‘Serial Stowaway’ Marilyn Hartman ordered held without bail for violating probation

Hartman, 67, was arrested Friday inside O’Hare Airport without a ticket to fly. TSA agents there carry her photo.

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Marilyn Hartman, the so-called serial stowaway, has been arrested at airports around the country for years. Sometimes she’s picked up for boarding planes illegally, others at different airport spots. 

Marilyn Hartman was arrested Friday at O’Hare airport without a ticket, a violation of her probation for sneaking aboard a flight from Chicago to London in 2018.

Chicago Police Department via AP file photo

Marilyn Hartman, the Chicago woman whose history of sneaking onto airplanes has made her a national curiosity, was grounded indefinitely Tuesday by a Cook County judge who ordered the 67-year-old held without bail for violating her probation by visiting O’Hare Airport last week.

Hartman, the so-called “Serial Stowaway,” was arrested Friday night for trespassing at O’Hare after she attempted to get past a TSA station without a ticket or boarding pass, Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Clark said during a hearing in front of Judge Peggy Chiampas.

Hartman, who has been arrested multiple times at O’Hare, Midway and airports across the country from Florida to Hawaii, was identified by TSA agents at O’Hare, who carry her photograph “at all times,” Clark said.

Hartman “is a known subject to TSA from numerous prior incidents,” Clark said.

Hartman’s latest arrest violated terms of the 18-month probation sentence Chiampas handed down six months ago, after Hartman entered a guilty plea to trespassing in a restricted area, related to a 2018 flight she took from O’Hare to London’s Heathrow Airport after slipping aboard a British Airways flight.

Although another Cook County judge Sunday gave Hartman an i-bond for her latest trespassing charge, she was take into custody before Tuesday’s hearing for violating her probation.

“It was very clear when I sentenced Ms. Hartman,” Chiampas said, ordering the senior citizen held without bail. “The defendant is not allowed at O’Hare or Midway without a paid ticket. ... I went over that very clearly with Ms. Hartman myself.”

Dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit, her hands cuffed behind her back, the silver-haired Hartman seemed unsurprised. At her sentencing hearing this spring, prosecutors said Hartman had eight prior convictions in five states.

Media reports have stated that the assistant public defender in court with Hartman at Sunday’s bond hearing stated that Hartman is homeless, and court records from Hartman’s previous cases have occasionally listed shelters as her address. Assistant Public Defender Parle Roe-Taylor Tuesday said she did not know where Hartman was currently living.

Hartman was arrested Friday night around 10 p.m. in Terminal 1 at O’Hare, after she was stopped by TSA agents as she tried to enter an area restricted to those with valid boarding passes, Clark said. Security video showed her attempting to slip past partitions into an area of the airport had been closed.

When confronted by TSA agents who requested her boarding pass, Hartman said she had none, Clark said. Police found her seated in a public area of the airport, and she was taken into custody without incident.

A hearing on Hartman’s trespassing case is set for Friday in Skokie.

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