Killtown's

Last updated:  07/28/2008

The Reagan Shooting Conspiracy

 

 

"Bush Son Had Dinner Plans With Hinckley Brother Before Shooting"
-Associated Press (March 31, 1981)

 

 

Was it just a bizarre coincidence that one of the sons of then Vice President George Bush Sr. had dinner plans with the brother of John Hinckley Jr. that was scheduled for the day after the shooting?

"The newspaper said in a copyright story, Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.
The newspaper said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice president of his father's Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corp., for comment. Neil Bush lives in Denver, where he works for Standard Oil Co. of Indiana.
In 1978, Neil served as campaign manager for his brother, George W. Bush, the vice president's oldest son, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Neil lived in Lubbock throughout much of 1978, where John Hinckley lived from 1974 through 1980.
On Monday, Neil Bush said he did not know if he had ever met 25-year-old John Hinckley.
"I have no idea," he said. "I don't recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him.
Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as a date of a girl friend of hers. "I don't even know the brother. From what I know and I've heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful," she said.
The dinner was canceled, she added.
George W. Bush said he was unsure whether he had met John W. Hinckley." -AP/Houston (03/31/81)

(Neil Bush)


"The Houston newspaper also reported that Scott Hinckley was to have dined Tuesday night in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.
Neil Bush's wife Sharon said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as the date of one of her girlfriends.

"I don't even know the brother," she said. "I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful." -AP/Evergreen, CO (04/01/81)


"Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, is part of Denver's booming oil business scene so it was not unusual his path would cross that of Scott Hinckley, the older brother of the man who shot President Reagan.
The younger Bush, a ''land man'' for the Amoco Oil Co. in Denver, told the Houston Post in a copyright story published today he and Scott Hinckley were to have had dinner together tonight. The dinner party at Neil and Sharon Bush's modest one-story home in southeast Denver was canceled.
Scott Hinckley, vice president of Vanderbuilt Energy Co., the independent oil and gas exploration firm founded by his father in Texas and moved to Denver in 1974, was secluded with his parents at the home of a neighbor and not available for comment on his acquaintance with Bush.
Bush, whose job involves preliminary negotiations between Amoco and various owners of land for prospective oil and gas wells, also could not be reached.
Amoco spokesman R.N. Murphy said hundreds of independent energy companies were moving to Denver in anticipation of the oil shale and coal development boom on Colorado's Western Slope.
''It is not unusual for companies to enter into a joint drilling venture but to my knowledge there are no partnerships between Amoco and Vanderbuilt Energy,'' said Murphy. ''I have contacts with all the major companies but I had never heard of Hinckley until yesterday." -UPI/Denver (03/31/81)

 
 

 

 

 

Was it just a bizarre coincidence that the family of the convicted shooter of President Ronald Reagan were acquainted with the Bush family and were affluent Texas oil tycoons who gave large campaign contributions to then George Bush Sr.'s unsuccessful 1980 presidential primary bid against Reagan?

"The family of the man charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan is acquainted with the family of Vice President George Bush and had made large contributions to his political campaign, the Houston Post reported today.
Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, said..."I don't even know the brother. From what I know and I've heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful," she said."
-AP/Houston (03/31/81)

 


"President Ronald Reagan has been shot and wounded after a lone gunman opened fire in Washington.
John Hinckley, 25, the son of an affluent oil industry executive, was charged with trying to assassinate the president fuelled by an obsession with actress Jodie Foster and a desire to impress her.
The following June, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to hospital." -BBC

 

(John Hinckley Jr.)


"[Neil] Bush told the Post he knew the Hinckley family because they had made large contributions to the vice president's campaign. He said he could not recall meeting John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Reagan and three other men as they exited the Washington Hilton Hotel Monday.
''I don't recognize any pictures of him,'' Bush said. ''I just wish I could see a better picture of him.''
Sharon Bush said she did not know the suspect.
'
'They (the Hinckleys) are a nice family ... and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign,'' she said. ''I understand he (John Hinckley) was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful.''
Another of the vice president's sons, George W. Bush, lived in Lubbock in 1978 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress. Police have said John Hinckley Jr. lived in Lubbock at that time and once attended Texas Tech University.
Young George Bush did not recall meeting the suspect.
''It's certainly conceivable that I met him or might have been introduced to him,'' he said. ''I don't recognize his face from the brief, kind of distorted thing they had on TV and the name doesn't ring any bells.
''I know he wasn't on our staff. I could check our volunteer rolls.''
Peter Teeley, the vice president's news secretary, said by telephone from Washington he knew nothing about any Hinckley-Bush family connection.
''I don't know a damned thing about it,'' Teeley told a Post reporter. ''I was talking to someone earlier tonight and I couldn't even remember his (Hinckley's) name. All I know is what you're telling me.'' -UPI/Denver (03/31/81)

(Joanne and John Hinckley Sr.)


"The parents of John W. Hinckley Jr., "just destroyed" by their son's alleged assassination attempt on President Reagan, hope to see him "as soon as possible" but have no definite travel plans, their attorney says.
John Hinckley Sr. and his wife, Joanne, stayed at their next-door neighbors' house all day Tuesday as 70 reporters assembled on the front lawn and gawkers drove slowly past.
A statement released by counsel for Vanderbilt Energy Corp. said the elder Hinckley had "temporarily relinquished his duties" as chairman of the Denver-based firm "because of a tragedy involving a member of his family."
John Hinckley Jr., 25, who was arrested seconds after Reagan was shot in Washington, was being held Tuesday at a Marine base in Quantico, Va.
Robinson said the Hinckleys had spoken by telephone to their son Monday night and Tuesday afternoon and were trying to hire a Washington lawyer for him. It was confirmed later in Washington that the Hinckleys had retained the law firm of millionaire defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams.
The Hinckley's reiterated through Robinson that they have provided psychiatric care for their son in the past, adding that "recent evaluations alerted no one to the seriousness of his condition."
In Washington, an aide to Vice President George Bush disputed a Houston Post report that the Hinckleys made large contributions to Bush's presidential campaign. The aide, Shirley Green, said no record of such a contribution could be found.
The senior Hinckley is described by associates as a devout Christian who belonged to a weekly Bible reading club and recently did work in Africa for a Christian service organization." -AP/Evergreen, CO (04/01/81)


"John Warnock Hinckley, Jr., was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on May 29, 1955. The youngest of three children, John’s home life seemed picture perfect. His father, John W. Hinckley, Sr., was a successful and wealthy Chairman and President of the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation while JoAnn Moore Hinckley, John’s mother, was a homemaker who doted on her children, especially John, whom she felt was more introverted than his older siblings. John’s brother, Scott Hinckley, graduated from Vanderbilt University and became Vice-President of his father’s oil and gas business. John’s older sister, Diane, was popular and outgoing, a straight "A" student in high school and a graduate of SMU in Dallas." -UMKC


"Jack Hinckley had been a petroleum engineer in Ardsmore, Okla.,when his son, John Jr., was born on May 29, 1955. When the boy was an infant, the family moved to Dallas. The elder Mr. Hinckley worked for two small oil companies there before starting his own company in 1970, with $120,000 that he borrowed from friends. He called his company Hinckley Oil and later changed the name to the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation.
The eldest Hinckley child, Scott, 30, is the vice president of his father's company and a friend of Neil Bush, the son of Vice President Bush. Scott Hinckley and a date had been invited to dinner at Neil Bushes' home last night, but the dinner was canceled after the shooting." - New York Times (04/01/81) [Reprinted at:  underreported.com]

Bell Western Corporation:  Merged into Vanderbilt Energy Corporation on October 25, 1978.

