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Sources for TENC Series on Current Attempt to Redeem the Weathermen

[Posted December 20, 2008]


1. "Surviving: World Shattered for Slain Guard's Widow
The Washington Post, April 23, 1984, Monday, Final Edition; First Section; A1, 1464 words; by Margot Hornblower


Inside the powder-blue split-level with a listing pine tree in the yard, Josephine Paige has virtually never stopped crying.

"It feels like it happened yesterday," she said, tears falling down her cheeks. "I guess there are some widows who carry on. But I'm not that strong. I feel like I don't have a life anymore."

Two and a half years ago, her husband, Peter, a guard for Brinks, the armored car company, was murdered by a gang of leftist extremists who stole $1.6 million as it was being loaded onto his truck. The men and women who participated in the heist called themselves "freedom fighters." The FBI called them "terrorists."

In their little house off the New Jersey Turnpike, the Paiges had led an ordinary life: mass on Sundays, high school football games in the afternoons, and, in July, a week on the Jersey shore. Paige, a quiet man, worked hard to support his family.

Now Josephine Paige lives in terror--of what, she's not really sure. Accompanied by a German shepherd, she opened her front door. Once easygoing, she said she now trusts no one. In an interview, she trembled.

The children, Susan, 22, Michael, 19, and Peter Jr., 11, bear the scars. "There's a lot of hurt," said Paige, 45. "My children hold everything inside. They don't talk to me, and I don't talk to them about their father. Not that I don't want to. But it hurts when I do."

The Brinks case has attracted national publicity. A massive federal investigation delved into the Brinks gang, made up mostly of middle-class white women, who were veterans of the anti-war movement of the 1960s, and black men, some of whom were members of the radical Black Liberation Army.

Two men and a woman were convicted last year of second-degree murder and robbery after testifying that the heist was an "expropriation" to finance a Republic of New Afrika, a black nation to be formed in the southern United States.

This week, opening arguments are scheduled in the White Plains, N.Y., trial of two other alleged participants, ex-convict Solomon (Sam) Brown and Kathy Boudin, a well-known member of the radical Weather Underground and the daughter of prominent civil rights lawyer Leonard Boudin.

The three radicals convicted last year were sentenced to 75 years to life in prison.

"I'm a good Catholic," said Josephine Paige, "but I think prison is too good for these people. I've always believed, a life for a life. The justice system is no good. They'll probably get out on parole. They say they're terrorists or something?"

She is 4 feet 11, with short brown hair, no makeup and no jewelry, save her wed-ding ring. She wore navy slacks and a loose-fitting pale pink shirt. As she spoke she twisted a wet tissue around her finger and wiped her eyes.

"I am so bitter," she said, crying softly. "My husband was such a good man. He didn't deserve to die. If he drank or he were a bum, maybe I'd feel differently. But he wouldn't hurt a fly. Why did they have to kill him? Why couldn't they just take the money?"

Canned laughter from morning game shows filled the small living room. On top of the television, smiling graduation pictures of her older children were framed in leather.

"I can't look at pictures of my husband," she said. "It's not that I'm blocking him out, but maybe I don't feel he's gone yet. It hurts too much . . . . I want to dream about my husband, but I can't. I don't know why. Maybe it is because I haven't let him rest yet."

At 49, after 24 years with the company, Peter Paige had enough seniority to get the better routes. The ride through Rockland County, N.Y., every Tuesday, with pickups at 25 suburban banks, was a pleasant one with friendly people along the way.

On Oct. 20, 1981, Peter Paige and two partners--Joseph Trombino and James Kelly--picked up the gray-and-white armored truck at Newark headquarters to begin the day's rounds.

Shortly before 4 p.m., they pulled into the upper level of a mall outside Nyack, stopping at the Nanuet National Bank. Paige and Trombino went inside to fetch the money. In five minutes they emerged, Trombino pushing a cart with six canvas bags of cash and checks, Paige stationing himself against the wall of the bank to oversee the transfer.

As Kelly pushed the button to open the back compartment, a red Chevy van screeched up and three masked robbers jumped out. In seconds, without a word spo-ken, they shot Paige, who fell face down and died without having drawn his gun.

