Serial stowaway released from Cook County Jail: ‘I feel free as a bird’

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CHICAGO -- A woman known as a "serial stowaway" is out of jail Thursday, and speaking candidly about her experience.

"It feels wonderful," Marilyn Hartman said about being out of jail. "I feel free as a bird."

Hartman managed to bypass security at some of the country’s biggest airports and fly for free, without a ticket. After spending a month in jail for her latest crime at both Midway and O'Hare, Hartmann is a free woman.

"Even smart people do stupid things," she said.

The spunky 63-year-old, homeless woman has snuck onto planes in Minnesota, San Jose, and even Phoenix.

"I wouldn’t wanna encourage that behavior," she said.

The self-proclaimed bookworm says she was bored. She needed something to do, but for now, she has no plans to repeat her performances.

"I can’t explain the restlessness. It would take too long," she said.

Hartman says she’s a Chicago native, and attended high school here. As to whether she’ll remain here now, she’s not quite sure, but says she’s staying with a friend in the suburbs for a while.

"I might stay in Chicago this summer and fly out when the birds go," she said.

When asked if she’ll try to sneak on to planes again, she says by law the only way for her to fly now is to pay her own way, but she has no problem taking donations for a legitimate ticket.

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