tv The Radical Story of Patty Hearst CNN February 3, 2019 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
they did to anybody, they were always right. >> her family by this time didn't want her to do any time. >> no one is above the law, no matter how rich and powerful. less than 30 minutes ago we arrested patty hearst. >> 56 days in the closet turned her into an urban guerilla. >> during the trial of the hyperion wayne robbery, the one thing that we had to do was prepare her for testimony. >> she wanted to name the people who had abused her. >> i would not have put patty on the stand. >> holy caroli, he's opened the door. >> it's always damaging when you take the fifth amendment. >> and it killed us. >> the granddaughter of william randolph hearst was abducted by two men and a girl in a bizarre
kidnapping. >> no ransom note, no phone calls no word, nothing. >> the sla is the people's army, and we fight in their interests. >> the fbi said the girl in the wig with the automatic rifle was patricia hearst. >> rich college girl turned armed terrorist in a matter of weeks. southern california's largest manhunt continues. >> for someone my age, i've been through an awful lot. >> we don't know where she is. >> mom, dad? i'm okay. >> whatever private thoughts the jurors may have had as they went to court on this last day of the trial, they were required to keep to themselves until they reach a verdict. >> the jury deliberated about a day's worth. and when the phone rang and it was jean deloach, the judge's law clerk, we knew we had a verdict, and we were shocked.
so we went upstairs and still thought there was a coin toss. >> when the jurors began to deliberate, i told patricia campbell hearst that it was my opinion, based on all that had transpired in the previous eight weeks, that she would be acquitted. >> when a juror comes back and they will not look at the defendant but look at the floor instead, you don't need to wait to hear the verdict read. >> just after the verdict was announced, patricia hearst turned to her lawyer and whispered, did i ever really have a chance? >> everything went pretty much the way the sla said it would go. i was arrested. i was brought to trial, convicted.
seems like everything the sla told me would happen has happened. >> patricia hearst watched an old jungle movie on her tv set in her cell at the san mateo jail as her lawyers announced they would appeal yesterday's verdict in her bank robbery trial. >> no one ever convicts a defendant that they like. i think her story about the kidnapping and what she went through evoked sympathy. everybody, i think she very much disliked some of the thicks they learned about her later on, some of her conduct, and just decided that she'd turned bad. that's the only way i can reason out ruling guilty for the hyperion bank. >> i must say, without equivocation, the worst case i have ever taken on in my life was the united states against patty hearst. she was more unpopular than the boston strangler. >> i think the importance of the hearst verdict was that people
realized that money can't buy you out of going to jail. >> they don't have any more rights than the average person. >> i'm glad that justice was done. >> there was certainly a major school of thought in the mid-'70s that no hearst, no one that wealthy, no one from such a powerful family would ever be convicted of something so lowly as a bank robbery. and the conviction surprised a lot of people. >> she may be found guilty now, but later on it will be thrown out of court. >> why do you say so? >> money talks. >> it was not exactly a note of sympathy that went out to miss hearst from william and emily, her companions during much of the escapade. they said she wronged her associates and vilified a political organization she voluntarily joined. the harrises are awaiting trial
on a variety of felony counts, and in a statement they said the guilty verdict restored their respect in the jury system. >> people wanted patty to do jail time. and the first time they seemed happy was when the judge gave her a seven-year sentence. >> the judges in the federal court very, very rarely release anyone on bail. subsequent to a finding of guilty. judger on rick, he allowed her to be released on bail during appeal. conditions of that bail being very unusual. he says she'll be bailed on $1 million bail. the highest bail i had ever seen. this was just a statement concerning her wealth and power. >> let's set the record straight. how do you feel about your family? >> oh, i love them.
