John Hinckley - a man who was acquitted after the assassination attempt on the US president. John Hinkley Jr. and Jodie Foster


John Hinckley - a person clearly extraordinary. However, he did not bring beauty to the world, since his creations can hardly be called poetry. He is known for his obsession with Jodie Foster, as well as the assassination attempt on the US president.

In 2016, this sixty-year-old lover moved to live with his ninety-year-old mother. Will the Hollywood actress, relatives of the wounded president and the current head of the United States feel safe?



John Hinckley came to this world on 05/29/1955. The place of his birth was the city of Ardmore (Oklahoma), but from the age of four he began living with his parents in Dallas (Texas).

The boy studied at the local school, he was twice elected head of the class. He played sports and played the piano. He graduated from school in 1973. By this time, his father was already the owner of an oil company. Then the family moves to Evergreen (Colorado).

Youth plans and dreams

From 1974 to 1980, John Hinckley was a student at Texas Tech University. But his plans for life were not connected with science. In 1975, the young man made a trip to Los Angeles. There he hoped to be a songwriter.

The attempt was unsuccessful, and he had to ask the parents for money. He told them what had happened to him in a letter. He also mentioned to his parents a certain girl by the name of Lynn Collins, but she turned out to be just his invention. By the beginning of autumn 1976, the young man returned to live with his parents. At this time, he first watched the movie "Taxi Driver", which influenced his fate.

A few years later, Hinckley acquired a weapon. At the same time, he had emotional problems. He was prescribed antidepressants.

Obsession with the heroine of the movie "Taxi Driver"


The film "Taxi Driver" tells the story of the protagonist Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro. The main character plans to kill one of the presidential candidates. Jodie Foster played the role of a prostitute girl. After watching the film, Hinkley developed an unhealthy addiction to the actress.

John Hinkley pursued a young girl. He enrolled in one of the courses at Yale University, in which Foster studied, to be closer to her. But a close acquaintance did not work, he could only slip the notes under her door and call her by phone.

He believed that he could get her attention by hijacking a plane or committing suicide. But in the end, his fantasy focused on the assassination of the president. He began to monitor Jimmy Carter, but was arrested for violating the gun law. His mental state was tried to heal, but to no avail.

In 1981, the man decided to assassinate Ronald Reagan, the new US president. Before the assassination attempt, he sent Foster a letter. In it, he indicated that he was doing everything in order to draw attention to himself, since poems and love notes do not bring the expected result. If only he knew at that moment that his beloved would be more interested in the fair sex!

Attempted President


The obsessed John Hinckley Jr. decided to fulfill his plan on 03/30/1981. He managed to make six shots from a revolver. It all happened at 14 hours 27 minutes local time, when Reagan was leaving the Hilton Hotel (Washington).

Affected by shots:

  • Ronald Reagan - punctured the lung;
  • Thomas Delahanti (policeman) - wounded in the back;
  • Tim McCarthy (intelligence agent);
  • James Brady (spokesperson) - wounded in the head, as a result of which he remained paralyzed for the rest of his life on the left side, until he died in 2014;

John Hinckley, whose photos are presented, did not try to escape. He was arrested at the scene of the crime. Several cameras recorded what happened. The video is available today.

What did the oil magnate's son expect for his crime?

Court process and sentence

Detained at the crime scene, John Hinckley, Jr., was presented to the court in 1982. He was accused of thirteen offenses, but was found not guilty because of a mental disorder. By the end of the summer of the same year he was sent for treatment.

Recognition of innocence led the public to confusion. Some states after this process have banned insanity defense. A number of laws were changed, making it quite difficult to refer to the insanity of someone in the dock, with the help of invited psychiatrists and psychologists from the defense. They were allowed to draw conclusions only from a medical point of view, and not from a legal one.


John Hinckley Jr., the photo of which is presented, spent thirty-five years on compulsory treatment at St. Elizabeth (Washington) hospital. Was his passion for Jodie Foster? It is difficult to answer this question, because during a search of his chamber in 1987 and in 2000, evidence was found that the obsession remained.

Release to freedom

Long before his release, John Hinckley, whose biography is connected with the assassination of the president, began to leave the hospital. Since 1999, he was allowed to come to the parental home in the city of Williamsburg (Virginia). These visits were monitored, sometimes banned again, but with each passing year the Hinckley rights expanded.


He was released in the fall of 2016. However, he still has some limitations. So, he cannot be contacted by Jody Foster, or by representatives of the Reagan, Brady families. He can only live in a zone fifty miles from his mother's house. He was also forbidden to speak in public, ordered to work three times a week and to see a psychiatrist twice a month.

Whether the release of Hinkley was the right decision, time will tell.

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