do John Waters' films when he approached her. She loved doing them, and I think few would say she is anything less than the standout in the entirety of "Cry Baby" and that she also steals the show at the end of "Serial Mom" (for reasons known only to him, he gave her nearly nothing to do in "Pecker" and "A Dirty Shame").
Her daughters are now models/socialities, and despite marrying her bodyguard she is herself prominent in the Connecticut social scene, though she does not keep a heavy profile. She's still both traumatized and embarrassed by what happened to her, but she does keep a sense of humor.
I've always wanted to know if she ever met with Steve Weed after she was arrested and had some sort of coming to understanding with him. he was a strange man--he tried to be the central figure in the early weeks of her kidnapping until her family decided they were sick of them (he was NOCD--she was engaged to him merely because he was her teacher at Berkeley).
I love you R20.
What is NOCD?
I was looking thru youtube things a few months ago when I started getting really interested in the case-----I believe I saw a Larry King interview where she says she has never spoken to Weed since the night of the kidnapping. (not quite sure though so don't quote me.)
NOCD: Not Our Class, Dear. What your Mother says to you under her breath when you bring home a slut for dinner.
I always liked the food distribution via Safeway stores. In fact, between the beret, Safeway, Bank of America, and hiding out by Disneyland, the whole thing had this wonderful "the revolution is coming, but it's being run by the Rotary Club " feel to it.
[quote](in the documentary they credit the Hearst case as starting the 24 hour tabloid media we have nowadays.)
I'd say this is a bit of an exaggeration, but there's a ring of truth to it. I was a kid growing up in N. California when this whole drama unfolded. I'd say the first 15 and sometimes 20 minutes of both the national and local newscasts were devoted to the kidnapping, the SLA, etc. Remember these were the times were there were only two evening newscasts that were half an hour each. And it seemed to go on for months.
The food distribution that R54 mentions was part of the SLA's ransom demands. The trucks pulled up to a distribution location in Oakland were completely mobbed by a crowd of people that overwhelmed whatever security there was. It practically became riot. It was nuts.
[quote]They just never bothered to try the Harrises.
Eventually, they did. They were tried for the murder during a bank robbery in Carmichael (Sacramento suburb)
[quote]Opsahl murder charges. For over 25 years no one was charged in the Opsahl murder. The SLA wore wigs and masks during the Crocker Bank robbery, and left little evidence behind. However, with new forensics techniques, the FBI was eventually able to link shotgun pellets removed from Opsahl's body to shotgun shells found in an SLA hideout. Additional evidence mounted, and in 2002 Harris and three other SLA members were charged with the Opsahl murder. Harris's bail was set at one million US dollars, which her supporters quickly gathered.
Three former SLA members who had been granted immunity - Hearst, Steven Soliah, and Wendy Yoshimura - were set to testify for the prosecution in the Opsahl case.
[quote]Facing a possible conviction, Harris and the others pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Harris was sentenced to eight additional years in prison; Bill Harris was sentenced to seven years and Kathleen Soliah and Michael Bortin were each sentenced to six years for their roles.
That was the second robbery r55, after the fire had killed most of the SLa and Opshal and some others joined.
The Harrises were never tried for the first one were Patty made her first appearance as Tania, yet Patty was....odd.
The Harris lady was the one who was found living upstanding in Colorado (?) and thought she should not have to answer for her actions because she went clean. She had just been on the lamb for decades after doing dangerous deeds and hostile acts against society.
No r57...that was Opsahl AKA Sara Jane Moore
Harris was arrested with Hearst and sent to prison for her kidnapping and then was rearrested with Opsahl recently and sent to prison again for the murder at the Sacremento bank.
r58 the same Sara Jane Moore who tried to kill President Ford?
oops Sara Jane Olson...(sorry)
strangely enough Sarah Jane Moore was at the rally that Sara Jane Olson held to speak out against the killing of her friend Angela Atwood(the character played by Dana Delaney n the Natasha Richardson film)
Weird, r60. Makes me think about John Hinkley who shot Ronald Reagan and having Jody Foster obsession and his family knowing the Reagans and Bin Laddin family knowing Bush family and leaving on last flight out of U.S. airspace on 9 11.
I remember a local hotel had "Welcome Patty Hearst" above their Occupancy sign while she was on the run with the SLA for a while. This was in NC. Still not sure what that was all about but I thought it was funny at the time
Patty Hearst was a liar lez and she did it with the SLA girls.
Right, R56. Point is that they did jail time for both the kidnapping and another robbery/murder. They did get just deserts in the end.
[quote]I think the shootout was carried live all over. Wasn't it?
Yes it was. My best friend Barbara and I were obsessed with this case. I even bought Patty's book.
Highly recommended if you can catch it sometime on Encore network or, you can watch it on youtube: The Search for Patty Hearst. This was a two part NBC movie with Dennis Weaver as the lead FBI detective.
Sara Jane Olson, aka Kathleen Ann Soliah, is an incredibly arrogant woman. She somehow managed to leave her SLA past behind her and become a well-to-do housewife and actress in community theater in Saint Paul, MN. She insisted she should not be put in jail because she had had to spend 20 years on the run, but she was imprisoned anyway. She is currently back on parole in St. Paul.
[quote]The Harris lady was the one who was found living upstanding in Colorado (?) and thought she should not have to answer for her actions because she went clean. She had just been on the lamb for decades after doing dangerous deeds and hostile acts against society.
Your description made be think of Katherine Ann Power who was with the Weather Underground. She was originally from Colorado and was a fugitive in Oregon for over 20 years. She turned herself in, though.
Nobody believed Heart's claims that she was "forced" to do everything the SLA wanted her to do. She joined the SLA, of her own free will.
On the she claimed she "couldn't stand" Willie Wolfe aka Cujo. But on one of the tapes she sent she talked of their great love, and claimed she had some kind of Olmec monkey tailsman he'd given her: "he gave me the little stone face one night." The monkey face was found in her purse when she was arrested. By way of explanation she said that she was old the thing was thousands of years old and that she would never throw away anything that was that old. Yeah, right!
She's an arrogant, stuck up rich girl. Of course John Waters would be attracted to her and put her in his films. He likes very nasty, very horrible people. If his good friend Leslie Van Houten ever got out of prison, he'd put her in his movies, too.
[quote]Nobody believed Heart's claims that she was "forced" to do everything the SLA wanted her to do.
And we're the ones who count, not you.
It is hard from a present day perspective to understand how middle class suburban kids got mixed up in the SLA. Did they really think they were helping the poor? Were they drug addicts like the Manson gang?
Gee the Hearst's had 5 daughters.
Emily Harris turned lesbian!
so why does Patty still hate Steven Weed?
Is there a good book about what the parents/family went thru?