John Hinckley – the man notorious for shooting President Ronald Reagan – has been seen for the first time since he was granted unconditional release by a federal judge last week.
DailyMail.com spotted the 67-year-old Tuesday in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he’d been living with his mother, Jo Ann Hinckley, before she died last summer aged 95.
He wore a blue and white striped shirt, Under Armour cap, navy blue trousers and black sneakers as he walked through a parking lot. His cell phone could be seen in his shirt pocket and he held a Diet Coke in one hand.
Hinckley is set to hit the road in July to perform his music in what he calls his Redemption Tour. He has a sold out show in Brooklyn, New York, on July 8 and another in Chicago on July 23.
A show planned for Hartford, Connecticut, has been canceled.
He promoted his tour in a YouTube video last week and thanked his fans on Twitter for supporting him and buying tickets.
Hinckley, who spent decades in a mental institution for the attempted murder of the president in a bizarre attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, will no longer be held to his remaining court-imposed restrictions and will be a free man starting June 15.
DailyMail.com spotted John Hinckley Tuesday in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he’d been living with his mother before she died last summer at 95
Hinckley, who spent decades in a mental institution for the attempted murder of the president, will no longer be held to his remaining court-imposed restrictions and will be a free man starting June 15
He wore a blue and white striped shirt, Under Armour cap, navy blue trousers and black sneakers as he walked through a parking lot
Hinckley spent decades in a mental institution after he pleaded insanity for shooting then President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He’s pictured arriving at his final hearing in 1981
Hinckley’s cell phone could be seen in his shirt pocket and he held a Diet Coke in one hand
Hinckley has bulked up considerably in the six years since he was first released with conditions. He is pictured here in 2016
In a string of tweets last week, Hinckley posted: ‘A big thank you to everyone who helped me get my unconditional release.’
He then quoted the Grateful Dead. ‘What a long strange trip it has been,’ he wrote. Now it’s time to rock and roll.’
He continued on Thursday tweeting a mash-up of songs made famous by Dionne Warwick and Elvis Costello: ‘What this world needs is peace, love and understanding.’
By Friday he was done with using other people’s songs in his messages. ‘I will be singing 17 songs at my show in Brooklyn, NY. on July 8. All originals,’ he wrote.
John Hinckley is pictured above in his arrest mug shot photo from 1981
Hinckley – he has now dropped the suffix Jr. from his name – plays guitar and sings. He has been uploading his music to YouTube and has amassed about 27,000 subscribers.
His first show as a free man is slated for July 8 at The Market Hotel in Brooklyn and has already sold out.
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.
Hinckley has posted himself singing cover songs including, Elvis Presley’s Can’t Stop Falling In Love and Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind, with his channel so far racking up nearly 100,000 views among all of his songs.
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.
Hinckley had multiple loves while at St. Elizabeths, the mental hospital where he was sent, including a woman with severe schizophrenia and Leslie deVeau a DC woman, who had murdered her own daughter.
Hinckley is an aspiring artist, who plays guitar and sings, and been uploading his music to YouTube and has amassed about 27,000 subscribers
In a string of tweets last week, Hinckley posted: ‘A big thank you to everyone who helped me get my unconditional release’
Hinckley promoted his upcoming ‘Redemption’ tour in a YouTube video last week and thanked his fans on Twitter for supporting him and buying tickets
Hinckley said in 2020: ‘I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.’
Hinckley – who was 25 when he shot Reagan – has since been declared mentally stable, and his therapists helped him release music via Soundcloud and YouTube.
‘I worry he’s a well-known figure and I worry about someone trolling him,’ one therapist said.
Another, Carl Beffa wrote in court papers: ‘I would very much like to see him be able to make an income from his artwork. If it coincidentally happens his name is attached to it, I don’t see it would be an issue.
‘I would be surprised if it reverted back to this narcissism he had with Jodie Foster, because it has not been present in any way whatsoever.’
The judgment required Hinckley to inform his treatment team of his plans to display his works.
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.
But on July 15 he will become a completely free man.