Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist


Patty Hearst
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Gun Girl Patty Plump and Playing The Rich Girl Again

Daily Mail 4th April 1978

THE tanned girl in.the bikini strides' towards her hotel, another day of
sunbathing done. She'll be back again tomorrow. Times have changed for convicted bank robber Patty Hearst.

The pale courtroom features are healthy, she has put on weight and the defiant, manacled salute which-followed her capture by the FBI is just a memory. Today she lives the life of the heiress to which she was born.

Patricia Campbell Hearst will be 24 next month. It is also the month when she will probably be in court again, this time testifying for the prosecution against her erstwhile Symbionese Liberation Army companions, Bill and Emily Harris, who are charged with kidnapping her.

Army companions, Bill and Emily Harris, who are charged with kidnapping her.
For the moment, however, she swims, sunbathes, takes mineral baths and has her hair done in that Caledonian desert .playground of the rich, Palm Springs. ' Few recognise her as she wanders around, although a burly, bearded bodyguard is only feet behind. Her fellow sunbathers do not realise their every move is being watched.

Gunpoint

There is always security. It has shadowed her every step for 16 months since she was ushered just before dawn through the gates of the Metropolitan Correctional Training centre in San Diego, California, and into a waiting car.

That was the start of her 'freedom' after 18 months on the run with the SLA, capture at gunpoint by the FBI, and then 20 months in and out of jails and courtrooms while the world and the law tried to determine if she was a victim or a little rich girl turned gun-wielding revolutionary.

She was branded an armed bank robber by a San Francisco jury in April, 1976, and then jailed for seven years.
Seven months later after legal dealing,  her publisher father Randolph Hearst and his twin brother David signed a personal surety for bail of £900,000.

That released Patty from Jail while she waited for her appeal. It was turned down. She re-appealed/ It was rejected. Now the matter rests with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Patty rests by the swimming, pool of a luxurious hotel, appearing, at least, oblivious to her problems. She has a girlfriend with her. They make up a threesome with the bearded guard for lunch of chef's salad or The guard watches everything. Patty shuns approaches but she laughs and jokes with the hotel staff when they deliver drinks to her by the pool.

She is reported to be romantically involved with a San Francisco policeman who is moonlighting for £5 an -hour as one of her body-guards but 'she gives no sign of any involvement. . After she was first released, Patty moved to the Hearst family home on the San Francisco Peninsula. She has the run of it and the acres of ground surrounding.

Relaxed

She spends a lot of her time on her own — except for the round-the-clock guards who were a condition of her bail in the background—and plays with her German shepherd dog 'Arrow'.
If she tires of San Francisco,-she moves south to San Simeon, where her family have a ranch house on the largest piece of privately-owned land on the Pacific coast. There, she goes riding and walks in the hills.

She has visited some of San Francisco's best restaurants — but until Palm Springs has never been so casual or looked so relaxed. She goes about quite openly. Six months ago, she had a ringside seat at the Ken Norton-Jimmy Young fight at Caesars' Palace in Las Vegas as the guest of Frank Sinatra. Her disguise then was so good no one knew she was there.

Lawyers in San Francisco who have followed her case say it is unlikely that she will ever serve another day in jail but her appeal against the seven-year jail term is still pending.
She has already served 13 months In Jail. With that time taken into account and parole, she would serve only 14 months of her sentence. But that "Is something Patty Hearst, tanning herself by the swimming pool, does not even wish to consider.

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