Julienne Bušić

Julienne Bušić and her husband Zvonko in Zagreb, 2009

Julienne Bušić (maiden name: Julienne Eden Schultz, born 1948) is an American writer, activist, and the wife of Zvonko Bušić. She was arrested in 1976 after hijacking TWA Flight 355 and sentenced to life in prison, with early parole.[1][2]


According to her memoir,[3] she was born in Eugene, Oregon, USA and was raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from the University of Oregon, attended Vienna University (Austria), and obtained a master's degree in German language, literature, and linguistics at Portland State University.[3] In Oregon, she worked as a nurse's aid, teacher, and mental health therapist for abused teenagers.[4]

She married Zvonko Bušić in 1972 and they lived together in Austria, Germany, Oregon, and Ohio before moving to New York City. They were active in publicizing human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, especially the murder of Croatian dissidents by the Yugoslav secret police organization UDBA in the so-called "black program," and in promoting the cause of Croatian independence.[3][4][5] Julienne Bušić and a friend were imprisoned briefly in Zagreb in the early 1970s for disseminating literature critical of the Yugoslavian government.[3]

On September 10, 1976, she, her husband, and three others hijacked domestic Trans World Airlines flight 355 departing from New York for Chicago, using the threat of a bomb, which later turned out to be a harmless pressure cooker. They flew the airliner over London, where they dropped pamphlets promoting Croatian independence from Yugoslavia. The group surrendered without bloodshed; however, Brian Murray, a member of the NYPD bomb squad, was killed and three others squad members injured while attempting to defuse an explosive left behind in a storage locker at Grand Central Terminal.

Zvonko and Julienne Bušić were convicted of air piracy resulting in death, which carried a mandatory life sentence with parole eligibility after 10 years.[1] In 1979, she was attacked in prison by Manson Family member Lynette Fromme. She was released from federal prison in 1989 after serving 13 years in the minimum security Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin in Dublin, California.[3][4][6]

During and after her stint in prison, Bušić corresponded at length with Kathleen Murray Moran, the wife of the bomb squad member killed during the incident. Murray Moran advocated for Bušić's early release. Murray Moran would later, quite publicly, regret that advocacy. [7][8]

Bušić subsequently moved to Croatia and has supported Croatian humanitarian causes in the United States and Europe. She has been involved in publishing, translation, and literary projects, and written for literary journals both in Croatia and the United States, including Ooligan Press,[9] Verbatim,[10] Gobshite Quarterly,[11] and Vijenac.[12] She is also a weekly columnist for the Croatian news portal Dalje.[13] Her husband was granted parole in 2008, at which time he rejoined his wife in Croatia. Zvonko Bušić committed suicide in 2013. [14]


Her first book, Lovers and Madmen (2000), chronicles her relationship with Zvonko and the death threats and attempts on their lives that led up to the hijacking.[15] Her second book, Your Blood and Mine (2008), is an extended commentary on the American federal prison system, as portrayed by her letters to Zvonko throughout his 32-year incarceration.[16] Her third book, Living Cells (2012) is a dramatization of the fate of civilian women during the siege of Vukovar.[17]


  1. 1 2 "United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Zvonko Busic, Julienne Busic, Petar Matanic, Frane Pesut,defendants-appellants - 592 F.2d 13". Justia US Court of Appeals Cases and Opinions Cases. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  2. Seigel, Max H. (July 21, 1977), The New York Times, page 1 column 1. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Bušić, Julienne Eden (2000). "Lovers and Madmen". Franklin Beedle & Associates. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  4. 1 2 3 Simon, Jeffrey David (2001), The Terrorist Trap: America's Experience with Terrorism, Indiana University Press
  5. Schindler, John (February 4, 2010), Doctor of Espionage: The Victims of UDBA, Sarajevo: Slobodna Bosna, pp. 35–38
  6. "Green Light Interview with Julienne Bušić". Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  7. http://www.npr.org/2015/05/08/405191525/the-hijackers-letter
  8. "New York Times article about Kathleen Murray Moran and Julienne Busic". Retrieved 2014-09-25. Murray Moran later stated in "Snap Judgement interview on forgiveness". an interview that Bušić had manipulated her. In their last meeting after Bušić came out of prison, Bušić was asking Murray Moran to write to the parole board for the release of her husband.
  9. "Ooligan Press website". Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  10. "Verbatim magazine website". Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  11. "Gobshite Quarterly website". Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  12. "Vijenac website". Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  13. "Dalje". Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  14. "Zvonko Busic dies at 67; served U.S. prison time for '76 TWA hijacking". LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times. June 8, 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  15. Busic, Julienne Eden (2000). "Lovers & Madmen". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  16. Busic, Julienne Eden (2008). "Your Blood and Mine". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  17. Busic, Julienne Eden (2012). "Living Cells". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
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