Squeaky Fromme To Be Released From Prison

Illustration for article titled Squeaky Fromme To Be Released From Prison

One of Charles Manson's most loyal followers, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, 60, is set to be released from prison on August 16, after serving 34 years of a life sentence for pointing a gun at then-President Ford in 1975.

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According to CNN, a spokeswoman at the Federal Medical Center at Carswell, Texas—where Fromme has been housed—wouldn't say whether or not she continues to correspond with Manson, although in a 1987 interview, Fromme was still an avid supporter of, and in contact with, the convicted murderer, saying he was "a once-in-a-lifetime soul…He's got more heart and spirit than anyone I've ever met."

In 1969—at the cusp of second-wave feminism—Fromme and the other female members of the Manson family challenged the public's widely-held stereotypes of female behavior, helping to debunk the idea that women are, by nature, nurturing and delicate creatures. On the other hand, the fact that they did so by blindly and wholeheartedly following the orders of a man sort of canceled out any "progress" in gender politics.

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Fromme was perhaps the perfect representation of the dichotomous disposition of the Manson family members: free love, at-one-with-nature types with sociopathic, violent tendencies. In September 1975, Fromme went to Sacramento's Capitol Park, where she heard President Ford would be, in an attempt to plead with him about the plight of the California redwoods. She approached him about her environmental concerns, armed with a .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol. She pointed it at him, but never fired.

She was convicted of attempted assassination of the president, which requires a maximum sentence of life in prison, with the possibility of parole. Fromme was first eligible for parole in 1985, but reportedly waived her right for a hearing, and remained in prison.

In 1987, she escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia, after she learned that Manson had testicular cancer. She was attempting to meet up with him, but was captured two days later. That breakout came back to bite her in the ass when she was actually granted parole in July 2008, but was forced to serve extra time for the infraction.

After 34 Years, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme To Be Released [CNN]

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DISCUSSION

Peppermint
Peppermint

There was a very interesting interview with John Waters about her today on NPR. I don't know if it's available online, but apparently he tried to interview her a while ago for Rolling Stone, and she said that no, she wasn't interested in giving publicity to something like that, or being interviewed. That intrigued him, and he kept up a friendship with her.

Apparently back then she was beyond loony ("she thought she was an elf" and "she thought the Beatles talked to her"), but since she got away from Manson she's become an upstanding prison citizen — runs an AIDS program, teaches people how to read, etc. According to Waters, she's met every condition for parole — and her sentence was /not/ life without parole — but it took judges to overrule the parole board trying to keep her in jail anyway.