Tag Archives: Robert Stone

The Patty Hearst Case: Persuasion, Persecution, or Predisposition?

MoviesonChatham continues our discourse on the Spring 2017 theme of persuasion with the documentary, Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (Stone, 2004). The 1974 kidnapping of “newspaper heiress” Patty Hearst was sensational.

In California, the SLA shoot‐out seemed an event almost as gripping as a Presidential assassination. People stopped strangers on the street to ask if Patty was all right, and called friends to tell them to turn on the television. At the Student Union in Berkeley, groups gathered around monitors, staring at the incongruity of palm trees and flame. It seemed horribly ironic that such a holocaust would occur in Los Angeles. As long as the SLA had stayed in the Bay area, they managed to foil all pursuers. It was as if they were protected by a ring of sympathetic communities unwilling to help the FBI. (Davidson, 1974).

High-profile crimes such as this one always bring a maelström of reporters, investigators, and media pundits, as well as a nation of armchair detectives. Continue reading The Patty Hearst Case: Persuasion, Persecution, or Predisposition?