CORVALLIS, Ore. – A former fugitive who spent 23 years on the run from the FBI is returning to Corvallis to talk for the first time about her experiences as a student activist, a wanted criminal, and a woman who now embraces peace activism rather than violent revolution.
Katherine Ann Power has written a book titled “Surrender,” about her life on the run. She will speak on that topic at Oregon State University at noon on Thursday, Oct. 31, in Memorial Union Room 206.
In 1970, while a student at Brandeis University, Power was involved in a bank heist. She and four other activists were hoping to use the money to buy explosives that would help them procure weapons to arm the Black Panthers. During the robbery, one of the participants shot and killed a Boston police officer responding to the crime. Power, who was the getaway driver, escaped capture and disappeared for more than two decades.
She ended up in Lebanon, Ore., working in Corvallis and Albany, as well as teaching cooking classes at Linn-Benton Community College. She took on the name of Alice Metzinger, raised a son and married a local man.
But in 1993, Power decided she had lived in hiding long enough. She negotiated terms of surrender and pled guilty to two counts of armed robbery and manslaughter. She was released from prison in 1999, and returned to Oregon. She completed a master’s degree at Oregon State University in interdisciplinary studies, and taught English as an instructor. She later moved to Boston.
Part of Power’s sentence restricted her from speaking and publishing about her experiences until her 20-year probation period ended in 2013.
The talk, titled “Surrender: Gorilla to Grandmother,” is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the OSU Peace Studies Program, the School of History, Philosophy and Religion and the Annares Project.