Last autumn when she arrived at small, Catholic Regis College in Denver, 19-year-old Anne Randolph made friends easily and was quickly caught up in a whirl of student activities—if not her studies. (She liked dramatic arts, however.) By midyear, Room 112 in West Hall, which Anne shared with another girl, had become a popular rendezvous. For a while she kept two dogs in the tiny room also, but the dorm manager discovered them and banished them to a kennel. Often Anne’s inexpensive stereo would blare for hours while she and her friends, male and female, sat amid the clutter of stuffed animals, ski poles, clothing, posters and unmade beds to sip Coors beer and talk. Occasionally they would make the rounds of the local discos, where Anne would boogie non-stop into the morning. “She stands out on a dance floor,” a friend says, “she really knows how to move her body well.”
Anne’s real last name, however, was not Randolph, but Hearst. She is the fourth daughter of newspaper baron Randolph Hearst and younger sister of fugitive Patty Hearst. Many of Anne’s friends at Regis knew her secret, but no one seemed to make much of it—”nobody confronted her with questions about her sister,” a friend says. But Anne’s arrest this month on narcotics charges as she crossed the border at Niagara Falls, N.Y. led to a torrent of rumors that Anne had been in Canada to visit Patty. Both the FBI and Canadian police denied the rumors, but unofficially the latter admit they are worried about the number of American fugitives who slip across the border—and that Patty could be among them. Last June police combed the Toronto airport and nine adjoining hotels in a search for Patty, who was reportedly making plane connections for Montreal. And last month border officials questioned a University of Toronto co-ed for almost an hour, despite her campus identification card, because she looked like the newspaper heiress.
Some law enforcement officers thought Anne’s story seemed plausible enough. She and two school friends, Donald Moffett, 21, of Oroville, Calif. and George Boomer, 21, of Grosse Pointe, Mich., had driven to Boomer’s home en route to New York City, where they planned to catch a plane for a Caribbean holiday. From Detroit the favorite route to Manhattan is across southernmost Ontario. Customs officials said they found marijuana residue in the car and 12 amphetamines in Moffett’s sock, which Anne said were hers. Back at Regis College, her friends pointed out that the pills were the same kind of low-potency “uppers” found on any campus at exam time. Anne had just finished her midterms.
After spending a few hours in custody, Anne Hearst and Moffett were charged with possession of a controlled substance and released on $1,000 bond. As has been said of her sister, Anne seemed an unlikely candidate for notoriety. During the press stakeout of the Hearst home last year, she was known as “the nice one, the friendliest of the family.” Her schooling has been private, and she spent one year abroad. Last fall she taped an appeal to Patty: “I really love you…and I want to see you again; take care of yourself and come out of this okay.” Anne was in tears at the end.
For the Hearst family, Anne’s arrest came only shortly after they had sold their suburban Hillsborough estate, with its cruel memories, for $250,000 and moved into a San Francisco apartment. Her mother, Catherine Hearst, was hospitalized briefly for a back ailment aggravated by flu the same week Anne was arrested, her second hospitalization recently.
Anne meanwhile fled to New York in an effort to disappear from public view again. In Denver a dorm mate, Molly Kurtz, who lives across the hall, said: “She came here so she could get out of the public eye. I guess now that everyone knows, she’ll think twice about coming back.”