tv Crimes of the Century CNN July 28, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
>> we interrupt. >> we don't know precisely what happened. >> oh, my god. >> shots fired, shots fired! >> the president of the united states has been shot. >> i could see it through the view finder, even now. >> an inch from his heart. >> he was minutes away from not making it. who is the shooter? >> and then he says well if you know about that you know about everything. >> a bizarre motive. >> and he felt the relationship was real. >> he was a really severely disturbed person. >> and his crime changed
history. the shooting of ronald reagan next. on january 20th, 1981, ronald wilson reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the united states. as with most new administrations, reagan's first couple of months are rocky. >> and this is the 70th day of reagan's presidency, things are not going very well, he had the lowest approval rating of any
president, he has one day to deliver a speech to the afl-cio. it is 2:00, kind of a gray day in washington, and reagan's motorcade had been here. the government's duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. >> the event is covered by all the major networks. for abc news photographer hank brown, it is a routine job. >> where to pull crew, to travel with the president, wherever he goes. >> we wanted to get the picture of the president walking out of the hotel and getting in the limo. >> 15 feet from that door was a rope line. all the cameramen and everybody is laughing, it was unsecured, no id checks, people thought it was a press line, it wasn't, anybody could be behind the line. >> you see hinckley's face,
three rows behind, totally passive, no reaction at all. >> i got my camera out, aimed it at the door that the president was coming out. i could see it through the view finder, even now. >> reagan is walking through, secret service agents are surrounding him. >> just 15 feet behind him, john hinckley pulls out his .22 caliber revolver and unleashes six shots in 1.17 seconds. 1.7 seconds is the time it takes me to say 1.7 seconds. it is that fast. the first shot hits jim brady, the press secretary, in the head. >> brady is seen here between reagan and secret service agent
jerry parr. >> the second shot hits tom delahante, a d.c. police officer in the back. third shot goes high, hits that building across the street right there. the fourth shot hits timothy mccarthy square in the chest, he is not wearing a bullet proof vest, he falls to the ground. the fifth shot hits the armored bullet proof window of the car, as reagan dives in, the sixth shot cracks across the driver. no one knows where the sixth shot went until they realized it slapped across the car, slipped through the door and the door frame. >> i thought it was firecrackers, and the next thing i knew, a secret service man plunges me into the limo.
>> the agent is jerry parr, head of the secret service detail. >> i am sure that i hear it on the back. >> i said i think you broke a rib. >> he says three men down, a bullet mark in the left window, he know is there is an assassination attempt and that window is alone. >> shots fired. shots fired. >> parr checks reagan out really quickly. he seems okay, reagan thinks he is okay. but i ran my hands up under his coat, felt all around his belt with my hands. no blood, ran my hands up under his arms, no blood. >> rawhide is reagan's secret service code name. and on this day, there is no better code name for a president than raw hide. >> we're going back to the white house. >> we're going to ground, back
to the white house, back to the white house, rawhide is okay. >> we interrupt, there has been a late development, shots reported fired outside the hotel where president reagan spoke a short while ago, here is bernard shaw. >> details are very sketchy at this moment. we don't know precisely what happened. we don't know the sequence, first of all, the president is safe. >> safe, yes, but not okay. >> reagan starts to complain of pain in his back, chest and side, not feeling so good. >> and just then i coughed. and i had a handful of bright, red, frothy blood. >> and he said i think i cut the inside of my mouth, let me look. >> and parr knows this is big trouble, so does he head back to the white house, or george washington hospital, the trauma
center, where there is not an ounce of security. >> george washington. >> that is a roger. >> but ronald reagan's life literally on this day hung in the balance of a split second. and i'm not exaggerating. >> shots fired. shots fired. >> outside the hotel, the scene is chaotic. in the bedlam, the shooter is tackled. >> there was pushing, there was shoving. you hear the agent s scream, ge him out of here, get him out of here, and at the same time an ambulance was arriving. >> here, come on back it up. >> so i immediately went back to filming the scene. i thought i have to preserve history. it brought tears to my eyes. i still see brady lying there.
