John Hinckley, Jr.Attempted Assassin / Convict
Born: 29 May 1955
Birthplace: Ardmore, Oklahoma
Best known as: The man who shot Ronald Reagan
John Hinckley, Jr. shot U.S. president Ronald Reagan
on 30 March 1981, as Reagan left a Washington (D.C.) Hilton
Hotel after making a speech. President Reagan was severely wounded, as were his press secretary James Brady, police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy. John Hinckley was tackled and arrested on the spot. Investigators discovered that Hinckley was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster
and had been trying to impress her. (Foster had starred with Robert DeNiro
in Taxi Driver
, a 1976 movie about a crazed loner stalking a presidential candidate. Hinckley had reportedly seen the movie more than a dozen times.) John Hinckley was tried for the crime in 1982 and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was placed in St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remained for the next three decades. In 1999 Hinckley was allowed the right to supervised visits outside the grounds of the hospital. In 2000 he was allowed unsupervised visits, but this right was revoked after a book about Foster was found hidden in his room. In December 2003 he was again allowed to have unsupervised visits with his parents, outside the hospital grounds. A judge ruled in 2016 that Hinckley should be released from St. Elizabeth's to live with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, saying that he no longer posed a threat to himself or to others.
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