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Donald DeFreeze

From Academic Kids

Donald David DeFreeze, (November 16, 1943 - May 17, 1974), a.k.a. Cinque Mtume, was the leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army, an American terrorist group operating in the mid-1970s.

DeFreeze was born in Cleveland, Ohio but became a career criminal in California. In 1972, he was serving a sentence in Soledad Prison for armed robbery. He met with some radical extremists who were working as volunteers in the prison and was converted to their political ideas. After being transferred to Vacaville Prison, he escaped on March 5, 1973.

DeFreeze, along with Patricia Soltysik, founded the Symbionese Liberation Army and recruited a handful of other members for the group. The group perpetrated a number of crimes, the most famous being the murder of Marcus Foster and the abduction of Patty Hearst.

On May 17, 1974, the Los Angeles Police Department surrounded a house where DeFreeze and five other SLA members were staying. Following a violent attempt to force out the house's occupants, DeFreeze committed suicide by shooting himself in the head to avoid capture.

He is mentioned in the poem "Scar" by Audre Lorde.

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