She was kidnapped by a left-wing urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), which used the symbol of a seven-headed cobra.
On this day in the town of Berkeley in California, Patricia Hearst was kidnapped. The wealthy heiress of her grandfather, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, she was the victim of so-called Stockholm syndrome. It is a phenomenon in which a kidnapping victim identifies with its captors and defends them. She was kidnapped by a left-wing urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), which used the symbol of a seven-headed cobra.
At first, they demanded the release of some of their members, but when that proved to be impossible, they asked for the distribution of food to poor people in California. It was calculated that such an action would cost around $400 million. In response, Patricia’s father donated $6 million worth of food but, during distribution of the food, riots occurred because of excessive demand. The kidnappers were dissatisfied with the supposedly poor quality of the food, so they refused to free the prisoner.
Patricia Hearst, after a while, renounced her parents and her former way of life, and joined her kidnappers, taking the pseudonym “Tania” (after one of the Che Guevara’s associates). Together with other members of the SLA, she participated in a bank robbery in San Francisco. Next year she was arrested. She was sentenced for bank robbery to 35 years’ imprisonment, but the sentence was later changed to seven years. President Jimmy Carter obtained her release after she served 22 months. She was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton in 2001.