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Attempted Reagan Assassinator Released from Psychiatric Hospital
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John W. Hinckley

Summary: After 35 years of being locked up in a psychiatric hospital, the man who shot President Reagan, John W. Hinckley, will be released to live with his mother.

The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 will be released from a government psychiatric hospital after 35 years in custody. John W. Hinckley Jr. was 25 when he shot Reagan and three others outside the Washington Hilton. A federal judge ruled that Hinckley, now 61, does not pose a danger to himself or others anymore.


Hinckley will be released to live full-time with his mother in Williamsburg, VA but will still be subjected to temporary treatment and monitoring conditions. Should he follow the restrictions placed on him, they will be phased out after a year so that he will no longer be under court control.

Since the 1990s, his full time living conditions at the hospital have been gradually lessened. He has been allowed to have supervised visits with family members and recently has been living with his 90-year-old mother at her residence in a gated golf course development for 17 days out of the month.

See U.S. Military Terrorists Murder Comrade to Hide Their Plot to Assassinate the President.

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The release order restricts Hinckley to a 50-mile radius in Williamsburg, VA and must submit information on his cell phone and what vehicles he will be using. He also cannot tamper with the browser history on his computer, upload content to the internet or access social media without prior approval. If he relapses or violates the terms of this release, he can be sent back to St. Elizabeth’s.

Hinckley’s motive for shooting Reagan was to impress actress Jodie Foster. He became obsessed with the Hollywood star after repeatedly watching “Taxi Driver.” A federal jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity after an 8-week trial. The federal government and 38 states then rewrote their laws to make it harder for the insanity defense to be used.

Read Attempted Presidential Assassin Hinckley May Soon Gain Freedom.

On two of Hinckley’s travels away from the hospital, he has lied about what he did, one time stating he went to a movie when he actually went to a bookstore and fast food restaurant. A Secret Service agent that was following him noted that Hinckley stood in front of the bookstore where there was a display on Reagan and the shooting. Psychiatrist Raymond F. Patterson testified that Hinckley has a troubling “sense of entitlement and a disregard for the rules.”

Do you think someone with a violent past like Hinckley should be released from a mental hospital to live on their own? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about presidential related assassinations, read There was a Second Gunman at RFK’s Assassination.



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