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Brandeis girls gone wild

Posted by Joshua Glenn  April 11, 2007 12:54 PM

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On March 31, alleged Kansas City gang leader Shauntay L. Henderson was arrested shortly after the FBI announced that they'd added her to their Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Last week, Newsweek published a photo gallery of the other seven women who've landed on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Sharp-eyed bloggers have since pointed out that nearly half of these infamous women were graduates of Waltham-based Brandeis University.

Can you name all three? (No, pierced and tattooed American novelist Kathy Acker wasn't one of them.) Give up? OK, here they are:

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Angela Davis '65

Police claimed that a shotgun used during a lethal 1970 attempt, on the part of the Black Panthers, to free "Soledad Brother" George Jackson during a court appearance in Marin County, Calif., was registered to Davis. Davis, a radical feminist and activist, and an assistant philosophy professor at UCLA, evaded the law for two months, before being arrested and charged with kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy. In 1972, the year that John Lennon's "Angela" and the Rolling Stones' "Sweet Black Angel" advocated for her release, she was exonerated. At Brandeis, she majored in French.

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Susan Edith Saxe

Along with fellow radical feminist and Brandeis undergrad Katherine Ann Power, in 1970 Saxe robbed a National Guard Armory in Newburyport and a branch of the State Street Bank & Trust Company on Western Avenue in Allston. During the getaway, an accomplice of theirs shot and killed a Boston police officer. Saxe was on the lam until she was apprehended in 1975. She served seven years.

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Katherine Ann Power

Power remained underground until 1993, when she turned herself in. She was released in 1999. She and Saxe were identified by the FBI as members of an unnamed revolutionary group. Police claimed the holdup, which netted $26,000, was carried out by five revolutionaries (two of whom were male prison inmates who were studying at the university under a special release program) to finance their antiwar activities.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

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Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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