From the Lexington Herald-Leader, December 25, 1987:
Nationwide Alert is Issued
ALDERSON, W.Va.—Federal agents put out a nationwide alert as 100 officers trudged over the West Virginia hills yesterday hunting Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. She is the one-time Manson follower who tried to kill President Ford.
Fromme, 39, was discovered missing from her room at the Alderson Federal Prison for Women during a routine check at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Warden Ron Burkhart. Other inmates reported last seeing Fromme 10 minutes before the 9 p.m. check began, he said.
The former disciple of mass murderer Charles Manson was serving a life term for attempting to shoot Ford in Sacramento, Calif., in 1975. She had been eligible for parole since September 1985, but waived her right to a hearing and chose to stay in prison, Burkhart said.
Jesse South, chief deputy U.S. marshal, said authorities in all 50 states had been notified of Fromme's escape. The Secret Service and U.S. marshals were interviewing people with whom she recently had contact, Burkhart said.
More than 100 agents accompanied by dogs scoured 10 square miles of rugged hills and woods around the prison in southeastern West Virginia. Prison officials made a second check of the prison's 69 buildings.
"Sooner or later I'm confident we'll get her back," Burkhart said. "In the world there aren't many places for a Lynette Fromme to go."
The weather was described as clear, with a light wind. Temperatures ranged from a morning low in the 30s to afternoon readings in the 50s. Burkhart said prison officials had no clue how she escaped or why, but speculated she either scaled or slid under an 8-foot fence, some of which is topped with coiled barbed wire.
"There's no physical evidence of how she got out or where she went," he said. Ford declined comment on the escape, said his spokeswoman in Palm Springs, Calif. Ford was unharmed when a Secret Service agent grabbed a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol aimed at him by Ms. Fromme Sept. 5, 1975.
In San Francisco 17 days later, Ford escaped injury when Sara Jane Moore, 45, a political activist, fired a revolver at him. She pleaded guilty and received a life sentence.