Patty Hearst, Criminal Or Victim? Facts And Trivia About The '70s Most Wanted

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Patty Hearst welcome home button. Tania was the name she received from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). In 1974 she became a member of the FBI's ten most wanted list. (Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, becoming the most famous abductee of the '70s. When she robbed a bank a year later, she became a celebrity criminal and fugitive. Young, beautiful and incredibly rich, the facts of Hearst's story sparked debate up to and after her eventual capture by the FBI -- was she a terrorist, or had she been a brainwashed victim the whole time?

On February 4, 1974, an armed group of men and women burst into the apartment where Patty Hearst and her fiance were living. They threw Patty, a 19 year-old college student, in the trunk of their car, beat up her fiance, Steven Weed, and fled. Later, the identities of her captors would be revealed; they were the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), led by Donald DeFreeze, an escaped convict. They were an eclectic group: men and women, blacks and whites, anarchists and extremists. They were domestic terrorists with the goal of overthrowing the U.S. Government. They kidnapped Hearst because of her family’s position and they wanted to draw attention to their cause.