John Hinckley, Jr.
|John W. Hinckley, Jr.|
FBI mug shot of Hinckley in 1981
|Born||John Warnock Hinckley, Jr.
May 29, 1955
|Parents||John Warnock Hinckley Sr., and Jo Ann Moore|
John Warnock Hinckley Jr. (born May 29, 1955) attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C., on March 30, 1981, as the culmination of an effort to impress teen actress Jodie Foster. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has remained under institutional psychiatric care since then. Public outcry over the verdict led to the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984.
Early life 
John W. Hinckley Jr., was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and moved with his family to Dallas, Texas, at the age of 4. His father was John Warnock Hinckley, Sr., who was president of World Vision United States, and Chairman and President of the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, and his mother was Jo Ann Moore Hinckley. He has two older siblings: sister Diane and brother Scott. Scott Hinckley later graduated from Vanderbilt University and became vice president of his father’s oil business, while his sister graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Hinckley grew up in University Park, Texas, and attended Highland Park High School[not in citation given] in Dallas County. During his grade school years, he played football, basketball, hockey, soccer, and baseball, learned to play the piano, and was elected class president twice. After Hinckley graduated in 1973 from his Texas high school, the family, owners of the Hinckley oil company, moved to Evergreen, Colorado, where the new company headquarters was located (Hansell & Damour, 2005). An off-and-on student at Texas Tech University from 1974 to 1980, in 1975 he went to Los Angeles in the hope of becoming a songwriter. His efforts were unsuccessful, and he wrote to his parents with tales of misfortune and pleas for money. He also spoke of a girlfriend, Lynn Collins, who turned out to be a fabrication. He returned to his parents’ home in Evergreen before the college school year ended. During the next few years, he developed a pattern of living on his own for a while and then returning home poor.
Obsession with Jodie Foster 
Hinckley became obsessed with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which a disturbed protagonist, Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, plots to assassinate a presidential candidate. Hinckley developed an infatuation with actress Jodie Foster, who played a child prostitute in the film. The Bickle character was in turn partly based on the diaries of Arthur Bremer, the attempted assassin of George Wallace. When Foster entered Yale University, Hinckley moved to New Haven, Connecticut, for a short time to stalk her. He enrolled in a Yale writing class, and began slipping poems and messages under her door and repeatedly phoning her.
Failing to develop any meaningful contact with the actress, Hinckley developed such plots as aircraft hijacking and committing suicide in front of her to get her attention. Eventually he settled on a scheme to impress her by assassinating the president, with the theory that as a historical figure he would be her equal. Hinckley trailed President Jimmy Carter from state to state, but was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, on a firearms charge. Penniless, he went home again, and despite psychiatric treatment for depression, his mental health did not improve. He began to target the newly elected president Ronald Reagan in 1981 and started collecting information on the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald, whom he saw as a role model.
Hinckley wrote to Foster just before his attempt on Reagan's life:
|“||Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me. Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself.... The reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you.||”|
— John Hinckley, Jr.
Reagan assassination attempt 
On March 30, 1981, at 2:25 p.m. local time, Hinckley shot a .22 caliber Röhm RG-14 revolver six times at Reagan as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., after addressing an AFL-CIO conference.
Hinckley wounded police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and critically wounded press secretary James Brady. Hinckley did not hit Reagan directly, but seriously wounded him when a bullet ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and hit him in the chest. Hinckley did not attempt to flee and was arrested at the scene. All of the shooting victims survived, although Brady, who was hit in the right side of the head, endured a long recuperation period and remained paralyzed on the left side of his body.
At the trial in 1982, charged with 13 offenses, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on June 21. The defense psychiatric reports portrayed him as insane while the prosecution reports saw him as legally sane. Hinckley was confined at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Reaction to verdict 
The verdict resulted in widespread dismay; as a result, the U.S. Congress and a number of states rewrote laws regarding the insanity defense. Idaho, Montana, and Utah abolished the defense altogether. In the United States prior to the Hinckley case, the insanity defense had been used in less than 2 percent of all felony cases and was unsuccessful in almost 75 percent of the trials in which it was used. Hinckley's parents wrote a book during 1985, Breaking Points, about their son's mental condition.
As another result of the verdict, federal and some state rules of evidence exclude or restrict testimony of an expert witness’s conclusions on “ultimate” issues, including that of psychologist and psychiatrist expert witnesses on the issue of whether a criminal defendant is legally “insane.” However, this is not the rule amongst the majority of states today.
Vincent Fuller, who represented Hinckley during his trial and for several years afterward, said Hinckley has schizophrenia. Hinckley has been diagnosed with narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders and dysthymia as well as borderline and passive-aggressive features.
Treatment at St. Elizabeths Hospital 
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
Soon after his trial, Hinckley wrote that the shooting was “the greatest love offering in the history of the world” and was upset that Foster did not reciprocate his love.
