Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Patricia Campbell Hearst, also Patty Hearst (born February 20, 1954), now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is a granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst. She was the victim of a kidnapping, but soon afterwards acted as a criminal herself: she robbed a bank and had to spend time in prison.
She was kidnapped February 4, 1974 from her Berkeley, California apartment by an urban guerilla terrorist group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. When the attempt to prisoner-swap Hearst for jailed SLA members failed, the SLA made ransom demands which resulted in the donation by the Hearst family of $6 million worth of food to the poor of the Bay Area. After the distribution of food Hearst was not released.
Shortly thereafter on April 15, 1974, she was photographed wielding an assault rifle while robbing the Sunset branch of the Hibernia Bank. Later communications from her revealed that she had changed her name to Tania and was committed to the goals of the SLA. A warrant was issued for her arrest and in September 1975, she was arrested in an apartment with other SLA members.
In her trial, which started on January 15, 1976, Hearst claimed she had been locked blindfolded in a closet and physically and sexually abused, which caused her to join the SLA, an extreme case of the "Stockholm syndrome," in which captives become sympathetic with their captors. Hearst further argued she was coerced or intimidated into her part in the bank robbery.
The defense did not succeed and she was convicted of bank robbery on March 20. Her sentence was eventually commuted by President Jimmy Carter and Hearst was released from prison on February 1, 1979. Later she was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in January, 2001, during the final weeks of his presidency.
After her release from prison, Hearst married her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw. She now lives quietly with her husband and two daughters in Connecticut.
Her attorney, Albert Johnson of Boston, is currently handling the appeal of Pamela Smart before a federal court.
Hearst tells her version of events beginning with her kidnapping by the SLA in her memoir Every Secret Thing.
is a documentary made in 2004; it was first called Neverland, but the name had to be changed because of possible confusion with the feature film J.M. Barrie's Neverland.
- Boulton, David. The Making Of Tania Hearst. Bergenfield, N.J., U.S.A.: New American Library, 1975. 224+ p., ill., ports., facsim., index, 22 cm. Also published: London, G.B.: New English Library, 1975.
- Hearst, Patty, with Alvin Moscow, Patty Hearst: Her Own Story, New York: Avon, 1982. ISBN 0380706512. This was the title after the movie came out. Original title: Every Secret Thing.
- Weed, Steven, with Scott Swanton. My Search for Patty Hearst, New York: Warner, 1976. Weed was Hearst's boyfriend at time of kidnap.
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