The history article written by Larry Langberg (FBI 1969-1999), from the January/February 2016 issue of The Grapevine published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. In this article, Larry presents his recollections of the case as well as the recollections of SA Steven Ducker.
February 4, 1974, was just another day in the San Francisco Bay area — nothing special to distinguish it from a week or month earlier. The same was true on the east side of the Bay at the University of California, Berkeley, a hot bed of radical student activity during the 1960s and 1970s.
However that was all about to change. A violent kidnapping, with shots fired by the kidnappers, occurred at an apartment where heiress Patty Hearst resided with her fiancé Steven Weed. The three kidnappers were members of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a small, leftist radical Marxist group that viewed our society as being oppressive, racist and corrupted by capitalism.
This action initiated the opening of a major kidnapping case (HEARNAP), at the time, the largest case the FBI had ever worked. Thousands of Agents worked on this case and thousands of interviews were conducted. The SAC in San Francisco was Charles Bates and the Case Agent was Monte Hall. Hall was assisted by Leo Brenneisen, Arden Keith and Tom Padden. Agents and administrators from across the country arrived in San Francisco to bolster the office’s personnel. This was a “Special,” and a highly publicized case. . . . (read more)