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Published On: Sat, Feb 19th, 2011

American Idol contestant, Sophia Shorai, is the daughter of a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army

Sophia Shorai may have wowed wowed the “American Idol” judges during her Hollywood performance Thursday night, but critics were swift to point at that her mother is California terror fugitive Kathleen Soliah, accused in the 1970s of conspiring to blow up Los Angeles police cars and participating in a deadly bank robbery near Sacramento.

Her former name was Sara Jane Olson and committed those crimes on behalf of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the leftist radicals who staged the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.

After changing her name, Olson and her family moved to St. Paul, and the DFL activist and community theater actress was caught by the FBI in 1999.

She pleaded guilty to both crimes, served half of a 14-year sentence and was paroled in March 2009.

Sophia passed the audition phase in Milwaukee, sang “Georgia On My Mind” as part of an ensemble and advanced to the next round of the popular Fox talent show. Judge and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler called her interpretation of the soul standard “beautiful.”

In next week’s show, Shorai and her 59 fellow survivors will be competing in a Beatles challenge in Las Vegas.

 

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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