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‘Serial Stowaway’ Marilyn Hartman deemed fit to stand trial for trespassing at O’Hare

Judge Peggy Chiampas’ ruling came after a county psychiatrist’s evaluation stated that Hartman is psychologically able to assist with her defense, so long as she stays on medication.

Marilyn Hartman was arrested at O’Hare Airport without an airline ticket in an alleged violation of her probation for sneaking aboard a flight from O’Hare to London in 2018.
Marilyn Hartman was arrested at O’Hare Airport without an airline ticket in an alleged violation of her probation for sneaking aboard a flight from O’Hare to London in 2018.
Chicago Police Department

Marilyn Hartman, the 68-year-old woman with a history of sneaking aboard airplanes without a ticket, is fit to stand trial, a Cook County judge ruled Monday.

Judge Peggy Chiampas’ ruling came after county psychiatrist’s evaluation stated that Hartman, who was arrested in October for trespassing at O’Hare Airport, is psychologically able to assist with her defense, so long as she stays on medication.

Hartman, who is known as the “Serial Stowaway,” was barred from visiting O’Hare or Midway airports without an airplane ticket after she was put on probation in March for stowing away on a 2018 flight from Chicago to London.

Before pleading guilty to charges for sneaking onto the flight to London, Hartman spent several months at a state mental health facility after another county psychiatrist had ruled she was unable to assist with her defense.

Hartman was arrested in the fall after she was spotted inside a terminal at O’Hare by airport security staff, who prosecutors said carry photographs of her “at all times.”

Hartman has racked up numerous arrests at airports across the U.S. In an series of interviews with a reporter in California, Hartman revealed a conspiratorial worldview in which powerful figures, such as former President Barack Obama and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, conspired to compel her to board flights.