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Lynette Fromme, Would-be Killer of Ford, Escapes

December 24, 1987|Associated Press

ALDERSON, W. Va. — Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of then-President Gerald R. Ford, escaped Wednesday night from the Alderson Federal Prison for Women, officials said.

Fromme, 39, was discovered missing at about 9:30 p.m., half an hour after the nightly prison check, said Associate Warden Maureen Atwood.

"At first we thought she might be hiding here someplace," Atwood said. She said local, state and federal authorities, including the Secret Service, had been notified of Fromme's disappearance.

Fromme, a follower of mass murderer Charles Manson, was convicted of trying to assassinate Ford in a September, 1975, incident in Sacramento, the first of two attempts on Ford's life. He was unharmed when a Secret Service agent grabbed the pistol aimed at him by Fromme.

Second Incident Cited

In the second incident later that month in San Francisco, Ford again escaped injury when Sara Jane Moore, a political activist, fired a revolver at him.

Atwood said Fromme apparently escaped alone and a statewide search was under way. She said Fromme had never caused trouble in her 10 years at the prison.

"She's someone who just kind of blended in. She's never caused us any problem. It's a minimum- to a medium-security prison and she is the only one who escaped," Atwood said.

Fromme has a long police record and had a fanatical devotion to her role as keeper of the faith for the murderous Manson "family."

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