Today I learned John Hinkley’s attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan stemmed from his obsession with impressing Jodie Foster.
Exactly thirty years ago, on March 30th of 1981, 25-year-old John Hinkley wrote the following letter to actress Jodie Foster. In it, Hinkley — a man so obsessed with Foster as a result of her role in Taxi Driver that he had previously followed her to Yale University; enrolled in a class; and proceeded to stalk her — made clear his immediate plan: to kill U.S. President Ronald Reagan in a bid to somehow win her affections.
True to his word, later that day Hinkley fired 6 times at Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel; four people, including Reagan, were injured. At trial the next year, Hinkley was found not guilty by reasons of insanity.
Here is the video of Hinkley’s assassination attempt: