Thursday, November 14, 2013

September 1975 President Ford Just Couldn't Catch A Break

We all know about the two well publicized assassination attempts on President Ford's life in September 1975.  Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore made national headlines for months, then and in the intervening years.  Did you know that there were two other assassination scares for Ford that month?  I am not certain what prompted all of these attempted attacks on Ford, the Vietnam war had been declared over in April 1975.

Squeaky's arrest on September 5, 1975 kicked off the public's knowledge of the attempts.  Fromme was duly tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  She was granted parole July 2008 but had to serve a little extra time for her 1987 prison escape.  On August 14, 2009 she was released on parole.



Coincidently there had been another assassination planned on the very same day as Squeaky's attempt.  Gary Steven DeSure, 32, and Preston Michael Mayo, 24, were arrested Aug. 26, 1975 in Santa Barbara CA for stealing a television from a motel.  The day after that arrest DeSure told investigating officers about the assassination plot.  DeSure was an escaped patient from a Warm Springs MT mental hospital.  He had been committed there due to threats made against the President during a court appearance for forgery and credit card theft the previous year.

DeSure and Mayo's plans were to place a bomb in the sewer system near where the President was to speak.  When the bomb went off and every one was distracted Mayo would fire the kill shot at the President.  On March 1, 1976 DeSure and Mayo were sentenced in federal court.  DeSure was given a five year sentence and a recommendation of psychiatric help.  Mayo was given a six year sentence to be served at the federal prison in Lompoc CA.



On September 22, 1975 along came Sara Jane Moore, who in front of the St.Francis Hotel in San Francisco actually fired off a shot at President Ford.  She, too, was duly tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Like Squeaky, Sara also chalked up one prison escape.  Sara and another woman, Marlene Martino, escaped from Alderson Federal Prison the evening of February 5, 1979.  They were captured while hitchhiking a few hours after the escape.

On December 31, 2007 Sara Jane Moore was released from prison on parole.  She was 77 years old.


The assassination attempt of DeSure and Mayo did merit a couple of newspaper stories and it's probably not entirely foreign to the hard core Manson researchers.   This next story, however, did not generate any newspaper stories that I could find.  I was looking through declassified documents at the National Archives website when I found it. 
This document says that the release of Charles Manson from prison was the purpose for the assassination of not only Ford but also Emperor Hirohito who, along with his wife, was visiting in the United States and scheduled to attend a state dinner with President and Mrs. Ford on October 2, 1975.  The information was gathered by Canadian authorities on September 30, 1975 and disseminated to US authorities the next day.







21 comments:

brownrice said...

Interesting pot, Deb...

Like you say, the last one's really stayed under the radar... definitely the first time I've ever seen or heard of it. Great researching, well found... thanks for sharing.

brownrice said...

I mean interesting "post" not "pot"... though pot's always good too :-)

Max Frost said...

Interesting pot Deb.

Love it!

STILL laughing!

orwhut said...

I wonder if Alan was really calling from the ATWAter metro station?

christopher butche said...

As an aside, I've been doing a little reading up on Fromme representing herself at her 1988 escape trial. She followed the judge's instructions to proceed in a Q and A format. Apparently this included asking herself how she pronounced her name and telling herself "Miss Fromme, you talk too much" as well as "Wait a minute, you're getting ahead of yourself".

Matt said...

christopher, it sounds like squeaky was giving the court a little of the "walk this way" treatment. I like that. Funny...

Farflung said...

Congratulations on surviving a Manson Family assassination attempt Emperor Hirohito.

What are you going to do next?

I’m going to Disneyland

When the Berlin Wall was knocked down, I made a trip to the location of the Fuhrerbunker just past the famed Brandenburg Gate. I never thought such a journey would be possible in my lifetime. I had a few East German pilsners and managed to relieve myself on that very spot. Although I’m not sure if he shot himself because the Ruskies were a few hundred yards away, or if he simply grasped the full gravity of being married, and chose the easy way out.

Years later I was in Milan where I sought and found the traffic circle where Mussolini and his mistress were strung upside down, at a gas station after being executed. The gas station was long gone and replaced with a …. That’s right…. McDonalds. I ordered a Happy Meal and savored every bite of unfathomable irony where ‘Il Duce’ bit the big one.