i still think about delahante, i see his face. i still see mccarthy being lifted up off the ground and being thrown back by the bullet. >> within minutes of the shooting, president reagan arrives at george washington hospital. he insists on walking in. >> the nurse met me, i told her i was having trouble breathing. >> the president was at the point where we in medicine would say he was ready to crash. >> the next thing i knew then, my knees began to turn to rubber and i wound up on a gurney. >> if he had gone to the white house, they would have dragged him out of the car, looked at him. said he was in big trouble, put
him back in the car, yeah it would have taken maybe ten or 15 minutes, he didn't have that time. and there is a nurse there trying to feel his blood pressure. >> i didn't know i was shot. >> i really do believe that he was minutes away from not making it. >> the shot that got me tore off the side of the limosine and hit me while i was diving into the car and hit me back here and then hit a rib. and that is what caused extreme pain. and then it tumbled and turned, instead of edge wise it went and tumbled within an inch of my life. >> first lady nancy was in the solarium. >> the head of detail said there was a shooting but don't worry, the prosecute is all right. and george kept saying, you don't have to go he is all
right. he is not hurt. i said george, i'm going, you better get the car because i'm goin going. >> she comes into the er, and the first thing ronald reagan says to her is honey, i forgot the doctor. >> as he is prepped for surgery, reagan jokes with the doctors. >> he looks at me and says i hope you're all republicans, and i'm a famous democrat, and i said today, well, president, we're all republicans. >> as the main head surgeon is digging for the bullet, worried that it slipped into an artery and would slip into his brain and kill him. the doctor reached into his chest, takes his beating heart into his hand and held it aside. the 31-year-old intern literally held the beating heart of the president in his hand.
>> while reagan is in surgery, the suspect, john w. hinckley, jr., of evergreen, colorado, is being questioned. >> he admitted who he was, he made no attempt to hide who he was. >> the fbi and secret service had two questions, why did he do it? and did he act alone? >> he said to them at the time you will understand why i did this when you see my room. >> according to sources, john hinckley jr., the accused gunman may have tried to kill mr. reagan because of an infatuation with a young actress. ll the way. ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes, take it. ♪ what? what? what? [ female announcer ] yoplait. it is so good.
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>> when i walked into the room, john hinckley was just sitting quietly on a seat, showed no emotion. >> the secret service agent steven kolo was the first to see hinckley. >> he told me that his writes hurt because of the cuffs placed on him, and that his throat hurt, somebody hurt his throat when they arrested him. well, certainly, in my mind it was not typical that he complained about himself after he had just shot a number of people. >> as investigators began to question hinckley, the white house press secretary, jim brady's wife, sarah brady, was at home with their 2-year-old son. >> we were sitting the rec room watching television, when they announced it. >> the president did not appear to be hurt, according to united press international. >> i thought to myself, that was great, never dreaming that jim would even have been with him for some reason. but the phone rang immediately.
