Home > Past Events, Uncategorized > 23 August 1973: The Origin of “the Stockholm Syndrome”

23 August 1973: The Origin of “the Stockholm Syndrome”

Most people know the phrase “€œStockholm Syndrome”€ from the numerous high-profile kidnapping and hostage cases – usually involving women – in which it has been cited.

The term is probably most associated with Patty Hearst, the Californian newspaper heiress who was kidnapped by revolutionary militants in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors and joined them in a robbery. She was eventually caught and received a prison sentence.

But Hearst’s defence lawyer Bailey claimed that the 19-year-old had been brainwashed and was suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome” -€“ a term that had been coined the year previous to explain the apparently irrational feelings of some captives for their captors.

The phrase was first used at

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