Trombino's left arm, riddled with bullets, was permanently crippled. Kelly re-ceived a minor head injury from the windshield, which shattered as the gunmen fired at him.

The robbers, joined by a fourth who had been lounging nearby, seized the money, jumped into the van and raced away. In a parking lot behind a Korvette's store several miles away, they abandoned the van, splitting up to leave in a tan Honda and a U-Haul truck.

The U-Haul soon was stopped at a roadblock. The men jumped out of the back, blasting with shotguns, killing two Nyack policemen and injuring a third. Boudin was caught unarmed after she jumped from the cab of the U-Haul. Several suspects es-caped and are still at large, police said.

On the afternoon of the robbery, Josephine Paige had fixed her husband's favorite meal, chili. She had just finished ironing a shirt and was waiting for him. That night they intended to skip Peter's usual bowling league event to attend Michael's football game. When he heard the news, Michael came home from the game with neighbors.

"He sat on the couch and cried and cried and cried," Josephine Paige said. "The priest came, but nobody could stop him."

For months after her husband died, she was in a near-catatonic state, unable to do housework or cook. Neighbors brought food.

"I couldn't concentrate," she said. "I couldn't do anything. After a while, my kids said, 'We've got to stop going to McDonald's, Mom.' " For a year and a half, she went to a psychiatrist, who finally told her she would have to recover on her own.

With its endless legal tangles, the Brinks case has remained in the news: a con-stant, painful reminder for the Paiges and the families of the two dead policemen.

This was the first interview Josephine Paige had given since her husband was killed. Relatives of the other victims are equally reluctant to talk.

Diane O'Grady, widow of policeman Edward J. O'Grady Jr., moved from Nyack, outside New York City, to Watertown, far upstate, with her three children, who were 7, 3 and 1 when their father was killed. Through her lawyer, she declined an inter-view request.

Officer Waverly Brown, known as "Chipper," was the divorced father of three, an 18-year-old son and two daughters who were serving overseas in the Air Force. His mother, Dorothy Deloatch of Lawrenceville, Va., said she was "too busy" to be inter-viewed.

Brown, known for his work counseling youths and helping the poor, was the only black on the two-dozen member Nyack police force, an ironic twist for the Brinks gang that said it was dedicating its efforts toward black and Third World liberation.

Josephine Paige had been brought up in unhappy foster homes. At 16, she started work as a bank receptionist, a job the nuns at a Jersey City convent found for her. She met her husband on a blind date. A Navy veteran, he was working at Brinks and studying engineering at night.

"He quit school after two years," she said. "It was my fault. I complained I never saw him. Today I regret it. He might have gotten a different job."

Her voice trailed off, and she broke into tears.

"I was so happy to find someone who was a good man and a good father," she said. "Someone to love and to love me. I had been lonely all my life.

"He was a real family man. He went every place with his children. He'd take the boys fishing in summer. He went to all their football games and basketball games. My daughter went out for track. He was always there cheering her on."

She recalls saying, " 'Why don't you get a different job?'

"He knew it was a dangerous job. But he loved it. He liked seeing the people every day. But sometimes when we were paying bills together--we always did every-thing together--and I made a mistake in the checkbook, he'd say, 'If you make mis-takes now, what are you going to do if anything happened to me?' I'd say, 'I don't know.' "

On Palm Sunday, she visited her husband's grave at Holy Cross Cemetery to bring a cross of palm fronds. She makes the 15-minute drive two or three times a week, sometimes with her children, to bring fresh flowers. In summer, she plants geraniums.

"I go there, and I talk to him, and I say my prayers," she said. "I tell him when dif-ferent things come up. I feel he knows what I'm doing and he watches over me. He's helping me. You probably think I'm crazy, but it keeps me going."

Copyright 1984 The Washington Post
Reprinted for educational purpose; for Fair Use Only.


2. "Up From the Underground," The New York Times, October 23, 1981, Friday, Late City Final Edition, Section A; Page 30, Column 1; Editorial Desk, 350 words

* * *

A few months after the 1970 explosion in a Greenwich Village townhouse that killed three Weathermen, their leader, Bernardine Dohrn, said, "We became aware that a group of outlaws who are isolated from the youth communities do not have a sense of what is going on."

