- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2003

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Kathy Boudin, a ‘60s radical terrorist who served 22 years in prison for a 1981 armored car heist in which three men were killed, was granted parole yesterday.

Boudin, 60, was active in the Weather Underground, a revolutionary faction of the 1960s antiwar movement, before joining the Black Liberation Army. She had been denied parole just three months ago.

“Right now, she’s hysterically happy,” said Boudin’s lawyer, Leonard Weinglass. “What I heard on the phone were screaming and crying.”

Thomas Grant, a spokesman for the state Division of Parole, said Boudin would be released on Oct. 1 or earlier, once her plans for parole supervision were set. Parole was granted by a two-member hearing panel after a 1-hour interview with Boudin yesterday at the Bedford Hills state prison in Westchester County, Mr. Grant said.

Her release was opposed by the families, friends and colleagues of the three men — Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown of the Nyack, N.Y., police, and Brink’s guard Peter Paige — gunned down by Boudin’s gang in the $1.6 million robbery.

“Nine children were left without their fathers,” Sgt. O’Grady’s widow, Diane O’Grady, said at a parole hearing earlier this year. “We want her to serve life.”

Boudin, daughter of civil rights lawyer Leonard Boudin, was a founder of the Weather Underground, a Marxist group formed by members of the Students for a Democratic Society after a December 1969 “national war council.”

Boudin survived the March 1970 explosion of a secret bomb-making operation in New York’s Greenwich Village, in which three other Weather Underground terrorists died.

A fugitive wanted by the FBI, Boudin eluded capture for more than a decade until the Brink’s heist. She was recruited for the Nyack job by the BLA, which had already committed 18 robberies and apparently wanted white people in the getaway vehicle, a U-Haul truck, to throw off pursuers.

BLA gunmen killed the Brink’s guard during the robbery at a mall. Minutes later, four policemen at a roadblock stopped the U-Haul. Boudin got out of the passenger’s seat, raised her hands, and asked the officers to put away their guns. Then the back door of the truck opened, and Boudin’s comrades opened fire with automatic weapons, killing two of the officers and wounding a third.

Boudin pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery and was sentenced to 20 years to life. She later told the parole board she “felt extremely guilty about being white” and joined the robbery “to help the black community.”

After she was denied parole in 2001, a judge ruled the board failed to take into account the recommendation of the sentencing judge that she be paroled after 20 years.

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