it was a friend of mine. and she had heard that jim had been shot. >> the white house immediately sends a car to take sarah to the hospital. >> but for some reason i just thought -- you know, it just never dawned on me that he had been badly hurt or killed. it just -- i just kept thinking he was shot in the arm. >> it was very obvious that he was seriously injured with a gunshot wound to the head. but he was alive. and he probably should not have made it. but he got exceedingly great medical care. >> with her husband on his way to surgery, hospital workers usher mrs. brady into a secure waiting room. >> mrs. reagan came in and she came over to me and we hugged each other. and she said i am so scared. and i said i am, too. >> while surgeons worked to save the shooting victims, suspect john hinckley is transported to
the washington field office for questioning. two senior fbi agents are assigned to conduct the interview. as a courtesy, they invite secret service agent steve kolo to sit in. >> i was there in a liaison position, keep in mind, when somebody has been shot or injured, they are in a protective status. >> when they opened the wallet, there was a picture, the belief was that the picture of this attractive woman came with the wallet. because she was somewhat recognizable as like a young starlet but none of us knew her name. there was a piece of paper that was stuck in the billfold section that had a telephone number on it. well, one of the fbi agents said oh, that is a counnnecticut
telephone number. it meant nothing to me at the time. >> when the interview begins, hinckley doesn't react well to the questioning by his fbi interrogators. so they asked agent kolo to step in. within minutes, hinckley opens up. >> he told me about the different doctors he had been to. he talked about dropping out of school. he talked about his relationship with his parents and how annoyed they were with him. so i asked him how could he explain his issues. and he says i have no direction in life. i decided to take a long shot. so i said to him, i saw the piece of paper with the telephone number. the number that goes to connecticut. when i said that to him, he all of a sudden became animated. here was a guy who was almost stoic in his answers, and now he is twitching, and he says well
if you know about that, you know about everything. and i knew i hit on a really important fact and i had no idea what he was talking about. so i said to him, i know but i have to hear it in your words. he said well, the telephone number goes to yale university. it goes to jodi foster's room. and bingo, that was the picture in the wallet. >> back at the hospital, dr. kabrine is removing bullet fragments and tissue from brady's brain. the surgery is delicate. >> somebody said they're reporting that brady is dead. the doctor said what do they think? i'm operating on a corpse? that is what they said. >> and they kept it totally away from us, because we had no television, which is really good. >> but a lot of people did hear
including friends, who are watching tv with the brady's 2-year-old son, scott. >> when they announced it, scott said there is my daddy, and went up and kissed the screen. but of course he didn't know. >> after five hours, dr. kabrine emerges from the operating room. >> the minute i saw his face i knew it was successful. i mean, it was a miracle. >> against all odds, jim brady survives, although he will permanently disabled and wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. the other victims also undergo surgery and survive. secret service agent tim mccarthy was hit in the chest. and d.c. policeman tom delahante was shot in the back. that evening, fbi agents search john hinckley's washington, d.c. hotel room. >> hinckley had laid out -- this
was the bizarre thing, really bizarre. he had laid out there from the morning's newspaper and the president's schedule, he had beside that a statement, really in the form of a letter to the actress, jodi foster. >> in his letter, hinckley writes, i am doing all of this for your sake, jodi. i'm asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historical deed to gain your respect and love. i love you forever, john hinckley. >> it was when we read the letter from the hotel room that we finally put the pieces together. >> it looked to all of us, gut feeling, this is a lone gunman and there was the motive to impress this actress. >> we can understand political motives. but here we have a motive of love. at farmers we make you smarter about insurance, because what you dont know can hurt you. what if you didn't know that it's smart to replace washing-machine hoses every five years?
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succession success president reagan had just delivered a fairly well received speech at the hilton washington hotel. then shots. >> within 24 hours of the assassination attempt, the fbi and secret service are digging deeply into john hinckley jr.'s background. >> leads were going out all over the country. we literally took his life apart to track him off every receipt he ever had. any dollar that was spent that we could track, we wanted to know where he had been and what he had done as far back as we could go. >> what they found was a long
trail of despair and delusion. hinckley had grown up in an affluent suburb of dallas. as he grew up, he began to withdraw. >> from the time the president graduated from this high school until his arrest, there was also a personality change, he had become more quiet, somewhat of a recluse. >> in 1973, hinckley moved to evergreen, colorado, with his parents. they hoped he would go to college. he did, attending texas tech for a few years, but never graduating. mostly, he spent time in his room alone, writing gloomy peoples and playing his guitar. >> dreamed of being a
