Would-Be Assassin Upset That People Remember Him As Would-Be Assassin

John Hinckley Jr. has image problems:

WASHINGTON — The man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago said he would like to be known as something other than a would-be assassin.

John Hinckley made the statement to a doctor who interviewed him in the past year at a Washington mental hospital. The statement and other pieces of information about Hinckley’s life are part of hundreds of pages of documents prepared for court hearings in Hinckley’s case.


A doctor who testified for the government noted in his 80-page report that Hinckley regrets not being able to show or sell the paintings he does, most of them landscapes.

“I would like to be known as something other than the would-be assassin,” Hinckley said.

Another doctor reported that around the time Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in January 2011, Hinckley commented: “Wow. Is that how people see me?” Then he vented frustration about being unable to change the public’s perception.

“I don’t have a microphone in my hand. I don’t have the video camera. So no one can hear my music. No one can see my art. I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about. I’m an artist. I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan,” he said.

Well, perhaps that’s because you tried to kill him.

FILED UNDER: Crime, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. If this isn’t a display of classic sociopathic tendencies, I’m not sure what is.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Poor baby….

  3. Graham says:

    That reminds me of a joke:

    An old man walks into a pub in Scottland, his feet shuffling, his back bent. He drags himself onto a stool and orders a beer. Placing the full glass in front of him, the bartender inquires upon his sad face.
    The man answers with a smoky and trembling voice and a Scottish accent:
    Ah, tell ya man! This pub, this very pub we’re just sitting in. I built it, with me own hands! But do they call me the Pubmaker? Naa! See the wall over there, that protects our town? I built it, with me own hands! But do they call me the Wallmaker? And the bridge, you know, that crosses our river, I built it, with me own hands! But do they call me the Bridgemaker?
    But I tell ya, man! YOU F–K ONE GOAT!

  4. grumpy realist says:

    I think I’m going to file this one under “Unclear on the Concept.”

  5. blob says:

    I think this one has to be filed under the price of fame.

  6. Tillman says:

    This is why they invented pseudonyms.