‘60s Radical Freed Despite Protests
Over bitter protests from law officers, 1960s radical Kathy Boudin was released from prison Wednesday after serving 22 years for taking part in an armored car heist that left two police officers and a security guard dead.
“I’m physically ill right now,” said Brent Newbury, president of the Rockland County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn. “I can’t believe I just saw Kathy Boudin walk out of prison.”
Boudin, 60, a former member of the Weather Underground, was granted parole last month despite opposition by relatives, friends and colleagues of the slain men.
On Wednesday morning, she walked out of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County with her lawyer, Leonard I. Weinglass.
Boudin repeatedly turned back toward the prison to wave farewell to several inmate friends gathered at a window. Afterward, she was driven away in a sport utility vehicle behind a police car.
A few members of the police association were on hand “to make sure that we don’t forget the police officers and the security officer who were slain,” Newbury said.
The Weather Underground was a group that helped define the radical antiwar movement of the 1960s with its violent protests and bombings.
Boudin was recruited for the robbery by Black Liberation Army members and other radicals.
The robbers stole $1.6 million from a Brink’s armored car at a suburban mall and killed security guard Peter Paige. The two police officers, Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown, were gunned down when the truck, with Boudin in the passenger seat, was stopped at a roadblock and gang members burst from the vehicle firing automatic weapons.
Boudin was apprehended as she fled. She had been a fugitive for the previous decade after she was seen running from an explosion at a New York City townhouse where bombs allegedly were being made.
Boudin, the daughter of the late civil rights attorney Leonard Boudin, was convicted of murder and robbery and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in the robbery.
One of the details of Boudin’s new life was announced after her release. Kathleen McGovern, a spokeswoman for St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan, said Boudin will take a job at the hospital developing programs for HIV-positive women.
Boudin will be under routine parole restrictions, including a 10 p.m. curfew and limits on travel for the rest of her life.
The hospital job would echo some of the work Boudin did in prison that helped her win parole -- organizing programs for AIDS patients and inmates with children, for example.