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A 22-year old heiress of a wealthy family was kidnapped by a small band of revolutionaries, who held her captive in a closet for several weeks, and repeatedly threatened to kill her unless she sent taped messages to her family. After 10 days of threats and abuse coupled with deprivation of food and sleep, the heiress [whose name is Helen] heard a commotion and several shots in a room next to her closet. Fearing that she would be killed, she opened the closet door and observed the following scene: a member of the revolutionary group [named Mark] was lying in a pool of blood; another member of the group [named Allen] was standing over him with a pistol that was smoking. Seeing that Helen had emerged from the closet, Allen pointed the pistol at her and said; “Now you will have to die, because you can pin the murder on me. I won’t kill you now because you are still valuable to us. But you will never leave here alive. We can’t afford to let you go now. We will eventually kill you – maybe next week or next month. There is only one way out for you. Mark is dying, but he is not dead yet. If you go ahead and kill him now I will be able to trust you. So what will you do? Do you kill him or do I kill you? Mark has only 5 or 10 minutes left before he dies, so you have about 2 minutes to make up your mind.” Fearing that she will be killed, Helen said that she would go ahead and kill Mark. She was then handed a pistol and told that there was one round left in the pistol. Still covered by Allen’s pistol, she was told to shoot Mark – through the head, which she did.

Over the next few weeks Helen became convinced that she was guilty of first degree murder and she began to identify more and more with the group. Soon she was allowed out of the closet. A month after the shooting of Mark, the police received an anonymous telephone tip that Helen was being held in the house where she was, in fact, being held. The police – without a warrant – surrounded the house and burst through the front and back doors with their guns drawn. Helen was sitting at a table with Allen when the raid took place; nobody else was in the house at the time. As the police came through the door, Allen handed Helen one of the two



sub-machine guns that were under the table, shouting, “It’s the pigs; their going to kill us; we have to protect ourselves!” Helen and Allen began shooting and one policeman was killed before Allen and Helen were subdued and taken prisoner. The bullet that killed the policemen came either from Allen or Helen’s gun but it cannot be determined from which, since the guns were mixed up in the excitement. After Allen and Helen were arrested, handcuffed, and removed from the building, the police – without a search warrant – conducted a search of the entire house, claim that they were looking for other members of the group. In the process for searching for other members, they opened closets, drawers and cabinets, and seized numerous papers, including a diary kept by Allen from the beginning of the kidnapping and a diary kept by Helen beginning the day after the shooting of Mark. Allen’s diary reveals that on the morning of the shooting of Mark, Allen discovered that Mark was an undercover agent for the F.B.I. Deciding that Mark had to be killed, Allen contrived to have Helen kill him. Allen knocked Mark unconscious and spilled animal blood around the body and then fired two shots in the air. Helen then killed Mark as Allen had planned (as previously described). Allen’s diary also revealed that he had put LSD into Helen’s drinking water the day before the killing of Mark. Helen’s diary revealed that she did not know that Mark was an informant, and that she believed Mark was alive but dying at the time she shot him. It also reveals that she did not think that Allen would kill her immediately if she had refused to shoot Mark, but she did think there was a good chance that she would be killed some time in the future. The diary also reveals that Helen hated Mark because Mark had constantly threatened to rape and kill he in the early days of her kidnapping and that Helen felt pleasure when she shot Mark. There is a statute, enacted just before the kidnapping of Helen, which provides for a mandatory sentence of death for the first- degree murder of a law enforcement official. 

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