Vanderbilt Energy Corporation:  Was once Bell Western Corp. Merged into Madison Fund, January 11, 1984. - Devon Energy

 

 

 

 

Was it just another bizarre coincidence that Hinckley's dad's oil company was threatened with a $2 million fine by the U.S. Dept. of Energy for overcharging and government auditors had met with his brother Scott, who was the company's VP, the day of the shooting?

"A statement released by counsel for Vanderbilt Energy Corp. said the elder Hinckley had "temporarily relinquished his duties" as chairman of the Denver-based firm "because of a tragedy involving a member of his family."
The corporate statement did not mention any change for Scott B. Hinckley, vice president of operations for Vanderbilt and brother of John Jr.
The father's move came amid confirmation that the Department of Energy was reviewing Vanderbilt's books. Jack Vandenberg, a DOE spokesman in Washington, said auditors met with Scott Hinckley in Denver on Monday.
The Washington Star quoted an unnamed "White House official" as confirming that DOE auditors asked for an explanation of an overcharge when oil price controls were in effect between 1973 and 1981. The Star said DOE auditors told Scott Hinckley there was a possible penalty of $2 million for the overcharge." -AP/Evergreen, CO (04/01/81)

 


"The newspaper said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice president of his father's Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corp., for comment." -AP/Houston (03/31/81)


"Scott Hinckley, vice president of Vanderbuilt Energy Co., the independent oil and gas exploration firm founded by his father in Texas and moved to Denver in 1974..." -UPI/Denver (03/31/81)

 

 

 

 

Why was the media virtually silent from reporting the bizarre connections between the shooter of the President of the United States and his Vice President, only appearing in a few newspapers?

 

 

News clips from The Houston Post of March 31, 1981.  (Source from the parody site:  www.whitehouse.org)

 
 

 

 

 

Is it a coincidence that the Hinckley's choose a high-powered D.C. law firm that was cofounded by a former member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under the Reagan administration and who was also asked by Reagan to be director of the CIA to defend their son?

"The parents of John W. Hinckley Jr., "just destroyed" by their son's alleged assassination attempt on President Reagan, hope to see him "as soon as possible" but have no definite travel plans, their attorney says.
John Hinckley Jr., 25, who was arrested seconds after Reagan was shot in Washington, was being held Tuesday at a Marine base in Quantico, Va.
Robinson said the Hinckleys had spoken by telephone to their son Monday night and Tuesday afternoon and were trying to hire a Washington lawyer for him. It was confirmed later in Washington that the Hinckleys had retained the law firm of millionaire defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams." -AP/Evergreen, CO (04/01/81)


 

"Edward Bennett Williams

Abstract: Lawyer, political advisor, and sports team owner. Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, book drafts, articles, speeches, interviews, and other papers relating to Williams's service on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the administrations of Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan; his work with the Committee on the Present Danger"

Biographical Note
1967 Cofounded Williams and Connolly, Washington, D.C.
1976 -77, 82-85 Member, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
1988 , Aug. 13 Died, Washington, D.C.

Williams declined requests from presidents Ford and Reagan to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but his interest in foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence issues is reflected in files related to his service with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in the Ford and Reagan administrations and with the private Committee on the Present Danger." - Library of Congress

 


"The history and identity of Williams & Connolly LLP are inextricably linked with the life of its founder, Edward Bennett Williams. Recognized as the greatest trial lawyer of his time...

Yes, the defense of individuals in highly publicized controversies continues to be a major part of the firm's practice - Brendan Sullivan's representation of Oliver North; Vince Fuller and Greg Craig's representation of John Hinckley; Craig's representation of the parental rights of Juan Miguel Gonzalez in the Elian Gonzalez custody case; and David Kendall's representation of President and Mrs. Clinton, to name just a few."

 

United States v. North - Defense of former National Security Council staff member Oliver L. North in "Iran/Contra" Congressional hearings and trial; convictions vacated and/or reversed on appeal.

United States v. Hinckley - Successful defense of President Reagan's assailant, John Hinckley.

 

Gregory B. Craig, Partner

From 1972 to 1974, working with Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Mr. Craig represented the Washington Post Company and various reporters in connection with the Watergate scandal and the grand jury investigation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.

In 1981 to 1982, working with Vince Fuller, Mr. Craig represented John Hinckley who was charged with attempted assassination of President Reagan.

That same year, working with Edward Bennett Williams, Mr. Craig represented former a Director of Central Intelligence, who was under grand jury investigation for perjury in his 1973 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee." -Williams & Connolly LLP

 


A Conversation with Vincent J. Fuller

"BR: You also defended John Hinckley Jr.?
VJF: Yes, I was the principal defense lawyer for that case in 1982. John Hinckley was charged with the shooting of President Reagan in 1981. A classmate of mine from law school had represented Hinckley's father in his business in Colorado, and he recommended me. One thing I remember clearly about the case was that I had to get clearance from the members on our firm's transition team. At that time, the Reagan administration was in transition and a number of lawyers in my office were members of the transition team. We had to check whether or not there would be a conflict of interest if I represented Hinckley Jr. And I remember Ed Williams saying, "Absolutely not, that's what we're all about."
BR: What sticks out in your mind about that case?
VJF: I had been involved in an insanity case in the past, but I had never worked with this type of person before. Hinckley was insane, that's for sure, and he was very difficult to deal with because of his mixed up view of himself and the world. It was challenging because it was so bizarre. The man tried to assassinate the president of the United States and said he did it for the love of actress Jodi Foster. I interviewed Foster in 1981 when she was still disturbed by what had happened. We decided it was best to tape her deposition out of fear that if we called her as a witness, Hinckley would freak out in the courtroom. He did that anyway. But what always got me about that case was that no one in his family had any idea as to how sick he was. His parents knew that something might be wrong with him, so they sent him to a psychologist, who sent him to a psychiatrist. Hinckley only saw the psychiatrist a few times, but from those interviews the psychiatrist failed to get a clue as to what was going on in his mind. That's alarming." -DC Bar (02/00)

 

 

 

 

Was it just a coincidence that Reagan was 70 yrs old and shot at on his 70th day in office?

"On March 30, 1981, just 70 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr., a deranged drifter who had briefly stalked President Jimmy Carter." -Arizona Daily Star

"President Ronald Reagan has been shot and wounded after a lone gunman opened fire in Washington.
First Lady Nancy Reagan is understood to be on her way to the hospital to visit her 70-year-old husband.
President Reagan has only been in office for 69 days and the attack leaves the running of the country in some confusion as his vice-president George Bush is currently on his way back from Texas." -BBC "On this day"

(Note:  Some articles say Reagan was shot on his 69th day in office, but this website counted that he was shot on his 70th day if you count the day of his inauguration.)

 

 

 

 

Was Reagan almost just another victim of U.S. Presidents dying in office if they were elected in a year ending in a zero?

Numerology - Awesome80s.com
Ronald Reagan almost fell prey to the numerologists. Every president elected in a year ending in a zero from 1840 on has died in office - except Reagan (and George Bush Jr., though his term is not over). In fact, Zachary Taylor is the only president not elected in a year ending in zero who did die in office.