songwriter, musician, and so for a summer he spent some amount of time in l.a., pretending he was going to sell his music to companies. he certainly had a grandiose view of himself, an exaggerated view of his accomplishments as a composer and musician. >> he didn't do anything, he sat in his apartment watching tv. he didn't go anywhere. >> he seems a lost soul, goes out to hollywood, expecting something and just ends up in a room by himself and going to see this movie over and over. >> investigators soon realized that the movie "taxi driver" is an influence on his life, so much, that he even adopted the personality of the lead character, played by robert de niro, the lead player, bickel,
hinckley soon acted like him. and he becomes obsessed with guns and assassination, like bickel. >> he saw that movie 15 time "taxi driver," a very violent movie. and he becomes obsessed with jodie foster in this movie. >> jodie foster plays a 12-year-old prostitute named iris. >> he thought it was based on something real, not just in the movie. he was a warped guy. >> while the fbi investigates hinckley, ronald reagan is recovering in a hospital, which has been transformed into a seat of the government. >> the white house is always where the president is. everything had moved there. the decisions were being made. the staff was over there. it was so strange. >> it is in turmoil around here, i thought for intensive care that everybody would be
whispering, but it is like grand central station. >> everything was very surreal for a couple of days there. i mean, it was like living in a movie. >> has the president asked or even been told about the condition of his press secretary. >> he is not aware of the other people who were shot and injured at this time. >> it is not until reagan asks his staff if anyone else was shot that he is told about officer delahante, agent mccarthy and press secretary, jim brady. >> he called me down and said he was so sorry. and i told him -- you know, that jim was doing what he loved to do the most. and i kind of tried to reassure him. but he was very emotional about it, of course. >> reagan also wants to see the secret service agent who took a bullet for him, tim mccarthy. >> reagan looks at him, and maybe he senses something in mccarthy, i don't know, reagan looks at him and says, so tim,
mccarthy, reagan, brady, and delahante. what did this guy have against the irish? >> he handled it very well, and as he said to us in his interview he didn't know what happened. he still managed to make jokes about it, bringing his personality forward to make everybody in the country feel better about themselves. >> everybody but john hinckley, jr. ñc
but this keeps it going. ♪ [ male announcer ] new gold bond powder spray. cool, dry, no mess. stay cool with gold bond. and at this hour, john hinckley, jr., pled not guilty, and both his lawyer and the prosecution agree he is able to stand trial. >> from the moment he was arrested, the issue of insanity became a paramount problem. >> facing a judge for the first time, hinckley stood while the clerk read the 13-count indictment. among the spectators were his parents, who watched intently as the judge asked, how do you plead? the 26-year-old answered, not guilty. >> you know, hinckley is an
interesting person, but not interesting at the same time. >> there didn't seem to be much there. you could not form a rapport with him. he seemed to have little expression of emotion. >> dr. will carpenter, a research psychiatrist at the university of maryland was hired to give an expert opinion in hinckley's defense. >> i believe that i spent about 44 hours evaluating him. most of that would have been in interviews with him. he was self centered, but he was not narcissistic, he was kind of like a loner that didn't have much going on, and then would get grandiose ideas. >> he made up a girlfriend, for a year. >> she seemed awfully real to him at times, but it was very much to manipulate his parents so that he could be off and doing what it was that he intended to do without their interfering. >> in the summer of 1980,
hinckley read a story about jodie foster, the 18-year-old actress was taking a sabbatical from acting to attend yale university. so hinckley told his parents he was going back to college, but at yale, not texas tech. >> so he makes up a whole elaborate ruse about how he was going to go to college, and he spends the whole time taping calls. >> who is this? >> this is john. >> oh, no, not you again. look, i really can't talk to you, okay? do me a really big favor, you understand why i can't you know, carry on these conversations with people i don't know? you understand it is dangerous. it is rude, all right?
>> well -- >> i understand that, but it is the same thing. okay? >> so you just don't ever want me to call? >> no, it has been really nice talking to you. >> he started to yell at the recorder, hang up, hang up. because this is what we would tell our wife or daughter, you know, hang up right away. >> they're just really sad and pathetic calls, reaching out to this woman who he wanted her to be a part of his life. he just reached out, saying she will want me, she will know who i am. so he starts talking jimmy carter. >> it was just a month before reagan was elected. he and carter were campaigning hard for every vote. >> in october 18, he gets within arm's reach of carter. >> one week later, hinckley is in nashville, tennessee, still stalking carter.
when hinckley leaves, airport police find several guns in his luggage. >> he was arrested, never fingerprinted and photographed for carrying a weapon. and the information was never sent to the secret service. >> they took the weapons, he paid a fine, and that was the end of that. >> within days, hinckley was in dallas where his sister lives, shopping for more guns at rocky's pawn shop. he buys two revolvers for $98, including the one he will use to shoot president reagan. >> he purchased it legally at the time. caliber .22, a very lightweight, snub nose handgun. >> he had actually gone to firing ranges. he had trained, or gone to sever self-training. >> john hinckley took a lot of target practice. >> he never shot at moving targets.
>> on december 8th, 1980, john hinckley's fragile world begins to crack when he hears shocking news from new york city. >> the news ripped from the air in shock waves. john lennon, shot and killed in the dakota apartment building where he lived. the suspect is identified as mark david chapman. >> hinckley idolized lennon. that new year's eve, he locks himself in his parent's house, drinks peach brandy, plays guitar and wallows in his own misery. sometime during the night, hinckley writes in his diary, john lennon is dead. forget it. it is just going to be insanity. i still think about jodie all the time. anything i might do in 1981 would be solely for jodie foster's sake. i want to tell the world that i
i will occupy the white house, please do your best to remain a virgin. you are a virgin, aren't you? but this time, hinckley is not only leaving her notes he is contemplating a violent act. >> he had guns with him when he was in new york, just stalking her, not sure what he would do. >> spurned once more by foster, hinckley still has the guns he carried in dallas. >> we talked about the whole history with guns, and he described having them with him when he was in new york. and he considered killing himself then, kind of standing in the place where chapman had been, outside the dakota. >> but hinckley does not act on any of his thoughts. instead, he goes back to evergreen, colorado, where his parents live. >> came back and there was a lot of friction between him and his father and mother, about what he
was going to do to get a job, they realized he had mental problems, so they sent him to the psychiatrist. >> in one of the first sessions, he tells the psychiatrist, hey, i'm really interested in guns and jodie foster, i'm obsessed with those two things. and after that, the psychiatrist never asked him another question about those two thing. >> at one point, the psychiatrist, dr. john hopper, told his parents that he was simply too immature, and needed to get a job and grow up. the last session takes place four and a half weeks before the shooting. >> the mother of a troubled young man might have kept him home, the brother and sister might have had him institutionalized. but to put it mildly, it didn't work out. >> the parents actually gave him an ultimatum. they were supplying the funding
for his travels. and they were getting tired of it and told him he had to clean up his act and get a job. and they're cutting off his funds at the end of march. >> he was not capable of taking that as a challenge, and then straightening his life out. he was more capable of drifting off as a loner into his own fantasy world. >> and so at the end of march, he makes the decision that he has to do something. >> six days before the shooting, hinckley flies to los angeles, then boards a bus to washington, d.c. from there, he will go to new haven and commit his act of love for jodie foster. he even writes her another note, telling her to wait for him. >> his plan was to shoot foster, shoot himself or kill both of them in this orgy of violence. that was his plan. >> on his way to yale, hinckley stops off in d.c., he checks into the park central hotel, sleeps, gets up and goes for a
fast food breakfast. >> it was just by chance that that morning he got up and read the paper and saw the president was going to the hilton to talk to the afl-cio. saw the president's schedule on page four of the "washington star" newspaper. and thought i am going to see how close i can get to the president with my gun. he wrote foster a note. takes a cab up to the washington hilton hotel, getting there, he is behind the rope line, pulls out his .22 caliber revolver. >> he thought something magical was going to happen. that didn't have to do with ronald reagan, that had to do with a union that he was going to have with jodie foster. >> by the spring of 1982, a year after the presidential assassination attempt, the four victims are all healing.
