40 years ago today: Patty Hearst kidnapped

Forty years ago today, media heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by an armed radical group, then took up their violent cause in a case that would be held up as one of the most poignant examples of Stockholm Syndrome.

On Feb. 4, 1974, the 19-year-old granddaughter of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst was snatched from her San Francisco apartment by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was quickly recruited by the left-wing group and became an accomplice to their crimes. Two months after her kidnapping, Hearst was photographed brandishing a rifle during a bank heist. 

 In 1976, Hearst was captured and convicted despite claiming she was brainwashed by the SLA. She was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In a 2001 interview with CNN's Larry King, Hearst - who now uses the name Patricia - said that she was blindfolded, gagged and tied up by her captors but as time went on, she began to appreciate that she was still alive.

"Stockholm Syndrome is what it is called when you begin to identify with your captors. I mean, once they don't kill you, (you) start to think they're nice. They get nicer every day that they don't kill you," she said.

Hearst served 21 months before her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. Her conviction remained on record until 2001 when she was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his final day in office.

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