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The city of Grand Junction, Colorado sprawls out over a small piece of the Colorado Mesa Valley. It's population of 24,000 have gravitated there primarily because it is a "pretty place," according to one citizen. A rapidly developing population center, the city has clean streets, a couple newly built high schools, and it's own college scene, centered around Mesa College. In 1967, it won the All-American city award. Every year, the citizens host the national junior baseball tournament with teams coming from as far away as Miami, New York, and Houston.
At 12:40 p.m. on the runway of Grand Junction's Walker Field, a turbo jet bound for Chicago was taxing for take-off. The control tower ordered the plane back to the hanger for minor repairs, and as the passengers disembarked, a deputy sheriff disarmed Stanley R. Bond, 26, one of the suspects in the $26,000 robbery of the State Street Bank, and arrested him for armed robbery, murder, and unlawful flight in the Sept. 23 robbery of the State Street Bank in Brighton.
He was carrying a loaded 9 mm automatic at the time and his suitcase contained two other weapons and $10,000. The FBI had acted on a tip from a woman who recognized Bond from pictures in the press when she sat next to him on a flight into Grand Junction from Seattle, Wash.
In Seattle, Bond dashed off a letter to Boston newscaster Steve Nevas of WBZ-TV declaring war on the U.S. government. He claimed to be the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Action Force- East and called Robert Valeri, 21, another suspect in the robbery whom police had been questioning since Wednesday night, a member of RAF- West. Bond said he was writing the letter "because the U.S. government has not chosen to make public the formal declaration of war presented to it by Revolutionary Action Force in August of this year."
On the television news that night, another newscaster reported that there was no specific information available on the Revolutionary Action Force, "but it's membership nationally is believed no more than 50 to 75 people." A better estimate, equally as uninformed, might be a membership of one- Stanley R. Bond.
"I think the press has given Bond an identity and he has such an ego that he has taken it up. It may be that he believes it. People do incredible things under pressure," said one politically active Brandeis student, "I seriously doubt what he has been saying. I think he has fantasies of his own."
A few hours after Bond's capture, police announced that he and Valeri are being charged in a second holdup, the August 18 robbery of $8000 from the Prudential Savings and Loan Association in Evanston, Ill.
This is the first time Boston police have given any substantiation to their charge of a "larger conspiracy."
On the fourth day following the robbery and murder of Patrolman Schroeder, there is no evidence on the whereabouts of suspects Kathy Power and Susan Saxe. The purple dress found at Logan Airport and a flight listing of "K. Power" headed toward Los Angeles notwithstanding, police have shifted their search to Philadelphia, presumably on information coming from interrogation of Valeri.
Police also discovered that Kathy Power put a $100 deposit on a red 1967 Volkswagen about 45 minutes after the hold-up and paid for the car in cash an hour later.
Monday, September 28:
The flags at all Boston police stations and around most of the city are at half-mast today as slain patrolman Walter Schroeder is buried at Ever-green cemetery in West Roxbury at noon. Policemen arrive at the funeral wearing black cloth ribbons over their regular badges, and many will continue to wear the ribbons through the week.
THE GREAT CHASE- PART II:
Very close to the time Schroeder is being buried, five officers in Worcester, Mass., are setting their trap to snare the elusive Lefty Gilday in the town's Billing's Square.
After escaping a police dragnet Friday, Gilday hid for more than 30 hours in a basement cellar. At 9 a.m. Sunday, he emerged in Haverhill, Mass. and forced his way into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Huberdeau while Huberdeau was out getting milk. Returning, Huberdeau found Gilday holding his wife at gun-point.
At noon, Huberdeau's father and mother and five of their children arrived for Sunday dinner with their son and daughter-in-law. They ate carefully.
Members of the family were tied up, then released in the evening. The children watched Walt Disney, and one of the members of the family described Gilday as "pleasant."
Monday morning at 7 a.m., Gilday loaded a shotgun from Thomas Huberdeau's hunting equipment into the Huberdeau car and drove off, taking Thomas, 22, and his sister Cathy, 19, along as hostages.
