Patty Hearst

Patty Hearst

2018
100" x 60”
Archival print

Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954), granddaughter of American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, became internationally known for events following her 1974 kidnapping and physical violation by a domestic American terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hearst was found nineteen months after being abducted, by which time she was a fugitive wanted for serious crimes. She was held in custody, despite speculation that her family's resources would prevent her from spending time in jail. At her trial, the prosecution suggested that she had joined the Symbionese Liberation Army of her own volition. Hearst said she had been raped and threatened with death. She was found guilty of bank robbery. Hearst's sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and she was pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

On April 15, 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army led by Donald David DeFreeze, robbed the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco, all of which was recorded on surveillance video. Hearst, seen wielding an M1 carbine, announced herself under her pseudonym of Tania. Two men who entered the bank while the robbery was occurring were shot and wounded. 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 all participation in the robbery may have been voluntary, clarifying an earlier comment of his 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.[27] A grand jury indicted her for the robbery in June 1974.