From Time, January 4, 1988:
Squeaky's Christmas Hike
Lynette Fromme's short prison escape
In her years at Alderson Federal Correctional Institution in West Virginia, Lynette (''Squeaky'') Fromme was a model inmate. Serving a life sentence for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, Fromme seemed content to do her time in the state that was once home to her idol, Charles Manson. ''I'm thinking Manson, air, water and earth,'' said Fromme upon her transfer to Alderson eight years ago.
But last week Fromme decided to think about freedom. After climbing over an 8-ft. barbed-wire fence, Fromme spent some 40 hours hiding out in the mountainous wilderness while armed posses with bloodhounds scoured the muddy, rugged terrain. On Christmas Day she was recaptured, just two miles from the prison. Searchers found her wandering on the side of the road, soaking wet after a night of chilly rain.
There was a peculiar precedent for her escape: in 1979 Sara Jane Moore, who tried to kill Ford just 17 days after Fromme's attempt, escaped from Alderson (Moore was recaptured only hours later and sent to a California prison). Fromme's flight surprised prison officials, particularly since the mild-mannered inmate had turned down an offer for a parole hearing in 1985. "She seemed O.K. to me," said Associate Warden Maureen Atwood. "But she's kind of strange." Authorities speculated that Fromme might have heard unconfirmed rumors that Manson was dying of cancer and become desperate to see her guru.