CRIME: The Hearst Nightmare

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enormous." As a consequence, authorities feared that the S.L.A., emboldened by the bank robbery, would soon try another spectacular stunt. A local investigator explained: "The pressure should be the other way, against pulling another job soon because of the danger of a foul-up. But that's not the point with these people. The point is to make a big splash."

Targeted for Death. One possibility was another murder by the terrorists. Before the robbery they issued a "shoot-to-kill" edict against three former friends who had somehow earned the S.L.A.'s displeasure. They are Colston Westbrook, a black instructor in linguistics at Berkeley; Robyn Steiner, a white woman who used to live with an S.L.A. member; and Chris Thompson, a black resident of Berkeley. In addition, law enforcement officials believed the S.L.A. had "targeted" three others for death: Black Panther Leader Huey Newton, for his abandonment of violence as a tactic; Raymond Procunier, director of the California department of corrections, who heads the state prison system that the S.L.A. so loathes; and ex-Convict Ronald Wayne Beaty, who testified against two young radicals in an October 1972 prison break in which one guard was killed and another wounded.

For San Francisco, normally one of America's most serene and sophisticated cities, there has been killing enough. Last January the city heard from an apparent psychopath who called himself Zodiac. In letters to newspapers, he claimed to have murdered 37 people and threatened new violence; police assigned him six slayings in northern California, dating back to 1968. This year the city has had to contend with the "Zebra" murders, in which twelve whites have been shot and killed by one or more black assailants. The latest occurred last week (see box page 18). The murders, together with the Hearst kidnaping, have created apprehension among many residents. It is not keeping most of them at home, but they are more cautious when they do go out in public.

Altered Habits. The Hearst tragedy has caused many upper-income Americans in particular to pay special attention to personal safety. Some have hired bodyguards; others have bought guard dogs or installed alarm systems in their homes. Still others have altered their habits to foil attackers. In Detroit, some automotive executives have begun to vary their routes to work as well as their arrival and departure times. In Atlanta, Constitution Editor Reg Murphy, kidnaped himself in February, has received a number of pleas from people asking that the newspaper stop identifying them as "wealthy" (the Constitution has refused to do so).

It is not reassuring that law enforcement agencies still know comparatively little about the S.L.A., even though five months have passed since it claimed credit for a grisly murder and became a household word in the Bay Area. The accepted theory is that the S.L.A. had its genesis roughly a year ago in the California medical facility at Vacaville, a psychiatric treatment center for criminals. Inmates were permitted to form an educational organization called the Black Cultural Association, and by late 1972, some 130 prisoners had joined. Authorities permitted about 100 outsiders, some of them middle-class white activists deeply interested in penal reform, to attend weekly association meetings. At them, several members of

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