[sixties-l] Ex-SLA member caught in South Africa (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Sat Nov 09 2002 - 22:23:25 EST

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    Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 18:51:11 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Ex-SLA member caught in South Africa

    Ex-SLA member caught in South Africa after others plead guilty to 1975 killing

    Fugitive James Kilgore had been working as a lecturer at the
    University of Cape Town and living in a luxury suburb.


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- last Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive in a
    1975 bank robbery and murder has been arrested in South Africa, authorities
    said Friday.
    James Kilgore was arrested Friday morning, a day after his four fellow
    pleaded guilty to the shotgun slaying of bank customer Myrna Opsahl, said
    Lana Wyant, spokeswoman for the Sacramento County district attorney's
    "It's good news," said Opsahl's husband, Dr. Trygve Opsahl. "When you're
    dealing with a fugitive that's overseas, anything could happen. I understand
    there was something in the wind."
    Police in Cape Town, South Africa, said Kilgore, 55, entered the country five
    years ago under the name of Charles Pape. He worked as a lecturer at the
    University of Cape Town, where his wife also works, said police spokeswoman
    Mary Martins-Engelbrecht.
    He was arrested at his home in the luxury suburb of Claremont, and was
    expected to appear in court Monday. South African police had tracked him
    down with assistance from Interpol, Martins-Engelbrecht said
    "A formal extradition request is expected," she said.
    Kilgore had become a fugitive in 1975 to escape charges of possession of
    explosives. He, like the others, was charged with Opsahl's murder only in
    FBI officials in San Francisco did not immediately return telephone calls from
    The Associated Press seeking further detail.
    Law enforcement and defense attorneys had said Kilgore, a fugitive since 1975,
    had been communicating with authorities, seeking a plea deal similar to those
    of the other defendants who entered pleas Thursday.
    The four former SLA membersnow middle-aged and grayingsaid they were
    pleading guilty to the killing of a bank customer to escape the lingering
    over their crime.
    "It's the end of a whole thing that happened in the 1970s," said attorney
    Hanlon, whose client Emily Montague admitted pulling the trigger. "Emily and
    the others have accepted what they've done, they've lived with it for this
    and it really hurt themand it's over."
    Montague, William Harris, Michael Bortin and Sara Jane Olson pleaded guilty
    to murder Thursday and face sentencing Feb. 14. Montague will be sentenced
    to eight years in prison, and Harris, her former husband, will get seven
    years for
    leading the group and keeping an armed watch outside the bank. Olson, the
    former longtime fugitive arrested in Minnesota in 1999, and Bortin each
    face six
    After the guilty pleas, Bortin said he and the other former members of the
    wanted closure for themselves, for Opsahl's family and for a generation that
    tried to change the world.
    "I feel terrible for all the nonviolent people that were really idealistic and
    well-intentioned in the ^A'60s," said Bortin, who admitted waving a gun and
    announcing the robbery.
    Opsahl's son, Jon, who was 15 when his mother was killed and led the fight to
    see her killers prosecuted, said he is "glad this whole thing is over, and
    truth and justice prevailed in the end."
    The SLA became prominent when it kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia
    Hearst in 1974. The testimony of Hearst, who joined the SLA after her
    kidnapping and did prison time for taking part in another SLA robbery, was
    expected to be key if the case went to trial.
    Hearst's attorney, George Martinez, said his client's reaction "is basically
    gratitude that this chapter in her life may now hopefully be finished."
    In pleading guilty, Montague called the shooting accidental.
    "There has not been a day in the last 27 years that I have not thought of Mrs.
    Opsahl and the tragedy I brought on her family," she said.
    Olson will serve her sentence after completing her 14-year prison term for a
    1975 attempt to blow up two Los Angeles police cars. The others will remain
    free until their sentencing.

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