Whopper of the Week: Sara Jane Olson


Sara Jane Olson, aka Kathleen Ann Soliah, responding on Nov. 6 to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler’s question, “You wish your plea to stand?” This exchange was reported by Anna Gorman in the Nov. 7 Los Angeles Times. Previously, Olson pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up two Los Angeles police cars in 1975, then promptly told reporters, as she was leaving the courthouse, “I pleaded to something of which I am not guilty.” In response, an angry Judge Fidler called the Nov. 6 hearing, at which Olson said, “I did not make that bomb. I did not possess that bomb. And I did not plant that bomb. But under the concept of aiding and abetting, I plead guilty.” (Click here to see Olson’s 1976 indictment.)


“After deeper reflection, I realize I cannot plead guilty when I know I am not.”

Olson, in a subsequent legal motion, as reported by Steve Berry in the Nov. 15 Los Angeles Times. JudgeFidler has scheduled another hearing for Nov. 28, which should leave Olson time to change her plea two or three times more. To help pay for her defense, Olson has published a cookbook with the strikingly non-contrite title, Serving Time: America’s Most Wanted Recipes. (Click here  for Olson’s artichoke and parmesan dip.) And yes, Weatherman-turned-memoirist Bill Ayers is on Olson’s defense fund committee.

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.


Whopper Archive:

Nov. 9, 2001: Donald Rumsfeld (item includes retraction)

Nov. 2, 2001: Dick Armey  

Oct. 26, 2001:  Gale Norton

Oct. 19, 2001: State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker

Oct. 12, 2001: Clarence Thomas

Oct. 5, 2001: Abdul Salam Zaeef

Sept. 27, 2001: Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and Dick Cheney

Sept. 20, 2001: Larry C. Johnson

Sept. 13, 2001: Yasser Arafat

Sept. 7, 2001: Tommy Thompson

Aug. 30, 2001: HHS Spokesman Bill Pierce

Aug. 23, 2001: Variety Editor Peter Bart

Aug. 17, 2001: Tom Daschle

Aug 10, 2001: Robert Mueller

Aug. 3, 2001: Barbara Olson

July 27, 2001: Jeffrey Archer

July 20, 2001: George W. Bush

July 13, 2001: George W. Bush

July 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

June 29, 2001: David Brock

June 22, 2001: Edmund Morris

June 15, 2001: George W. Bush

June 8, 2001: Nepali Prince Regent (subsequently, King) Gyanendra

June 1, 2001: Mary McGrory

May 25, 2001: Ari Fleischer

May 18, 2001: York, Pa., Mayor Charles Robertson

May 11, 2001: Ted Olson

May 4, 2001: Rear Adm. Craig Quigley

April 27, 2001: Ben Affleck

April 20, 2001: South Carolina state legislator Chip Limehouse

April 13, 2001: Gray Davis

April 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

March 30, 2001: Spencer Abraham

March 23, 2001: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department

March 16, 2001: George W. Bush

March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers

March 2, 2001: Paul O’Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich