Courts & Crime

Would-be Ford assassin will leave Texas prison next week

FORT WORTH — Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the enigmatic, red-haired disciple of Charles Manson who was sent to prison for pointing a gun at President Gerald Ford in 1975, is scheduled to walk out of a Fort Worth federal prison next week.

Fromme, 60, could be released as soon as Aug. 14 from the Federal Medical Center Carswell, where she has spent the last 11 years, said Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Travel arrangements for after her release are not made public, Billingsley said. A Carswell spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Fromme first became eligible for parole in 1985 but didn’t seek release.

In a 2005 letter to the Star-Telegram, she wrote: "No parole hearing has been held for me because I haven’t requested one. I stood up and waved a gun (at Ford) for a reason . . .."

Federal law requires a mandatory parole hearing for inmates who have completed two-thirds of a life sentence, considered 30 years. If the parole board concludes that Fromme is no longer a danger to society, the government must release her.

Fromme was granted parole in 2008, Billingsley said. But she also had to serve 15 months for a brief escape in 1987 from a federal prison in West Virginia. That sentence will be completed this month.

Her official release date is Aug. 16 but, because that is a Sunday, the prison may release her on Aug. 14 or 15, Billingsley said. After that, Fromme will remain under supervision by federal authorities for two years.