they've been so fantastic. and this will be the first christmas in, oh, well, since '74, no, '73, that we've been together. >> when judge orrick ordered that she would be released on bail, he also ordered a very strange thing. a condition of her bail would be that she'd be protected at her family's own cost, from others who would want to harm her, by a cadre of police officers who would be hired by her and her father. never had i heard of that before. that's a new one. i spoke to the chief and asked him who he would recommend at his department. he told me that bernie shaw had been an exemplary member of the
department. he was a family man. he was married and had a lovely family. and that's why i chose him to guard her 24/7. >> not surprised that patricia hearst ended up in an affair with bernard shaw. >> from the moment that we kidnapped her, she was in a -- some type of a relationship with somebody. originally with willie, one of her captors. and then she was in a relationship with steven soya. then as soon as she got bailed out, she developed an affinity for one of her bodyguards, a police officer. >> her future is still clouded. an appeal pending on her san francisco conviction. another trial scheduled in los angeles in march. >> indeed, when patty was released on bail, she still stood charged in los angeles regarding her activities at mel's sporting goods store.
that charge remained over her head, if you will, during the entire trial for robbing the hiyperion bank. >> she had a machine gun, and she fired it in the direction of a group of people. witnesses saw her. so that case is a nightmare. it couldn't be won. first tattoo? yeah relax, amigo, it's gonna look ok. only ok? no worries boss, i'm one of the tattoo artists in the city. you mean one of the best tattoo artists in the city, right? something like that. yeah.
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angeles mel's sporting goods store. their escape was covered by a machine gun-firing girl. today patty hearst pleaded no contest to charges of robbery and assault in connection with that shooting. >> the sentence could have been as much as 15 years to life. >> the l.a. case was the worst case for her. there was tons of evidence against her in l.a. there was probably at least a year between our case in l.a. and her case. when we were arrested, we only remained in the san mateo jail for three days and we were transported to go to l.a. to go to trial in the mel's case. >> after deliberating for nine days, a los angeles jury found william and emily harris guilty today of kidnapping and robbery in the holdup of a sporting goods store. >> we were convicted to a six-year term. as soon as we were convicted, we could tell that there was pressure from the hearsts. they had removed the judge.
he had sat through the trial, he was very familiar with the evidence. he knew that not only was she probably guilty of everything that we were found guilty of but that she would probably eat all the awdws, the assaults with a deadly weapon, because she was the only one that fired a weapon the whole time. she got a five-year probation out of that, when we were doing six years in the pen. >> protected by guards hired by her family and entering a limousine, mrs. hrs must be aware should would charge she received a special brand of justice for the rich. >> privilege began to come through. the class privilege she was rejecting when she was with us. but all of a sudden, her class privilege was what was going to protect her. as soon as we were convicted in los angeles, they needed somebody to claim responsibility for her kidnapping. well, six of the people that kidnapped her were dead. there were only two people left alive, and that was emily and myself. they offered us an opportunity to plea to the sheet, which
would be to plead to life without the possibility of parole. that was hilarious, you know. when we refused the offer, within a month, the offer came down to what would you take? how much time do you really want? we could surmise that there was probably pressure from the hearsts not to prosecute, as it would draw her into it as a witness. she had no way to withstand the cross examination by her comrades who were with her the whole time. i'd been with her for nearly two years. i knew everything that she had done. eventually we agreed to the ten-year sentence, the sentence that allowed us to count the time we'd already done. we'd already been in custody over three years. we actually benefitted from the hearsts' efforts to help her stay out of litigation.
