This is coming 35 years after he shot U.S.
President Ronald Reagan in an attack
prompted by a deranged obsession with the
actress Jodie Foster.
Hinckley, 61, is moving in with his elderly
mother in a gated community in Williamsburg,
Virginia, where he has been making
increasingly long furlough visits in recent years
under the watchful eyes of the U.S.
A federal judge in July ordered Hinckley’s
release from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in
Washington, finding that he no longer posed a
danger to himself or to others.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of
insanity at a 1982 trial and was diagnosed with
depression and psychosis, both of which are
now in remission, according to his doctors.
Local media, including The Washington Post,
reported that Hinckley was officially released
from St. Elizabeth’s on Saturday, when he had
been scheduled to be freed.
A hospital employee who answered the phone
on Saturday said she could not comment on
patients to the media.
Residents of the town have seemed largely
unfazed by the prospect of Hinckley’s release,
though some have expressed wariness.
As a 25-year-old college dropout, Hinckley had
grown fixated upon Foster and the Martin
Scorsese film “Taxi Driver,” in which she
played a teenage prostitute.
Inspired by the film’s main character, who
plots to kill a presidential candidate, Hinckley
opened fire on Reagan outside a Washington,
D.C., hotel on March 30, 1981, in a misguided
effort to win Foster’s affections.
Reagan suffered a punctured lung but
recovered quickly. His press secretary, James
Brady, was left permanently disabled and
eventually died of his injuries in 2014.
The shooting left its mark in a number of ways.
The Brady shooting helped launch the modern
gun control movement, and a 1993 bill named
after him imposed background checks and a
Hinckley’s verdict, meanwhile, led several
states to rewrite their laws to make insanity
defenses more difficult, and the Secret Service
toughened its security procedures following
the assassination attempt.
Hinckley’s release has dozens of conditions
attached, including a requirement that he work
or volunteer at least three days a week, limit
his travel, allow law enforcement to track his
movements and continue meeting with a
The Reagan family issued a statement in July
strongly opposing Hinckley’s release. Foster
has declined to comment on Hinckley since