4 SLA Members Plead Guilty…

4 SLA Members Plead Guilty to Killing

They express regret as they admit roles in ’75 slaying of woman during a bank holdup.

Four members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the radical leftist group that cut a violent path through California in the mid-1970s, pleaded guilty Thursday to the murder of a churchgoing mother of four during a suburban bank robbery here more than a quarter-century ago.

I was struck by the genuine forgiveness and compassion of the family of the murdered Myrna Opsahl.

“There was no reason to pursue any lengthier prison time,” Opsahl said, noting that each of the four had remade themselves into responsible citizens with families and children. “There is no such thing as perfect justice,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do that will bring my mother back to life.”

His father, Trygve Opsahl, also expressed compassion for the four defendants and their families.  “I have no hard feelings for the people involved,” said Opsahl, 76, a retired surgeon. “I hope they’ll be able to have some life after they leave prison.”

An SLA story. At one point when the SLA and the Weather Underground were both living underground, the SLA put out feelers through intermediaries to the Weather Underground, asking if they could team up. The answer came back, “Fuck no, those people are crazy.”

BTW, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground are alive, free, and married. He is a respected educator, she a lawyer.  I heard him speak a while back on a tour for his new book “Fugitive Days: A Memoir”. Those expecting a mea culpa were disappointed!

This just in.

Last SLA Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested
The last Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive in a 1975 bank robbery and murder has been arrested overseas.

James Kilgore was arrested this morning, a day after his four fellow suspects pleaded guilty to the shotgun slaying of bank bystander Myrna Opsahl.