Sixty-Four-Year-Old ‘Serial Stowaway’ Arrested For The Eighth Time, Bond Set At $150,000

Police have once again arrested 64-year-old Marilyn Hartman, who has a long and well-documented history of sneaking aboard airplanes and, in the process, has gained a reputation for being a serial stowaway. This time, the arrest occurred at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

The Chicago Police Department announced that Hartman had been discovered and arrested at approximately 2:30 p.m. at an O’Hare International Airport bus shuttle center. The woman has been taken into custody and was scheduled to appear in bond court at 9 a.m. today, where bond was set for Hartman at $150,000.

In recent years, Marilyn Hartman has made numerous attempts to board planes without a ticket and is known to have succeeded at least three times. Last year, the elderly woman was arrested five times in airplane-related incidents. In fact, there was a point where she was arrested twice in two days at O’Hare and Chicago’s Midway International Airport last year summer. She spent no less than spent at least 145 days at Cook County Jail last year.


In December, she was released on probation to a Chicago nursing home and ordered to avoid “exclusion zones,” which included O’Hare and Midway international airports, Union Station, and the Greyhound bus facility. However, Hartman’s actions on Wednesday are in direct violation of her court-ordered probation, but this is nothing new, as police have stated that the woman is a habitual trespasser and stowaway. NBC Chicago advised that Marilyn Hartman will be facing charges of felony probation violation and misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Last year, when the courts released her to the locked mental health facility, Sacred Heart Home, Marilyn was also fitted with a GPS system that allowed the police to keep track of her whereabouts. The Cook County Judge who assigned her to the home and ankle bracelet, William Raines, had actually just agreed to make Hartman’s confinement less restrictive earlier this month, allowing her to be transferred to a facility where she could come and go as she pleased.

The judge’s intentions at the hearing on February 4 was to eventually allow the woman to be able to live on her own once more. However, he warned that the “exclusion zones” would still remain in effect, and violation of the order could lead to her being sentenced to up to a year in jail.

“I prefer never to see you again. But I want to make it as easy as possible to make this transition. You are going to go to a new place. In this setting, people are trying to help you… This is not easy for anybody. We’re bending over backwards.”


It was the electronic ankle bracelet, programmed to alert authorities if she entered any of those restricted spaces, that let authorities know that she was at O’Hare International on Wednesday.

According to the Daily Mail, Marilyn Hartman has made at least 13 failed attempts to board flights without a ticket. Last July, when she was released from jail after two months, she spoke to reporters and stated that it was her intention to stop stowing away. But less than a day later, she was arrested at Midway Airport. Surprisingly, she actually had a ticket for the flight in this instance but was arrested for causing a disturbance. She was released a day later but was arrested again for loitering at Midway Airport.

While it is believed that Hartman successfully flew without a ticket three times, the last known being an August 2014 flight from San Jose, California, to Los Angeles, in an exclusive interview with NBC 5 last year, Hartman suggested that she may actually have travelled without a ticket eight times.

[Photo by Chicago Police Department/AP Images]