Skip to comments.Myrna Lee Opsahl, December 13, 1932 – April 21, 1975
Posted on 04/20/2015 10:31:51 PM PDT by CharlesOConnell
A photographic exhibition once featured the resolute face of a late 1930s murder suspect as he was marched into a paddy wagon. I ve often searched for that image as an example of dedicated unrepentance.
No more. We have the face of Emily Harris and her colleagues in domestic terrorism, waiting in court.
We can see arrogant unrepentance, and yet hidden fear in the faces of Myrna's murderers.
Dr. Trygve Opsahl received news of his dear wife Myrna s murder at his surgical practice at American River Hospital in Carmichael, California that Monday morning in April, 1975, forty years ago today.
Let it be a warning to us. Let us strive not to leave this world with such an attitude, in the least, little measure, toward anyone in this world.
It is a spell that all humanity has fallen under and none can break save for acceptance of the grace of God.
They looked around the Gun Shop and saw that I and my two clerks were armed with .45ACP Colt Automatics and that there were several Sacramento Police department officers in the store. . . and decided that we were too hard to hit.
We only learned this after the fact when the SLA was arrested post everything and the freeing of Patty Hearst.
Lynnette "Squealy" Fromme, also dropped into the Armoury about once a week only to be kicked out by me. She was in the morning she took a pot-shot at President Ford. . . I kicked her out as usual that morning as well. Too bad I didn't just call the cops. She had crazy, empty eyes.
Gosh, that would have been 40 years ago today. . .
What did Squeaky ask you?
We knew she was in the neighborhood and she was always damned obvious in her monks' hood and robes. . . and usually I didn't engage her in conversation. She once said she wanted to look around. She was an ex-con and not permitted in the shop. We had rifles and shotguns in easy reach. No way was i going to allow her anywhere in the store. I don't believe she got more than two steps in the door at any time before I told her to turn around and leave.
I got a few "F**k you!"s on her way out the door. . . and once "Helter Skelter!" with a grin and a wave as she turned and left. It's kind of blurred with dim memory over 40 years. . .
And at that time “Helter Skelter” wasn’t the infamous phrase it later was to be known as.
Yup, something wicked your way went.
Good grief. You were right in the action!
No, it wasn't and it did. . . and she was definitely a witch. . . and wicked. Had I been casting the younger hag in Macbeth, she'd be a great candidate. I recognized it later and realized what she had said.
And I’d guess you were thinking oh, another crazy con, they are a dime a dozen, they are not worth the nickel to call the cops on.
With the SLA, yeah, but we didn't know it. Just being armed and prepared was enough to discourage them from hitting us. We had a Class C Federal Firearms dealers license for fully automatic weapons since we were a police supply.
The only time I pulled my .45 though was when a black guy with a shotgun came in and yelled "Hey guys! This is a stick up!"
I was down behind the counter with my gun aimed center mass. My clerk had him from the left with his .45 aimed at his head. . . and a Deputy Sheriff who moon-lighted with us as a packing clerk in the wholesale department came charging out of the back with a fully automatic AR-15.
You ever see a black guy turn white? It's sort of an ashy gray. I recognized the black guy as a fairly frequent customer.
In a shaky voice he says "Hey, man, I was jest joking with you guys! My shotgun's broken. I was bringin' it in foh you to fix it."
I told him: "I don't give a (expletive deleted)! We could have killed your ass! Drop the gun! Turn around and walk out of here! Don't come back; I never want to see you in here again!" He dropped the shotgun and left.
The shotgun was broken. . . and when The Old Sacramento Armoury went out of business in 2006, I heard that broken shotgun was still there. LOL!
There is one thing you don't say in a cop hangout or in a gun shop. . . he said it. He was damned lucky to be alive.
The cops knew about her. . . and let her be. They thought she was harmless too. Oops.
that is worse than shouting theater in a crowded fire, or something like that.
Or getting on an airplane and seeing your friend and yelling “Hi, Jack!”
STILL ... Christians must push onward ... as soldiers
I often draw the picture;
The late 60's and early '70's were phenominal times in human history;
People all over the globe, between the ages of ... sayyyy ... 15 and 30 ... wore the same uniform, talked the same language, used the same inebriant and were unified psychically under a common thought ... US involvement in Viet Nam
I don't think that has ever happened before and though they tried to do it a few times (OWS, f'rinstance) ... it never happened again
It was indeed a magical, mystical, evil and spiritual time
I'm surprised no one has coined a phrase yet .. like the Dark Ages, sort of thing
It WAS global.
