Who is Marilyn Hartman? Inside the life of a serial stowaway

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Some people never learn, just ask Marilyn Hartman.

The 69-year-old American woman has made a name for herself as the “Serial Stowaway” with her bizarre habit of sneaking onto commercial planes without a ticket.

Over the last three decades, she’s said to have fooled the TSA at least 30 times.

She once even made it all the way to London before being sent back by British immigration officials for not having a passport.

Hartman was back in the headlines this week when she was caught alleged trying to stowaway yet again, onto a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

It’s unclear what drives the persistent gate-crasher.

Hartman, who has reportedly long been homeless, has given a series of dubious reasons for her high-flying exploits over the years.

She has claimed to be the victim of a worldwide conspiracy to harass her, apparently led by former President Barack Obama, The Guardian reported in 2018.

Hartman also reportedly told the newspaper that she suffers from a self-diagnosed mental illness she calls “whistleblower trauma syndrome” that makes her “feel the need to get on a plane to go away.”

In a recent interview with CBS2 in Chicago, Hartman said she suffers from bipolar disorder, a diagnosis she resisted for a long time. She said that she was depressed when she made her stowaway attempts.

Hartman said her plane-hopping began back in 2002.

“The first time I was able to to get through I flew to Copenhagen,” she told the outlet. “The second time I flew into Paris.”

But she didn’t wind up on the radar of law enforcement until several years later.

In August 2014, Hartman was nabbed at Los Angeles International Airport, having flown from San Jose sans ticket, and was charged with trespassing.

About six months later, she got from Minnesota to Florida and was reportedly caught checking into an upscale hotel under a different person’s name. She was charged with fraud by impersonation and other crimes.

January 2018 is when Hartman made it across the pond from Chicago. For that, she was sentenced to 18 months probation and mental health counseling, and was barred from being on any airport property without holding an existing airline ticket.

In October 2019, she tried her luck at O’Hare again, but was arrested while trying to pass through security without a boarding pass or identification.

That arrest violated her probation sentence for jetting off to London’s Heathrow a year earlier.

She was ordered held without bail, but was released from the Cook County Jail about a year ago in an effort to free low-risk detainees during the coronavirus pandemic.

But on Tuesday, she allegedly fled the facility where she had been staying while on electronic monitoring and went back to O’Hare.

Hartman was arrested as she neared Terminal 1 after authorities tracked her using the GPS on her ankle bracelet.

Officials of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department say plans are to seek a felony escape charge for Hartman.

Despite her long rap sheet, Hartman claims she’s no criminal mastermind.

“The thing I’ve got to tell you. I have never been able to board a plane by myself. I was always let through,” she told CBS2. “I mean I was able to go through the security line without a boarding pass.”

“I know they keep emphasizing the mental illness … law enforcement … would like to have that in place. But umm … [laugh] no, I’m pretty good,” she added.

With Post wires

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