September 27, 1990: Gunman Holds 33 Hostage In Berkeley, Calif.

He asked for trillions of dollars in exchange for access to his telepathic abilities and demanded the San Francisco Police Chief undress in public.

By Eric Shorey

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On September 27, 1990, a gunman held 33 people hostage in Berkeley, California. The gunman, Mehrdad Dashti, was in the midst of a severe psychotic episode. He held the captives at a bar near the University of California campus for upwards of seven hours, physically and sexually degrading them.

He also issued several irrational demands to police as he verbally assaulted his victims. He asked for trillions of dollars from the government in exchange for access to his telepathic abilities. He also demanded San Francisco Police Chief, Frank Jordan, to undress in public.

A Berkeley student, John N. Sheehy, was killed in the police siege on the bar, and six other hostages were injured by gunfire. The gunman was eventually shot and killed as well.

 [Photo: Getty Images]

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