The bizarre abduction of Patty Hearst

History of Sorts

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On February 4  1974, 19-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was abducted from the apartment she shared with her fiancée in Berkeley, California.

Stephen Weed, Hearst’s fiance, was beaten unconscious by the two abductors. Soon, a ransom demand came from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a radical activist group led by Donald DeFreeze.. But a few short months later, Patty Hearst appeared to be on their side.

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On March 5, 1973, Donald DeFreeze escaped from prison. Radical penal activists and future SLA members Russell Little and William Wolfe took DeFreeze to Patricia Soltysik’s house.The SLA was led by DeFreeze, who, after a prison acquaintance named Wheeler left, was the only African American in the group. By the time the group became active, most of the members of the tiny group were women, some of whom have, like Soltysik and her roommate Nancy Ling Perry, been described as in lesbian relationships. The members included William and Emily Harris and…

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