1840 - William Harrison (pneumonia)
1860 - Abraham Lincoln (assassinated)
1880 - James Garfield (assassinated)
1900 - William McKinley (assassinated)
1920 - Warren Harding (heart attack)
1940 - Franklin Roosevelt (cerebral hemorrhage)
1960 - John F. Kennedy (assassinated)

 
 

 

 

 

Why did the Secret Secret choose an exit route for Reagan that would lead him to walk by a blind spot that would make for a perfect ambush when the exit of the hotel was right on the street?

(Note:  Reagan exited the Washington Hilton through the rear entrance and turned left out the door and headed straight for his parked lime at the corner thereby passing the blind corner of the wall where Hinckley was waiting.)


"At 2:25, accompanied by aides and bodyguards, Reagan left the hotel and began moving towards his waiting limousine. A voice yelled, "President Reagan, President Reagan!" As the President turned in his direction, Hinckley--crouching like a marksman--emptied the six bullets in his gun in rapid succession." - Jurist/Univ. of Pittsburgh


"Ms. Thomas. It's unreal to us, too, because we've come out of that hotel so many times and -- --
The President. Yeah.
Ms. Thomas. -- -- nothing -- -- "

-Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (04/22/01)

 

 

 

 

Who would have benefited if Reagan had died?

 

"George H.W. Bush.  Reagan's main opponent for the 1980 GOP presidential nomination."

 

"Bonesmen, as they're called, are forbidden to reveal what goes on in their inner sanctum, the windowless building on the Yale campus that is called the Tomb. 
Over the years, Bones has included presidents, cabinet officers, spies, Supreme Court justices, captains of industry, and often their sons and lately their daughters, a social and political network like no other.
Skull and Bones, with all its ritual and macabre relics, was founded in 1832 as a new world version of secret student societies that were common in Germany at the time. Since then, it has chosen or "tapped" only 15 senior students a year who become patriarchs when they graduate -- lifetime members of the ultimate old boys' club.
But a lot of Bonesmen have gone on to positions of great power, which Robbins says is the main purpose of this secret society: to get as many members as possible into positions of power.
Prescott Bush, George W's grandfather, and a band of Bonesmen, robbed the grave of Geronimo, took the skull and some personal relics of the Apache chief and brought them back to the tomb,” says Robbins. “There is still a glass case, Bonesmen tell me, within the tomb that displays a skull that they all refer to as Geronimo.”
And plenty of Bonesmen have made a contribution, from William Howard Taft, the 27th President; Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine; and W. Averell Harriman, the diplomat and confidant of U.S. presidents.
Mr. Bush, like his father and grandfather before him, has refused to talk openly about Skull and Bones. But as a Bonesman, he was required to reveal his innermost secrets to his fellow Bones initiates." -CBS (06/13/04)

"George Bush senior famously called Mr Reagan's ideas "voodoo economics" before he became vice-president of the United States. While challenging Mr Reagan in the Republican presidential primaries, he said he did not believe that supply-side reforms like ending regulation would be enough to rejuvenate the economy." -BBC (06/05/04)

"George H.W. Bush. Reagan's main opponent for the 1980 GOP presidential nomination, Bush signed on as vice president and succeeded Reagan as president in 1989." -Boston Globe (06/09/04)

GOP presidential contenders wave to a crowd Manchester, N.H., prior to a debate in 1980.  From left: Philip Crane, John Connally, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Reagan and George Bush.

(Source:  St. Petersburg Times)

 

"The Bush Crime Family" 

Seated, from left to right, Neil Bush, President George W. Bush, former President George H. W. Bush, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Marvin Bush, Dorothy Koch. Standing, left to right, Sharon Bush, first lady Laura Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, Columba Bush, Margaret Bush and Bobby Koch.

 

(See also:  Bush Family Values Photo Album - Here in Reality)

 

 

 

 


 

Analysis of the shooting...

 

Did Hinckley even shoot Reagan?

.22-caliber Rohm RG-14 revolver.  The gun Hinckley used to shoot at Reagan.

Life-size photo of popular bullet calibers: .22, .380, 9mm, .38, and .45

 

Yes, you read that question correctly, did John Hinckley Jr. even shoot Reagan?  I'm not saying Hinckley wasn't there shooting at Reagan, I'm asking did he actually shoot Reagan? 

Hinckley allegedly used a .22 caliber 6-shooter revolver to shoot at Reagan -- not the preferred caliber one would first think of using for an assassination attempt.

"As Reagan appeared outside the hotel, Hinckley fired six shots from a .22-caliber pistol, with Devastator bullets, hitting Reagan press secretary James Brady, police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy. Reagan was hit by a shot that ricocheted off his limousine.
The Devastator bullets were designed to explode on impact, but only the one that hit Brady in the head erupted." -Arizona Daily Star


"Though flanked by administration members, police officers, and Secret Service agents, Reagan was shot under the left arm. The bullet malfunctioned and failed to explode on impact, seriously wounding but not killing Reagan." -PBS


"It should also be noted that individuals can easily obtain instructions for the creation of their own bullets. The most infamous use of such bullets was the attempted assassination of President Reagan in 1981 by John Hinckley, who used “Devastator” bullets (Bingham Limited, USA) composed of a lacquer-sealed aluminium tip with a lead azide centre designed to explode on impact. Though frequently referred to in works of fiction, they are rarely encountered in forensic practice, as sales have been restricted following the incident in 1981." -Journal of Clinical Pathology (06/05/03)

 

 

 

 

Now most people assumed that Reagan was hit by a direct shot from the first few shots fired from Hinckley as Reagan was waving to the crowd with his left hand while walking to his limo since we were told he was shot under his left armpit.

 

"The shot that hit Reagan... struck Reagan under the left armpit..." -Arizona Daily Star

 
 

 

 

 

However the official story is quite different -- and truly amazing.  Hinckley supposedly hit Reagan with his sixth and last shot.  Not only that, but this lucky last shot supposedly flattened to the size of a dime after it ricocheted of Reagan's limo and bounced 90 deg and in between the narrow gap of the open rear limo door (opposite opening), hit Reagan underneath his left armpit, glanced off a rib, turned over like a coin then tumbled into his left lung barely missing his heart, all the while his arms were being pinned downed by a Secret Service agent who was hustling him into the limo.

 

1) The first bullet tore through the brain of press secretary James Brady.

2) The second his policeman Thomas Delahanty in the back.

3) The third overshot the President and hit a building.

4) The fourth shot hit secret service agent Timothy McCarthy in the chest.

5) The fifth shot hit the bullet-proof glass of the President's limousine.

6) The sixth and final bullet nearly killed the President.

(Click drawing for source.  See video at UMKC.)

Notice Reagan's left arm being immediately pinned down by a Secret Service agent behind him after the shots rang out.

"The President waved to a crowd as he walked toward the hotel entrance at 1:45. Hinckley waved back. At 2:25, accompanied by aides and bodyguards, Reagan left the hotel and began moving towards his waiting limousine. A voice yelled, "President Reagan, President Reagan!" As the President turned in his direction, Hinckley--crouching like a marksman--emptied the six bullets in his gun in rapid succession. The first bullet tore through the brain of press secretary James Brady. The second his policeman Thomas Delahanty in the back. The third overshot the President and hit a building. The fourth shot hit secret service agent Timothy McCarthy in the chest. The fifth shot hit the bullet-proof glass of the President's limousine.
The sixth and final bullet nearly killed the President. As aides rushed to push Reagan into his car, the bullet ricocheted off the car, then hit the President in the chest, grazed a rib and lodged in his lung, just inches from his heart." - Jurist/Univ. of Pittsburgh


"Reagan had just finished speaking to a sullen crowd of 3,500 labor union activists at the Hilton Hotel a few miles from the White House, when he emerged onto the street and waved to a small group of well-wishers and reporters.
While staying overnight in Washington, Hinckley read about Reagan's daily schedule in a newspaper item, armed himself and joined the crowd outside the hotel.
As Reagan appeared outside the hotel, Hinckley fired six shots from a .22-caliber pistol, with Devastator bullets, hitting Reagan press secretary James Brady, police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy. Reagan was hit by a shot that ricocheted off his limousine.

The shot that hit Reagan flattened against the limousine and struck Reagan under the left armpit...
The bullet glanced off a rib, collapsed Reagan's left lung and lodged an inch from his heart." -Arizona Daily Star

 
 

"A burst of gunfire was then heard before the president was bundled into a bullet proof limousine and whisked away.
The president initially appeared to have escaped serious injury, but had been hit by a ricocheting bullet as he was bundled into his limousine by Secret Service Agents." -BBC "On this day"


"EDWIN MEESE, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT, 1981-'85: The bullet went along the side of the car and passed between the open door and the car, a space of about an inch or less. And as it was going along the side of the car, it has flattened out, so it was kind of like a jagged dime, is what it looked like." - CNN (02/18/01)


"John Hinckley Jr's bullet probably caught me in midair at the same moment I was being thrown into the back of the car by Jerry Parr. After they took it out of me, I saw the bullet. It looked like a nickel that was black on one side; it had been flattened into a small disc and darkened by the paint on the limousine. First the bullet had struck the limousine, then it had ricocheted through the small gap between the body of the car and the door hinges. It hit me under my left arm, where it made a small slit like a knife wound. I'd always been told that no pain is as excruciating as a broken bone; that's why I thought Jerry had broken my rib when he landed so hard on me. But it wasn't Jerry's weight I felt; according to the doctors, the flattened bullet had hit my rib edgewise, then turned over like a coin, tumbling down through my lung and stopping less than an inch from my heart." -RonaldReagan.com

 

 

 

 

Also, Hinckley was in the middle of a crowd with people in front of him that would be in the way of a direct shot at Reagan and it's also been reported that Hinckley was being grabbed from behind as he was shooting, further impeding his ability to get an accurate shot at Reagan.

 

"An assassination attempt on President Reagan gave an Ohio family a permanent connection to the Reagans.
About six months after he was wounded in March 1981, Reagan met with Alfred Antenucci and thanked the former carpenter and president of a union local for hitting and tackling gunman John W. Hinckley Jr. outside a Washington hotel.
She recalled her father explaining that when the president came out, Hinckley called out to get Reagan's attention and held up a gun. She said her father immediately understood what was happening.
"He decided, 'Nobody is going to kill my president in front of me.' And he started hitting Hinckley on the back of the neck and grabbed him and pulled him to the ground, and Hinckley kept firing," she said." -Marion Star/AP (06/08/04)

 
 

 

 

 

So was Reagan shot by a second shooter outside before he got into the limo?

 

Some conspiracists have theorized that there was a second shooter, possibly above the wall on the "Bushy Knoll" (as some have coined the term), and shot Reagan as he was waving to the crowd and that would be consistent with the trajectory of the flattened bullet hitting under his left armpit, grazing his rib, then plunging into his left lung.

 

This pic has been thought by some to be taken right after Reagan was hit underneath his left armpit.

This pic shows the "grassy knoll" area above the top of the wall.  Notice the police man standing with his hand on the rail near the top left corner.

 

Reagan, Hinckley and the "Bushy Knoll" Conspiracy
"Flanked by Secret Service agents, he was walking to his limousine when John Hinckley, Jr. surged forward, .22 pistol in hand, and opened fire. A bullet richocheted off the limousine and took Reagan down, but he lived. That's the official story.
One must wonder, then, why correspondent Judy Woodruff (now a CNN anchor), reporting for NBC News Special Reports immediately after the assassination attempt, insisted that at least one shot came from an overhang over Reagan's limousine.
Woodruff later reported that the shot came from a Secret Service agent who was stationed on the overhang, which researcher John Judge dubbed "the Bushy Knoll."
If a sniper were positioned on the "Bushy Knoll," he would have had a clear shot at Reagan along the exact angle at which the bullet entered his body." -Parascope

 
 

 

 

 

However, it was assumed at first that Reagan wasn't hit outside the limo and even Reagan himself said he didn't think he got shot outside, but was only injured after being thrown in his limo and a Secret Service agent broke his rib after landing on him in the back seat.

 

"As aides rushed to push Reagan into his car, the bullet ricocheted off the car...

At first it was assumed that the bullet missed the President, and the limousine headed for the White House." - Jurist/Univ. of Pittsburgh


"A burst of gunfire was then heard before the president was bundled into a bullet proof limousine and whisked away.
The president initially appeared to have escaped serious injury..." -BBC "On this day"


"Reagan was hit last, but didn't know it right away.
He thought he'd cracked a rib from being thrown, face down, into the limousine by Secret Service agent Jerry Parr.
"I thought Jerry had broken my rib when he landed so hard on me," Reagan wrote in his autobiography." - Detroit News (03/31/01)


"Reagan initially believed he had been injured when a Secret Service agent, Jerry Parr, pushed him roughly into the limousine and then jumped on top of him as the car sped away." -Arizona Daily Star

 

 

 

 

Was Reagan actually shot inside his limo?

 

"...it was the most paralyzing pain. I've described it as if someone had hit you with a hammer. 

But that sensation...came after I was in the car." - Reagan

 

Do you really believe that Reagan doesn't feel being shot supposedly outside of his limo by a bullet that bounced off a rib and lodged into his lung, but feels excruciating pain from when his Secret Service agent lands on top of him in the back seat of the limo? 

Read Reagan's own words as to when he thought he was injured and how it sounds like this is when he was really shot.

 

"Ms. Thomas. Can you tell us a little bit about how you felt at the time of the shooting? Did you ever feel you were in mortal danger? I know you didn't even know you were hit, but -- --
The President. No, that's right, and as a matter of fact, it still seems unreal. I knew there had to be shots, and my first instinct was to take a look and see what was going on from where they were. But the Secret Service man behind me had a different idea, and the next thing I knew I found myself pushed into the car. But it still seems kind of unreal.

Mr. Gerstenzang. What were your first thoughts when you realized that you had been hit?

The President. Actually, I can't recall too clearly. I knew I'd been hurt, but I thought that I'd been hurt by the Secret Service man landing on me in the car. And it was, I must say, it was the most paralyzing pain. I've described it as if someone had hit you with a hammer.

