The Nation: A Family's Ordeal

For 591 days, one of the nation's most storied families had oscillated between frustration and faith, resignation and hope. It was the kind of roller-coaster existence all relatives of kidnap victims must endure, but for the Randolph Hearsts, somehow, everything about the ordeal seemed more extreme.

First came the initial shock and the sleepless nights. Randolph Hearst, by nature not given to quick and decisive action, managed to keep calm while awaiting, then struggling to comply with, the demands of the S.L.A. Catherine, his wife, genteel daughter of a Georgia telephone executive, was dumbfounded by the violence and noticeably more anxious. A...

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