Watch CBS News

Katherine Ann Power, former fugitive involved in 1970 death of Boston police officer, wants redemption

Woman involved in 1970 killing of Boston Police officer says she deserves redemption
Woman involved in 1970 killing of Boston Police officer says she deserves redemption 04:42

BOSTON - Katherine Ann Power, a former fugitive involved in the shooting death of a Boston Police Officer in 1970, believes she now deserves redemption.

Back then, the Vietnam War was raging. At home, antiwar protesters clashed with police on college campuses across the United States. Power was a senior at Brandeis University and helped to organize demonstrations against the war. 

Driven by a desire for more militant action, she joined a guerrilla band with fellow students Susan Saxe and Stanley Bond, a veteran with a criminal past. 

"I thought we would die in our war, that was possible," Power told WBZ-TV. "I never pictured that someone else would die in our war. That's where I was culpably naïve."

Their idealistic vision of starting a revolution led them to team up with former convicts William Gilday and Robert Valeri. Together, they burglarized and stole weapons from the National Guard Armory in Newburyport. 

Days later, the group held up the State Street Bank in Brighton. Power, driving the second getaway car, waiting for her accomplices, heard on the radio that a police officer had been shot. That officer, Walter Schroeder, later died. 

Within a few years, all of the suspects except Power were caught. She remained on the run, landing on landing on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list. 

"I still regarded the government as illegitimate, and having no right to hold me accountable," she told WBZ. 

Using an alias, Power eventually moved to Oregon, where she built a life, had a son, a job, and a family. In 1993, after 23 years on the lam, battling depression, she surrendered to face the consequences of her actions. 

Power made a deal to serve five years in prison and would be moved to a facility closer to her family in Oregon. The judge rejected the agreement instead sentencing her to 8-to-12 years in Framingham. Power would serve six years before being released in 1999 for time served with good behavior. 

During her time behind bars, Power says she did the inner work to accept and acknowledge the role she played in the tragic death of Officer Schroeder. A death that that left nine children without a father. Power told WBZ-TV's I-Team she is sorry and will always be sorry. 

"I feel horrible, and I've tried over the years to express my remorse and sense of responsibility," Power said. 

Recently, at the age of 74, she self-published a memoir, called "Surrender: My journey from Guerrilla to Grandmother." Telling the I-Team, she believes that she and those who have served their time in prison deserve redemption in the eyes of society. 

"Because I satisfied the prison sentence and did the inner work I deserve to be regarded as redeemed by the society," Power said.

The I-Team reached out to the Boston Police and, through the department, the Schroeder family. Both declined to comment on Power's story.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.