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Former FBI Fugitive Speaks at OSU

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CORVALLIS, Ore. — A former FBI fugitive wanted for manslaughter and armed robbery turned herself in after 23 years on the run, and on Thursday, she shared her story with the public.

Katherine Power was trying to raise money to campaign against the Vietnam War in 1970. She says she and a group decided to rob a bank, and a police officer was shot and killed during the robbery. Forty-three years later, she is speaking out against rage and is encouraging peace throughout the world.

“I couldn’t finish the sentence,” she said. “I paused and tried again. My name is Katherine Power and I’m a fugitive and I want you to look into what would be my situation if I turned myself in.”

That is what she told her lawyer in Corvallis, 23 years after being on the run.

“I was a student radical,” she said. “It was the Vietnam War.”

It was 1970. She says she and a group robbed a bank in Massachusetts. Power was the getaway driver, and she managed to escape.

“Officer Walter Schroeder was killed,” she said. “And he left a family and a community behind. And I want to say that I think that is the inevitable endpoint of the politics of rage.”

Power says she was depressed. After meeting with a lawyer, she decided to turn herself in.

She served six years in a Massachusetts prison for manslaughter and armed robbery. Thursday, she shared a message she has learned from her past.

“To understand how we can make social change really effectively without bullets and torn flesh,” she said. “Because I think that’s an unacceptable outcome. We can do this by practicing peace. In the moment. Is really the way to make peace in the world. Not in a magical thinking way.”

A Corvallis resident remembers when Power turned herself in back in 1993. She says we can all learn something from the former FBI fugitive.

“You surrender a lot of yourself,” said Valerie White. “Your ego. To really come to a peace in your life.”

3 comments

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  1. Tank Commander says:

    Blames it on the Vietnam War and only gets six months for the death of another. Only in America.

    1. heather says:

      Years, not months, and it definitely isn’t enough, although she wasn’t the one that pulled the trigger.

  2. Anne says:

    The article says she served 6 years, not months. I do agree tho’ that is a short time for manslaughter along with the rest of her crimes. I do appreciate that she is actively advocating non-violence.

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