Every half hour he stopped to phone the Huberdeau residence warning them not to call the police or he would kill the hostages. After two hours of driving, the three pulled off the road at the Millbury-Worcester line to get coffee and doughnuts at Mrs. Mack's Bakery.
By this time, however, the family had contacted relatives who called the police and a squad car had the trio under surveillance. The roadblock was set up in Billings Square in Worcester where all exits were covered.
As the car pulled up in the middle of the Square, a motorcycle policeman bolted across its path and Gilday cased to a stop. As police closed in, he handed his gun to Thomas Huberdeau and said "Now make them believe you captured me, I want to give myself in."
Neil T. Friedman, Brandeis sociology professor, has been suspended from all teaching responsibilities, Brandeis announced late Monday night. Although Friedman was mentioned in the State Street Bank holdup as the man who Susan Saxe said had gotten her a bookstore job in Portland, the University said the charges were unconnected with the robbery. The letter of complaint was mailed to Friedman the day before the holdup. The complaint charged "gross negligence and malfeasance" involving a statement he made to students last spring urging them to throw dirt and mud on acting president Charles I. Scotland.
Crowds gathered outside the Boston police station and Brighton district court this afternoon awaiting the arrival of robbery suspect Lefty Gilday. Outside the police station, about 300 persons watched the suspect as he entered the station under a heavy armed guard. When he emerged a few hours later, the crowd had swelled to nearly 700. A few shouted "Right On, Gilday" and "Off the Pigs." Others responded with "Kill him, kill him." "Pathetic," one policeman snorted as he heard the "right on" chants.
Gilday appeared before Brighton District Court for 18 minutes and pleaded innocent to all charges. His case was continued until October 6.
Patrolmen armed with telescopic lens rifles appeared on rooftops surrounding the Charles Street Jail late today and extra security guards were added around the building after Boston police superintendent William A. Bradley said he had been tipped that a "radical group" might try to free Gilday.
Tuesday, September 29:
Winfield S. Power, father of robbery suspect Kathy Power, suffered a heart attack at his job in Denver today. His wife, Mrs. Marjorie Power, issued a statement from her home which said: "Kathy, please contact us. Your father collapsed this morning at work and is in the hospital. Please get in touch with us in any way you possibly can."
The parents of Susan Saxe today received a letter from their daughter which they described as "very remorseful." The letter contained a ring handed down to Susan from her mother and her grandmother. A second letter went to the girl's rabbi.
Late Tuesday night, police arrest Michael S. Fleisher, 21, a Brandcis graduate student and former leader in the student strike information center, on charges of being an accessory after the fact.
Fleisher flew from Boston to Philadelphia late Thursday morning using his own name on a commercial flight. He went directly to his parents' home in Philadelphia where he was contacted shortly by FBI agents in Philadelphia. In the next few days, he continued to answer FBI questions, according to his lawyer Benjamin Lerner, and returned to his home Tuesday when he heard of the warrant for his arrest.
With his arrest, Fleisher becomes the sixth suspect in the robbery-slaying. The FBI affidavit issued for his arrest alleges that he was present with all five suspects in the apartment of Kathy Power at 163 Beacon St. on the day before the robbery, stayed the night and was present while plans for the robbery were discussed.
It also stated that Fleisher was present when guns were loaded into cars allegedly involved in the robbery and also when the group counted the money, discussed a bank robbery, and when Power, Saxe, and Bond departed in a red Volkswagen fastback.
Fleisher met with the two girls, Kathy Power and Susan Saxe, and Stanley Bond in a Philadelphia hotel room the next day where they were registered under the name of Sheldon Gelman, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says Fleisher admitted to being present in Boston with Power, Saxe, and Bond on Wednesday evening following the robbery, but makes no mention of his admitting to being there before or during the robbery. He does admit, however, to seeing the two girls and Bond in the Philadelphia hotel room.
Either Valeri or Fleisher is lying about the morning meeting.
Who is Robert Valeri? No one seems to know. For someone who has been in custody for a week now, he has done an extraordinary amount of confessing. Both affidavits field by the FBI rely heavily on his testimony, as does McNamara's charge that this is a "revolutionary act."
