‘Serial Stowaway' Marilyn Hartman Arrested Again at O'Hare

So-called "serial stowaway" Marilyn Hartman was back in custody Sunday after appearing at O’Hare Airport, just three days after she was released on bond for evading a TSA checkpoint and boarding a flight to London.

Over the protests of the Cook County Sheriff’s office, Hartman was released on bond Thursday and ordered to stay away from O’Hare and Midway.

Early Sunday morning she was spotted at Signature Flight Services at O’Hare, but managed to flee before police could arrive. A short time later she was seen again, this time in Terminal 3, where she was taken into custody.

During a brief hearing at the Criminal Courts Building Sunday afternoon, 66-year-old Hartman was ordered held without bond for violating terms of her previous release.

It wasn’t clear why Hartman was at Signature Aviation, a facility on O’Hare’s northeast perimeter which serves private aircrafts. Also unexplained, was how she managed to get from that facility to the main terminal, several miles away.

During last week’s episode, Hartman managed to evade security in Terminal 3, and attempted to board a flight to Connecticut. Rebuffed in that attempt, she boarded a secure airport shuttle bus without the required passport and plane ticket needed to board, spent the night in the airport, and at the International Terminal, managed to work her way aboard a British Airways flight to London.

On arrival at Heathrow Airport, she was denied entry because she lacked the proper documents. Sent back to the United States, she was arrested on arrival by Chicago police.

During her bond hearing on that offense last Thursday, Hartman was granted release, but warned to stay away from the airports, pending a return to court on Feb. 13. At that time, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said she needed intensive services and advised against her release on electronic monitoring.

Neither the State’s Attorney or the Public Defender’s office spoke up at the hearing, however, and Hartman was released outright.

It took her just three days to break the law again.

"Releasing any seriously mentally ill person without support and treatment is never a good idea," Cara Smith, the sheriff's policy chief, warned the morning of that hearing.

"Without the help she clearly needs, history is likely to repeat itself."

She was right. Hartman is back in custody, and is to appear in court again on Wednesday.

Contact Us