NATIONAL NEWS

Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped 50 years ago. Now she’s famous for her dogs

Feb 3, 2024, 10:56 PM

FILE - Accompanied by deputy U.S. Marshal John Brophy, Patricia "Patty" Hearst, center, leaves the ...

FILE - Accompanied by deputy U.S. Marshal John Brophy, Patricia "Patty" Hearst, center, leaves the Federal building on April 12, 1976, in San Francisco, hours after her sentencing on a bank robbery conviction. The newspaper heiress was kidnapped at gunpoint 50 years ago Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a little-known armed revolutionary group. The 19-year-old college student's infamous abduction in Berkeley, Cali., led to Hearst joining forces with her captors for the 1974 bank robbery. Hearst, granddaughter of wealthy newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, will turn 70 on Feb. 20. (AP Photo, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Newspaper heiress Patricia “Patty” Hearst was kidnapped at gunpoint 50 years ago Sunday by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a little-known armed revolutionary group. The 19-year-old college student’s infamous abduction in Berkeley, California, led to Hearst joining forces with her captors for a 1974 bank robbery that earned her a prison sentence.

Hearst, granddaughter of wealthy newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, will turn 70 on Feb. 20. She is now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw after she married a police officer who guarded her when she was out on bail, the late Bernard Shaw. She has been in the news in recent years for her dogs, mostly French bulldogs, that have won prizes in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Hearst’s allegiance to the Symbionese Liberation Army raised questions about Stockholm syndrome, a common term deployed to describe the bond that victims of kidnappings or hostage situations sometimes develop with their captors.

Stockholm syndrome got its name from an August 1973 failed bank robbery in Sweden’s capital. Rather than a diagnosis of a disorder, experts describe it as a psychological coping mechanism used by some hostages to endure being held captive and abused.

Hearst, who went by the name “Tania” in the group, denounced her family and posed for a photograph carrying a weapon in front of their flag. The self-styled radicals viewed aspects of U.S. society as racist and oppressive, and they were accused of killing a California school superintendent.

As a member of a wealthy and powerful family, Hearst was kidnapped to bring attention to the Symbionese Liberation Army, according to the FBI. The group demanded food and money donations for the poor in exchange for Hearst’s release, though she remained a captive even after her family met the ransom through a $2 million food distribution program.

Hearst took part in the group’s robbery of a San Francisco bank on April 15, 1974. Surveillance cameras captured her wielding an assault rifle during the crime.

She wasn’t arrested until the FBI caught up with her on Sept. 18, 1975, in San Francisco, 19 months after her abduction.

Her trial was one of the most sensational of that decade. The prosecutor played a jail cell recording of Hearst talking with a friend in which she was confident, cursing and fully aware of her role with the Symbionese Liberation Army.

While Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison, President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence in 1979 after she served 22 months behind bars. She later was pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

National News

Associated Press

Man accused of holding girlfriend captive in Minnesota college dorm room reaches plea deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A man who was accused of holding his girlfriend captive in her dorm room at a Minnesota college for three days while raping, beating and waterboarding her has reached a plea deal that calls for a sentence of up to 7 1/2 years. Keanu Avery Labatte, 20, of Granite Falls, […]

12 minutes ago

FILE - Voters depart an election center during primary voting, May 21, 2024, in Kennesaw, Ga. Conse...

Associated Press

Conservative groups are pushing to clean voter rolls. Others see an effort to sow election distrust

Conservative groups are systematically attempting to challenge the legitimacy of large numbers of voter registrations across the country before the presidential election. The strategy is part of a wider effort raising questions about the integrity of this year’s election as former President Donald Trump repeatedly claims without evidence that his opponents are trying to cheat. […]

47 minutes ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference May 31, 2024, in New York. Fac...

Associated Press

The Latest: Republicans gear up for their convention as Dems struggle over Biden as nominee

Republicans are gearing up for their convention next week while Democrats are still struggling with whether President Joe Biden should stay on as their candidate in the November election. In a sign of how important Pennsylvania is for both parties, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Donald Trump and first lady Jill Biden are all […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Garvey points to his supporters as he walks on the st...

Associated Press

Steve Garvey visited Israel, but will it win over California voters in Senate race against Schiff?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Looking to boost his longshot bid for one of California’s U.S. Senate seats, Republican Steve Garvey traveled to Israel last month searching for room to run against U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff — a Jewish Democrat known for his support of America’s key ally in the Middle East. It’s common for politicians […]

2 hours ago

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting...

Associated Press

Case dismissed against Alec Baldwin in fatal shooting of cinematographer

A nearly three-year legal saga for Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer ended Friday with the actor cleared of wrongdoing.

3 hours ago

FILE - Leaders take their seats for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during the NATO summit in...

Associated Press

With words, deeds and arms deals, allies make the case for NATO in terms that would appeal to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — European allies in NATO are stepping up their military spending, just as Donald Trump wanted. They’re pointing to common interests, such as concerns over China. They’re creating American jobs by buying U.S. weapons. In words, deeds and arms deals, leaders of the United States’ partners in NATO are making the case for […]

3 hours ago

Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped 50 years ago. Now she’s famous for her dogs