I remember when I first saw the Internet, in 1993 out in the country on the gigantic campus of UC Davis, on farmland the university had bought locally (in the US county with the highest proportion of land dedicated to ag, Yolo County). It was at the editorial offices UC Integrated Pest Management, the people who tell you how to get rid of insect pests & vermin. I saw an icon on the computer screen, asked What that?, my supervisor showed me, hmm, seems like a complete waste of time.
This was confirmed to me when I tried to memorialize an event that has tremendous significance to Sacramentans and to members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the death of Myrna Opsahl at the hands of Emily Harris of the self-styled Symbionese Liberation Army on April 21, 1975. Mrs. Opsahl, whose surgeon husband Dr. Trygve Opsahl worked with my mother-in-law Bobbie DeFrantz at American River Hospital, was making a deposit from a church event on a Monday morning at the Crocker Bank branch then located near the corner of Marconi and Fair Oaks in Carmichael, CA. Myrna was carrying a cash register, when the gun-toting terrorists gave the kind of orders their script tells them to issue in these kinds of instances, Myrna was apparently preoccupied with the weight of the cash register, she failed to comply quickly enough, Emily Harris allegedly shot her with a shotgun.
I commemorated the 40th anniversary on the Free Republic website. Only one respondent even mentioned Mrs. Opsahl, the rest of the comments degraded into some reminiscences about some experiences with the killers at a gun store, The Old Sacramento Armoury at 22nd and J Streets, killers who were only shown in one photo in my article, no mention of grieving Dr. Opsahl holding a lovely picture of his wife and himself in a field of flowers, or Myrnas smiling picture.
I had an experience with the gun store owners wife that must typify what a waste of time all this is: I was walking on College Town Drive towards the California State University Sacramento football stadium, Tony Bushs Mom, of the family that owned the Old Sacramento Armoury, was driving an old orange and white VW van, about a 1965 model, she asked me if I wanted a ride, I thought she was going towards J Street, I accepted the ride, Tonys Mom summarily does a u-turn in the streetshe didnt ascertain where I was going, she was going the other waythe front passenger door latch on the VW van was broken, the door swings open, I almost fall out onto the street and injure myself.
Complete waste of time, actually, a hazard. Im going to try to kick this internet thing out of my life.
Had you written that very eloquent and personal elegy to a fine lady, the tenor of the thread would have been quite different. We Freepers are not so crass as you make us seem. . . But you need to set the tone. I would not have included the late photo of the criminals, for example. Focus instead on Myrna and on her fine qualities and what happened to her. . . Don't put her photo last.
I am one of the few people who still recall Mrs. Myrna Opsahl and the events of that day because of my link to the crime, but I always remember the innocence of the fine woman who was killed by these monsters. May she rest in peace.
Start another thread the way I suggested and you will see the difference. Ok?
I followed in horror every word of the Hearst kidnapping, the SLA shakedown for food in Oakland, the robberies, the ultimate shootout in LA from my new dwelling in TX. Until 6 months prior, I had lived in the center of all of it and knew the neighborhood in Berkeley where the kidnapping took place, as well as the influence of the many far left “gangs” and roaming around and causing chaos — Black Panthers, Yippies, Flower Children, etc.
I was a little older than Patty, married, mom of 4, a former Berkeley student, and naive in the morals and mores of the uber rich. I couldn’t believe that her parents allowed her to live with her boyfriend, who was also her “tutor”. Or that the University did. (In my day girls had to live in campus approved housing — not in an apartment with a guy.)
I followed every word of her later trial and all of the shocking revelations about her life in crime. I thought her “boyfriend/tutor” was a first class creep, and she wasn’t much better for taking up with her captor. (So, a psychologist, I’m not.)
I just heard her name again, recently, as the owner of a prize dog that made it to Best in Show at Westminister. Yes, THAT Patty Hearst.
At least her cousin, Victoria Hearst, has some upbringing and class. She’s suing the Hearst Corp. over putting Cosmo in a brown paper wrapper so that it doesn’t defile teen agers browsing the newstand. Yay, Victoria.
It might have turned out better that you didn’t call the cops. She wouldn’t have taken the shot at Ford, but how long would it have been before she was back on the street going after someone else?
It’s a case where you may not have prevented the failed assassination attempt on Ford, but probably saved other lives in the process.
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