At 21, Valeri seems to have spent most of his life walking into and out of jails. He spent several years in the Shirley Industrial School (a Massachusetts reform school) until March 1966, when he walked off at the age of 17 to join a traveling circus. Six months later he was captured and returned. A year later he was arrested again for burglary and sent to Walpole where he was paroled this June with intentions of attending Northeastern in the fall.
According to the FBI, Valeri says that Fleisher was present when all five suspects planned the robbery and split the loot.
In an interview with the Herald-Traveler Friday, Bond said "I'm sure Valeri has told them a lot. Fortunately, he doesn't know a great deal. Incidentally, Valeri ought to be shot if he's implicated with people like Fleisher." Why is Bond criticizing Valeri for associating with Fleisher when Fleisher allegedly helped Bond escape?
Michael Fleisher is the third in a line of three student suspects who friends say is the last man they expect to see involved in such a thing ... and the most convincing.
"My son is no criminal,' said his mother after the FBI warrant was issued. "He's a brilliant boy. If he's in trouble, it's because of the pressures on young people today. Young people feel they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders."
"Michael Fleisher was gentle, he was intelligent, he was human- I liked him a lot," said a friend. "He handles things emotionally. He got very upset at times and it took him a long time to set his emotions straight."
In the student strike center last spring, Fleisher was a more important name than Kathy Power. If Power ran meetings or directed operations, Fleisher was the person who in a sense authorized her to do it.
After the strike center fizzled in the beginning of the summer, Fleshier, like Kathy, withdrew from it. When it got kicked off campus, however, he did not return.
His relationship with Bond was much the same as the others at the strike center: distrust growing eventually into reluctant acceptance.
"What do you think of this guy Bond?" he asked a co-worker during he first days of the strike. "You mean the cop?" the student replied. "Yeah, the cop," Fleshier answered.
On a political level, Fleshier and Bond did not get along. But even on a personal level, they had their differences. In the spring, Bond solicited Feluccas girlfriend in much the same way as he did Susan Axe and Kathy Power. After each had gone out with the girl several times, she stayed with Fleshier, but one friend conjectured that the situation bred a certain competitive comradely between the two, growing over the summer into a strange friendship.
His relationship with Kathy Power was based much more on a sense of equality. They had both been through many of the same experiences together. "I think a lot of people who knew Kathy Power were thinking what we would do if Kathy showed up atour door," said one student. "What would you do?"
Wednesday, September 30:
Robert J. Valerie testified voluntarily for more than an hour before the Suffolk County Grand Jury impaneled to hear evidence in the fatal shooting of Boston Patrolman Schroeder today. Police roamed the corridors of the Suffolk County Superior Courthouse carrying shotguns.
James F. McLaughlin, Valerie's court appointed lawyer, said. "He has decided to cooperate with the police and the prosecution. It was his decision, not mine."
Police Commissioner Edmund J. McNamara said he has evidence linking Angela Davis, sought by the FBI for allegedly supplying guns used in a California courtroom shoot-out, with the Brandies student strike center. Davis graduated from Brandies in 1967, but had no other ostensible link with the strike center.
McNamara's statement indicated that the "radical organizations" he referred to in his Thursday press conference as affiliated with the suspects was, in fact, the student strike center.
McNamara also accused Brandies of failing to give full cooperation to the police search, terming the administrators "weak-kneed apologists."
Brandeis denied the charge and renewed their pledge to help.
At Felucca's hearing for unlawful flight in Philadelphia, Larry E. Doss, an FBI agent, testified that Valerie de-the country and attack police powers. scribed the group's objectives "To break down the military structures of Doss said the group was not associated with other "New Left" groups, but did intend to use the money to finance its operations through bank robberies.
Fleisher's bail was set at $50,000 and his case was continued until Friday. His lawyer, Benjamin Learner, said Fleshier had been under FBI surveillance for a full week as they waited for Axe and Power to contact him, but nothing came of it.
