NEWS BRIEF John Hinckley was a mentally disturbed 25 year old in 1981 when he tried to assassinate President Reagan. A jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity, and ever since then he has lived in treatment at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. But on September 10, he will take up new residence as a free man in Virginia in line with a judge’s order last month.
Hinckley’s long-time lawyer, Barry Levine, announced the date Thursday, saying, “I think he will be a citizen about whom we can all be proud.” Hinckley will move in with his mother, who has a home in Williamsburg.
More than 30 years ago, Hinckley obsessed over Jodi Foster and her role in the 1976 film Taxi Driver, a story of a cab driver played by Robert De Niro who stalks a woman (played by Foster) and hopes to win her affection by killing a presidential candidate. Hinckley suffered from major depression and a psychotic disorder at the time, and he sought to emulate the movie’s plot in real life. He stalked Foster at Yale University, where she was a student, and later followed President Jimmy Carter. When Reagan won the presidential election in 1980, Hinckley focused his obsession on him. On March 30, 1981, Hinckley shot Reagan in the chest and also wounded three others, including press secretary James Brady. Reagan eventually recovered.