Friday, September 23, 2016

the last book I ever read (American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, excerpt five)

from American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin:

The exhilaration over the bank robbery passed after a few days, replaced by DeFreeze’s paranoia as well as the claustrophobia created by nine bodies in a small apartment. This time, DeFreeze had a new idea about how he was going to advance the cause. He would begin recruiting new members by ringing doorbells and introducing himself to strangers as General Field Marshal Cinque of the SLA.

Even by DeFreeze’s standards, this was a lunatic notion. He was perhaps the most wanted man in America, and his photograph had been all over the news. Still, it galled DeFreeze to fancy himself a leader of black people when all of his followers were white. Now, he thought, it was time to reach out to African Americans, and most of the neighbors in the Western Addition neighborhood happened to be black. He believed he could build on the outlaw sensibility he had cultivated with the food giveaway and the bank robbery. DeFreeze told Angela Atwood and Bill Harris to accompany him on his rounds and stand behind him as he made his pitch to whoever happened to open the door. (Harris, characteristically, thought DeFreeze’s idea was madness, though he did comply with the order to tag along.)

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