How Patty Hearst Went From Kidnapping Victim to Armed Guerrilla


41 years ago today, on February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley, CA apartment by members of an urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. Two months after she was abducted Hearst— the granddaughter of the real life “Citizen Kane,” publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst—had joined the SLA, adopted the the name “Tania” as her nom de guerre and was robbing a San Francisco bank with a M1 carbine. Hearst’s kidnapping and subsequent conversion riveted the nation—Was it Stockholm Syndrome? Brainwashing? The last gasp of sixties radicalism?

In October of the next year, Rolling Stone featured an explosive cover story, “Tania’s World: An Insider’s Account of Patty Hearst on the Run.” Below is a short excerpt from Howard Kohn and David Weir’s account of her life as a fugitive with the SLA, detailing her moment of conversion.

Patty was shown a long list of the Hearst family…

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