Fugitive cop-killer Joanne Chesimard has become the first woman on America's Most Wanted Terrorists List, joining a previously all male list of super villains. Chesimard, who also goes by the aliases "Sister-Love Chesimard" and "Joan Davis," murdered a New Jersey state trooper 40 years ago today. Chesimard busted out of prison and has lived in Cuba ever since.
Chesimard was convicted of killing Trooper Werner Foerster in a shootout. In 1979, militants from assorted leftovers of the Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army took guards hostage and busted her out of prison.
American cities were madhouses in the early 1970s. Wild and violent leftist guerilla groups—Chesimard's Black Liberation Army was one of dozens operating from San Francisco to New York City—planted bombs everywhere, robbed banks, recruited by kidnapping and routinely shot cops. The police didn't behave much better. Everything was like a Quentin Tarantino movie you could never walk out on.
There's now a $2 million reward for Chesimard, but you'll have to bring her back from Cuba first. She fled to Castro's Island of American Political Fugitives at some point in the early 1980s and has been there ever since, according to the FBI.
"She may wear her hair in a variety of styles and dress in African tribal clothing," says the FBI in a new statement that sounds like it was written in the 1970s. The bureau isn't even claiming she's up to anything new—she's 65 years old—but New Jersey's Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says "her standard of living is higher than most Cubans."
FBI agent Aaron Ford said at a news conference today that Chesimard lives openly in Cuba and "continues to maintain and promote her terrorist ideology."
Chesimard now goes by the name Assata Shakur. Her version of events significantly differs from that of the FBI.
[Photos via FBI.]