---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 14:18:50 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: FBI Steps Up Search for SLA Fugitive
Monday, Jan. 21, 2002
FBI Steps Up Search for SLA Fugitive
By DON THOMPSON Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - He's likely still out there, somewhere. He is
probably gray as middle age settles in and he escapes his radical past.
James William Kilgore hasn't been seen since he fled federal charges in
1976 as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the group perhaps best
known for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
"He's been in the wind for over 20 years, and we have no solid leads on his
whereabouts," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. James Lewis. "We don't
even know where to start."
Kilgore, 54, was charged last week with murder in connection with a deadly
bank holdup in 1975 that was blamed on the SLA. Four alleged accomplices
were charged and taken into custody.
But investigators say Kilgore is nowhere to be found. They say he has done
a remarkable job eluding authorities - with not a single confirmed sighting
in more than two decades.
He allegedly met up with Hearst in a cheap Las Vegas motel room in late
September 1974, a .38 caliber revolver shoved in his waistband in case they
Kilgore and the most hunted woman in America hopped a bus to Sacramento to
rendezvous with other members of the SLA who had escaped a Los Angeles
police shootout that spring.
They were joined at a rundown "safe house" by Steven and Kathleen Soliah,
Emily and Bill Harris, and intermittently by Michael Bortin, Hearst told
investigators after her eventual capture.
There, they began elaborately plotting the bank robbery that would result
in the death of 42-year-old Myrna Opsahl, Sacramento County prosecutors
alleged in court filings last week.
The Harrises, Bortin, Kathleen Soliah and Kilgore were charged with
Opsahl's murder Wednesday, after prosecutors said they developed new
evidence corroborating Hearst's account.
Bortin is fighting extradition to California from Oregon, while Kathleen
Soliah, now known as Sara Jane Olson, pleaded innocent to the charges
Friday. The Harrises will plead innocent, their attorneys said.
All are in custody except Kilgore, an intellectual and calm voice of reason
in those frantic days, Hearst recounted in her 1982 book, "Every Secret Thing."
"He's clearly more intelligent than the average criminal, to sever any ties
in the Bay area that might lead us to him," said Andrew Black, a spokesman
for the San Francisco FBI office that is leading the search. "He's smart
enough, we feel, to establish a new identity, to establish credit."
Profilers have said Kilgore probably lives in North America. He was a
sports fanatic with an undergraduate degree in economics who worked as a
cook and house painter during his radical years.
Investigators have no reason to believe Kilgore is dead - but he could be.
He hasn't been arrested even on a petty charge, because his fingerprints
haven't turned up.
The FBI stepped up the search after Olson was arrested in June 1999 in
St. Paul, Minn. She was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Friday for
trying to blow up Los Angeles police cars in 1974.
The FBI recently offered a $20,000 reward and unveiled a bust and
computer-enhanced photographs of what a clean-shaven, gray-haired Kilgore
might look like now.
He was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," and tips poured in - more
than 200 in the last two years. They yielded no success.
"It appears he's able to blend into society," Black said. "He's probably
somebody's neighbor and very likely could be living quietly, as Kathleen
Kilgore was born in Portland, Ore., and grew up in the San Francisco Bay
area town of San Rafael. The 5-foot, 10-inch Kilgore was athletically
inclined and the FBI said he may play basketball and golf.
Kilgore was originally charged with having a pipe bomb at his San Francisco
residence in September 1975, just as the group's remaining members fled for
Now they hope adding a murder charge might prompt someone, somewhere, to
turn him in.
"Hopefully, someone will recognize him," Black said. "It's been a long
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