CRIME: The Hearst Nightmare

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parents and the public only through occasional tape recordings. Two weeks ago, however, the case seemed to be coming to a happy conclusion. To comply with the instructions of the S.L.A., the Hearst family and the Hearst Foundation (which mainly backs medical charities) passed out free food worth about $2.3 million—some $300,000 more than had been planned—to poor people in the San Francisco area. Hearst also talked the directors of the Hearst Corp., which publishes eight newspapers and eleven magazines (including Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar and Good Housekeeping), into putting an additional $4 million into an escrow account in the Wells Fargo Bank. If Patty is released unharmed by May 3, the date when the offer expires, the money is to be spent on more free food and other aid to the needy. The S.L.A. even promised that it would soon name the time and place for her release. Then came the shocking announcement that she had joined the S.L.A., followed by the bank robbery.

Of some two dozen people who are believed to belong to the S.L.A., the FBI suspects that nine—self-styled as "intelligence units" —were involved in the kidnaping. Explains one law enforcement official: "All of them were under suspicion right from the start: they vanished overnight while other members of the S.L.A. stayed around." They are an odd and un likely assortment of characters whose private odysseys reveal much about their collective extremism. Thumbnail portraits of the nine:


The "Genina" who spoke on one taped S.L.A. communiqué, she majored in education at Indiana University, where she became a close friend of Emily and William Harris. In 1970, Atwood was a student teacher in Indianapolis, and she is remembered as a rebel who opposed rules of conduct for students. After she parted from her husband in Berkeley last June, she moved in with the Harrises and disappeared with them in January.

DONALD DAVID DEFREEZE. A habitual runaway as a child, he dropped out of school at 14 and eventually drifted to New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. In 1965 police arrested him on a freeway ramp for suspicion of robbery and burglary. He had in his possession a tear-gas bomb, a .22-cal. rifle, an 8-in. knife, gunpowder, blasting caps, wiring and a security officer's badge. DeFreeze told the police that he needed the weapons to protect himself from "criminals."

Sent to prison, he was subsequently paroled. A prison staff report described him as "an emotionally confused and conflicted young man with deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy." It also remarked that "his fascination with firearms and explosives makes him dangerous." In 1969 he was jailed again on charges of possession of a homemade bomb and receiving stolen property. Paroled, he was later arrested and convicted of robbery and assault and sentenced to five years to life. He calls himself Cinque, after an African who led a successful uprising aboard a slave ship off the coast of Cuba in 1839.

CAMILLA CHRISTINE HALL. She is the daughter of a Lutheran minister. Her two sisters and a brother died at an early age when the family lived in St. Peter, Minn.; two of a congenital kidney disease, one of a heart ailment. At the University of Minnesota, she was active in the gay rights movement, majored in humanities and graduated in

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