Newly released video obtained by NBC5 Investigates, shows the moments in July when so-called "serial stowaway" Marilyn Hartman appeared at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports, within 48 hours of her release from Cook County Jail after incidents with police at both airfields.
After her release July 2, Hartman insisted her days of testing airport security were over. But the following day, she was spotted by police at Midway. In the surveillance video, Hartman is seen being escorted by police who watched as she bought a ticket to New York's LaGuardia Airport. She was then ushered through security, to a gate, where officers watched as she boarded a Southwest Airlines flight.
But that normalcy did not last long. Police alleged that Hartman became disruptive on the flight, and she was removed from the plane.
She was not charged, but she appeared at O'Hare the following day. The video appears to show the 63 year old Hartman attempting to blend in with a family at one TSA I.D. checkpoint in Terminal 1, then another adjacent station, where she was turned away. By that point, her presence in the airport had been detected, and she was taken into custody.
Hartman has made little effort to deny her checkered past. Writing in San Francisco Magazine, author Joe Eskenazi said she told him, over the course of several interviews, how she was the victim of a vast conspiracy which had placed her in airports and on airplanes in cities across the United States.
"The goal of this plot is to set her up for lengthy incarceration and punishment," he wrote, "and yet, paradoxically, her persecutors repeatedly allow her to escape lengthy incarceration and punishment, so that she may attempt to sneak onto planes again and again."
Eskenazi says Hartman sees no contradiction. "I have been allowed on the plane by people working at the airport," he says she declared. "They're in on it. So many people are: leering onlookers on public transit, ingratiating jailhouse snitches, President Obama. It goes far. It goes wide."
When authorities in Alameda County California obtained an injunction barring Hartman from trespassing at the airport in Oakland, they said she had attempted to breach airport security 18 times at at least 8 airports across the United States, including four in California.
"On at least three occasions she has successfully boarded flights," Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte wrote in that injunction, "for which she has neither purchased, nor presented a ticket in her name."
The injunction called Hartman's behavior a "public nuisance", and said her repeated efforts to breach airport security, could "provide valuable information to terrorists, about strengths and weaknesses of airport security."
The document warned that Hartman's behavior could otherwise divert valuable airport resources, "that should be used to prevent terrorism and other airport crimes."
In a motion filed this week, Cook County Prosecutors said they would ask the court for latitude to introduce evidence of Hartman's prior attempts at Chicago's airports, noting that at the time of her arrest July 4, "Defendant said she did not have a valid airline ticket...did not intend to purchase one, and only came to O'Hare because she was tired and didn't want to go elsewhere."