privilege does a lot, man. once we worked out a plea bargain for the kidnapping case, we had one more issue of which we could be prosecuted. and that's the carmichael bank robbery. >> during her trial of robbing the hibernia bank, charles baits who was the fbi agent in charge at the time indicated that the fbi would be willing to recommend immunity from prosecution for patricia hearst, not for the hibernia bank robbery, but for other circumstances, if she would make herself available for questioning by the fbi under use immunity. >> most important, the fbi now has miss hearst's own description of the sla robbery of a bank near sacramento last year in which a woman bystander was killed. miss hearst named a half dozen members of the robbery team, including, sources say, her old sla cap ons, william and emily harris. >> we had been accused in the newspaper of involvement in the carmichael bank robbery as early
as september 21st, 1975. subsequently, very soon, they charged steve soliah with the bank robbery in federal district court in sacramento. there were witnesses to the robbery who claim that they saw him in the bank and put him among the robbers. when she ends up debriefing, she tells the fbi the real story of what happened and reveals to them that steven was not in the bank. the prosecutors, they wanted to stick with their eyewitness identification principally because they knew she was a horrible [ bleep ] witness, even if she was telling the truth. steven was acquitted. >> the federal government used that essentially as a test run as to whether or not they could prove the murder. that trial was a debacle. it went horribly, and that gave the sacramento d.a. either the out or caused them to evaluate it and believe they couldn't
prosecute it. all the physical evidence was 100% consistent with everything that she told them, but they weren't sure whether they could rely on her. >> patty chose to disclose the truth about the carmichael bank robbery, but they didn't want it. our purpose was served anyway, simply because our assignment from day one was to somehow contain or neutralize the murder charge out of carmichael. our only way to do that was to go the immunity route. >> so now patricia hearst has come full circle from kidnap victim to urban guerilla and state's witness. >> mr. bailey and i were both involved at that time with the appeal for the hibernia bank robbery. first to the ninth circuit court of appeals, then to the united states supreme court. >> after the supreme court refused to hear her appeal, patty hearst surrendered at the
federal prison in pleasanton, california, to finish her sentence. >> after that time i was advised by george martinez to turn over the documents which we had acquired to him as new counsel. >> martinez got us fired after we brought him into the case at her request. i mean, we found him through a list of divorce lawyers. so her boyfriend, who had kids and a wife, could get divorced and marry her. >> al johnson, far more than f. lee bailey, devoted his life to patricia hearst. he's a boston lawyer who spent years in san francisco away from his family. and as soon as she hooks up with bernie shaw, she cuts al johnson dead, and they never speak again. >> i was upset by it, obviously. i had worked as hard as i've
ever worked on any case in my life, and i believed in her and in her defense. >> she was on the hook for a very grisly first-degree murder, and we got her out of that. had that been understood at the time, the hearst case would have been labeled as a major victory. and randy and kathryn hearst understood, and they were very grateful for it. if patty ever said thank you, i don't recall it. >> patricia hearst is asking for a new trial, charging her trial attorney, f. lee bailey, with an ineffective defense. ♪
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just say, "add epix" and it can all be yours. it's easy to upgrade. and you don't want to miss out on everything epix. patricia hearst went back to prison in may, but attempts to free her before she's eligible for parole are building up. the latest effort centers on her lawyers' conduct in her defense. >> at all times acted very professionally during the trial. ied a no time observed anything whatsoever which would indicate lack of effectiveness or lack of attention to duty. >> she files a motion saying her lawyer gave her ineffective assistance of counsel. that was rejected. >> look, they were in a position to have to alter public opinion on her postconviction.
>> patty hearst waged a press offensive to change public opinion, to get jimmy carter to commute her sentence. she doled out interviews to sympathetic reporters who didn't know all the facts of the case. >> they focussed on the victim part exclusively. since she's been observed on television and in magazines as a victim and not as an urban guerilla, the narrative is likely altered dramatic lay. so it's not that hard to pull off. when you have a media empire that's backing your play, that's a big deal. >> her family recruits democrats, republicans, ronald reagan also endorses this effort. >> you can't blame patty hearst for that. you can't blame her family. any family would have tried to do it. it's just that most families wouldn't have had the money, the connections, the influence, to
do what her family could do. >> patty hearst had her story and access to the press. and she used it like a master. >> the committee conducts an extensive mail campaign. >> patty hearst's family organized this tremendous effort to commute her sentence, but they were helped by something that came completely out of the blue. ♪ never forget what he's done for me ♪ >> jonestown was a cult led by a man named reverend jim jones, and he was a very charismatic, manipulative person. he was essentially a con artist. he moved his people to a counseled in guyana. their passports were taken away. a congressman came to check out what was going on there, because these were u.s. citizens.
at congressman was leaving, they went and shot congressman leo ryan and a tv cameraman and a few other people. and jones then told his people that this was the end. >> committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world. >> it was not really a suicide, it was a mass murder as far as i'm concerned, but when this hit the news and people saw that over 900 people lost their lives because they followed this charlatan preacher, that to some degree changed the public opinion about why people do the things they do when they're in these cultic situations. >> the whole country started talking about the question of, how can a charismatic person persuade people to act so much against their own self-interest? in this case, kill themselves.
