John Hinckley Jr, who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, to perform sold-out concert in Brooklyn

The 66-year-old was granted unconditional release last year

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 13 April 2022 20:44
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Related video: John Hinckley: Lawyers reach deal for attempted Reagan assassin’s ‘unconditional release’

John Hinckley Jr, the man who tried to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan in 1981, will perform a concert in New York this summer.

Hinckley, 66, announced his show on Saturday, tweeting that he was "very excited" to perform.

The show will be 8 July at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn. Hinckley also said that the $20 tickets to his show have sold out.

The venue where he will be performing can seat 450, but it is unclear how many tickets were actually sold.

Hinckley spent 35 years in a psychiatric facility after he tried to kill Mr Reagan as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. During that time he was diagnosed with narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders.

John Hinkley Jr, the man who tried to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan, sings a song on his YouTube channel. He will play a sold-out show in Brooklyn

Prior to the assassination, Hinckley became obsessed with actor Jodie Foster after seeing her in the film Taxi Driver. Robert De Niro portrays the troubled Travis Bickle in the film who – obsessed with protecting Jodie Foster's Iris Steensma from abusers – goes on a shooting spree. He also contemplates assassinating a fictional US Senator who employs a woman he had been stalking.

Hinckley claimed at the time he shot Mr Reagan in an attempt to impress Foster.

In 2020, Hinckley was cleared to begin producing music under his own name. Since then, he has utilised streaming sites and video platforms like YouTube to share his music, which is mostly covers of love songs. Eventually he hopes to release his own songs in a full album.

Secret Service agents pounce on John Hinckley Jnr while Press Secretary James Brady, Patrolman Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Timothy Mccarty lie injured on the ground

In September 2021, Hinckley was granted unconditional release, freeing him from various court-ordered restrictions and allowing him to move about without supervision. One of those restrictions prevented him from traveling to areas where any current or former presidents or members of Congress were living or visiting.

The reaction to Mr Hinckley's release has been mixed. Former President Donald Trump, who was in office when Mr Hinckley was initially released, opposed the decision and said the man should remain hospitalised.

Mr Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, 68, also opposed his unconditional release. She wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post claiming that Hinckley felt no remorse for shooting her father and injuring three other men during his assassination attempt. She claimed she would now live in fear of Hinckley trying to contact her.

The so called "Son of Sam" laws in the US prohibit criminals from profiting from media created about their crimes. However, in 2019, Hinckley's lawyer argued that a civil settlement he agreed to in 1995 should not bar him from selling his art, which includes books and paintings, none of which deal with his crime.

"No one can see my art. I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about ... I'm a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan," Hinckley said at the time. "I create things I think are good and, like any other artist, I would like to profit from it and contribute more to my family. I feel like I could help my mother and brother out if I could make money from my art."

The assassination attempt, on 30 March 1981, saw the newly inaugurated Republican president hit in the chest by a ricocheting bullet. Police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were also wounded, as was Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, who was hit in the head and was left paralysed on the left side of his body.

When Brady died in 2014, his death was ruled a homicide as a result of the bullet wound he sustained. However, Hinckley did not face any charges because he had already been allowed to plead guilty by reason of insanity. The White House press briefing room is named in Brady’s honour.

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