After nine years in hiding, Mary Moyland, 43, the last fugitive among the "Catonsville Nine" Vietnam war protesters, has surrendered to federal authorities in Baltimore to serve a two-year prison term for burning draft records.
Moylan was among nine Catholic activists who, in one of the most dramatic antiwar demonstrations of the late '60s, entered the Catonsville draft board in Suburban Baltimore, dumped files into waste baskets, carried them outside and burned them with home-made napalm. The nine were arrested as they stood praying around the flaming records.
Moylan, who was a registered nurse in Washington, was one of four who refused to surrender following their conviction when their prison terms were set to begin in April 1970. The others were apprehended by August of that year.
She has slipped quietly back to Baltimore twice in the past six months "to try to feel out the situation about turning herself in," according to a friend.
On Monday, she called attorney Harold Buchman, who defended her at the 1968 trial, and told him she wanted to "surrender quietly, without any excitement," Buchman said. A few hours later she turned herself in to U.S. marshals at the federal courthouse in Baltimore.
While a fugitive, Moylan worked with draft resisters and was active in the women's movement, according to Philip Berrigan, the former Baltimore priest and well-known antiwar activist who was one of the "Catonsville Nine." Berrigan said he sometimes got word of her "indirectly, through friends and believes she remained in the Northeast during much the last nine years.
To conceal her identity, Moylan at one point dyed her bright red hair "a dingy black," according to one friend, but it is now back to its natural color.
The FBI in 1972 received a "reliable report" that Moylan was sighted in Sante Fe, N.M., but the agency was never able to confirm it, according to officials in the Baltimore office. They heard nothing more until her surrender Monday.
Berrigan, representing the "Catonsville Nine," has issued a statement calling for Moylan's immediate release.
"To end the genocidal war in Indochina, Mary Moylan has paid with 11 years of her life - in civil disobendience in Catonsville, legal jeopardy and by nine years underground," he said. "If President Carter can release Patty Hearst . . . if he can honor human rights figures, he can release Mary Moylan."
The three who refused, along with Moylan, to surrender in 1970, calling it a final act of resistance, have since served their prison terms.
One is Berrigan, now married and living in Baltimore and still protesting, this time against nuclear weapons. Another is his brother Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest who teaches at a college in the Bronx and takes part in demonstrations. The third is George Mische, now a city council member in St. Cloud, Minn.
Four other members of the "Nine," who also served their prison terms in the early '70s, are now scattered across the country, three of them in teaching jobs. The ninth member of the group was killed in an auto acident after the trial.
Moylan is being held at the Baltimore City Jail pending transfer to a federal prison.