Emily Harris (SLA)

Emily Harris (SLA)

Infobox revolution biography
name = Emily Harris(EH)
dateofbirth = Birth year and age|1947
placeofbirth = Indiana
dateofdeath =
placeofdeath =

caption = Emily Harris's 1975 mugshot
alternate name = Yolanda
Emily Montague Schwartz
movement = Symbionese Liberation Army
organizations =
monuments =
prizes =
religion =
footnotes =

Emily Harris, born circa 1947 Emily Montague Schwartz, was, along with her husband William Harris, a founding member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a leftist United States group involved in bank robberies, kidnapping and murder.

Early life

Harris was the daughter of a middle class engineer. She graduated from Indiana University with a BA in language arts. She received straight A's at Indiana University and was smart and popular, and a member of Chi Omega. She was briefly a junior high school English teacher.

Founding the Symbionese Liberation Army

Emily and Bill Harris arrived in Berkeley, California in 1973 from Bloomington, Indiana. They came with their friends Gary Atwood and Angela Atwood. They soon joined a radical group, visited prisoners in northern California through a prison visitation program, meeting Donald DeFreeze, who had recently escaped from prison. They joined the SLA, created by Mizmoon Soltysik and Nancy Perry along with original members, Joseph Remiro, Russ Little, Willie Wolfe, Angela Atwood, Theo Wheeler and Camilla Hall. Harris' "nom de guerre" was Yolanda.cite web |date=February 1974|url = http://www.maebrussell.com/Mae%20Brussell%20Articles/Why%20Was%20Hearst%20Kidnapped%201.html|title = Why Was Patricia Hearst Kidnapped?|format = HTML |publisher = "The Realist"| accessdate = 2007-08-18 | last=Mae Brussell] On November 6th, the SLA committed its first public act, the assassination of popular Oakland, California school superintendent Marcus Foster. The SLA mistakenly thought that Foster was behind a plan to require student identification cards in Oakland high schools.

Later SLA and Opsahl murder

Emily and Bill Harris came to lead the SLA after six other SLA members died in a Los Angeles shootout with police and the house fire it triggered. After the fire, the Harrises spent over a year on the run with kidnapping victim Patty Hearst and new members Kathleen Soliah (renamed Sara Jane Olson), Mike Bortin, Jim Kilgore, Josephine Soliah, Steve Soliah and Wendy Yoshimura. Hearst had since become an active participant in SLA crimes herself. Yoshimura, Patty's closest friend while underground, was a fugitive for her involvement with explosives that were stored in a garage she rented. During that year the SLA committed a string of crimes, including an April 21, 1975 robbery of Crocker National Bank in Sacramento, California. During the robbery, 42-year old Myrna Opsahl was shotgunned to death. Opsahl was depositing a church collection at the time. Patty Hearst stated in her 1982 autobiography "Every Secret Thing" that Emily was the shooter. Hearst also stated that Harris said "Oh, she's dead, but it doesn't really matter. She was a bourgeois pig anyway. Her husband is a doctor." Other SLA members had urged Harris not to bring the shotgun to the robbery, as it had accidentally gone off twice during preparations.

The Harrises were eventually arrested and served eight years in prison for the Hearst kidnapping. Imprisoned at the California Institution for Women at Frontera, California, Emily Harris spent the first half of her term in solitary confinement. When released to the main yard she organized a conference attended by 200 parole officers, probation officers and county social workers at the prison focused on helping women prisoners maintain relationships with their children. Through her efforts the first ever children's visiting center was created, complete with toys, so the children would not be so bored when visiting. (This center was dismantled some years later when the administration decided it wasn't as important as a secure visiting center for inmates who were not allowed to see visitors except through glass walls.) Emily learned computer programming in prison.

Life after first prison term

After her release from prison, Harris became a computer programmer and began a successful computer consulting companyFact|date=March 2008. She worked at MGM Studios until her second conviction. She divorced her husband and lived with another woman for many years in Los Angeles. Together they purchased a two-bedroom home in Altadena, CaliforniaFact|date=March 2008.

