The Only Cure for Symbionese Dysfunction

Back in San Francisco violent arguments broke out, all exacerbated by ongoing sexual tensions within the group. Everything came to a head one long night at the Geneva Avenue apartment when, amid clouds of cigarette smoke, half-eaten pizza crusts, and beer and wine bottles, Harris announced that the only cure for the SLA’s dysfunction was black leadership. He proposed approaching a paroled San Quentin inmate they knew and asking him to take over. The newcomers hated the idea, afraid to bring in outsiders. As Harris and Kilgore screamed at each other, Emily Harris lamented the loss of the clarity DeFreeze had brought to the “old” SLA. Kilgore’s response provided an unwitting epitaph for the group: “That’s all a bunch of crap! What did the old SLA ever accomplish? You killed a black man, kidnapped a little teenaged girl and robbed a bank. What the hell did that amount to?”

Finally, with half the group screaming and red-faced and the other half in tears, Harris shouted, “That’s it! It’s all over!” He and Emily were going in search of black leadership. The others could do as they pleased. The next day the Harrises rented an apartment on Precita Avenue in Bernal Heights, not far from San Francisco General Hospital. And just like that, with no good-byes, they were gone.