Time Bomb

Weather Underground leaders claimed their bombings were devised to avoid bloodshed. But FBI agents suspect the radical '70s group killed an S.F. cop in the name of revolution.

Latimer, who would likely have been a star witness for the prosecution, died several years ago, according to Reagan. During his brief return to the Park Station case in 2000, Reagan said, he re-established contact with Latimer, whom he had known during his years as an undercover agent in the 1970s. Speaking to her again after the intervening decades, he found her deeply frustrated that her decision to cooperate with law enforcement so many years ago had been of little consequence.

"She was looking for a form of justice, and she was totally disappointed that there wasn't enough to prosecute," he said. "To her, it was a reality. She was there, and she heard them talking about doing this."

But the Weathermen, fugitives for the better part of a decade, haven't lost their knack for evading the scrutiny of the law. At a preliminary hearing earlier this year in the failed Ingleside murder case, Dohrn, in a gesture of solidarity among aging radicals, traveled to San Francisco from Chicago to stand with the defendants' supporters in the courtroom. Engler, head of the Phoenix Task Force, was also present. He recognized and approached her, according to law enforcement sources who described the scene.

Brian McDonnell was killed by shrapnel in the 1970 bombing of Park Police Station.
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Police Department
Brian McDonnell was killed by shrapnel in the 1970 bombing of Park Police Station.
Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers, pictured in a law-enforcement identification kit from the 1970s.
Photos courtesy of Max Noel
Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers, pictured in a law-enforcement identification kit from the 1970s.

Engler introduced himself to Dohrn as a San Francisco homicide detective and said he would like to speak with her after the hearing. She greeted him politely, but was noncommittal, and left without giving him a chance to interview her when the courtroom session ended. It had been 39 years since Park Station was bombed. Police were still looking for a break. And once again, Bernardine Dohrn had disappeared.

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