After Hinckley was admitted, tests found that he was an “unpredictably dangerous” man who might harm himself, the target of his obsession (Foster), or any other third party. During 1983 he told Penthouse that on a typical day he will
“see a therapist, answer mail, play guitar, listen to music, play pool, watch television, eat lousy food and take delicious medication.”
He was allowed to leave the hospital for supervised visits with his parents in 1999, and longer unsupervised releases in 2000. These privileges were revoked when he was found to have smuggled materials about Foster back into the hospital. Hinckley was later allowed supervised visits during 2004 and 2005. Court hearings were held in September 2005 on whether he could have expanded privileges to leave the hospital. Some of the testimony during the hearings centered on whether Hinckley is capable of having a normal relationship with a woman and, if not, whether that would have any bearing on what danger he would pose to society.
On December 30, 2005, a federal judge ruled that Hinckley would be allowed visits, supervised by his parents, to their home in Williamsburg, Virginia. The judge ruled that Hinckley could have up to three visits of three nights and then four visits of four nights, each depending on the successful completion of the last. All of the experts who testified at Hinckley's 2005 conditional release hearing, including the government experts, agreed that his depression and psychotic disorder were in full remission and that he should have some expanded conditions of release.
After Hinckley requested further freedoms including two one-week visits with his parents, as well as a month-long visit, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman denied that request on Wednesday, June 6, 2007; he did not deny the request out of a concern that Hinckley was not ready.[clarification needed]
On June 17, 2009, a federal judge ruled that Hinckley would be given the ability to visit his mother for a dozen visits of 10 days at a time, rather than six, spend more time outside of the hospital, and have a driver’s license. The court also ordered that Hinckley be required to carry a GPS-enabled cell phone to track him whenever he was outside of his parents’ home, and he was forbidden to speak to the news media. This was done over the objections of the prosecutors, who said that he was still a danger to others and had unhealthful and inappropriate thoughts about women. Hinckley recorded a song, “Ballad of an Outlaw,” which the prosecutors claim is “reflecting suicide and lawlessness.”
It was reported in March 2011 that a forensic psychologist at the hospital had testified that “Hinckley has recovered to the point that he poses no imminent risk of danger to himself or others.” Hinckley returned to court in the spring of 2011 for further direction and was granted additional family visits in May 2011. On November 30, 2011, a hearing began in Washington to determine Hinckley’s future.
See also 
- "John W. Hinckley Jr.: A Biography". Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- unknown. "John W. Hinckley Jr., A Biography". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Hinckley. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Biography: John Hinckley, Jr.". The American Experience. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Taxi Driver: Its Influence on John Hinckley, Jr.". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Letter written to Jodie Foster by John Hinckley, Jr.". University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. March 30, 1981. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Reagan, Ronald (Reagan said this on January 11, 1990. The episode of Larry King aired on March 30, 2001.). "Larry King Live: Remembering the Assassination Attempt on Ronald Reagan". CNN. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
- "Jim Brady, 25 Years Later". CBS News. January 21, 2006.
- The Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr., by Doug Linder. 2001 Retrieved March 10, 2007.
- "John W Hinckley Jr." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on January 9, 2010.
- The John Hinckley Trial & Its Effect on the Insanity Defense by Kimberly Collins, Gabe Hinkebein, and Staci hahaSchorgl.
- "Barring ultimate issue testimony". Springerlink. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
- C. McCormick, Evidence (3d Ed.) § 12, p. 30.
- Should Hinckley be allowed to go on unsupervised trips?
- Dementia suburbia
- Hinckley Hails 'Historical' Shooting To Win Love by Stuart Taylor, Jr. New York Times. July 9, 1982. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- Life at St. Elizabeths by Denise Noe. Crime Library. Courtroom Television Network, LLC. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
- James Polk (March 26, 2011). "Doctors: Reagan shooter is recovering, not a danger". CNN. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Court gives would-be assassin John Hinckley more freedom". CNN. June 17, 2009.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42554508 AP via MSNBC
- "Lawyers for Hinckley say the presidential assailant is not dangerous", Cratty, Carol CNN. November 30, 2011
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
- Further reading
- Clarke, James W. (2006). Defining Danger: American Assassins and the New Domestic Terrorists.
- Clarke, James W. (1990). On Being Mad or Merely Angry: John W. Hinckley, Jr., and Other Dangerous People. Princeton University Press.
- Hinckley, John W. "The Insanity Defense and Me". Newsweek, September 20, 1982.
- Jaffe, Harry (October 2011). "Free John Hinckley". Washingtonian.
- The Trial of John Hinckley, Jr., – University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School
- The American Experience – John Hinckley, Jr., by Julie Wolf.
- Crime Library – The John Hinckley Case by Denise Noe.
- The Hinckley Double – underreported.com[dead link]
- The Day Hinckley Shot Reagan
- Stalking Hinckley by Eddie Dean, Washington City Paper, July 25–31, 1997.
- Footage of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt