Tags: SLA | Leftists | Charged | 1975 | Murder

SLA Leftists Charged in 1975 Murder

Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives picked up Bill Harris, his ex-wife, Emily, and Mike Bortin at their respective homes in California and Oregon on murder charges in the death of Myrna Opsahl, a customer who was shot to death during an April 21, 1975 holdup at Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, Calif.

The robbery is the only unresolved crime linked to the West Coast crime rampage carried out by SLA in the name of a leftist revolution.

One SLA member who has admitted being near the scene of the robbery was Patricia Hearst, the San Francisco newspaper heiress who had been kidnapped by SLA in 1974 and then apparently shifted her loyalties to the gang. Hearst admitted several years ago to being in one of the gang's four getaway cars during the robbery. However, she had been given immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony.

She wrote in her book "Patty Hearst: Her Own Story" that Emily Harris, a former sorority member from Indiana University, had admitted to her that she had killed Opsahl when the 42-year-old church secretary apparently moved unexpectedly. Bill Harris, Bortin, Sara Jane Olson and Mike Kilgore carried out the robbery while she and Steven Soliah manned the getaway vehicles.

Soliah was the only person charged in the robbery. Kilgore remains a fugitive. Olson, who is Soliah's sister and was formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, awaits sentencing in Los Angeles on Friday in an unrelated SLA case.

Six members of SLA were killed in a shootout with Los Angeles police in 1974. The few survivors faded from sight a short time later.

Bill and Emily Harris eventually served eight years in prison for the Hearst kidnapping. FBI agents who, a short time later, found Hearst in a nearby home, arrested them in Los Angeles while they were jogging.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Sacramento County sheriff's detectives picked up Bill Harris, his ex-wife, Emily, and Mike Bortin at their respective homes in California and Oregon on murder charges in the death of Myrna Opsahl, a customer who was shot to death during an April 21, 1975 holdup at Crocker...
SLA,Leftists,Charged,1975,Murder
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2002-00-16
Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM
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