John Hinckley Jr. announced he would perform a free concert at a Virginia library this fall but it was canned just six hours later after the venue claimed it had received ‘hostile’ messages for hosting the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.
Hinckley posted on Twitter early Tuesday that the concert will be held November 4 at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre. Now, the library is saying the show is canceled.
The library wrote in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that ‘based on the tenor of the communications the library received, it became evident that this event would be disruptive to library operations.’
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He remained under institutional psychiatric care before his conditional release in 2016, and in his mother’s care until her 2021 death led to his unconditional release beginning in June.
Since his release in June, Hinckley has been has been trying to perform his music at venues around the country hoping to change the public’s perspective of him.
John Hinckley Jr., 67, announced on Tuesday that he would be performing music at a Virginia library this fall but it was canceled just six hours later after the library received ‘hostile comments’ about hosting the man who attempted to assassinate Ronald Regan in 1981
Hinckley posted on Twitter early Tuesday that the concert will be held November 4 at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre. Now, the library is saying the show is canceled
The canceled November show at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre adds up to four venues that have now backed out on Hinckley, according to his tweet.
He previously announced his ‘Redemption Tour,’ which included three shows in Chicago, Connecticut and Brooklyn, New York, but they were all canceled.
Hinckley then posted a plea on Twitter, asking for a venue that would host him.
‘I’m looking for a music venue that won’t cave when there’s backlash,’ he wrote.
On August 2, the library accepted Hinckley’s application for rental of the Williamsburg Library Theatre – the same day he announced the free show on Twitter.
But six hours later, the library officially canceled the event after receiving ‘hostile comments through chat and email,’ according to the statement.
‘This alerted us that the concert was clearly going to become a major disruption to library operations that would impact our ability to serve our community.’
The Williamsburg Regional Library wrote in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that ‘based on the tenor of the communications the library received, it became evident that this event would be disruptive to library operations’
Hinckley is an aspiring artist, who plays guitar and sings. He has been uploading his music to YouTube and has amassed about 27,000 subscribers. Hinckley’s ‘Redemption Tour’ in three cities has since been canceled due to safety concerns
Hinckley was 25 and suffering from acute psychosis when he fired a .22 long rifle bullet that ricocheted off the presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the torso, puncturing a lung and causing serious internal bleeding outside a Washington hotel.
The assassination attempt also paralyzed White House Press Secretary James Brady, who died in 2014, and whose death was ruled a homicide from a gunshot wound and its consequences – Hinckley was not charged for it. He also wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent.
Hinckley said he was desperate to impress actress Jodie Foster after seeing her in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver.
At his trial, a jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity and he spent more than 30 years at a mental hospital in Washington. He left the hospital in 2016 to be taken care of by his mother and had been placed under heavy restrictions, such as not being able to own a gun and not be able to contact the victim’s family or Foster.
He told Nightline that being criminally insane is ‘not incurable,’ and that he is now on antipsychotic medication and anti-anxiety medication. He also does not fear that he will relapse, saying ‘I still take my meds.’
Hinckley said that he prays for the Brady family nightly and hopes they have a good life, Nightline reported.
‘If I could take it back, I surely would,’ he told Nightline.
On the day of the attempted assassination in 1981, Reagan happily waved to Americans as he headed toward his car outside the Washington hotel before the attack. A bullet struck the president and left him with severe internal bleeding
A Secret Service agent and a police officer (pictured) were also injured. When Hinckley was asked about the Brady Law – named after the press secretary – he said he doesn’t ‘think the mentally ill should have access to guns’
Hinckley said he was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster (pictured in 1981) when he attempted to assassinate Reagan
Now, he’s trying to change the public’s perspective of him and wants to focus on his music and moving forward in life – despite some of Reagan’s close confidants being reluctant to accept his apology.
Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, called Hinckley a ‘narcissist’ in a September op-ed, published in the Washington Post, and said she doesn’t ‘believe that John Hinckley feels remorse.’
‘I understand struggling for forgiveness, but it’s like peering out from between the prison bars,’ she wrote. She also said she feared he would attempt to contact her once his restrictions were dropped.
Hinckley insisted he was not the same person as the mentally ill man in 1981, as he has since been taking anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications, and is in therapy. The would-be assassin told CBS Mornings he has been the ‘most scrutinized person in the entire mental health system for 41 years.’
‘I just have a great mindset now that I don’t have the depression that I had. I don’t have the isolation that I had. And I just really feel good about things now,’ he told Nightline.
