Peace, Love, and Terror

The investigation into a cop killing in the '70s leads to a law professor who helped launch Barack Obama's political career.

According to San Francisco defense attorney Hanlon, who represented one of the Ingleside defendants, the documentation he's seen on Park Station doesn't bode for better results. "I've looked at probably 90 percent of the evidence," he said, explaining that much of it was available to Ingleside defense attorneys because of the BLA's possible connection to the bombing. "They have no case, and that's why they have no prosecution. They have enough snitches; they just don't have any evidence."

Investigators privately acknowledge that, as time passes, a conviction seems more improbable. Steen, one of the two former radicals who described the Weather Underground's alleged planning of the Park Station bombing to the FBI, apparently became a homeless drifter. It is unclear whether he would still be a competent witness. A 2002 SFPD bulletin seeking him as a witness in a criminal conspiracy investigation states he was "transient," last encountered by police during a 2000 arrest for squatting in Golden Gate Park. Steen could not be reached by Village Voice Media for comment.

Latimer, who would likely have been a star witness for the prosecution, died several years ago, according to Reagan. During his brief return to the Park Station case in 2000, Reagan said, he re-established contact with Latimer, whom he had known during his years as an undercover agent in the 1970s. Speaking to her again after the intervening decades, he found her deeply frustrated that her decision to cooperate with law enforcement so many years ago had been of little consequence.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, photographed in 2001, are now professors in Chicago.
Todd Buchanan
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, photographed in 2001, are now professors in Chicago.
Brian McDonnell was killed by shrapnel in the 1970 bombing of Park Police Station.
San Francisco Police Department
Brian McDonnell was killed by shrapnel in the 1970 bombing of Park Police Station.

"She was looking for a form of justice, and she was totally disappointed that there wasn't enough to prosecute," he said. "To her, it was a reality. She was there, and she heard them talking about doing this."

But the Weathermen, fugitives for the better part of a decade, haven't lost their knack for evading the scrutiny of the law. At a preliminary hearing earlier this year in the failed Ingleside murder case, Dohrn, in a gesture of solidarity among aging radicals, traveled to San Francisco from Chicago to stand with the defendants' supporters in the courtroom. Engler, head of the Phoenix Task Force, was also present. He recognized and approached her, according to law enforcement sources who described the scene.

Engler introduced himself to Dohrn as a San Francisco homicide detective and said he would like to speak with her after the hearing. She greeted him politely, but was noncommittal, and left without giving him a chance to interview her when the courtroom session ended. It had been 39 years since Park Station was bombed. Police were still looking for a break. And once again, Bernardine Dohrn had disappeared.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...