September 18, 2019: Patty Hearst


Today is Wednesday September eighteenth two thousand nineteen on this day in nineteen seventy five. I've Patricia Hurtado was arrested by the FBI after close to two years on the run but TRICIA was a newspaper heiress a criminal and a self proclaimed urban guerrilla but she's most famous for being the controversial poster child for Stockholm Syndrome welcome to today and true crime. I'm a podcast original. Every day. We flip back the calendar to this date years ago and recount one event from true crime history due due to the graphic nature of today's crimes. Listener discretion is advised. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. I'm Vanessa Richardson then and today I'm joined by our guest host. Greg Poulsen Greg and I co host to other park cast originals serial killers and cults. He's here to discuss some the historical aspects of Patricia her arrest while I'll cover the narrative pillow everyone I'm thrilled to dive into the story of Patricia hearst now. Let's go back to September Eighteenth nineteen seventy five in the early afternoon. Uh Patricia hearst and Wendy Yoshimura sat at their San Francisco go kitchen table heads bent over a sheet of paper reading. Wendy's looping script. It was a letter to Wendy's ex-boyfriend Willy Brandt who had introduced her to the radical leftist seen in Oakland California he was in jail now like so many of Patricia and Wendy's radical friends lovers and colleagues. They were all in jail or dead. It seemed but Wendy wasn't the young college girl Willie had met back in the sixties with stars in her eyes for a handsome boy with things to teach her her letter reflected that now she had a bone to pick with the men who'd radicalized realized her men who spoke equality but upheld the patriarchy at every turn but tricia nodded emphatically and earnestly earnestly as Wendy talked about the letter Patricia loved these long days spent together in the apartment talking about feminism and men and the future future of America they were working on a feminist manifesto but Patricia for all her radical Gusto was also glad they were taking it slow thinking carefully about every word they put to paper it was time to step back from the war and her radical colleagues who still l. insisted on a chauvinistic version of political action the world would never really change with those guys in charge even so oh the days of building and exploding bombs weren't that far behind her and the guns well there were two carbines in the closet and a shotgun on in the Bedroom Patricia new the FBI was looking for her and even on the quietest day at the kitchen table table reading and writing and wondering what they would have for dinner there was a nagging tension tugging at the back of her neck a constant worry three that something was right behind her Wendy Interrupting Patricia thoughts what to the sink for a glass of water. The TRICIA stood up to stretching when they were here freeze. FBI Patricia did did freeze for a moment her mind racing. They found her but her gun she'd go down fighting like her comrades had taught her rather than rot in jail she started to run towards the bedroom but agents had already arrived in the kitchen and they had a gun on pointed at. Wendy's head freeze the FBI repeated this time they added. I'll blow her head off. Patricia stopped abruptly she turned back to look at Wendy. The two women made contact Patricia heartfelt like it would beat right out of her chest. She needed to think like Wendy. Not like those chauvinist who tottered a fight at all costs she needed to be smart not proud so many of the people she'd loved this past year were already dead at the hands of these pigs but she he and Wendy would live she surrendered the two women were escorted out of the apartment without a fight a physical one anyway but Patricia wasn't done fighting for change and justice as she stepped out of the FBI's car the downtown downtown federal building surrounded by reporters and photographers. She held up her right fist as high as she could in handcuffs she was giving the revolutionary salute and that evening when she arrived at the San Mateo County jail shortly before eight PM. She told the clerk doc booking her into the facility that her profession was urban guerrilla. Her struggle was far from over coming up. Patricia hearst trial initiates a nationwide conversation about psychological manipulation and permanently lately impacts the way law enforcement thinks about hostages now back to the store on September Eighteenth Nineteen nineteen seventy five twenty one year old Patricia hearst was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco California her arrest marked the the end of a year long search would started as a kidnapping recovery ended as an investigation into her violent crimes. Greg will take us through the rest of this story. Thanks Vanessa on February Fourth Nineteen seventy-four Patricia was abducted by the Symbionese Liberation Army or the SLA a radical group of leftists that believe violence was the only way to end racial and economic injustice in America the SLA lake committed murder and bank robbery as well as kidnappings within a few months of her