that question redounded very much to patty hearst's benefit. because that was her argument. that the charismatic leaders of the sla persuaded her to become a bank robber. and in that environment, jimmy carter was weighing the decision about whether to commute her sentence. >> well, this is quite a difference from last time. and thank you all. and i'm really happy to be going home. there it is. it's a commutation. thank you all so much. bye-bye. >> i look at her and just marvel, to see the sparkle in her eyes and realize that she
came through it with a sparkle, it's still there. >> how has it changed you? [ laughter ] >> it's almost killed me. >> although both of miss hearst's parents were there for today's homecoming, the long ordeal has put a severe strain on the family. randolph hearst and his wife have been legally separated since last year. >> during an interview with a small group of reporters, miss hearst said her kidnapping and trial has cost her five years of her life. but she says she's also benefited from it. >> i think i've gotten a lot stronger, a lot more self confident. i take a lot of things in stride that make other people fall apart. for someone my age, i've been through an awful lot. >> patricia hearst was never a pathetic, crying, whiny, small victim. she adapted rapidly, in ways that were surprising. we thought that she was the exception to any rule. did she brainwash us?
did she convince us that she was something that she wasn't? >> i didn't wear a bullet-proof vest, but i dressed for the occasion. i'm just really happy. >> patricia hearst is off on a vacation. she won't say where, to try to get away from the last five years and from what the name patty hearst has become. ♪[upbeat music] ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma♪ ♪that i'm a traveller ♪i'm gonna follow the sun♪
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patricia hearst just published her autobiography called "every secret thing." in it, she made some surprising admissions. >> she now reveals in her book that she also participated in two other bank robberies. in one, the crocker bank, in suburban sacramento, a woman was killed. >> it was the casual way that they did it too, and talked about it. it was oh, well, she was a pig, after all her husband was a doctor. so what? >> toughest part in "every secret thing" is when hearst quoted emily harris of saying she was a bourgeois pig, her life doesn't matter. >> it was so cold, it didn't matter what they did to anybody, they were always right, always. >> publishing that book was one
of the dumbest thing i have ever seen in my life, because immunity does not cover writing books to make money about how you committed a capital crime. and being the getaway driver in a bank where murder occurs makes the driver liable for murder in the first degree. >> patty, you've never been tried for that? >> no. >> president carter commutes her on the bank robbery charge. he doesn't commute her on any other case. she's still got this murder case hanging over her head. >> patricia hearst had written her book, and so most of the details were out there to kind of lead them where to find the evidence. but the years kept going by and by and still nothing had happened. >> it took a long time before i felt like i was the victim. you know, i have a life now and children and i just want to move ahead. >> she seems to have gotten
almost a celebrity status over this terrible thing. >> 14 years ago, patty hearst was the victim of the most bizarre kidnapping story in american history. the film "patty hearst" from atlantic entertainment will be released nationwide in september. >> take your clothes off, patty. >> have you seen it? >> i have seen it, it's really good. >> who plays you? >> natasha richardson, she's vanessa redgrave's daughter and she's fabulous. >> she went on with her life and it's almost like it never happened. >> she's reclaimed her status as a ruling classmate tron. her life has not been destroyed by this experience. if anything, it's been enhanced. >> she's been in john waters movies. >> hi, kids. remember, always look both ways before crossing. >> mother! >> it's really impressive that she built a good life for herself.
