Sara Jane Olson, also known as Kathleen Soliah, gets out of prison today, leaving the women’s facility at Chowchilla, California after serving seven years for her part in crimes committed in 1975. Kathleen Soliah was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), the sorta-Marxist outfit that famously kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst back in 1974.
The SLA robbed a bank in Carmichael, California in 1975 and a by-stander, Myrna Opsahl, was killed. Kathleen Soliah was there. Patty Hearst has since said that Soliah was more than along for the ride.
Patty Hearst was found in 1975 and arrested for her part in SLA crimes and, after some legal troubles, went on to a normal life and an eventual pardon from President Bill Clinton.
Kathleen Soliah went on the lam and ended up in Minnesota, where she spent 23 years as Sara Jane Olson, a wife, mother, community volunteer… and fugitive from justice. She was returned to California in 1999, and when all was said and done she’d pleaded guilty to planting bombs in cop cars and guilty to her part in the killing of Myrna Opsahl. She was sent to jail.
This time it looks like she’s out for good, 62 years old and headed for Minnesota, where she still has to report as a parolee for the next year.