A mostly-forgotten figure from the past, Sara Jane Moore, was released from a federal prison in California today. Moore attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. She says now that she regrets her crime, and that she was “blinded by her radical political views.” As one who locates the Ford administration in the recent past, I was a bit shocked to learn that Moore is 77 years old.
Still in prison is Sara Jane Olson, formerly Kathleen Soliah. Soliah was a fellow San Francisco Bay area radical who admired Olson’s attempt to kill Ford. When Soliah went underground to avoid a murder charge, she took Moore’s name as a tribute. Soliah/Olson lived for many years in St. Paul, Minnesota until she was identified and arrested in 1999. Despite enjoying the support of a number of prominent Minnesota Democrats, she pled guilty in 2001 to possessing explosives with the intent to murder Los Angeles policemen. Subsequently, she pled guilty to the murder of Myrna Opsahl, a killing that was committed by Soliah and her associates in the course of a bank robbery. Soliah/Olson reportedly expects to be released in 2009.
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