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Patty Hearst's Geni Profile

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Patricia Campbell Shaw (Hearst)

Also Known As: "Patty", "Patricia Campbell Hearst", "Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw"
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA
Death: (Date and location unknown)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Randolph Apperson Hearst and Catherine Hearst
Wife of <private> Shaw
Mother of <private> Simonds (Hearst Shaw) and Lydia Hearst
Sister of Anne Randolph McInerney; Catherine Hearst and Virginia Anne Randt
Half sister of Victoria Veronica Hearst

Managed by: Marion Rose Lake
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Patty Hearst

Patricia Campbell Hearst, now known as Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper heiress, socialite, actress, kidnap victim, and convicted bank robber.

The granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and great-granddaughter of millionaire George Hearst, she gained notoriety in 1974 when, following her kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), she ultimately joined her captors in furthering their cause. Apprehended after having taken part in a bank robbery with other SLA members, Hearst was imprisoned for almost two years before her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. She was later granted a presidential pardon by President Bill Clinton in his last official act before leaving office.

Early life:

Hearst was born in San Francisco, California, the third of five daughters of Randolph Apperson Hearst and Catherine Wood Campbell. She grew up primarily in the wealthy San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough. She attended Crystal Springs School for Girls in Hillsborough and the Santa Catalina School in Monterey. Among her few close friends she counted Patricia Tobin, whose family founded the Hibernia Bank, a branch of which Hearst would later aid in robbing.

Kidnapping and the SLA:

On February 4, 1974, the 19-year-old Hearst was kidnapped from the Berkeley, California apartment she shared with her fiancé Steven Weed by a left-wing urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. When the attempt to swap Hearst for jailed SLA members failed, the SLA demanded that the captive's family distribute $70 worth of food to every needy Californian – an operation that would cost an estimated $400 million. In response, Hearst's father arranged the immediate donation of $6 million worth of food to the poor of the Bay Area. After the distribution of food, the SLA refused to release Hearst because they deemed the food to have been of poor quality. (In a subsequent tape recording released to the press, Hearst commented that her father could have done better.) On April 3, 1974, Hearst announced on an audiotape that she had joined the SLA and assumed the name "Tania"(inspired by the nom de guerre of Haydée Tamara Bunke Bider, Che Guevara's comrade).

On April 15, 1974, she was photographed wielding an M1 carbine while robbing the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco. Later communications from her were issued under the pseudonym Tania and asserted that she was committed to the goals of the SLA. A warrant was issued for her arrest and in September 1975, she was arrested in a San Francisco apartment with other SLA members.

While being booked into prison, she listed her occupation as "Urban Guerilla" and asked her attorney to relay the following message: "Tell everybody that I'm smiling, that I feel free and strong and I send my greetings and love to all the sisters and brothers out there."However, according to Hearst interviewer Margaret Singer, the noted authority on Prisoner of War and terror victims including Maryknoll priests[8] recently released from the People's Republic of China in the 1950s, this is not unusual in such cases. Singer strongly pleaded for understanding in Hearst's behalf before, during and after the trial. Court appointed doctor Louis Jolyon West as well as interviewers Drs. Robert Jay Lifton and Martin Theodore Orne agreed.

Lifton went so far as to state after a 15 hour interview with Hearst that she was a "classic case," about two weeks being needed for almost all persons undergoing that level of mind control to shuck off a good deal of the "gunk" that has filled the mind, as happened in his opinion with Hearst's case. "If (she) had reacted differently, that would have been suspect" and Hearst was "a rare phenomenon (in a first world nation)... the first and as far as I know the only victim of a political kidnapping in the United States" were direct quotes from Hearst's autobiography attributed to the doctor. Dr. West firmly asserted that while Donald DeFreeze, also known as Cinque, and other movement members had used a rather coarse version, they did employ the classic Maoist formula for thought control; Hearst was young and apolitical enough to be at extreme risk and, in his professional experience, that it would have even broken many experienced soldiers.