Thursday, October 1:
Bond, Power, and Axe are charged by the FBI in a third hold-up, this one the September 1 robbery of $6040 from the City Line Branch of the Bell Savings and Loan Association in Philadelphia, Penn.
Police said Bond held three women tellers at bay while one girl guarded the door holding a molotov cocktail and the other waited in the getaway car.
Reporters examining Boston voter registration records Thursday night discover that William Gilday, another suspect in the robbery, registered to vote at a street corner registration booth less than two hours after the Sept. 22 hold-up. "Gilday talked to the other clerk about the charms of Rye Beach," one of the registrars said. Rye Beach was the first stop on Gilday's wild chase through Massachusetts and New Hampshire the week before.
The clerk said "it is doubtful that he could avail himself of the privilege of voting on an absentee ballot" while in jail.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury handed down 12 secret indictments against the six suspects in the bank robbery. Michael Fleshier was charged with nine secret counts of accessory after the fact.
Friday, October 2:
Although charges have not been filed, the FBI linked several suspects in the Brighton robbery to a robbery in Beverly Hills, Calif., an aborted hold-up in New York and a planned heist in San Francisco. The new charges bring the number of actual robberies involving the suspects to four. Gilday, the alleged triggerman who fired the bullet killing Patrolman Schroeder, was not involved in any of the previous robberies, according to the FBI.
The Beverly Hills robbery reportedly involved the theft of $3400 from the Equitable Savings and Loan on September 14, one day before Susan Save purchased $500 worth of firearms in Portland, Ore.
Arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court, Lefty Gilday pleaded innocent to his charges and was immediately ordered to undergo 35 days of observation at Bridgewater State Hospital.
United States Commissioner Tully G. Leomporra reduced bail for Michael Fleshier from $50,000 to $35,000 in Philadelphia today and set an extradition hearing for October 23. Fleshier appeared clean-shaven and with a prison haircut.
According to the Boston Globe, Fleshier extended his forefinger to the press as he left the courtroom. According to the Herald-Traveler. he made an obscene gesture and snarled "Leeches."
Kathy Power asked a friend at Brandies to go on "commando raids" with her in late August, the CRIMSON has learned.
Stanley Bond today told a Herald-Traveler correspondent "I've seen both the girls. There was a meeting somewhere on the West Coast. Both girls and others."
Speaking in his Grand Junction cell, Bond said. "You can tell the parents of both girls that they are very probably safe by now anyway." Bond said the girls were heading toward a specific destination where they will meet with Angela Davis, also a fugitive currently on the FBI ten most wanted list.
In granting the interview, Bond insisted that the Herald-Traveler publish a three page statement he wrote in his cell Thursday night.
Excerpts of the statement follow:
"Poiltics have been an institutionalized form of violence and the political body, the instrument protecting those institutions; it is the body which represents an overt violence, becoming more and more the gun as the institutions themselves are stripped away. Because the institutions of American politics have been challenged in such a way as to force the protecting body to employ the use of nearly every gun at its disposal, anyone wishing to make a political statement against that body had best make it with a gun; the statement itself should be made with a gun, not merely backed up by one...."
"I remain an individual personally motivated toward a political course of action, but one who realizes that his reasons for doing things are very often the reasons for others, and in that cause we join together in action without surrendering the awareness of our separateness from which springs our spirit and from which we derive our sense of freedom...."
The truth emerging here is not that the masses will necessarily succeed in overwhelming wealthy men and nations, but that those men and nations in order to continue their picnic [ sic ] will necessarily subjugate completely or else totally destroy the unmanageable majority of those masses; literally, they will alter the world's reality which is wont, by destroying those who want even a small portion of what the wealthy have."
"The possibility that I should go ahead with my present commitment was increased by virtue of the knowledge of have been [ sic ] criminal in attitude and action at several points in my life. Shortly after first entering prison at the age of 21 I resolved that I would continue my existence if I could not somehow choose to change my attitude in such a way as to allow my life to assume a direction which might accord it a meaning other than criminal; in short, I decided to live my life in a manner that could be understood in its totality by others...."
