Hostage Situations That Caught The World’s Attention

The movie Taken with Liam Neeson had us all repeating the line, “I have a very particular set of skills…Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” Many of us wish we could be the Bryan Mills of the world, especially when hearing of hostage situations on the news.

In real-life, hostages remind us of our own vulnerabilities. From terrorist groups who used hostages as leverage to a famous case of Stockholm syndrome that led to a Presidential pardon, these are some of the most famous, riveting, and scary hostage situations from around the world.

The One Who Didn’t Want To Get Away

19-year-old Patricia Hearst poses for the camera months before her abduction.
Tony Korody/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images
Tony Korody/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

While attending UC Berkeley, 19-year-old Patricia Hearst Shaw was abducted right out of her apartment by the Symbionese Liberation Army. By kidnapping the granddaughter of self-made newspaper icon, William Randolph Hearst, members hoped to set free two other members who had been arrested for murder.

SLA was an inmate tutoring program gone horribly wrong. The group began to consider all black convicts as heroes, victimized by America. Patty eventually joined their cause and was caught robbing a bank with the group. Bill Clinton granted her a presidential pardon, blaming her actions on Stockholm Syndrome.