By: Harrison McCroskey

On September 12, 2016, John Hinckley was released from St. Elizabeth’s hospital after 35 years of imprisonment. Hinckley attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.

 Hinckley shot the president as well as Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a police officer, Thomas Delahanty. They all lived, but with some long term physical injuries. Hinckley shot Reagan below the left underarm, causing a punctured lung and heavy internal bleeding. Reagan spent almost two weeks in the hospital recovering from his wounds.

 Hinckley wanted to impress Jodie Foster, a young actress, whom he was obsessed with. He tried to contact her by writing letters and calling her, but she was not interested in him.She starred in “Taxi Driver”, featured the main character, Travis Bickle, attempting to assassinate a U.S. senator who is running for president. Hinkley watched the movie several times, which influenced him to try to kill Reagan.

During Hinckley’s court trial, Hinckley pleaded insanity and was found not guilty.

“The verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was a bad verdict,” President Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis told NPR last year.

Twenty-two years later, Hinckley started leaving St. Elizabeth’s hospital for monitored visits with his parents.


 A federal judge . granted Hinckley’s request to leave the hospital and live with his 90-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hinckley will be able to live on his own or in a group home in one year; however, he has some restrictions. He cannot have “ any firearm, weapon, or ammunition and shall not be arrested for cause.”

 Thomas Zeno, a former prosecutor of John Hinckley, said in a interview with NPR, “The question with Mr. Hinckley is because he has this basic character flaw or personality flaw as it is called, of narcissism, can he really be changed? And will he really be a different person?”