"It is absolutely outrageous that he shot, that day, Jim Brady, Officer Delahante, Tim McCarthy the Secret Service agent and my father, and ultimately he will be a free man."
So said Michael Reagan this morning in an interview with Fox News' Rick Folbaum.
Reagan has good cause to be alarmed: Before Hinckley shot the Gipper, he had stalked Sen. Ted Kennedy and President Jimmy Carter. (Hinckley went to a Carter campaign stop in Nashville and was arrested at the airport when security detected handguns in his suitcases. The guns were confiscated and Hinckley was fined a mere $62.50 and sent on his way.)
Hinckley also read vociferously about Arthur Bremer and Sirhan Sirhan.
Crimelibrary.com reports that back in 1987, when Hinckley wanted release from St. Elizabeth's Hospital for visits, Hinckley's lawyer, Vincent Fuller, got this response to a question about Hinckley's mental capacity:
"His judgment is not perfect," Dr. Glenn Miller said. "He writes letters to some of his pen pals." One of those pen pals was serial murderer Ted Bundy. Another was Lynnette "Squeaky” Fromme, who had been convicted of trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford. He had also tried to get hold of Charles Manson’s address.
Roger Adelman asked for and got a court order to search John’s room at St. Elizabeth's. That search proved somewhat frightening. Twenty photographs of Jodie Foster were found hidden there. All had been collected after his hospitalization.
Fox News' Rick Fulbaum asked Reagan: "Psychiatrists agreed that he was ready for these visits ... why are those doctors wrong?"
Reagan said that in California, psychiatrists get paid to tell the court exactly what someone wants to hear.
"I don't trust the psychiatrists; I don't know why people do." He said that no psychiatrist would sign a piece of paper that says if Hinckley goes off his meds and shoots someone, that they would sit in a cell next to him for the rest of their lives. "They don't want to be responsible," he told Folbaum, "They just want the money."
One psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Keisling, who treated Hinckley at St. Elizabeth's in 1998 and 1999, told MSNBC his former patient would not be dangerous to himself or others if he were allowed to visit his parents.
"The violent acts occurred when he was in a psychotic episode,” Keisling said. "As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been any evidence of psychosis in the last 16 years."
It seems the doctor has forgotten about the items found in Hinckley's room years after he shot President Reagan, but Michael Reagan hasn't forgotten.
"We've been seeing this coming for a long time, with Hinckley fighting to gain ultimate freedom. That's the direction he is headed; in your lifetime, in my lifetime, he will be free to roam."
"It is outrageous that he will be free. As long as he takes his meds he's supposed to be OK; well, I don't want to be around when he doesn't take his meds."
We don't either.
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