“Around 9 o’clock in the evening on February 4, 1974, there was a knock on the door of apartment #4 at 2603 Benvenue Street in Berkeley, California. In burst a group of men and women with their guns drawn. They grabbed a surprised 19-year-old college student named Patty Hearst, beat up her fiancé, threw her in the trunk of their car and drove off.”
-Federal Bureau of Investigation
It’s been over 10 years since the charges against publishing heiress Lydia Hearst were officially pardoned. The world would rock and shake in 1974 with news that the granddaughter of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army- dangerous domestic terrorists who had proclaimed war on the United States of America- creating an instant sensation across the Nation.
“I was horrified and I’m still horrified.”
Patty would be driven to extremes while held in captivity, where she was ultimately brainwashed into joining her captors. In fact, thirty plus years later, Patty has become the pop cultural icon for Stockholm Syndrome.
When you see the surveillance photos of the young mousy heiress screaming at customers at Hibernia Bank holding her own assault weapons- she definitely looks the part, a poster child for the revolution. Very ‘Prada Meinhoff’ – radical chic. “California Heiress renounces her blood lines and wants to fight for freedom”- SENSATION!
The brainwashing would also lead her to drop the Patty and become “Tania” (OK?).
Patty would go through hell and back being the only member of the SLA who would be put on trial for the crimes. Talk about sensationalism. Having gone through physical and sexual abuse, as well as typical signs of “Stockholm Syndrome” prevelant, Hearst would serve 22 months in prison before being released by President Jimmy Carter February 1, 1979.
We can only imagine the emotions Patty went through then, and to this day. How different could this young beauty’s life have been?
Fashion people LOVE a good story, so it’s no surprise Patty’s drop dead gorgeous daughter Lydia was able to make a splash in the fashion world. Possessing Patty’s unique bone structure, her daughter has been adding fresh vitality and positivity to the Hearst name for the good part of the 21st Century.
Hearst. The name that just keeps giving! (Glad that she changed her name back to Patty).
[Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane”]
I wrote about Patricia Heast on my blog here.
Whoever decided to, and did, hold Patty Hearst responsible and prosecute her, should have been shot.
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