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Accused SLA Member Peddles Cookbook

December 13, 1999

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Accused Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Sara Jane Olson is pictured on the cover of her new book standing in a target, holding handcuffs and a spatula.

It’s a cookbook.

Olson _ formerly named Kathleen Soliah _ was indicted in 1976 on charges of conspiracy to murder police officers by planting pipe bombs beneath two Los Angeles patrol cars a year earlier. She is selling the 100-page cookbook to raise money for her legal defense.

The book, ``Serving Time: America’s Most Wanted Recipes,″ went on sale Saturday. While Olson signed copies of the $21.95 book, a man in a camouflage jacket stood outside passing out anti-Olson bumper stickers that read ``Fight Terrorism Jail Kathleen″ and ``If It Ticks You Must Convict.″

Olson said she was apprehensive about doing the cookbook but was happy with the way it turned out. She also appreciated the book’s humorous take on her situation.

``We just thought it would be fun,″ she said. ``It’s not exactly a situation for fun, but we all can’t be morose all the time.″

Olson, who was arrested last summer near the St. Paul home where she lived with her physician husband and their three daughters, is scheduled to go on trial next year in Los Angeles.

Pictures of Olson in various poses begin each chapter. Opening the salad and vegetable chapter, for instance, she has a shocked expression on her face in the middle of a picture frame, implying she was falsely accused.

Olson, known among her family and friends as a gourmet cook, said she complied when friends suggested that she write a cookbook to raise money for her defense during the weeks she spent in the Ramsey County Jail.

``At that time, it seemed completely out of touch with my immediate reality, but I didn’t protest,″ she wrote in the book’s introduction. ``In jail, anything’s a distraction.″

Although she contests her association with the SLA, Olson openly admits in her book that she is a member of the ``Food Conspiracy,″ a cooperative food-buying club that bought organic goods from rural farms and local distributors in Northern California in the 1970s.

In the book, Olson doesn’t give much mention to her legal problems. Instead, she concentrates on her daughters’ eating disorders, hunger strikes in Northern Ireland and malnutrition in Africa.

Friends printed 1,000 copies of the book and will reprint if enough orders come in. The defense fund committee hopes to raise another $10,000 from the cookbook.

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