From the Archives: Patty Hearst is freed

Feb. 1, 1979: After her release, Patty Hearst and her bodyguard, Bernard Shaw, stand outside her mother's home in Hillsborough, Calif.
(Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times)

After President Carter commuted her seven-year sentence for armed robbery, Patricia Hearst was released from prison, having served 22 months. She and her bodyguard, Bernard Shaw, were married two months later.

Hearst was a captive-turned-comrade of a group of 1970s radicals, the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was kidnapped on Feb. 4, 1974, at age 19.

Los Angeles Times staff photographer Rick Meyer took this image and others on the morning of Feb. 1. One of the images made the afternoon edition of the paper.


“I did quite a lot of the Patty Hearst coverage,” said Meyer, who worked for The Times for nearly 30 years, from 1973 to 2001. “In 1979, we would head over to the San Francisco AP office in Fox Plaza and run our film and make the prints ourselves, and the AP would send them down to the LAT as a ‘special.’ Often at the same time, AP would move the same photo on their network with a ‘Rick Meyer/Los Angeles Times’ credit.”

On Feb. 1, 1979, a couple of Meyer’s photos were moved as “AP specials.”

But, as Meyer noted, “on occasion we wanted to keep the art out of the hands of the AP. We would go to the airport and find a PSA flight going to Burbank. We would hand our caption bag containing the film and $20 to a passenger and tell them that a messenger would meet them at the gate in Burbank for the pickup. This was the fastest way to get the film to L.A.”

Meyer added, “Tri-X was the film of choice, and I was shooting Nikon then.”

This post was originally published on Aug. 12, 2010.