But that sensation, it seemed to me, came after I was in the car, and so I thought that maybe his gun or something, underneath, when he had come down on me, had broken a rib. But when I sat up on the seat and the pain wouldn't go away, and suddenly I found that I was coughing up blood, we both decided that maybe I'd broken a rib and punctured a lung. So, that's when we headed for the hospital. And I walked in and gave them my own diagnosis, and the next thing I knew I was on a cart and it was then, I guess, that they found the wound and that I actually had been shot." -Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (04/22/01)


"Jerry Parr, the chief of the Secret Service detail, grabbed Reagan by the waist and pushed him into the back of the limousine.
''I think you've broken one of my ribs,'' Reagan told Parr.
Parr pushed him so hard that Reagan bumped his head on the car door as he landed on the rear seat with the agent on top of him.
As it turned out, Parr saved the president's life.
Reagan had been shot in the chest and was in such pain that he felt paralyzed or hit by a hammer. He began coughing up blood. The bullet struck Reagan just under his left armpit, hit the top of his seventh rib, and was deflected into the lower lung about an inch from his heart and aorta." -Chicago-Sun Times

 

 

 

 

So if Reagan was shot inside the limo, who shot him?  Was it Jerry Parr?  Who else was in the limo?  What did they shoot him with?

"I was in the Secret Service for 23 years.

I had had the experience of being in the Secret Service when John Kennedy was killed." - Jerry Parr interview/National Geographic


 

"Parr, who was lead agent during President Carter’s last two years in office and Reagan’s first year, was later promoted to assistant director and retired in 1985." - The Hill (06/10/04)


 

"The shot that hit Reagan flattened against the limousine and struck Reagan under the left armpit, leaving a puncture wound so small that neither Reagan nor his doctors knew he had been hit..." -Arizona Daily Star

 

 

 

 

Was James Brady the real target of Hinckley?

 

"The first bullet tore through the brain of press secretary James Brady." -Jurist/Univ. of Pittsburgh


"Hinckley fired six shots from a .22-caliber pistol, with Devastator bullets, hitting Reagan press secretary James Brady...
The Devastator bullets were designed to explode on impact, but only the one that hit Brady in the head erupted.
Brady was permanently impaired by the bullet that struck him in the head, and has become an advocate of gun control. He was the namesake of the Brady bill, which temporarily imposed a five-day waiting period for gun purchases, and he and his wife, Sarah, founded Handgun Control, a lobbying group devoted to limits on firearms including assault weapons along with handguns." -Arizona Daily Star

 

James Brady

 

 

 

 

Was John Hinckley Jr. just a troubled estranged young son from a wealthy family obsessed with actress Jodi Foster, or was he really a "Manchurian candidate" for a dark political agenda?

 

"Hinckley was still clicking the trigger on his twenty-two when secret service agents wrestled him to the ground."

 

 

"The term "Manchurian candidate," spawned by the book and later films, refers to an individual who has undergone brainwashing and/or mind control with the intent of creating a "sleeper" personality within that individual. A Manchurian candidate has no knowledge of the brainwashing he or she underwent. He or she will behave normally in all situations, until the sleeper is "awakened" by a particular word or phrase. When the candidate encounters this trigger, he or she will perform any action his or her controllers demand, like an assassination. Following the act, the candidate will have no knowledge or recollection of his or her actions, and will return to a normal state until awakened again." -Wikipedia


"As the President turned in his direction, Hinckley--crouching like a marksman--emptied the six bullets in his gun in rapid succession.
Hinckley was still clicking the trigger on his twenty-two when secret service agents wrestled him to the ground." - Jurist/Univ. of Pittsburgh


"The Hinckley's reiterated through Robinson that they have provided psychiatric care for their son in the past, adding that "recent evaluations alerted no one to the seriousness of his condition." -AP/Evergreen, CO (04/01/81)


"John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Reagan in 1981, wants a federal court to allow him to take unsupervised trips to his parent's house in Virginia. Hinckley has been institutionalized since 1982, when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of attempting to assassinate Reagan and wounding a Secret Service agent and presidential spokesman James Brady outside a hotel in Washington.
CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers witnessed the assassination attempt, working for Associated Press Radio. He spoke Monday from Baghdad with anchor Wolf Blitzer about the events of March 30, 1981.
RODGERS: I knew John Hinckley. He and I had an altercation 30 seconds before he shot the president of the United States. I was working my way to the front of the crowd to get a microphone in position to ask a question. I said, "Press, excuse me, please." I became conscious of a young man in a tan raincoat. He said, "Press, press. Who do they think they are? Don't let him through." I made my way to the front.
A few seconds later, Mr. Ronald Reagan came out, all of a sudden 18 inches over my left ear, Hinckley started firing. My friend Jim Brady fell at my feet. I can see it now, I will never forget it. He had a bullet hole in his forehead at the time. Secret Service agents knocked everybody down, I was on the bottom of the pile. They weren't looking for him. I managed to wiggle out and dash out and file the story.
RODGERS:...I challenge the jury who acquitted him on the base of insanity. I told this to the U.S. attorney when I was debriefed. My contention was, he had an argument with me, he was as hostile to me as he was to the person he was shooting at. He could have done, five, six, seven shots to the approximate, say one for me. I always said he knew what he was doing, because he didn't shoot me.
BLITZER: Hinckley wants unsupervised visits -- since you were there, so close to him, it was such an important story that you remember so vividly. What goes through your mind, Walter?
RODGERS: I remember my last conversation with the prosecutors before the trial. We talked about my audiotape. I had a radio tape of the entire thing. He said to me, yes, Hinckley remembers you. He doesn't like you very much. I would like to see him locked up forever. I am not covering the story. He maintained his hostility to me about our original altercation even after he shot the president. I am glad I am not in Washington if he gets out on weekends." -CNN (11/17/03)


"On March 30, 1981, just 70 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr., a deranged drifter who had briefly stalked President Jimmy Carter.
Hinckley, who was estranged from his family, had a vague plan to attempt to assassinate a president to impress actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley previously had appeared, apparently armed, at two of President Carter's campaign stops without incident." -Arizona Daily Star


"Ms Thomas. Do you have any feelings about going out again? I mean, are there any -- is there trauma or instants that you say, "Oh, God, do I have to face this again?'' Or do you feel that, you know -- --

The President. I have a hunch I'll be more alert in going again.

Ms. Thomas. We will, too.

The President. That's the other thing.

I look back now in some of these reviews that they've shown of the first few months and so forth. I see some of the milling in crowds and so forth that we've done, and I find myself wondering, "Well, why didn't this happen 27 times before?" -Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (04/22/01)


"Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He's still confined at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington." - Detroit News (03/31/01)

 

Hinckley's Therapists Say He's Normal (09/20/05)

Hinckley's Approaches to Women Questioned (09/21/05)

Judge Grants Hinckley Extended Visits (12/31/05)

 

Links:

Forgotten Coverage of the Reagan Assassination Attempt - Here in Reality

President commemorates 23rd anniversary of botched Reagan shooting which nearly begat a gloriously elongated  George H. W. Bush reign - The White House.org (the parody site)

Reagan, Hinckley and the "Bushy Knoll" Conspiracy - ParaScope

Video Evidence: Did Hinckley Really Shoot Reagan? - ParaScope

The Attempted Coup D'Etat of March 30, 1981 - Bush Bio, Chp 17

FTR-244 Trouble on Oiled Waters, Part V / The LECTURE Series - Dave Emory

THE BUSH FAMILY IN THE 90S - Nathaniel Blumberg

"THE BUSH-HINCKLEY CONNECTION" archive - VOXFUX

Bush Family Involvement in Reagan Assassination Attempt - VOXFUX

Hinckley, Bush, Reagan Assassination, World Vision And The Assassin (scroll down) -  Mark Elsis

