The Chris Voss Show Podcast – Searching for Patty Hearst: A True Crime Novel by Roger D. Rapoport

Searching for Patty Hearst: A True Crime Novel by Roger D. Rapoport

On the night that Patty Hearst was kidnapped in 1974, journalist Roger D. Rapoport, was a short drive away in his El Cerrito home. He quickly became one of the primary reporters covering the saga as it unfolded in real time. His reporting gave local and national readers a window into one of the most bizarre and polarizing crimes in U.S. history. Now, fifty years later, he has written a novel, Searching for Patty Hearst, that draws heavily from that time.

In this compelling new book, he explores alternative theories of the crime and delves into the complex psychology of many of the key actors in a drama that kept the country riveted. Using the techniques of fiction, Rapoport gives voice to much of the story that fell outside of the bounds of journalistic coverage. “I wrote this novel because I believed the American public deserved nothing but the truth,” he says.

With a wry sensibility and insider knowledge that Rapoport is one of the few people to possess, Searching for Patty Hearst, goes beyond the tabloid headlines to tell the story in all its depth. Rapoport takes on such questions as: Why did Patty participate in the kidnapping of a high school student hours before six of the SLA kidnappers were killed in a firefight with the Los Angeles police department? Did celebrity coroner Thomas Noguchi, whom Rapoport interviewed, mishandle the autopsies of six SLA victims? Why did Patty’s lawyers dump her fiancée Steve Weed as a key witness at her trial at the last minute?

It’s often said that fiction can offer insights into the truth that reporting can’t. If that is the case, the story of Patty Hearst, the SLA, and the kidnapping that carved them into the American psyche just may be told for the first time with Searching for Patty Hearst.