In her trial, which commenced on January 15, 1976 (and in her dozens of previous interviews by FBI agents Charles Bates and Lawrence Lawler—any reference to which was not allowed by the presiding judge to be included in the trial), Hearst's attorney, F. Lee Bailey, claimed that Hearst had been blindfolded, imprisoned in a narrow closet and physically and sexually abused. They claim that her actions were the result of a concerted brainwashing program; this was central to her defense.

Prosecution countered with two experts: Dr. Joel Fort, who, unsolicited, had previously offered favorable testimony in paid service to the Defense team, which was refused, and Dr. Harry L. Kozol, noted expert on brain disorders, sex offenders and high-profile mentally ill criminals. Dr. Kozol in particular claimed Hearst "a rebel in search of a cause" and that the robbery had been "an act of free will."During one of his pretrial interviews with her, when asked describe the apartment where the SLA was captured, most every detail was given except one. The narrow closet that she claimed to have been kept, handcuffed, and brutalized was neglected yet rooms, the arsenal, and windows were drawn on a map. In Kozol’s view, Hearst’s omission confirmed the prosecution’s thesis: Returning the embrace of the S.L.A., she had ceased to be a victim. The rebel had come out of the closet. When Kozol testified, the journalist Shana Alexander wrote, Hearst turned “the dead white color of a fish’s belly.”

"Harry never lost the spirit of the law," Dr. Harold W. Williams, then a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, told The New York Times in 1976, when prosecutors asked Dr. Kozol to examine Hearst. "Harry is very much in personality a lawyer."

Bailey argued that she had been coerced or intimidated into taking part in the bank robbery. However, she refused to give evidence against the other captured SLA members. This was seen as complicity by the prosecution team.

Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976. She was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment, but her sentence was later commuted to seven years. Her prison term was also eventually commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and Hearst was released from prison on February 1, 1979, having served 22 months. She was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001.

Family life:

After her release from prison, she married her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw. She now lives with her husband and two children, Gillian and Lydia in Garrison, New York.

Hearst's daughter, Lydia, and niece, Amanda Hearst, are both models.

Hearst owns French bulldogs; in 2008, CH Shann's Legally Blonde was named Best of Opposite Sex at the Westminster Kennel Club show.

Material produced by Hearst:

   * Dissatisfied with other documentaries made on the subject, Hearst produced a special for the Travel Channel entitled Secrets of San Simeon with Patricia Hearst in which she took viewers inside her grandfather's mansion Hearst Castle, providing unprecedented access to the property. (A video and DVD were later released of the special.)
   * Hearst co-authored a novel with Cordelia Frances Biddle titled Murder at San Simeon (Scribner, 1996), based upon the death of Thomas Ince on her grandfather's yacht.

Acting roles:

Hearst has cultivated a career as an actress.

   * Her notoriety intersected with the criminal obsessions and camp sensibilities of filmmaker John Waters, who has used Hearst in numerous small roles in films including Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. DeMented, and A Dirty Shame.
   * Hearst appeared in the films Bio-Dome and Second Best.
   * Hearst supplied the voice for the character Haffa Dozen, an ex-stripper appearing on the October 19, 2005, episode of the Sci-Fi Channel's animated TV series Tripping the Rift.
   * She appeared in an episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete as Mrs. Krechmar, the nicest housewife in the world.
   * Notably playing against type, Hearst played a crack-addicted prostitute on an episode of the comedic Son of the Beach.
   * Hearst's voice was used as a caller in the Frasier episode, Frasier Crane's Day Off in 1994.
   * She appeared as Anthony Clark's mother on the sitcom Boston Common.
   * She appeared in a season 3 episode of Veronica Mars portraying Selma Hearst, the granddaughter of the founder of Hearst College and college board member, who had faked her own kidnapping. Although Hearst College is fictional, it strongly echoes the real Stanford family history, with the founder being a railroad tycoon rather than a media baron.


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Patty Hearst's Timeline

February 20, 1954
San Francisco, CA, USA
September 9, 1984
Age 30