Who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan for freedom after 41 years

The man who tried to assassinate former US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to impress actress Jodi Foster was released on Wednesday after six years in a psychiatric hospital.

After a decade of psychological observation and monitoring, the court recently ruled that John Hingley was not a threat to the community and could be acquitted on June 15 from any judicial review. “After 41 years, two months and 15 days, independence is finally here,” he wrote on Twitter, now 67 and dedicated to music.


On March 30, 1981, John Hingley shot and killed a former Republican leader as he left a hotel in Washington. A bullet fired from the President’s limousine and struck Ronald Reagan in the chest. Three people were injured in the attack.

The young man at the time had been obsessed with Jodi Foster since the release of the movie “Taxi Driver” and announced that he wanted to impress the actress. John Hingley was declared criminally irresponsible by the court.

After more than 30 years in a psychiatric hospital, John Hingley was admitted in 2016 with his mother to a safe residential area in Williamsburg, 240 kilometers south of Washington.

The rules of its judicial control are strict: in particular, the man must report any movement (with notes taken, tables and possible accidents), undergo regular medical treatment and keep a diary of his daily activities.

John Hingley was also barred from contacting Jodi Foster and his family members, Ronald Reagan’s descendants or those close to the victim.

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According to court documents, his mood is now “stable”.

“If he had not tried to assassinate a president, he would have been granted full independence long ago,” Judge Paul Friedman said in September.

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