Hinckley - Bush Family Friend - Nears Release - Rense.com

John Hinckley and the Assassination Attempt on President Reagan - Totse.com

Hinckley: Hit man for the shadow government? - Northstarzone

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography; Chapter -XVII- The Attempted Coup D'Etat of March 30, 1991 - Webster Tarpley

Reagan dead 23 years after hit by Bush cabal - Liberty Think

Shooting Up on Insanity in Washington, DC - Lew Rockwell

BETRAYED BY COUNTERFEIT CONSERVATIVES - Brian Downing Quig

Bush family conspiracy theory - Ezine

JOHN HINCKLEY, REAGAN SHOOTER/BUSH FRIEND, IN RELEASE - PHXnews

 

News Articles:

The John Hinckley Trial
Terrific recap of the whole affair and those involved, with a special emphasis on the insanity defense

The American Experience: John Hinckley
Biography of Hinckley from the PBS series about Ronald Reagan

THE JOHN HINCKLEY TRIAL: KEY FIGURES - UMKC

Reagans Decry Judge's Decision
December 2003 USA Today report on a Hinckley's unsupervised visitations

The John Hinckley Case
Another finely detailed report, from the Crime Library website

The Assassination Attempt (Photos) - The Ronald Reagan Library

THE TAXI DRIVER CONNECTION - A Who2 Loop

The John Hinckley Trial - UMKC Law School

SAD DAY IN MARCH (Photos) - Moment in Time

Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Helen Thomas and Jim Gerstenzang on the President's Recovery Period

-Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

 

Edward Bennett Williams Papers - Library of Congress

 

Shooting tested the stamina, spirit of new president - Arizona Daily Star

 

 

 

Archived Articles...

 

Bush Son Had Dinner Plans With Hinckley Brother Before Shooting
The Associated Press Domestic News/HOUSTON 
March 31, 1981, Tuesday, PM cycle

The family of the man charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan is acquainted with the family of Vice President George Bush and had made large contributions to his political campaign, the Houston Post reported today.
The newspaper said in a copyright story, Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.
The newspaper said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice president of his father's Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corp., for comment. Neil Bush lives in Denver, where he works for Standard Oil Co. of Indiana.
In 1978, Neil served as campaign manager for his brother, George W. Bush, the vice president's oldest son, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Neil lived in Lubbock throughout much of 1978, where John Hinckley lived from 1974 through 1980.
On Monday, Neil Bush said he did not know if he had ever met 25-year-old John Hinckley.
"I have no idea," he said. "I don't recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him.
Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as a date of a girl friend of hers. "I don't even know the brother. From what I know and I've heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful," she said.
The dinner was canceled, she added.
George W. Bush said he was unsure whether he had met John W. Hinckley.

[Reprinted at: Here in Reality]

 

Report Links Suspect with Bushes
U.P.I./DENVER
March 31, 1981, Tuesday, PM cycle

Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, is part of Denver's booming oil business scene so it was not unusual his path would cross that of Scott Hinckley, the older brother of the man who shot President Reagan.
The younger Bush, a ''land man'' for the Amoco Oil Co. in Denver, told the Houston Post in a copyright story published today he and Scott Hinckley were to have had dinner together tonight. The dinner party at Neil and Sharon Bush's modest one-story home in southeast Denver was canceled.
Scott Hinckley, vice president of Vanderbuilt Energy Co., the independent oil and gas exploration firm founded by his father in Texas and moved to Denver in 1974, was secluded with his parents at the home of a neighbor and not available for comment on his acquaintance with Bush.
Bush, whose job involves preliminary negotiations between Amoco and various owners of land for prospective oil and gas wells, also could not be reached.
Amoco spokesman R.N. Murphy said hundreds of independent energy companies were moving to Denver in anticipation of the oil shale and coal development boom on Colorado's Western Slope.
''It is not unusual for companies to enter into a joint drilling venture but to my knowledge there are no partnerships between Amoco and Vanderbuilt Energy,'' said Murphy. ''I have contacts with all the major companies but I had never heard of Hinckley until yesterday.
Bush told the Post he knew the Hinckley family because they had made large contributions to the vice president's campaign. He said he could not recall meeting John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Reagan and three other men as they exited the Washington Hilton Hotel Monday.
''I don't recognize any pictures of him,'' Bush said. ''I just wish I could see a better picture of him.''
Sharon Bush said she did not know the suspect.
''They (the Hinckleys) are a nice family ... and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign,'' she said. ''I understand he (John Hinckley) was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful.''
Another of the vice president's sons, George W. Bush, lived in Lubbock in 1978 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress. Police have said John Hinckley Jr. lived in Lubbock at that time and once attended Texas Tech University.
Young George Bush did not recall meeting the suspect.
''It's certainly conceivable that I met him or might have been introduced to him,'' he said. ''I don't recognize his face from the brief, kind of distorted thing they had on TV and the name doesn't ring any bells.
''I know he wasn't on our staff. I could check our volunteer rolls.''
Peter Teeley, the vice president's news secretary, said by telephone from Washington he knew nothing about any Hinckley-Bush family connection.
''I don't know a damned thing about it,'' Teeley told a Post reporter. ''I was talking to someone earlier tonight and I couldn't even remember his (Hinckley's) name. All I know is what you're telling me.''

[Reprinted at:  Here in Reality]

 

Family 'Destroyed' By Assassination Attempt
By JOHN MOSSMAN
The Associated Press. April 1, 1981, Wednesday, PM cycle
EVERGREEN, Colo.

The parents of John W. Hinckley Jr., "just destroyed" by their son's alleged assassination attempt on President Reagan, hope to see him "as soon as possible" but have no definite travel plans, their attorney says.
John Hinckley Sr. and his wife, Joanne, stayed at their next-door neighbors' house all day Tuesday as 70 reporters assembled on the front lawn and gawkers drove slowly past.
A statement released by counsel for Vanderbilt Energy Corp. said the elder Hinckley had "temporarily relinquished his duties" as chairman of the Denver-based firm "because of a tragedy involving a member of his family."
John Hinckley Jr., 25, who was arrested seconds after Reagan was shot in Washington, was being held Tuesday at a Marine base in Quantico, Va.
The corporate statement did not mention any change for Scott B. Hinckley, vice president of operations for Vanderbilt and brother of John Jr.
The father's move came amid confirmation that the Department of Energy was reviewing Vanderbilt's books. Jack Vandenberg, a DOE spokesman in Washington, said auditors met with Scott Hinckley in Denver on Monday.
The Washington Star quoted an unnamed "White House official" as confirming that DOE auditors asked for an explanation of an overcharge when oil price controls were in effect between 1973 and 1981. The Star said DOE auditors told Scott Hinckley there was a possible penalty of $2 million for the overcharge.
The Hinckleys, through attorney James Robinson, issued a brief statement Tuesday expressing their "deep concern" for President Reagan and all those involved in Monday's shooting, including their son, John.
Robinson said the Hinckleys had spoken by telephone to their son Monday night and Tuesday afternoon and were trying to hire a Washington lawyer for him. It was confirmed later in Washington that the Hinckleys had retained the law firm of millionaire defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams.
The Hinckleys said they planned to see their son "as soon as possible, but at this time they have no definite travel plans worked out," Robinson said.
They sent "personal expressions of sorrow" to the wounded men and their families, he said.
The Hinckley's reiterated through Robinson that they have provided psychiatric care for their son in the past, adding that "recent evaluations alerted no one to the seriousness of his condition."
William Sells, the Hinckleys' next-door neighbor and in whose home the couple was staying Tuesday, said the couple was "just destroyed" by their son's arrest and the attempt made on Reagan's life.
In Washington, an aide to Vice President George Bush disputed a Houston Post report that the Hinckleys made large contributions to Bush's presidential campaign. The aide, Shirley Green, said no record of such a contribution could be found.
The Houston newspaper also reported that Scott Hinckley was to have dined Tuesday night in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president's sons.
Neil Bush's wife Sharon said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as the date of one of her girlfriends.

"I don't even know the brother," she said. "I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful."
The FBI investigated a bomb threat directed against the Hinckleys on Tuesday, but nothing came of it.
The senior Hinckley is described by associates as a devout Christian who belonged to a weekly Bible reading club and recently did work in Africa for a Christian service organization.

[Reprinted at:  Here in Reality]

 

Clements Criticizes Shooting Coverage
By FRANK COOK
United Press International/FORT WORTH, Texas
March 31, 1981, Tuesday, AM cycle

Gov. Bill Clements Tuesday criticized reporters for concentrating on Texas links to various assassination attempts, including the attempt on President Reagan, saying if newspeople continued to link the state to would-be killers the state's reputation would be seriously damaged.
Clements talked with reporters briefly after addressing the Southwest Cattle Raisers Association Convention.
Although the governor lives in Highland Park and is involved in the oil business, he said he did not know the family of accused assassin John W. Hinckley Jr., 25, previously of Highland Park, whose father is president of Vanderbilt Energy Corp. of Denver.
Clements said he felt ''horrible'' when he heard Hinckley was from Texas, the same state in which Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John Kennedy in 1963 and where Mark Chapman, killer of former Beatle John Lennon, was born.
''This hasn't got anything to do with Texas, but if the news media works on it long it long enough it could hurt the state,'' Clements said.
''People in public office always run a risk of this sort of thing. There will always be unstable people, and this young man (Hinckley) was unstable.''
Clements said he had not increased his personal security since the assassination attempt Monday in Washington and said he and others in public life accepted the possiblity of having attempts made on their lives as a part of public service.
''Anyone in public life, be it the mayor of Fort Worth, city councilmen or the governor, has to expect there is a certain risk there,'' he said. ''It's just part of it.''
Despite the assassination attempt in which a ''Saturday night special'' was used, Clements said he still opposed strict handgun controls.
''Guns have to be registered in Texas now,'' he said. ''I'm not sure it would help. People will be able to get guns.''
Clements was with Vice President George Bush on Bush's aircraft in Austin a short time after the assassination attempt on Reagan, but would not characterize Bush's mood at the time.
He also said he received a call from the White House Monday night but did not say who he received the call from or what was discussed.
Clements did say, however, the caller said Reagan was ''doing fine.''
The governor did not comment on the assassination attempt during his address to the cattlemen, more than 2,500 of whom are attending the convention.
Bush addressed the convention Monday morning just minutes before Reagan was shot. Air Force Two carrying Bush went to Austin where the vice president met with Clements before returning to Washington.

[Reprinted at:  Here in Reality]

 

New novel questions probe of Reagan shooting
By THERESA WALLA
U.P.I./HELENA, Mont.
March 9, 1985, Saturday, BC cycle

Journalism professor Nathaniel Blumberg was so disturbed about the investigation into the attempted assassination of President Reagan that he turned his suspicions into a 377-page novel. His concerns were not answered during three years of probing into the strange circumstances surrounding the 1981 shooting of Reagan by John Hinckley Jr.
In his self-published novel, ''The Afternoon of March 30,'' Blumberg blends fact and fiction in looking at the unreported ''connections'' between Hinckley's family and that of Vice President George Bush, the man who came within a heartbeat of the presidency of the United States.
''What I'm really after is the case to be officially reopened,'' said the Rhodes scholar and former dean of the University of Montana journalism school. ''If they can answer all the questions satisfactorily, I'll be delighted,'' he said in an interview. ''In truth, I don't think all the questions can be answered without opening up a whole new can of worms.''
Blumberg's unease is now focused on the indifference shown to what he calls ''the story behind the story.''
Bush, he said, has questions to answer in connection with the attempt. So do the FBI and the judge who presided over Hinckley's trial, according to Blumberg.
''I'm not saying there was a conspiracy to assassinate Reagan,'' Blumberg emphasized. ''I'm saying there was a conspiracy to keep significant information from the public that it has a right to know.''
Blumberg asks his readers to consider his contentions that:

-- Hinckley's brother was scheduled to have supper with Bush's son the day after the assassination attempt, which struck Blumberg as ''the most remarkable assassination coincidence in the history of this country.''

-- The friendship between the Hinckley and Bush families goes back more than a decade to their shared conquest of the oilfields of Texas.

-- The Hinckley oil company was warned, just hours before the shooting, that it faced a $2-million fine for overpricing oil. The possible charges were never mentioned after Hinckley's attempt.

-- The widely accepted official story that Hinckley was trying to get the attention of actress Jodie Foster was based entirely on a letter that Hinckley was said to have written, but which the public and the media never saw.

Blumberg's book attempts to documents those assertions and blasts the nation's journalists for sloth and neglect. He said journalists were fed a barely believable story full of inconsistencies.
''And the press had submitted to this in a way I find unprecedented,'' he said.
But Blumberg, a long-time media critic, decided the example warranted more than a critique of press performance in a crisis. Such efforts, he said, usually ''go out there and die.''
Instead, he chose to weave his questions into a novel so it would reach a broader audience and allow him to probe problems in society and corruption in government, as well as maladies of the U.S. press.
The book chronicles the adventures of a fictitious Montana newsman who follows the information trail deserted by the national media.
His documentation is put in the form of an article the fictitious hero is writing.
The professor was living in semi-retirement at his home on the shores of Flathead Lake, near Bigfork, Mont., when he was jarred by a newscast that mentioned the planned supper between Scott Hinckley and Neil Bush.
That sparked an intense interest which has grown into an admitted obsession with the assassination attempt.
''So I began looking into it and checking all the papers and right away all sorts of things began cropping up,'' he said.
The press, according to Blumberg, underreported anything but the official story of the assassination.
He looks skeptically at the theory that Hinckley shot Reagan to impress Foster, who starred in a movie revolving around a similar plot - ''Taxi Driver.''
The novel has been criticized for Blumberg's inexperienced prose style, but praised for its research. However, he has been stung by suggestions that he is crazy or a ''conspiracy nut.''
Blumberg published the book on his own Wood Fire Ashes press to ''retain total control over the quality.''
''Have you ever heard an author say what a great job his publisher did with a book?'' he asks. But, without a commercial advertising campaign, he's had to market the book in an ''organic, straightforward fashion.''
Blumberg says he mails out several copies of the novel each week and expects it to ''stay alive as long as people continue to care about justice.''