Opsahl murder charges

For over 25 years no one was charged in the Opsahl murder. The SLA wore wigs and masks during the Crocker Bank robbery, and left little evidence behindcite web |date=2007 |url = http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/04.11.02/cover/sla1-0215.html|title = Patty Cakes - Terror, nostalgia and the SLA Gordon Young|format = HTML |publisher = metroactive| accessdate = 2007-08-18 | last=Gordon Young |quote=] . However, with new forensics techniques, the FBI was eventually able to link shotgun pellets removed from Opsahl's body to shotgun shells found in an SLA hideoutcite web |date=2002-01-18|url = http://www.rickross.com/reference/symbionese/symbionese16.html|title = New Evidence Paved Way for Arrests in a '75 Killing|format = HTML |publisher = New York Times| accessdate = 2007-08-18 | last=James Sterngold] . Additional evidence mounted, and in 2002 Harris and three other SLA members were charged with the Opsahl murder. Harris's bail was set at one million US dollars, which her supporters quickly gathered.

Three former SLA members who had been granted immunity - Hearst, Steven Soliah, and Wendy Yoshimura - were set to testify for the prosecution in the Opsahl case.

Facing a possible conviction, Harris and the others pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Harris was sentenced to eight additional years in prison; Bill Harris was sentenced to seven years and Kathleen Soliah and Michael Bortin were each sentenced to six years for their roles. Mike Bortin and Bill Harris were recently released from prison, and Emily Harris is expected to be released within the next year. Sara Jane Olson (an alias used by Kathleen Soliah) was due to be released in 2009 but was instead released Monday, March 17, 2008 cite web |date=2008-03-21|url = http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/21/sara.jane.olson/index.html|title = '70s radical-turned-housewife out of prison|format = HTML |publisher = CNN| accessdate = 2007-08-18 ] . She was re-arrested on March 21, less than a week after being released because officials had found that an "administrative error" had been made resulting in Olson being released a year early cite web |date=2008-03-23|url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7310168.stm|title = Hearst gang woman back in prison|format = HTML |publisher = BBC| accessdate = 2008-03-23 ] . Chief Deputy Secretary Scott Kernan, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections, called the error "an aberration" and indicated that the earliest date on which she will be released is March 17, 2009 cite web |date=2008-03-23|url = http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/22/olson.custody/index.html|title = '70s radical-turned-housewife back in prison|format = HTML |publisher = CNN| accessdate = 2008-03-23 ] .


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Emily Harris — * Emily Harris (SLA) was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army. * Emily Harris (journalist) is a European correspondent for National Public Radio. * Emily H. Harris, communications coordinator for the City Of Chester, Pennsylvania. *Emily… …   Wikipedia

  • Symbionese Liberation Army — SLA seven headed cobra symbol Dates of operation 1973–1975 Leader Donald DeFreeze, a.k.a. Ge …   Wikipedia

  • Sara Jane Olson — Born January 16, 1947 (1947 01 16) (age 64) Burnsville, Minnesota Other names Kathleen Ann Soliah Political movement Symbionese Liberation Army Sara Jane Olson, formerly Kathle …   Wikipedia

  • Armée de libération symbionaise — Symbionese Liberation Army SLA Idéologie communiste Objectifs Révolution prolétarienne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Armee de liberation symbionaise — Armée de libération symbionaise Armée de libération symbionaise SLA Classification communiste Objectifs Révolution prolétarienne Statut Inactif …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Armée De Libération Symbionaise — SLA Classification communiste Objectifs Révolution prolétarienne Statut Inactif …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Symbionese Liberation Army — Armée de libération symbionaise Armée de libération symbionaise SLA Classification communiste Objectifs Révolution prolétarienne Statut Inactif …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Симбионистская армия освобождения — англ. Symbionese Liberation Army …   Википедия

  • Patricia Soltysik — running out the bank with a bag of money. To her left is Patty Hearst and behind her is Donald DeFreeze. Born 1950 Goleta, California …   Wikipedia

  • Wendy Yoshimura — Infobox revolution biography name = Wendy Yoshimura dateofbirth = birth date and age|1943|1|17 placeofbirth = California dateofdeath = placeofdeath = caption = alternate name = movement = Symbionese Liberation Army organizations = Wendy Masako… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”