Charles Manson's stay at Folsom Prison drew two of his family member's to Sacramento, inadvertently leading to Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme's entry into political history.
Fromme, along with another 'Manson family' member Sandra Good, had moved into an attic apartment on P Street to be close to Manson.
It was just a perk, presumably, that the state capital happened to be on then-President Gerald Ford’s itinerary.
Fromme, dressed in flowing red robes and a headscarf, went to Capitol Park armed with a .45 handgun Sept. 5, 1975, the day of Ford’s visit. The red robes derived from a nickname Manson had given her, “Red” for her red hair and for a mission he bestowed upon her to save the redwoods.
Fromme later said she didn’t intend to shoot Ford, she just wanted his attention -- and a pointing a gun seemed like the best way to get it.
In any case – in her own words that day, the gun “didn’t go off,” and she was hauled away by police, eventually sentenced to life for the attempted assassination of a president after a trial in which she threw an apple that hit then-U.S. Attonrey Dwayne Keyes during his closing arguments, according to several accounts, including this one from the Sacramento Bee.
Reporters tracked her down at a Walmart in Rome, New York, driving a car with a “Born Again Pagan” bumper sticker. Fromme declined the interview, taking a swing at the camera, according to the Observer-Dispatch.
Early in life, Fromme had shown promise both academically and in the performing arts as a member of a traveling dance troop that performed around the country, notably at the White House and on the Lawrence Welk Show.
An unhappy childhood with an abusive father led to a rebellious adolescence, 1960s style. Fromme met up with Manson in Long Beach after her father threw her out of the house after an argument.
Fromme, 69, is one of few members of Manson’s ‘family’ who remained loyal to him.