Weather Underground, as the group was later called, never did have a sense of what was going on. Its members went to Cuba to meet the Vietcong; they went to Algeria to meet the P.L.O.; yet both the black and women's movements spurned their overtures. They were everywhere and nowhere -- amateurs of revolution, self-styled urban guerrillas.

Their specialty was bombing, at which they were not adept, as evidenced by the famous townhouse explosion that killed part of their membership. Nonetheless, during the years of Vietnam protest, they were responsible for at least 20 intentional bombings, and several deaths. If their bombing was clumsy, their thinking was inchoate: to read Weather Underground's 1974 political statement is to drown in rhetoric. Their only real skill, in fact, was masterly manipulation of media. Members of a small, lunatic cell, they won a place in the national consciousness far out of proportion to their number.

Tuesday, after years of silence, Weather Underground surfaced again. Katherine Boudin, a fugitive from the townhouse explosion, and Judith Clark, who served a prison term in connection with the 1969 "Days of Rage" in Chicago, were captured as they fled the scene of the killing of two Nyack policemen. The officers had set up a roadblock to halt bandits who had killed one Brink's guard and wounded two others during a $1.6 million robbery.

Although their language was invariably grandiloquent, the members of Weather Underground have never been precise in defining The Enemy. "Perpetrators of global violence" is a fair sample. The victims, however, are easily described. Working men, white, black, parents. Ordinary people.

Copyright 1981 The New York Times Company
Reprinted for educational purpose; for Fair Use Only


3. "Ex-radical leader starts 3-year prison term," UPI, January 15, 1981, Thursday, AM cycle, Domestic News, 388 words, by Paula Schwed


Radical Cathlyn Wilkerson, who hid from authorities for a decade, began a three-year prison term Thursday for building bombs to protest the Vietnam War.

Ms. Wilkerson, who was sentenced Oct. 28, appeared outside the courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice Harold Rothwax in Manhattan with her 3-year-old daughter and the child's father.

''I remain committed to fighting to change our world because I believe the beauty and productivity of the human spirit cannot be contained by the few who rule with greed, selfishness and cruelty,'' she said, hands trembling and eyes watering.

Fist clenched high, she shouted in Portuguese, ''A luta continua'' -- the struggle continues. Several friends cheered.

Ms. Wilkerson was charged with felony possession of dynamite, a charge that stemmed from a March 6, 1970, explosion that wrecked her father's Greenwich Vil-lage townhouse, killing trhree of her associates.

The house was being used by Ms. Wilkerson and her friends in the Weather Un-derground as a bomb factory. Ms. Wilkerson fled the burning building with another Weather Underground member, Kathy Boudin, before police arrived -- and re-mained underground until July 8.

In the rubble, authorities said they found enough explosives to level a city block.

''I have been identified as one who sought to attack the foundation of American justice,'' Ms. Wilkerson said Thursday. ''I did indeed do this because I believe Ameri-can justice is a system organized to protect the rich and powerful and to terrorize those who fight aagainst its cruelties.''

The maximum sentence for her crime was seven years, but Rothwax gave her a minimum sentence, saying ''she acted out of hopelessness and desperation.

''She felt she had a moral duty to prevent the government from doing an immoral action,'' Rothwax said, referring to the Vietnam War.

Ms. Wilkerson pleaded with the judge in a motion submitted by her attorney that she be allowed remain free for the sake of her daughter Bessie. She said that a separa-tion would be ''grossly harmful'' to the child.

The judge rejected the argument.

Bernardine Dohrn, another former Weather Underground member who spent 11 years underground, was sentenced earlier this week in Chicago to three years' pro-bation and fined $1,500 for her part in the ''Days of Rage'' riot in 1969.

Copyright 1981 U.P.I
Reprinted for educational purpose; for Fair Use Only


4. "News Summary," The New York Times,
October 6, 1982, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition
Section B; Page 1, Column 1; Metropolitan Desk, 925 words

[Relevant part of the news summary is highlighted in yellow. ]


Lebanese Army soldiers conducted their first intensive search of downtown West Beirut, sealing off commercial and residential streets and taking scores of people into custody. Unofficial estimates put the number of those detained at more than 400. (Page A1, Column 6.)

Sweden said it had trapped what it suspects is a Soviet submarine in coastal waters near a secret Swedish naval base. It said it was dropping depth charges to force the vessel to the surface. (A3:1-3.)

