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Del Quentin Wilber

John W. Hinckley Jr.

Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber - Photo of John W. Hinckley Jr.The son of a wealthy business executive from Texas, John Hinckley was no match for his overachieving brother and sister: after college, he had trouble holding down jobs and grew increasingly disturbed. In March 1981, he embarked on a cross-country odyssey driven by his obsession with the actress Jodie Foster. After seeing the movie Taxi Driver, he became convinced that he could impress Foster by assassinating Ronald Reagan, the president of the United States.


Click the photos to see larger versions…

A photo of the gun used by John Hinckley in his attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.

John Hinckley poses in front of Ford's Theatre in Washington, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

This mug shot of John Hinckley was taken within an hour of his arrival at the FBI’s Washington Field Office, where he was questioned by federal agents who worried that he might be part of a conspiracy.

John Hinckley's hotel room the night before the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan.


John Hinckley’s
“Guns Are Fun” Poem

John Hinckley’s Guns Are Fun! poem, which was seized by federal agents after the shooting

John Hinckley’s Letter
to Jodie Foster

John Hinckley’s letter to actress Jodie Foster, which was written less than two hours prior to the shooting

Hinckley’s Postcard to Jodie Foster
on a Presidential postcard

Just weeks before the assassination attempt, John Hinckley composed this postcard, which he never mailed, to the actress Jodie Foster--further evidence of his obsession with her. (Courtesy U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia)

FBI and Secret Service Reports
on Interviewing Hinckley

Secret Service reports from the interrogation of John Hinckley

Closing Arguments
USA V. John W. Hinckley, Jr.

Closing Arguments: USA V. John W. Hinckley, Jr.