jim brady's recovery is painfully slow but positive. although using most of the use of the left side of his body, he retains his cognitive thinking and sense of humor. the d.c. police officer delahante suffered a crippling wound that eventually caused him to retire. president reagan surprised his doctors, quickly healing. as for john hinckley, jr., his life story was a tabloid soap opera, played out for an audience. >> about his alleged assailant, mr. reagan said i hope and pray he can find an answer to his problem, he seems to be a very disturbed young man. >> even jim brady was compassionate. >> he said well, he didn't hold
any ill will toward him. but then again, he hoped he wouldn't win the irish sweepstakes. >> hinckley's motive seemed simply surreal. >> none of this was political. it was a way to try to force the recognition that should be granted to him. >> in a surprising move, the judge in the case ordered jodie foster to give a deposition for the trial. it took place march 30th, 1982. the first anniversary of the shooting. by court order, hinckley was allowed in the room. when foster denied a relationship, hinckley became enraged. he had to be restrained. and removed from the room. >> i received a great deal of mail, i never have met, spoken to or never in any way associated with one john w. hinckley, i received several
is an expert in law in psychiatry. he wrote what is considered a definitive textbook on the hinckley trial. >> as far as the prosecution was concerned that the dominant diagnosis was that this was a person with a narcissistic personality disorder that was infatuated with jodie foster, and what he really wanted was to be famous. but he was in touch with reality. as far as the defense was concerned, that he basically had a form of schizophrenia, that he was out of touch with reality, was descending into psychosis, that he was delusional. >> my interpretation of insanity goes back to the old mcnaughton rule. it's very simply, can the individual differentiate right from wrong? and clearly during my interview with john hinckley, he clearly understood the difference between right and wrong.
>> the prosecution argued that hinckley had carefully planned the attack. >> the fact that he was able to travel, the fact that he did look at the schedule, put that type of effort into planning this type of event, that's premeditated activity. >> the defense countered with dr. will carpenter's testimony on schizophrenia. >> in general with illnesses like schizophrenia, people can do most things in life in an ordinary way. so they are not conspicuously crazy. they don't go into mcdonald's and order watermelons. hinckley did not have a lot of disorganization pathology. his was much more the reality distortion, false beliefs, and his belief in those and letting those guide his life. >> it came down to our psychiatrist versus his psychiatrist.
>> john w. hinckley jr. has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on all 13 counts. >> i was surprised at the verdict. >> i think almost everyone was surprised by this verdict. >> i would characterize it as astonishment. >> i think the reason it went in that direction is that the prosecution basically denied mental illness. >> this was a case in which there was much evidence in hinckley's own hand, in his writings, in his poetry and in his essays to suggest that he was in fact degenerating into a psychotic killer by the time march of 1981 rolled around. >> expecting a guilty verdict, hinckley had prepared a statement.
"from the start, all i wanted was for someone to love me. on march 30th, 1981, i was asking my family to take me back, and i was asking jodie foster to hold me in her heart. my assassination attempt was an act of love." after the verdict, hinckley was committed indefinitely to st. elizabeth's hospital in washington, d.c. it wasn't until years later that i was assigned to the reagan detail, and we had an opportunity when i was in the limo with the president to talk about john hinckley. his desire was that john hinckley got the necessary help that he needed. and then he said, "but i have to tell you something. it hurt like hell." and reagan had a very good way of putting things behind him. and he was very good at kind of separating himself from that moment. and i don't think it bothered him. nancy reagan, it would bother her. she was concerned about every
time that they would make mention that john hinckley might be released, she would come to me and say steve, i just need to make sure that that won't happen. >> in 2003, the year before president reagan died, a federal judge ruled that hinckley was no longer a danger to himself or others and should be allowed limited visits to his mother's home in virginia. to this day, the secret service watches hinckley, tracking his whereabouts, the people he meets, even the books he checks out of the library. >> is he dangerous to other people still? will he do this again? >> i never had any sense that there was any deep remorse, and i don't think that he would be very capable. >> he had mental illness at that time and there are still issues. clearly, i think that he is where he should be.
>> in the years after the assassination attempt, president reagan's approval rating skyrocketed. >> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. >> he became one of the most popular presidents in american history. during reagan's second term, jim and sarah brady became vocal supporters of gun legislation. their efforts paid off in 1993 with the signing of the brady handgun violence prevention act. it required federal background checks on commercial sales of handguns to individuals. unfortunately, the brady bill came too late for john w. hinckley. several months after the shooting, his father asked him what might have stopped him. hinckley replied maybe if i had to wait a while to buy a gun, had to fill out forms or get a permit first or sign in with the
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