From: Otis Willie
Subject: Last SLA Fugitive Caught by FBI, Prosecutors Say
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 18:32:42 EST
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 23:32:42 GMT
Last SLA Fugitive Caught by FBI, Prosecutors Say
(EXCERPT) By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - James Kilgore, the last fugitive member of the
Symbionese Liberation Army, the radical group which kidnapped heiress
Patricia Hearst, was captured in South Africa on Friday, half a world
way from the California suburb where he was wanted for bank robbery
Lana Wyant, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County District
Attorney's office, said Kilgore, who had spent more than a quarter
century on the run, was taken into custody on Friday morning by FBI
(news - web sites) agents.
Wyant declined to say where Kilgore, 55, was arrested but a lawyer
close to the case said he was found in South Africa.
His capture comes one day after four of Kilgore's fellow former SLA
members pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the shooting death
of a 42-year-old Myrna Opsahl as they robbed the Crocker National Bank
in northern California.
William Harris, Emily Harris Montague, Michael Bortin and Sara Jane
Olson pleaded guilty during a surprise appearance in Sacramento
Superior Court on Thursday and face between six and eight years in
prison when they are sentenced on Feb. 14.
All four defendants, who long ago traded their radical ways for life
in suburbia, had signed plea deals with prosecutors that spared them a
trial and the prospect of life in prison if convicted of first-degree
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday that Kilgore, who
disappeared shortly after the Crocker Bank robbery and had reportedly
also blended into suburban life, had been expected to turn himself and
negotiate a similar agreement.
'DEATH TO THE FASCIST INSECT'
The Portland, Oregon, native may also face federal charges stemming
from explosives found at an SLA hide-out near San Francisco. Kilgore
was a high school athlete and cheerleader before he met Olson -- then
Kathleen Soliah -- at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The pair moved together to Berkeley, ground zero for 1960s radicals,
where he worked as a cook and a house painter before falling in with
After the Harrises, Olson and Bortin were arrested in connection with
the Crocker Bank robbery in April of 2001 the FBI issued a new,
$20,000 reward for Kilgore and enlisted a Philadelphia sculptor to
create a bust of what he might look like 27 years on.
Hearst was abducted by the SLA as a 19-year-old college student and
briefly became a member of the group before she was arrested for bank
robbery and sent to prison. She was granted clemency by President
Jimmy Carter, ultimately pardoned by President Bill Clinton and was
expected to be a star witness had the SLA defendants gone to trial.
Made up largely of young people from middle-and upper middle-class
families, the SLA waged a campaign for violent revolution under the
slogan "Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the
Olson, a California native born Kathleen Soliah, eluded police in the
1970s and spent some 24 years on the lam, surfacing in the quiet
suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, where she married an emergency room
doctor and raised three daughters in an ivy-covered home. She was
arrested in 1999.
She is incarcerated at a California prison and appealing a decision by
the state parole board to extend her original five year sentence to 14
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