>> i think the general consensus today in america that is you're innocent, that you got a bum rap. most americans, i think believe that. >> the body of information that was created to support her became the narrative. >> well, i just think it's not true that i could have left at any point. i couldn't do anything at any point anymore. >> whenever she did interviews, she was haughty, she was arrogant, she was dismissive, totally different person. >> no other people were prosecuted for that bank robbery except me. none of my kidnappers were charged or prosecuted. >> what about the other people in the bank robbery? >> no. the rest were dead, and the two that were left alive were not charged. >> why weren't they charged? do you know? >> i -- their name wasn't hearst? i don't know. >> they had no evidence that we were involved in that bank robbery in hibernia, because we not in the bank. they charged patricia with it because she was front and center and prominent in the video. >> she came from one of the most famous journalistic families in the world. and she understood the power of
controlling the narrative. she persuaded the public, by and large, that this was a story about one young woman who was kidnapped and forced to commit one bank robbery. and that's what most people remember about this case. she eliminated mel's sporting goods, the bomb is she participated in, the death of myrna ophsel which she was morally responsible for. >> after so many years, it was always patricia hearst who got the limelight and the fascination with celebrity, semi-celebrity. i think everyone just kind of dropped all hopes of ever holding the sla accountable for my mom's murder. >> but then there was a glimmer of hope. >> 1999, i was transferred into the major crimes division in los angeles. i think the first week or two that i was there, i was handed a very thin file, maybe a
quarter of an inch thick. i was asked to hold on to it. i was told the fbi was looking for this particular person. kathy soliah had been a fugitive since 1975, i believe. this was 1999, so it was 24 years had gone by. she was charged essentially with planting two bombs with intent to murder. one at the ihop in hollywood, and the other at the hollenbeck police station. the evidence that tied these bombs to kathy soliah and the laa in general were both overwhelming. we know kathy soliah was living at 288 preceda avenue in san francisco with bill and emily harris. she had signed the lease to the apartment. her fingerprints were all over the place, particularly in the closet. every component of the bomb had a matching component in that closet. and most importantly, we had an eyewitness, the person that sold
her the pipe remembered her. i mean, you had a young redheaded girl coming in to buy two pieces of three-inch pipe with caps at the ends of them. it caught his attention. if she was ever caught, i'd be responsible for the case. quite frankly, i didn't put a lot of effort into it because i had a bunch of other murder cases on my plate and she hadn't been found in 24 years. it was as cold as a case can be. >> at 8:21 this morning, members of the minnesota fugitive task force arrested sara jane olson. whom we believe to be long-time symbionese liberation army fugitive kathleen ann soliah.
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>> police say a segment on her by "america's most wanted" was the breakthrough generating tips. tonight after living a double life for 25 years, she was quietly arrested in st. paul. >> she was not the same person by appearance that she was back when she did these horrible things. part of the problem with the case was we were going to have a whole set of jurors that didn't know who the sla was. they would have never heard of them. so that led us into looking at some of the other crimes they did. >> what did you find when you looked at the carmichael crime? >> we were overwhelmed. we just couldn't believe that nobody had been prosecuted for the murder of myrna ophsal. john was outraged. so he made it his own mission to do what he could to try to get justice for his mom. >> i'm very happy that my mother's murder is getting the attention that it deserves, and i trust that justice will be served. >> i knew that when she was
arrested, all the shit was going to hit the fan and that we would be exposed again to prosecution in the carmichael case. >> i believe that there is now both direct and circumstantial evidence sufficient to file charges and begin criminal proceedings for the murder of myrna opsahl. >> january 16, 2002, i was arrested and charged with the murder of myrna opsahl. and it was way worse for me at that time because i had a family. i was really angry. i had already done the time. i got out of prison the first time on april 26, 1983. and from that time on, i'd lived an exemplary life. i became a well-respected investigator for lawyers. emily and i got divorced in maybe '86 or'87. and we did that because she was in a long-term relationship with a woman that she loved. i got remarried.
had two older sons. i was not trying to hide out. i hadn't changed my name. it was a [ bleep ] nightmare that we had to revisit. >> so when the d.a. did file charges against all five sla members that were eligible for being indicted, we were happy that finally these people were going to be held accountable. we soon found out that patricia hearst would probably end up being a star witness in the case. and i remember being asked, well, why wasn't she indicted with the rest of them? >> there were four people in the bank, there were two getaway drivers. bill harris. and patricia hearst. >> patty did not go into the crocker bank the way she went into the hibernia bank, but she
was a participant. she drove what was known as the switch car. >> there's no excuse for not prosecuting us till 28 years later. they had a treasure trove of evidence, most of it provided by patricia hearst, and the only explanation that i can imagine, and i have no evidence of this because there is none, there had to have been pressure from the hearsts to keep that from being brought. they didn't want her on the witness stand in a trial that would get -- would be the number one publicity trial of the moment. and she was going to have to tell this story all over again, and she was going to have to try to be honest. see, that's the thing, you know. for all her bullshit, she didn't testify. what does that tell you? she had to say that in the book. but she didn't. she would have testified. she got on larry king and said we were all a bunch of assholes and she wants to do everything she can to prosecute us. well girl, all's you got to do is testify. >> it was a combination of she
didn't want to do it, and the d.a. didn't trust her as a witness. charging the murder case was seven to life. we were allowed to work out a plea. i'm sure it had a lot to do with patty hearst, not wanting to testify and having the power to go with that. >> we were told the sla members were going to plead guilty. we at least knew that there was some level of justice being done and that we would get to kind of face the people that brought us so much, you know, sorrow and grief. >> whether her murder was a careless accident or a planned assassination, the end result was the same. she was dead, and our family was devastated. not only did the defendants have that moment to think and change course and possibly prevent her death, they had plenty of opportunities after that to learn from their mistakes and to refrain from further violence without necessarily giving up their imaginary cause.