capture. Patricia was robbing banks with the rest of them seemingly a convert convert to the SLA's revolutionary goals and their violent approach to achieving them but on May Seventeenth nineteen seventy four most of the SLA members I including their leader. Donald freeze died in a violent shootout with the FBI instead of returning to her family. Patricia went on the run with the few remaining members of the UCLA she spent the next year and a half as a fugitive over the course of those long months her politics started to change change largely as a result of conversations with feminist Wendy Yushi Maura and other female radicals these changes pulled her away from the remaining members of the SLA SLA whom she saw as chauvinistic but she never abandoned the radicalism she adopted amongst her captors back in nineteen seventy four immediately after her arrest on September Eighteenth Nineteen Seventy-five Patricia stuck to her revolutionary guns but metaphorical ones anyway the crimes she committed she committed in the name of justice and did the pursuit of a better America for all but as time went on a new new narrative emerged from Patricia and the excellent lawyers her wealthy family hired for her. She was a victim when she was kidnapped and she never stopped being a victim. All of her crimes were the result of psychological manipulation and something called Stockholm Syndrome Stockholm. Dot Com Syndrome is now a well known psychological concept but it was a new idea the time of Patricia hearst's arrest in nineteen seventy five the syndrome is is defined as feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage taking by victim toward a captor purchase lawyers argued argued that their client was psychologically manipulated and abused into identifying with her kidnappers decision to join the SLA and commit crimes with them was the product of Stockholm Syndrome as a result. They argued. She was not culpable for her actions. The argument fascinated America but the public was divided as to its validity some people bought it and felt sympathy for everything Patricia had been through others Sarah's a wayward enrich curl benefiting from a strange inventions of crafty lawyers. They called Stockholm Syndrome a fanciful excuse for real criminal activity. The jury took the Ladder Line of Reasoning Patricia was sentenced to seven years in prison for bank robbery. Although President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence after twenty twenty one months thanks to an appeal from her wealthy powerful parents but the failure Patricia hearst's defense in court is belied by just how popular it has been outside of the courtroom and its long-term far reaching influence the her story is now generally considered a classic example of Stockholm Syndrome which has become much more widely accepted as legitimate psychological phenomenon since the seventies today law enforcement agencies agencies actually encourage it in hostage situations even though it can make rescue more difficult hostages. Stockholm central often stop wanting to be rescued dude they start to fear law enforcement even more than their captors but if they come to admire or even join their captors at least their odds of survival increase. Greece and in today's do a hostage turned criminal is better than a murdered hostage while Patricia didn't benefit from today's more sympathetic attitudes towards Stockholm Syndrome during her trial it's in large part thanks to her and her widely publicized story that Stockholm Syndrome has has become a household term. Patricia hearst changed the landscape of clinical psychology and revolutionized the way American law enforcement and courts approach hostage cases. She may not have changed the world in exactly the way she claims she would as a part of the La but she changed it nonetheless the less. I'm Vanessa Richardson. Thanks Again Greg for joining me today. Thanks thanks for having me you can find our podcasts cult sand serial killers on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts for more information on the life and Crimes Times of Patricia hearst check out the episodes of female criminals and hostage that cover her experience as well as the cult's episodes on the Symbionese Liberation Liberation Army and Donald Freeze today in true crime is a podcast original. You can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music but now spotify making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast asked originals like today and true crime for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream today in true crime on spotify. Just open the APP and anti type today in true crime in the search bar at podcast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll be back with a brand new episode tomorrow in True Crime. Today in true crime was created by Max Cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the podcast network it is produced by Max and Ron Cutler sound designed by Russell Nash Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro Paul molitor Maggie admire and Freddie Beckley. This episode of today in True Crime was written by Nora Patel. I'm Vanessa Richardson.

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