Gerald Ford's would-be assassin breaks silence
Thursday 28 May 2009
The woman who fired a gun at President Gerald Ford in 1975 and spent the next 32 years in prison said in an interview today that she believed the country would change only through a violent revolution.
Sara Jane Moore told NBC's "Today" that she now realizes that her actions were "wrong ... a serious error."
The appearance was Moore's first TV interview since she was released on parole in late 2007, NBC said.
In September 1975, Moore, then around 45, fired on Ford as he waved to a crowd in San Francisco. A man near her knocked the pistol out of her hand and the shot went astray. It was the second failed attempt on Ford's life in less than three weeks.
Moore was sentenced to life in prison but released on parole in December 2007. She has lived in an undisclosed location since then.
It was during the long years in prison, she said, that "gradually I began to realize that I had let myself be used. ... I definitely think that it was wrong. I think I was misled. I think I was mistaken. I think I made a serious error."
Moore, who had been loosely associated with leftist groups in California, said she "wasn't prepared" for the things she learned about the extent of poverty and other problems.
"It was a time that people don't remember. You know, we had a war ... the Vietnam War, you became — I became — immersed in it," Moore said Thursday.
"We were saying the country needed to change. The only way it was going to change was a violent revolution. I genuinely thought that (shooting Ford) might trigger that new revolution in this country."
On politics, she said she now knows she was hearing only one side of the story. "We thought San Francisco was the world, and it wasn't."
Asked by NBC's Matt Lauer why she was doing the interview now, she said, "I think that one gets tired of being thought of as a kook, a monster, an alien, something like that. ... There has been a lot of curiosity. I thought, OK, let's do it."
As for the people in the town where she's now living, who would learn about her past through the interview, "I hope they're OK with it."
Just 17 days before Moore's attack, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of cult murderer Charles Manson, tried to kill Ford in Sacramento, California. A Secret Service agent grabbed her after she aimed a pistol at the president. Fromme, now 60, is serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
Ford died of natural causes on 26 December 2006.
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...