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One of the ‘American Idol’ Contestants Who Was Eliminated Last Night Has an Unusual Background: One of Her Parents Was a Member of the Symbionese Liberation Army that Kidnapped Patty Hearst

Feb 25, 2011  •  Post A Comment

One of the contestants on "American Idol," who was eleminated on Thursday night, Feb. 24, 2011, has an unusual background. One of her parents was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army that kidnapped Patty Hearst on Feb. 4, 1974, reports the LA Times’ Now blog.

The "Idol" contestant, Sophia Shorai, is the daughter of former radical Sarah Jane Olson, who served a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Myrna Opsahl in a 1975 bank robbery, the story notes.

Shorai, who uses her middle name professionally, talks about her admiration of her parents in her "Idol" video biography  but doesn’t mention her mother’s controversial past, the story adds.

Olson was part of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the group perhaps best known for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in the mid-1970s, the story says.

After being charged with placing explosive devices under L.A. police cars, Olson fled and left California, marrying an emergency-room physician. The pair eventually settled in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lived a quiet life as a mom of three daughters and performed in local theater productions, the article notes.

She was arrested in 1999 after police received tips from viewers of of TV show "America’s Most Wanted," and started serving a seven-year prison term in 2002 until her release in 2009, it adds.

sophia shorai.jpg 

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