Crime History, Dec. 23, 1987: ‘Squeaky’ Fromme escapes from W. Virginia prison

On this day, Dec. 23, 1987, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the infamous Charles Manson disciple who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford, escapes from Alderson Prison in West Virginia.

Squeaky Fromme

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Fromme, the daughter of a well-to-do aerospace engineer, was a California college student before joining Manson’s cult. She was never implicated in the Manson killings. After his conviction, she shaved her red hair and cut an X into her forehead.

In September 1975, as Ford shook hands with admirers in Sacremento, Calif., Fromme, wearing red rob and head scarf, slipped through the throngs, pulled a .45 caliber gun from her thigh holster and pointed it at the president. Before she could pull the trigger, she was tackled by bystanders and the Secret Service.

From was sentenced to life in prison, the first person sentenced under a special federal law covering assaults after President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.

In December 1987, Fromme slipped away from the campus-like Federal Correctional Institution in Alderson, and hid in the rugged West Virginia hills for two days before being caught two miles from the prison. Fromme had said she escaped to be closer to Manson after hearing rumors that he was dying. She was sentenced to an additional 15 months for the escape.

In 2009, Fromme was released from a federal prison in Texas in 2009.



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