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March 6, 2019

BLOWN TO HELL: On the morning of March 6, 1970, members of the Weather Underground terrorist group were busying themselves with plans to set off a large bomb. Their intended target was a dance for non-commissioned officers scheduled for that night at Fort Dix, New Jersey.   Something went wrong and the bomb went off prematurely, completely destroying the Greenwich Village townhouse the Weathermen were occupying at 18 W. 11th Street.

That was good news. It meant that the lives of the Fort Dix non-commissioned officers and their dates were spared.

Instead, the bodies of Weathermen Diana Oughton and Terry Robbins, who had been working in the basement on the bomb, were blown to pieces. Member Ted Gold, who was just arriving at the house when it blew up, was also killed.

Upstairs were members Cathy Wilkerson (whose wealthy father owned the townhouse) and Kathy Boudin.   Though dazed and bloodied, they managed to escape.

Cathy Wilkerson was a fugitive from justice for a decade. She finally surrendered to the police, was convicted of illegal possession of dynamite, and sentenced to three years. When a judge ordered that she be released after serving only 11 months, it caused something of a scandal. New York State’s Commissioner of Correctional Services argued that many inmates had better disciplinary records and that Wilkerson simply had good lawyers.

Kathy Boudin was on the run for 11 years. But unlike Wilkerson she didn’t surrender. Rather, she was arrested shortly after her participation in the notorious Brink’s robbery in which three innocent men were killed.  In other words, she was still at it all those years later.

Boudin was eventually sentenced to 20 years to life for her role in the Brink’s robbery/triple murder. She was paroled in 2003 and later hired by Columbia University, where she is now an assistant professor and co-founder/co-director of Columbia’s Center for Justice.

There is evidence that the Weathermen had planned to bomb Columbia University’s administrative building too. But Columbia fell all over itself to hire Boudin anyway. Go figure.