Bernard Shaw, Husband and Bodyguard of Patty Hearst, Dies …

Posted: May 20, 2020 at 4:45 am


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Bernard L. Shaw, a former San Francisco police officer who became the bodyguard and husband of Patricia Hearst, the heiress who was abducted in 1974 by a leftist guerrilla organization and then imprisoned for crimes she was accused of committing on its behalf, died on Dec. 17 at his home in Garrison, N.Y. He was 68.

The Hearst Corporation said he died after a long illness but did not specify the cause.

Mr. Shaw gained a kind of reflected celebrity through his association with Ms. Hearst, which the news media saw as an unlikely union of the upper and working classes.

They met in 1976 after she was released on bail pending an appeal of her conviction in a bank robbery, which was carried out with her help, prosecutors said by a radical group that called itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. Mr. Shaw was one of about 20 bodyguards hired by the Hearst family.

Ms. Hearst was 19 when she was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, Calif., on Feb. 4, 1974. She said in a tape recording that April that she had willingly adopted their cause, but her lawyers later said her captors had physically and sexually abused her and brainwashed her into joining them.

Ms. Hearst was also accused of spraying a Los Angeles street with gunfire to help one of her kidnappers escape after he had robbed a sporting goods store. She was taken into custody more than a year after six Symbionese Liberation Army members were killed in a shootout with the Los Angeles police.

After the United States Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal, she was returned to prison, where Mr. Shaw visited her four times a week. His first marriage was dissolved in 1977. President Jimmy Carter commuted Ms. Hearsts sentence in 1979, and she and Mr. Shaw married in a brief but well-publicized Episcopal ceremony at a naval base in San Francisco Bay.

Bernard Lee Shaw was born in San Francisco on Sept. 3, 1945. He attended the University of San Francisco and served in the Army. He began working for the Hearst Corporation in 1983 and was Hearsts vice president for corporate security at his death.

Ms. Hearst, now Patricia Hearst Shaw, survives him, as do their two daughters, Gillian Hearst Simonds and Lydia Hearst-Shaw; two children from his previous marriage, Thomas and Heather Shaw; a sister, Joan Carmignani; and a granddaughter.

Ms. Hearst Shaw said her family had been pessimistic about her long-term chances of staying with Mr. Shaw. My parents gave us a Sears vacuum cleaner as a wedding present, she told Conan OBrien in 1996. They thought it wouldnt last.

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Bernard Shaw, Husband and Bodyguard of Patty Hearst, Dies ...

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May 20th, 2020 at 4:45 am

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