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John W. Hinckley Jr.: The Man Who Killed Ronald Reagan

John Hinkley Jr
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 John W. Hinckley Jr., the alleged assassinator of US President, Ronald Reagan, was found not guilty by the then judiciary on account of his mental disorders. On March 30, 1981, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in Washington by would-be assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. This article will take you through the life of the mentally disturbed Hinckley and will share some of the life stories and facts about John W. Hinckley Jr . So, without further ado, let’s reflect back a little into his life.

Who was John W. Hinckley Jr.

John Hinckley Jr, who shot and nearly killed Ronald Reagan, releases 10  songs on Spotify


Born to an oil executive father, John W. Hinckley Sr., and Jo Ann (Moore), Hinckley’s mother. John. W. Hinckley, Jr attempted to murder the then US President, Ronald Reagan. In his attempt to kill the President, his bullets injured several others as well. Over the years, he evolved to become a public danger, a person who is considered not a good fit for the civilized world. 

In this section, we will take you through the ups and downs of Hinckley’s life and will pen down some of the unrevealed facts about John. W. Hinckley, Jr

  1. He Was A Dropout
John Hinckley Jr. was a college drop out who wanted to become a song writer

John W. Hinckley, Jr was a University dropout. He always dreamt of becoming a songwriter, but destiny might have other plans for him. 

  1. He Was Diagnosed With Depression In His Early Years

Failure to fulfill his dreams made him fall prey to stress and depression. He was diagnosed with mental disorder and depression and was prescribed tranquilizers. 

  1. Why Did He Want To Assassin Ronald Reagan? 
John Hinckley Jr., Man attempted murder of Ronald Reagan injuring others as well

After watching the film, Taxi Driver, Hinckley was in love with Jodie Foster, who played the role of a child prostitute in the film, who was rescued by an assassinator, Travis Bickle( Robert De Niro). To impress his loved one, he tried hard to secure a connection with the girl, Foster, but every time returned empty-handed. Then he devised a plan to assassinate Ronald Reagan, just the way Robert De Niro did in his movie, to impress Jodie. 

  1. An Attempt To Murder

While attempting to murder Ronald Reagan with his 22 caliber pistol, police official Delahanty along with others were injured. The list includes Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy and press secretary, James Brady. While the six bullets failed to kill the President, he was reported to be seriously injured in his lungs. This attempted murder made Brady paralyzed on the left side of his body( he was shot in the right side of the head), and 33 years later, he expired. 

  1. Alfred Antenucci  Witnessed The Shoot 
Presidential Ronald Reagan with Alfred

Alfred Antenucci, an Ohio labor official, witnessed Hinckley firing and quickly hit him in the head. Another official, McNamara too stroked Hinckley so brutally that he started to bleed. But, he was fortunate enough that he didn’t end up like Lee Harvey Oswald, who was shot two days after he murdered John. F. Kennedy. 

  1. The Insanity Defence Reform Act of 1984 

After he was summoned to court, he was found not guilty and non-punishable on account of his insanity. This action of the judiciary brewed severe disturbances in the country and people started demanding justice. Additionally, Hinckley was found unhappy that his plan of impressing Foster by murdering the President did not work. Thus, the United States Congress and others revised the law, which established The Insanity Defence Reform Act, 1984. The law made it difficult for criminals to be released without punishment only by reason of mental illness. 

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  1. Attempted Multiple Suicides

After he was admitted to St. Elizabeth, for treatment of his mental disorder, was found on the floor of his room,  with an overdose of his anti-depressants. This was not the first time he attempted suicide. Earlier, he overdosed himself with Tylenol and Valium. In another attempt, he hanged himself in his cell but was unsuccessful in his plans. 

  1. “Breaking Points”

Hinckley’s parents tried their hands at writing a book named, “Breaking Points”, in which they elaborated on the mental health and illness of their alleged son. 

  1. He Finally Achieved Freedom

After years of struggle to visit his ailing mother, he was finally set free from the mental hospital on 5th August 2016. He was allowed to live with his mother, full time. Earlier, in 2005, the court allowed him supervised visits to his parents. Later in 2009, he was entitled to a driver’s license. He was ordered to carry a GPS-enabled mobile to track him everywhere outside his residence. 

  1. Songs And Novels

In 1982, a band called “Devo” used the lyrics of Hinckley’s song without his permission. Further, he was barred from royalties. His character was also featured in a novel, Calf, by Andrea Kleine. He also featured in several movies, namely, Without Warming, The James Brady Story, The Day Reagan Was Shot, etc. 

  1. His YouTube Channel
John W Hinckley has its YouTube channel

After his final release, he started his own YouTube channel, where one could find him posting videos of his own creations. He performed covers for many songs such as Blowin’ In The Wind, etc. 

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  1. His Romantic Relationships

According to his mother, Hinckley on many occasions talked about his girlfriend, Lynn Collins, who was helping him in his novels. Later it was proved that his girlfriend, along with his novels, all were perfectly woven stories. He was also engaged with his fellow patient, Leslie, who was also admitted to  St. Elizabeth’s after killing her own daughter. Reports suggested that he expressed a constant desire to impress other women, which somehow proved that he was a narcissist. 

  1. A Close Connection With George Bush 

Among all the other facts about John W. Hinckley Jr., this is the most surprising one. Hinckley’s father was a very close friend of the Vice President. It is also believed that Bush’s son, Neil Bush was meeting Hinckley’s brother, Scott, but it was canceled due to the attempted murder. But, there was no investigation of this fact by the FBI. 


We have collected and compiled all the unreleased and unknown facts about John W. Hinckley Jr., which we believe would have surprised you by now. But, there is one question that we want you to ponder over, Though the prosecution report clearly stated that Hinckley had no mental disorder, what is your opinion on the same? Is he really safe for our society? Is he mentally healthy? 

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