Patty Hearst: Brainwashing, Cyanide Bullets, and an Heiress-Turned-Terrorist

BADLANDS

Sep 28 2022 • 36 mins

Before Patty Hearst appeared as an actress in John Waters' movies, she captivated America on the silver screen as a hostage terrorized by the Symbionese Liberation Army. When the newspaper heiress was kidnapped by the radical organization in 1974, the country sympathized with her plight. But after just a few months, the SLA’s guns weren’t pointing at Patty anymore; suddenly, Patty was firing her own weapons during fistfights and bank robberies as a member of the same terrorist group that once kept her locked in a closet. In court, Patty claimed she was brainwashed and that she played along for her own safety. It’s true that Patty Hearst gave the performance of a lifetime — but we still don’t know which part of her life was the performance.

This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including graphic depictions of violence.


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