A Letter From The Publisher, Apr. 29, 1974

The strange saga of Patricia Hearst has created an uncommonly tough, unpredictable assignment for San Francisco Bureau Chief Joseph Boyce and Correspondent John Austin. Boyce, who joined TIME in 1970 after four years as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, says that the story "has been the most difficult one to cover in my eight years in journalism." Austin, who has covered Capitol Hill and President Nixon's 1968 campaign for TIME, concurs.

Before news of the abduction was made public, the bureau received a tip that the daughter of William Randolph Hearst, not Randolph...

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