>> i do believe emily harris admitted that she was the one that pulled the trigger and claimed it to be an accident. and i'm happy to give her the benefit of the doubt, it doesn't change the outcome. >> for the rest of my life, i will continue to feel a deep sense of remorse and sadness for my role in the death and the suffering that caused the family -- >> when she got out of the fog of being in the sla, it really weighed heavily on her. >> our role was to make sure that people were held accountable naccount able for what they did. when they were prosecuted, mission was accomplished. for real this time. that's why i'm using nicorette. only nicorette gum has patented dual-coated technology for great taste. plus intense craving relief. every great why, needs a great how. ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller
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there's a verse in proverbs and it says, there is a way that seemth right unto man but in the end there of are the ways of death. and when i read that verse, it just instantly popped into my mind, the sla gang. i never could figure out why in the world would they do the things they did. it dawned on me, they actually believed what they were doing was somehow the right thing to do. >> the whole sla drama, i think,
was a great tragedy in that everybody suffered. maybe patti hearst least of all. >> on the day that she was convicted the message a lot of people took was no one is above the law, no matter how rich and powerful, but as you see how the story evolves in subsequent years, it's a story about how it's really good to be rich and powerful. >> even though she shot up a street in los angeles. even though she participated in bombings, even though she robbed banks. when a woman was killed in one of them, she wants a pardon in addition to the commutation. she wants her record completely wiped clean and when bill clinton is in the waning days of his presidency, she gets it.
i think the main reason this story has endured is that it shows how difficult it is to know what's in someone else's head. how did this happen? who is this woman? which side is she on? does she deserve punishment? or sympathy? >> the woman who was kidnapped, she was brutally kidnapped. that's got to be a terrifying experience. can you imagine? we'll never know what went through her mind. >> i do the best job i can to explain it, but there's many people that will never understand it or believe they can be so totally controlled by other people that they don't even have to have them standing right there next to them any longer with the gun directly to their head. >> i feel that patti was a
kidnap victim and it was a horrendous thing, but i also think she had a choice. >> it sounds so impossible now to believe that someone of great privilege could join in this radical terrorist-like group. but i think she did it to survive. >> at some point, i think in that year, if not sooner, she liked it better than anything she had before. >> i truly believe that she was, to some extent, indoctrinated into those believes and now regrets it and denies it by saying she was a victim the whole time. once you take on those radical believes, you have to take a certain amount of responsibility for them. >> i often wonder, knowing what she knows, how she deals with
that unless she's just so repressed it that she doesn't even consider it. i don't know. >> it's certainly something that i wouldn't want to relive ever. you know, i just think i've really tried to make a life in spite of it. >> if you were to stack patti and tonya next to each other, clearly the most interesting person is tonya. i mean, i'm still empressed to this very day with her as a comrade. she endeared herself to me over and over again. i remember that person. i remember that person more than i can imagine the person she has reverted to. >> she is a rich lady in the suburbs. she raises dogs for dog shows. >> i was talking to one in the case and he asked me what i thought of patty hearst?
tonight our topic will be murder as a growth industry. >> murder has become an epidemic in america. >> the last ten years the homicide rate has increased by leaps and bounds. >> my god, somebody fired a shot. >> these tragedies keep getting closer and closer to home. i'm afraid to let my kids walk out the door. >> urban crime wave sets off a new round of gun buying. >> i'll plead not guilty right now. >> there has been a disturbing growth of phenomenon in this country. >>