The FBI today alerted news media to the possibility that they might name another suspect, "a recent Harvard graduate" working in the Boston area, before the night was out. The charging of the suspect never came.
Saturday, October 3:
The trail of suspects Power and Axe has gone cold. Police checked rumors that the girls were in either Providence, Rhode Island, Montreal or British Columbia, Canada. None proved true.
The focus of the search has centered on Kathy Power and Susan Axe, but the focus of the case has now beamed in on one man- Stanley Bond.
In the ten days following the State Street Bank robbery, he has 1) granted an interview with the Cambridge Phoenix claiming the robbery as a conscious political act; 2) sent off letters to the Justice Department, FBI, and a Boston newscaster asking to be treated as a prisoner of war because he is commander-in-chief of the "Revolutionary Action Force- East" ;3) issued a garbled three page statement explaining the revolutionary intent of his action; and 4) begun a book about crime, radicalism, and revolution.
"You're either going to have to keep your mouth shut or I'm out," Bonds attorney Robert M. Mardirosian told him Saturday.
"I thought we agreed that I could talk about the reasons for my political beliefs," Bond retorted.
"Yes, but, my God, you're going all the way," the lawyer answered.
What are the roots of Bond's radicalism? When he came to Brandies in February, students universally agree he was apolitical. When the student strike happened in early May, many strike center people- including Michael Fleshier and Kathy Power- thought he was a police informer. When school ended, he had already slept with Susan Axe and was at the time living with Kathy Power, according to a close friend of both girls.
Although Susan Axe may perhaps have been radicalized to the point of armed revolutionary struggle by the end of the summer, friends uniformly believe Kathy Power was not. It's a strange menage a trois. But how political, how sexual, how coercing was their relationship? And who was politicizing, sexualizing, or coercing who?
Neither Kathy Power nor Susan Axe were particularly attractive girls. Both were under 5'2" and weighed 150 pounds. At a small Brandies party last spring, Bond met Susan Axe for the first time and began chiding her about the political buttons on her sweater supporting the student strike and women's lib. When she began her defense, he interrupted to say she had come to the party to meet a man.
Saxe snapped back at the male chauvinism in his remark, and Bond readily agreed, adding that it was meant to attract her attention and he was confident they would soon become best of friends.
"Stan knew just what he was doing," a party guest told Gordon Hall, a correspondent for the Herald-Traveler. "By telling this dew-cyed impressionable child precisely what she did not want to hear, he was certain to be remembered long after she had forgotten the monotonous cliches everyone else spouts at such parties."
Politically, Bond switched easily from a stance far more radical than those around him (often he would criticize them as "parlor revolutionaries" and their politics as "dry theories from textbooks") to a position of moderation and even reaction (calling on student strikers, for instance, to work within the system and displaying personal prejudices against blacks and Jews).
Psychologically, Bond is perhaps a hardened, less charismatic, but more deceptively sympathetic version of California's Charlie Manson. Bond's ties to the two Brandies women were, like Manson's ties to the women in his family, sexual as well as political. His ties to Gilday and Valerie appear to be distinctly pragmatic.
If anything about the gang becomes more clear with time, it is the fact that Bond swayed back and forth between the poles of his "gang"- the girls on one side and the ex-convicts on the other. He is the only one of the six persons implicated in all of the group's alleged crimes.
His schizoid role left him, with an after the fact choice of being either a political robber or a criminal robber, and he has apparently chosen the former. If his self-characterization as a radical is genuine, there is some question over why he waited until after what police allege was his fourth robbery before declaring his politics. The decision appears pragmatic, designed to elicit the most support and admiration for himself now that his bank robbing days are over.
Sunday, October 4:
Speaking in Boston to the Ford Hall Forum, William Kunstler, lawyer for the defendants in the Chicago conspiracy trial, said he was interested in the case of the six defendants.
"It could be a major political trial. But I don't understand the politics of this case yet," Kunstler said. "I would enter it if 1) somebody wanted me to; 2) it could be a good political case; and 3) if it fit well with my priorities- I've got cases back to back- so it's hard to say there."
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