Attorney General John Ashcroft
and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller today announced the
arrest of James William Kilgore in Cape Town, South Africa,
where he was taken into custody by the South African Police
Services without incident. Kilgore is the final member
of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) who has been sought
as a fugitive from justice by law enforcement authorities
for nearly 27 years.
The SLA was a group of individuals
which advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government
during the 1970s. The SLA is most noted for the 1973 murder
of Marcus Foster, Superintendent of Oakland Schools in
Oakland, Calif., and the 1974 kidnapping of media heiress
Patricia Hearst in Berkeley, Calif. The SLA was also responsible
for numerous bank robberies and bombings.
In August, 1976, Kilgore
was charged by federal indictment with Possession of an
Unregistered Explosive Device (26 United States Code,
Section 5861(d)). The device had been found among possessions
being moved from an SLA safehouse in Daly City, Calif.
Kilgore has also been charged
with the 1975 murder of bank customer Myrna Opsahl during
an armed robbery in Carmichael, Calif. Four former SLA
members pleaded guilty in the murder case yesterday.
Kilgore was born in Portland,
Ore., but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was
an honors graduate from San Rafael High School in California.
In 1969, he graduated from the University of California
at Santa Barbara with a degree in Economics.
Kilgore disappeared on or
about September 18, 1975, after the FBI arrested SLA members
Patricia Hearst, Wendy Yoshimura, William and Emily Harris
and Steven Soliah in San Francisco. He disappeared at
the same time as SLA member Kathleen Soliah, now known
as Sara Jane Olson.
Investigators believe that
Kilgore has been living in Cape Town under the assumed
name of Charles William Pape since at least the early
1990s. He has been working at the University of Cape Town
Over the nearly 27 years
that Kilgore has been sought, all 56 FBI field offices,
FBI Legal Attache offices overseas, and many other law
enforcement agencies have participated in the investigation.
Attorney General Ashcroft
and Director Mueller commend the South African Police
Services, Interpol, the State Department, the United States
Customs Service, the San Francisco Field Office of the
FBI, and the FBI Legal Attache in Pretoria, South Africa,
for their outstanding efforts which led to the arrest
Special appreciation is
extended to forensic sculptor Frank Bender who provided
an age-enhanced bust of Kilgore to the "America's
Most Wanted" television program. This program, along
with other media outlets, aired several stories on Kilgore
over the last few years and many investigative leads resulted
from their assistance.
Title 26, United States
Code, Section 5871, referring to Section 5861(d), carries
a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000.00
fine. However, should Kilgore be convicted of the charges
as alleged, any sentence upon conviction would be subject
to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take a number
of factors into account and are subject to the Court's
Kilgore will be afforded
an initial appearance in Federal District Court in San
Francisco after his return from South Africa.
Note: Media inquiries
regarding Kilgore may be addressed to Special Agent Nancy
Duncan, FBI San Francisco, at 415/553-7400, or Matthew
Jacobs, Assistant United States Attorney, at 415/436-7200.