John Hinckley Jr., tried to assassinate former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1981, injuring him and three others (former White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahantry). Hinckley, who was freed yesterday after 35-years in a mental hospital, is a severely mentally ill stalker, who became obsessed with actress, Jodie Foster.
Hinckley saw Foster in the debauched 1976 movie "Taxi Driver" where at age 13 the former child star player a teenage prostitute, in what was a highly sexualized and inappropriate role. Hinckley, at age 24, began criminally stalking a then 17-year-old Foster. Hinckley stalked Foster when she enrolled at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He moved from Texas to Connecticut and routinely stalked her around campus.
Jodie Foster as a teenage prostitute in the 1976 film "Taxi Driver"
Hinckley stalked Foster to the point he found out where she lived on campus and her private, unlisted telephone number. Hinckley got so uncomfortably close to Foster via stalking, he was able to slip letters and notes under her dorm room door and repeatedly telephoned her room, in what was a violation of her privacy.
Due to the fact Foster understandably rejected Hinckley, as no one likes being stalked and hounded, he insanely decided the only way to get her attention was to kill the President of the United States, which he later insanely branded, "The greatest love offering in human history." Hinckley first sought to kill former President Jimmy Carter, but later settled on newly elected Reagan.
Jodie Foster in her late teens when the Regan assassination attempt occurred
Right before Hinckley attempted to kill Reagan, he slipped a note under Foster's dorm room door stating, "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."
The warning signs were there that he was capable of acts of violence. Hinckley stalked former President Carter from state to state and was arrested on a weapons charge while doing so. Hinckley's family missed the warning signs, despite the fact they did him treatment for depression, that he had become dangerous. However, the diagnosis was incomplete and in some regard incorrect. He was having violent ideations that made him a danger. He bought weapons prior to the assassination in attempts at acting out violent ideas.
John Hinckley Jr mug shot in 1981
Hinckley came from a wealthy oil family in Texas. His family's wealth clearly made a difference in the case, as he should have been sent to prison and for life, over the attempted murder of Ronald Reagan, James Brady, Tim McCarthy and Thomas Delahantry. Now the public is placed in peril again, as he has been freed, while one of his victims, Brady, died two years ago due to injuries stemming from the shooting.
When Hinckley was admitted to a mental hospital after the attempted assassination, a psychiatrist labeled him "unpredictably dangerous." For decades his obsession with Foster has continued, as items relating to her have repeatedly been found in his possession. Yet, he has been freed this week.
John Hinckley Jr. is now free and likely still harboring an obsession with Jodie Foster
Stalkers usually do not stop their criminal behavior unless they are stopped under the law. Stalkers should not be taken lightly. It is a serious mental disorder and one that warrants long term psychiatric intervention and confinement to a mental facility, provided the individual did not commit attempted murder or murder, which deserves a prison sentence.
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