Hinckley – who plays guitar and sings – is now hoping to move on to music in the next portion of his free life. He has been uploading his music to YouTube and has amassed about 27,000 subscribers.
He had set up a Redemption Tour, but it was canceled due to safety concerns. Sold-out shows in Brooklyn, New York, on July 8 and another in Chicago on July 23, were set to feature 17 original songs sung by Hinckley.
A 1995 civil settlement had banned Hinckley from financially benefiting from his name or story, but in October 2020 he won a ruling to publicly display his artwork and music under his own name after previously being forced to release it anonymously. Most of the music he has written are love songs.
Since his release in June, Hinckley has been trying to perform his music at venues around the country hoping to change the public’s perception of him
Videos of Hinckley covering Elvis Presley’s Can’t Stop Falling In Love and Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind have racked up nearly 100,000 views.
His self-penned ballads include Majesty of Love, with the lyrics, ‘the world is in so much pain, we have much to gain’, and Everything Is Gonna Be Alright, where he croons ‘there ain’t nothing wrong with the rain, it is good to wash away the pain.’
Hinckley’s obsession with women seemed to continue during his time in institutional psychiatric care.
During his time being held at St. Elizabeths, a Washington mental hospital, his loves included a woman with severe schizophrenia and Leslie DeVeau, a DC woman who had murdered her own daughter.
A president almost died because an obsessed loser wanted Jodie Foster to notice him
Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, outside the Washington Hilton Hotel after making a speech at an AFL-CIO meeting.
Shooter John Hinckley Jr. fired a .22 Long Rifle bullet that ricocheted off the presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the torso, puncturing a lung and causing serious internal bleeding.
Hinckley fired six shots as Reagan exited the hotel. James Brady, the White House press secretary; Timothy McCarthy, a Secret Service agent; and Thomas Delahanty, a police officer, were also injured.
Ronald Reagan was seriously wounded on March 30, 1981 when Hinckley attempted to assassinate him
Chaos surrounds shooting victims immediately after the assassination attempt on President Reagan, March 30, 1981, by John Hinkley Jr. outside the Hilton Hotel in DC
The assassination attempt was a desperate and misguided bid by Hinckley to ‘impress’ actress Jodie Foster
Hinckley was desperate to impress actress Jodie Foster after seeing her in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver.
Hinckley came from a well-off family. His father Jack Hinckley, who died in 2008, was chairman and president of the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation.
He moved to LA to become a songwriter and wrote letters to his parents talking about how he had found love with a woman called Lynn Collins – who turned out to be a figment of his imagination.
After Foster enrolled at Yale in 1980, Hinckley moved to New Haven, Connecticut. He enrolled in writing classes to be near her, and pushed notes under her dorm door.
When she failed to reciprocate, he decided on a grand gesture, either commit suicide in front of her, hijack a plane, or kill the president.
He decided on the latter and started to see how he could get close enough to Jimmy Carter to carry out his deadly attack.
He trailed the Democrat across country, getting arrested on firearms charges in Nashville, but he never got the chance to act.
By the time he had a plan, Carter was out of the White House and Republican Reagan was in.
Shortly before he shot the president, he sent Foster a note.
It read: ‘Over the past seven months I’ve left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me.
‘Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself…. The reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you. — John Hinckley Jr.’
Injured in the attempted assassination of Reagan were Press Secretary James Brady and Agent Timothy McCarthy. The aftermath of the shooting is seen above
Would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr is seen in 2003. He believed the attack would impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he had become obsessed
Reagan was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, which was just over a mile away, and had been routinely screened by the Secret Service as a potential emergency treatment site for the president.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where presidents routinely receive medical care, is about nine miles from downtown DC.
Reagan underwent emergency surgery.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Reagan was eager to show that he was on the mend, and met visitors and signed a piece of legislation the morning after the shooting.
He remained hospitalized at GWU Hospital for 12 days, and returned to the White House on April 11, 1981.
Attorneys for Hinckley argued that he was ‘no longer a threat’, and that he should not be held to a series of court-imposed restrictions that were put in place after he was released from a 35-year stint in a Washington mental hospital in 2016.
Hinckley was allowed to move to a gated community in Virginia with his elderly mother while adhering to a series of stipulations set in place by the court and being subjected to constant supervision by doctors and therapists.
He was freed from all court-ordered oversight in June 2022.