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Detail from Patricia Hearst's mugshot
Detail from Patricia Hearst's mugshot

The story remains a mystery to this day.

On February 4, 1974, the 19-year-old daughter of millionaire newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst was kidnapped from her home in Berkeley, California. The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a revolutionary group, claimed responsibility for Patricia "Patty" Hearst's abduction. As a ransom, SLA demanded that her father donate $70 worth of food to every needy person in the state. The Hearst family gave $2 million (out of the estimated $400 millions) and the SLA refused to release her.

A dramatic turn of events occurred in April when Patty Hearst declared she was joining the SLA on her own free will and was spotted during two armed robberies. Finally, on September 18, 1975 (exactly 43 years ago) police and FBI officers arrested her in San Francisco. She weighed just 87 pounds (40 kg). Though she first claimed her allegiance to the SLA, Hearst later retracted and said she was threatened, raped and brainwashed. She was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison on March 20, 1976.

Hearst was released in February 1979 after her prison sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. In 2001, President Bill Clinton granted her full pardon.

Patricia Hearst — ©San Mateo Sheriff's Office/OneShot

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