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An Other Emily Harris
I don't have nearly the dramatic and moving life story that either Wes Moore does, as we heard on today's program. But I did grow up knowing about an Emily Harris notorious for her crimes. She is twenty years older than me. We come from somewhat similar, stable backgrounds. We don't look much alike. She and her husband William Harris were early members of the left-wing militant group the Symbionese Liberation Army.
When I was five, Emily and William kidnapped Patty Hearst, the heiress to the Hearst newspaper fortune. In 2003, Harris was convicted of murdering Myrna Opsahl during a 1975 bank robbery. She was sentenced to eight years in prison. Her history caught up to me directly only once. When I produced a talk show at the Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, someone called up to ask if I was the same Emily Harris. I was not — but I did pass on the name of her lawyer.
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