This left the final tine of the Fascist Trident where Hirohito answered for his part in WWII; American style. I couldn’t think of a more fitting punishment than having to spend a day at 1313 Harbor Boulevard, in Anaheim. The whole time he watched that endless parade of dwarves, mice, and chipmunks, while no doubt pondering how anyone could possibly lose a war to us.

So many choices, which would you pick?

Blast the wife and poison the dog, before doing both to yourself?

Face a firing squad with your girlfriend, then ‘bat hang’ for eternity?

Or go someplace so packed that it makes malls on Black Friday seem like ghost towns, filled with wailing children and women fresh out of Midol, where you spend every moment silently praying for the early arrival of sweet death?

DebS said...

That's a pretty funny typo, Brownrice! Why is it that typos are never noticed until after hitting the publish button? I do it all the time.

The document was declassified in 2003 and put online in 2006. They sure waited a long time to release it.

DebS said...

Farf, how do you even know to look for these things? Hirohito and the Mrs. go to Disneyland, priceless!

Robert Hendrickson said...

Everyone is having such a great time with the cheesy-butt jokes, I'll add mine before evidencing something very serious. Go back to the recent Claire Watkins post and look closely at her new "head" she is so proud of - then go to Matt's dog's butt image. Isn't the "head" (dog's A hole) the same image. What on heaven's earth does that mean? A new religion is being born?

Serious matter:
A simple discussion regarding the correlation between Charles Manson the "teacher" and the "government's messengers of information" has apparently risen to the level of some kind of cold war, where I'm declared the "anti-education system" nut-case and "teacher/messengers" are considered angelic missionaries sent from the Governmental Gods to convey their TRUTHFUL knowledge to US all - free of charge.

BUT wait, in today's LA Daily newspaper on page 4 the whole page is devoted to the subject of iPad's for the students- and more $$$$ for the "teachers'" OR the messengers will go on strike.

AND the lead photo is of a "protester" with a poster that demands:
I Pads can't listen to students
console hurt students
be a mentor or
students support
Invest $ in Your Teachers

Of course, there is NO mention of providing an education - because "Teachers" are just "messengers" of the "government's" information!

Apparently, I Pads are going to be the new "teacher / messengers." and the old "teachers" are going to become "mentors." AND the taxpayers are going to remain the same old suckers.

It is ALWAYS about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, but how long was it before your "teacher" conveyed that truthful information to YOU? After YOU went into debt to the "Government" for YOUR college education? YES Patty, it's ALL just an illusion, BUT if everything is an illusion, doesn't the "illusion" then become reality for ALL?

Robert Hendrickson



orwhut said...

Hey Robert,
I see you're commenting directly now.
COOL!

Max Frost said...

The pot is even MORE interesting today...

orwhut said...

The pot thickens.

Panamint Patty said...

Yay Robert! Is that cool, ORWHUT?

Farflung said...

DebS

While researching Squeaky, Good, and the inexplicable Susan Murphy’s actions in Sacramento, I blundered upon the Hirohito murder plot, and the two Bozos who stole a TV with plans to blow up the sewer as a diversion. Following the Emperor’s itinerary led to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’. Surreal.

About five months before the Ford assassination attempt, Patty Hearst and the SLA had robbed a bank in Carmichael, an adjacent suburb to Sacramento. During this robbery a mother of four, Myrna Opsahl, who was depositing some money for her church, was killed with a shotgun blast from Emily Harris. Additionally Kathleen Soliah kicked a pregnant teller who miscarried. Patty Hearst was the getaway driver who lived with the group less than a dozen blocks from Squeaky and Good’s apartment. It was quite the hotbed of social angst in Sacramento, 1975.

Before landing in Sacramento, Patty Hearst was involved in a shootout at a sporting goods store in Inglewood, which is next to Hawthorne, less than three miles from Western Surplus. Geesh, who’s in charge of picking armed robbery locations with these goofs? Police find their van and the address to the hideout where the SLA is shot and burned to death in Compton. While all this is going on, Patty Hearst is watching it on TV in a motel room across the street from…. Un huh… Disneyland.

The SLA fragments with Soliah hiding in Africa for a few years after leaving pipe bombs under a police car and several buildings. After a few years of that crap, she returns to the US under the name of Sara Jane Olson. Got it? It gets confusing with downtown Sacramento apartments, Sara Janes appearing as robbers and assassins, sporting goods store hold-ups, and repeated visits to Disneyland.

