Monday, March 16, 2009

Maybe she can make a stop in Denver . . .

A saga that began in California's 1970s radical counterculture and took a dramatic turn into a quiet middle-class neighborhood in Minnesota is about to come to an end.

Sara Jane Olson, a fugitive for a quarter-century after attempting to kill Los Angeles police officers and participating in a deadly bank robbery as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, is scheduled to be released from a California prison next week. Her bid for freedom after serving seven years is not ending quietly.

Police leagues in Los Angeles and Minnesota are objecting to the terms of her parole, her attorneys are nervous after Olson was mistakenly freed and sent back to prison a year ago, and people in Minnesota have conflicting views about a woman with two identities — a quiet, caring community volunteer and a domestic terrorist . . . .

If her release goes as planned, her attorneys say, she will be paroled to her mother's house in Palmdale and will have 24 hours to report to her California parole agent. Unless there is a change, she will be allowed to return to St. Paul, Minn., where she changed her name and married Dr. Gerald "Fred" Peterson . . . .

Olson, who was born Kathleen Ann Soliah, joined the urban guerrilla group Symbionese Liberation Army when she was in her late 20s.

She was part of an SLA bank heist in Sacramento in 1975 during which a 42-year-old mother was killed. Olson was arrested in 1999 on a tip from the "America's Most Wanted" television show.
. . . to be a character witness for Ward Churchill.

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