The Patty Hearst Trial Essay

The Patty Hearst Trial Essay

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Patty Hearst was a normal 19 year old girl, living in an apartment with her fiance and attending university in Berkeley, California, until one day her life, and the lives of everyone around her changed forever. On the evening of February 4, 1974, some members of the left-wing radical group called the Symbionese Liberation Army barged into Hearst’s home armed with guns, and beat up her fiance before kidnapping Hearst and bringing her to their house where she was kept blindfolded in a closet for 59 days. While locked in the closet, Patty Hearst was verbally and sexually abused and she was denied the use of even a toilet or toothbrush if she didn’t tell them that she agreed with the group’s ideas and beliefs. It is believed that while being locked in the closet like this, Patty was being brainwashed by the SLA and that she may have even developed Stockholm Syndrome, a condition in which a person who was kidnapped starts to empathise with their captor, and even starts defending them. This is how the Symbionese Liberation Army convinced Patty Hearst to join their group. They released an audio tape to the public in which Patty Hearst said she was changing her name to Tania and that she had decided to join the SLA. She then helped the SLA rob a bank and steal an ammunition belt from a sports store. After this, she started travelling around the country with two members of the SLA named John and Emily Harris, to try avoid being captured by the police. During this time, the police found a house where some members of the SLA were hiding out. Attempts to make the SLA members surrender ended up in a massive gunfight, ultimately ending up in the deaths of 6 SLA members. The FBI eventually found and arrested Patty Hearst on September 18, 1975. T...


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“Geurrilla.” PBS. PBS Online, 16 Feb. 2005. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. .

Linder, Douglas O. “Patty Hearst Trial (1976).” Famous Trials. UMKC School of Law, 2006. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. .

“Patty Hearst Biography.” Biography. A+E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. .

“Patty Hearst: Kidnapped Heiress Turns Radical Bank Robber.” Crimes of the Century: 28. Print.

“The Patty Hearst Kidnapping.” The FBI. US Government, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. .

Video of Bank Robbery (link). Famous Trials. UMKC School of Law, 2006. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. .

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