Apparently Sara Jane Olson decided to hang up her revolutionary garb and hunt for a husband in Minnesota, oh yah hey der. She’s living the life of a virtual June Cleaver, except for those robberies, bombs, and assault induced miscarriages, with two cats in the yard, and three daughters of her own, when the unexpected happened. She’s watching TV, no doubt after a lutefisk, walleye, and fish dinner when, Oofta! She’s profiled on ‘America’s Most Wanted’. Yep busted on TV for being a creep.

So she’s put on trial and sent to prison for some of her SLA activities. But people change and deserve a second chance; when will we learn the lesson of human compassion… oh god, I can’t go on….

Thanks to the advancement of forensic sciences, the police are finally able to hold her accountable for the part she played in the death of Opsahl and the teller’s miscarriage. She sure wasn’t going to take responsibility for that, what with her being a different person, and appreciating the value of life with daughters of her own. Puh-lllllease. So she is finally sentenced to six years, in 2003, for a murder committed in 1975. Life’s fair.

And weird:

Singing for Social Justice

As another display of the wheels coming off the cart, is this one time ‘American Idol’ contestant and singer of ‘challenges to social justice’. If you guessed this is Sara Jane’s daughter who was ‘outed’ on ‘American Idol’, then you are cynical and correct. Is there ever a need to make stuff up? Aren’t stories ultimately already so far out there unbelievable, they don’t need any extra fiction?

So a family has their mother murdered, no one is prosecuted until 28 years later, and the perpetrator’s daughter has the balls to sing about social justice. Niiiiiiice.

christopher butche said...

Farflung, it's a given that the longer it takes a case to come to trial the less time you are likely to serve.

As to Susan Murphy, here's what Miss Fromme had to say about her escape:

"You are not Manson family but you carry that name. I wish you well, but you'd best realise your life is on the line, and not because of the FBI. This family is for earth balance, not money, dope or power plays."

Doc Sierra said...

Farflung said...
Congratulations on surviving a Manson Family assassination attempt Emperor Hirohito.

What are you going to do next?

I’m going to Disneyland
------------------------------------------------------------

Although I’m not sure if he shot himself because the Ruskies were a few hundred yards away, or if he simply grasped the full gravity of being married, and chose the easy way out.
------------------------------------------------------------

I ordered a Happy Meal and savored every bite of unfathomable irony where ‘Il Duce’ bit the big one.

This left the final tine of the Fascist Trident where Hirohito answered for his part in WWII; American style. I couldn’t think of a more fitting punishment than having to spend a day at 1313 Harbor Boulevard, in Anaheim. The whole time he watched that endless parade of dwarves, mice, and chipmunks, while no doubt pondering how anyone could possibly lose a war to us.

So many choices, which would you pick?

Blast the wife and poison the dog, before doing both to yourself?

Face a firing squad with your girlfriend, then ‘bat hang’ for eternity?

Or go someplace so packed that it makes malls on Black Friday seem like ghost towns, filled with wailing children and women fresh out of Midol, where you spend every moment silently praying for the early arrival of sweet death?
---------------------------------

Farf, you have a twisted style of writing. I love it..... It made me laugh. You started my day off on a positive note.....

Doc Sierra said...

Hi Deb. Great finds. Do you know the addresses in Sacramento where the SLA hid out and where Squeaky and Sandy lived. I know that Squeaky lived on P St and I've seen the house before but forgot the address. I'm from Sacramento and next time I head down the hill I'll bring my Nikon DSLR and get some good photos of the two places for you. I'll also get pictures of Dorothea Puente's house on F St.....

DebS said...

Doc here's site with a few SLA related Sacramento addresses.

http://www.nokilli.com/sacto/sla.htm

1725 P St. is the address of the apartment where Squeaky and Sandy lived.

Panamint Patty said...

Another is right over "The Monkey Bar" in midtown.

starship said...

Farflung, the shootout at the sporting goods store was not a robbery. It occurred because the guy shoplifted and they caught him. That doofus.

Patty Hearst could have simply driven away, instead she decided to fire a gun over everyones heads which allowed her compatriots to escape. Patty doofus.

The rest of the SLA were tracked down pretty quickly too because the whole neighborhood knew who they were and couldn't keep their mouths shut.

Some good readin would be THE COMPANY YOU KEEP by Neil Gordon which is also a Robert Redford movie which came out last year and is now on DVD.