A break in three Salvadoran murders led to new controversy. Two former corporals confessed they had killed two American labor officials and a Salvadoran union leader at a San Salvador hotel 21 months ago, but a Salvadoran judge ruled there was ''insuf-ficient evidence'' to hold a politically influential lieutenant whom the corporals had sworn was among three men who ordered the murders. The United States Embassy said it was ''dismayed and incredulous.'' (A1:5.)


A recall of Tylenol capsules from stores across the country and a halt in production was announced by the manufacturer after reports that a California man was stricken after taking Tylenol capsules laced with strychnine. In Chicago, a massive Federal, state and local law enforcement team continued a methodical hunt for a ''madman'' or ''random killer'' who, officials say, removed the Tylenol powder and substituted cya-nide, killing seven persons. (A1:1.)

Tamper-resistant packaging for all nonprescription drugs will be pressed by the Fed-eral Government and the pharmaceutical industry. Spokesmen said they would work together to develop Federal regulations requiring the safer packaging. Most options, according to a packaging expert, involve designs that will make it immediately evi-dent if a bottle or the pills inside have been tampered with. (A1:2.)

Four Salvadorans suffocated after smugglers abandoned a truckload of illegal aliens in the stifling south Texas desert. Officials said there were 12 survivors, also Salva-dorans. Eight were hospitalized. (A12:1-2.)

Detroit teachers returned to the classrooms after a 22-day strike in advance of a for-mal ratification vote. Negotiators reached a tentative settlement by submitting all un-resolved issues to binding arbitration. (A12:3-5.)

Reduced food stamp benefits for people who are 60 to 64 years old has been pro-posed by the Reagan Administration. Officials are also considering a plan to elimi-nate meal subsidies for orphanages, homes for mentally retarded children and other residential institutions for child care. (A13:1.)

A preservation drive in Block Island, R.I., is taking hold. The battle to preserve part of the island 12 miles off the coast is led by natives of old Yankee stock, summer residents, bird-lovers, conservationists and local and state officials. The groups met the first deadline for raising the money to bar development. (A1:5-6.)

Republicans' advantages in financing Congressional campaigns were reflected in a Federal Election Commission report. It showed that the Republican incumbents, chal-lengers and others in all races had spent more on average and over all than the De-mocrats in each category. (B6:4-6.)

The issue of abortion is dominating the campaign of Senator Jim Sasser, Democrat of Tennessee. His Republican opponent, Representative Robin L. Beard, and right-wing groups are hammering away at Mr. Sasser's vote to break a Senate tie and defeat a bill that would have banned virtually all abortions. The outcome of the race offers a ma-jor opportunity to measure the political impact of social issues pressed by conserva-tives. (B6:5-6.)


Mayor Koch accused judges of refusing to sentence minor criminals to work camps that the city opened a month ago, saying that only 22 persons had been sent to the two camps, which can accommodate 125. Several of the Criminal Court judges attributed the small number of quality-of-life offenders sentenced to the camps to a belief that detention was not warranted, to the judges' confusion over who qualified for the pro-gram or to the feeling that they were trapped by plea bargaining and could only order offenders to pay fines. (A1:3-4.)

The two candidates for Senator from New York held their first debate. Florence M. Sullivan, Assemblywoman of Brooklyn, asserted that the Soviet Union held a posi-tion of military superiority over the United States. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan retorted that ''nothing is more perilous than the mindless assertion that the Soviet Un-ion is ahead of us. They are not.'' (B2:6.)

Just before two officers were killed after the $1.6 million Brink's robbery in Nyack, N.Y., Oct. 20, Kathy Boudin left a getaway truck and persuaded a police sergeant at a roadblock to have one officer put away his shotgun, the officer testified. Seconds later, the officer said, two gunmen burst from the rear of the truck and began shooting at the officers. (B3:5-6.)

Two youths about to stand trial on charges stemming from the disruption of Newark's water supply system last year pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Each of the 20-year-old defendants faces up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and restitution payments of up to $2,000. (B9:4.)

Copyright 1982 The New York Times Company
Reprinted for educational purpose; for Fair Use Only


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The Emperor's New Clothes (TENC) *