Hearst was abducted in 1974 and then declared allegiance to her captors. Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin does not believe Hearst was brainwashed, but rather, “responded rationally to the circumstances.”
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
On the famous photo of Patty in front of the SLA flag
“The photograph is Patricia standing with a machine gun in front of the SLA flag, which is a seven-headed cobra. It was taken shortly before the famous bank robbery, April 15, 1974 of the Hibernia Bank where Patricia was also photographed by a security camera holding a different machine gun. The photograph, which was distributed to the press while she was in captivity, I think the expression on her face is so mysterious and so subject to so many different interpretations. This iconic photograph became one of the most famous images of the 1970s.
I think, again, this photograph is a metaphor for her whole story. … It’s also a broader metaphor because it’s about the '70s, where young people, even a Hearst, were so at sea that many people could actually believe that a Hearst would become a revolutionary.”