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After more than forty years in prison, would-be presidential assassin John Hinkley has been unconditionally released and is set to resume a completely free and public life. He has been on conditional release since 2016.
Hinckley infamously attempted to assassinate then-president Ronald Reagan in 1981 after becoming obsessed with Hollywood darling Jodie Foster. The History Channel noted that a young John Hinckley repeatedly watched the film Taxi Driver, and in watching it over and over eventually came to identify with the film’s protagonist.
“[Hinckley] identified with the film’s central character, violent loner Travis Bickle, who sought to gain a woman’s affection by trying to assassinate a presidential candidate. Hinckley even wore army boots and drank peach brandy like Bickle had in the film.
[He] grew increasingly obsessed with Foster, who played a young prostitute in “Taxi Driver.” He stalked the actress after her enrollment at Yale University, sending her dozens of love letters and poems, calling her on the phone and traveling in person to New Haven, Connecticut, with hopes of making contact. Like Bickle, Hinckley believed he could earn Foster’s love by assassinating a politician.”
Although Ronald Reagan was eventually the target, those were not the original plans. The History Channel claimed that Hinckley’s unhinged state and commitment to winning over Foster began during the Carter years. In fact, he was even arrested with three guns while trying to travel to a campaign event for Jimmy Carter in October of 1980.For his efforts, Hinckley spent over forty years in confinement, though more than thirty were “spent in a mental hospital after being found not guilty in the assassination attempt by reason of insanity” Fox News reported.
Perhaps Hinckley has atoned and repented and is able to resume public life. It certainly seems suspect, given the defense claim of insanity. So a sane person would have been locked up for life but an insane person can be released after being found not guilty?
Compounding Hinckley’s unconditional release for the attempted Reagan assassination is that his three-second barrager of bullets hit three other targets. Fox went on to write that although Reagan ultimately survived, Hinckey’s actions impacted far more than just the president.
“In addition to Reagan, Hinckley shot then-White House press secretary James Brady, as well as a Secret Service agent and a Washington police officer. Brady suffered long-term health problems from the shooting and his death in 2014 was ruled a homicide, though additional charges against Hinckley were not pursued.”
Again, despite effectively killing James Brady, Hinckley will be walking free and clear.
In the meantime, Hinckley has full use of social media accounts, including Twitter and YouTube. That’s more than Donald Trump can even say.
After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!
— John Hinckley (@JohnHinckley20) June 15, 2022
Hailey Sanibel fiercely loves freedom. She is a contributing author at Trending Political News and writes regularly at The Blue State Conservative.