John Hinckley Jr.: The Now-Free Man Who Tried To Assassinate President Ronald Reagan

John Hinckley Jr.: The Now-Free Man Who Tried To Assassinate President Ronald Reagan


March 30, 1981, should have been just another day for President Ronald Reagan. Just 69 days after his inauguration, the president was giving a speech to about 5,000 members of the AFL-CIO at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

At around 2:30 p.m., Reagan left the hotel, waving to supporters as security walked him to his limousine. Waiting in the crowd, however, was John Hinckley Jr., a mentally ill young man with a .22 revolver and an intent to murder.

Hinckley, who was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in 1955, suffered from emotional problems and was prescribed anti-depressants and tranquilizers. In 1976, Hinckley saw the movie “Taxi Driver,” starring Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a mentally disturbed taxi driver who becomes obsessed with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd),

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