RealNews

SLA quartet answers for '75 Calif bank job

The saga of one of the nation’s most notorious criminal gangs faded to a near close Friday when four one-time members of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army were sentenced to prison for their roles in a 1975 bank robbery in Northern California that left a young mother dead. Sentences ranging from six to eight years in prison were handed down in a packed Sacramento courtroom. The four graying ex-revolutionaries had shocked the nation with the sensational Patty Hearst kidnapping, and later the deadly stick-up at a Crocker Bank branch in which a church secretary named Myrna Opsahl was shot to death. “Goodbye, mom. I love you,” said the victim’s son, Jon Opsahl. “And good riddance, SLA.” Friday’s sentencing left only one SLA member, James Kilgore, awaiting disposition of criminal charges dating back to the mid-1970s when the leftist SLA launched a daring crime wave in California that included the sensational kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst from her Berkeley apartment in February 1974. The SLA’s downfall began May 17, 1974, with a fierce shootout with the FBI and Los Angeles police that left six members dead in a burning bungalow in the Watts district. Hearst and other SLA members had not been present at the hideout when the LAPD closed in. Full Story

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