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Former Radical Released From Halfway House

December 24, 1988

SEATTLE (AP) _ A former anti-war radical who was a fugitive for 17 years was released Friday from a federal halfway house after serving a 17-month term for trying to bomb a University of Washington ROTC building at the height of the Vietnam War.

Terry Jackson, 46, who changed his name from Silas Trim Bissell during his years on the run, said in a telephone interview that he was released Friday morning from the halfway house program in Cleveland.

Jackson, whose family founded the Bissell carpet sweeper company, still must perform 90 days of community service. He said he plans to begin work Jan. 3 at the Cleveland Society for the Blind to fulfill that requirement.

After that, he and his wife, Ruth Evan, will head for Eugene, Ore., he said. It was in Eugene that he built a new life for himself as a physical therapist during the years he was a fugitive.

Jackson, a poet-turned-radical who helped found the group the Weather Underground, was accused along with his then-wife, Judith Emily Bissell, of conspiring to damage federal property by placing a bomb at the University of Washington’s Air Force ROTC building on Jan. 18, 1970. The bomb did not explode.

The couple fled from custody in 1970 and eventually separated. Judith Bissell was arrested in 1977 and was convicted on federal charges in 1979. She was sentenced to three years in prison.

After the man known as Terry Jackson was arrested in Eugene in January 1987, a number of his friends there pledged money and property for his bail, and nearly 200 letters were sent to the court on his behalf.

He pleaded guilty May 1, 1987, in federal court here to possession of an unregistered destructive device and in Superior Court to a second-degree assault charge on a Seattle police officer during a November 1969 anti-war demonstration.

Jackson was sentenced to two years in federal prison and in August 1987 began serving time at the Lompoc Federal Corrections Institution in California. He was released to the Cleveland halfway house Sept. 22.

Jackson, who married Ms. Evan while in prison, said he’s been working in a cafeteria at the halfway house run by the Salvation Army. Though released from the program, he said he’ll continue working at the cafeteria another week before starting at the Society for the Blind.

Although Jackson said he could return to physical therapy, ″I suspect I won’t do that. My main energies will be directed toward painting and writing.

″I have various options for things to do for survival money, but none of those are firm.″

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