[Reprinted at:  Here in Reality]

 

National Geographic Channel: Inside the U.S. Secret Service

Interview with Jerry Parr
Secret Service

Q: If you could tell me your name and what your job was with the Secret Service…
Jerry Parr: My name is Jerry Parr, and my job that is the most remembered is agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division here in Washington, D.C.
Q: How long were you in the Secret Service?
JP: I was in the Secret Service for 23 years.
Q: Tell us when you first wanted to be a Secret Service agent.
JP: In the in the late 1930s. My dad had been out of work a lot and so we went to a lot of movies, and one of the movies that I saw and paid particular attention to was called The Code of the Secret Service. I made my dad take me to that movie quite a few times. And there was a character in there called Brass Bancroft. And that really got me liking that job. And I never really forgot that job, but it turned out it wasn't until 1962 when the Secret Service came to interview for special agents that I sort of revisited that. I made an application and went into the Secret Service in 1962, October 1, up in New York City.
Q: Who was the actor playing Brass Bancroft?
JP: The actor was Ronald Wilson Reagan, and he later told me that was one of the worst movies he ever made. But for a young kid like myself, it was very exciting and it made me believe that an agent's life was not only exciting but meaningful.
Q: It seems like a huge irony.
JP: It is because 42 years later who would have thought? That is the distance between the time I saw the movie and the [1981] shooting of President Reagan. And so who would have thought we would have been in a car hustling south on Connecticut Ave. and him really near death, and getting him to a first-class hospital where they had a great trauma team? The combination of those things saved his life.
Q: Let's go back to that day that John Hinckley tried to kill President Reagan. Can you tell us what happened?
JP: Well, on the 30th of March, 1981, I had previously assigned another agent to go with the president that day. But for some reason I decided to go with him, and I went to the range earlier and fired. You have to qualify every month when you are on the Presidential Protective Division, and so it was a very routine trip, from the White House to the Washington Hilton Hotel.
He left about 2:27 p.m. that day. And as we were walking toward the car, [agent Timothy] McCarthy was in front of us and he had opened the door because it was raining just a little bit. And just about six or seven feet from the open door, I heard two quick shots and then four more. Actually all six shots were fired in 1.48 seconds.
We are trained to cover and evacuate, we are trained to shield the president first and to push him in the car. Or cover him somehow and then evacuate him. Those two things were done by my shift leader, Ray Shaddock, who helped me push the president in the car.
The first shot hit [press secretary] Jim Brady in the left temple, and the second shot hit [police] officer Tom Delahanty in the back of the neck. Tom had turned around to orient himself to where the president was. We always do that—we have to know where he is at all times. And about the time he had turned is when John Hinckley started shooting.
The third one hit McCarthy in the abdomen. He is a great hero of this event because he just stood up and took that bullet for the President of the United States which is what he was supposed to do. What he is trained to do. I landed on top of the president and we were pushed in the car. Shaddock threw our feet in, slammed the door, and at that moment I yelled for the driver to leave for the hospital. And that is exactly what we did.
Inside the car I saw two things: a bullet hole in the window and bodies on the sidewalk. Then I knew that we had really had gunfire. I knew that I should examine the president to see if he had been hit, so I ran my hands up under the back of his coat, inside of his coat, up under his arms. Looked at his head and he put his head down, ran my hands through his hair—saw no blood.
And by that time we were really moving under Dupont Circle. And he started spitting up this bright red, frothy blood. And I knew from my training that this meant some kind of a lung injury. And what I thought at first was that he probably cracked a rib when I landed on top of him. I told the president that we were going to the hospital. He didn't complain. He was perfectly lucid. We got him to the emergency room in only three minutes.
There were the key staff people and military aide and the doctor; they were all there. It was sort of like moving the whole White House into the hospital. The president didn't lose consciousness until he walked in. He did not take my hand, but something told me he wanted to walk in and he did. He looked very presidential walking in there. But he didn't walk very far, because that lung injury caused a lot of blood to be lost in the left lung, and he collapsed inside the door.
And so we carried him to Trauma Room 5. Later, McCarthy and Jim Brady would be in that same emergency room.
The medical team came down and they were ready. The first thing they did was check his vital signs: very low blood pressure, very faint heartbeat. Dr. Dan Ruby, who was the president's personal physician, said the president probably wouldn't have lived had we decided to go to the White House first.
It didn't take them long to find the wound. They just looked at every place, and they found this little slit under his left arm. And they X-rayed him, they put an I.V. in him, they gave him blood in one arm and glucose in the other and he gained consciousness pretty fast. And the first thing he said was, “I hope you’re all Republicans!”
The X-ray showed this bullet that had been deformed by the armored vehicle, it had flattened out and caught him going into the car. And it went upward, causing a lot of damage when it hit his lung. Then it went way down into his chest cavity, not very far from his heart. So on that run to the hospital he was losing a lot of blood inside.
So, later on we were in the operating room with him and we found the bullet. The doctor who took it out handed it to me. I handed it to another agent who handed it to the FBI who traced it back to John Hinckley's gun.
Afterward, the president was in the recovery room for a while. He was in some distress, but it seemed to me that he was going to recover. He had a very, very good heartbeat and blood pressure, so I had a feeling he was going to live. But before that I had had the experience of being in the Secret Service when John Kennedy was killed, and I never wanted it to happen to me.
And thank God that President Reagan lived because it is very hard on the person that is responsible for a person's life like the president's life. The president's own robust constitution and certainly the medical team that was there saved his life.
What failed that day was Intelligence: We didn't know that John Hinckley had stalked the president. He actually stalked [President Jimmy] Carter earlier, during the campaign of 1980. So you talk about ironies. Here is a man that had seen Taxi Driver, took the character Travis Bickel, and internalized that character. That made him go after the president, we think. And of course I was inspired by another movie character, Brass Bancroft played by Ronald Reagan.
Both McCarthy and the president recovered. Delahanty recovered and Jim Brady recovered but will always be impaired by the damage done to his brain. But they were wonderful men. So it was it was a tough day but we got through it.
Q: You mentioned all these things that helped to save President Reagan’s life. But you didn't mention your heroism.
JP: Well, it is important that I made the decision to take him to the hospital. That is a key decision. I don't play up myself on this simply because Tim McCarthy made a heroic gesture in standing up. There is another picture I have of him—everybody is shot down, and McCarthy is the only one standing up.
Q: What was going through your head at the time when the shots rang out?
JP: When the shots ring out, agents are trained to cover and evacuate, and cover means cover with your own body. It is a counter-instinctive movement. It is muscle memory. And in a certain sense I had been waiting for that all my career. All agents wait for those moments like that, and when you really think about it deeply, that it is where history, destiny hang in the balance. It is where all your training and truth come together in that one moment.
Q: As an agent, was it always in the back of your mind that something like this could happen?
JP: You have to have the whole culture of the Secret Service inside of you. And it is an old law enforcement agency, and it has a lot of history, starting with Teddy Roosevelt, who had three assassination attempts before he got protection ordered by the Congress. We had Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley assassinated all within a 35-, 36-year period. We can't do that. I mean 55 million people voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980, and you can't have one person destroy that with gunshots.
But it is a difficult job because there is no 100% security. There really isn't. So you tie that to the freedoms that we have in this country, and the people that are out there, and the threat levels and letters that come in, and we know it is out there.
Q: How does an agent go through 10 or 20 years of that stress?
JP: There is a lot of stress being an agent in the Secret Service, whether you are on the president's detail or whatever detail you are on.
What I do know is that agents have got the best training in the world. And it is sort of like an invisible web of obligations that get inside of you. It is duty, it is honor, it is country. It is it in the New York Police Department—their motto is fedelas ad mortum—Faithful Unto Death.
And I don't know how you train them to do it, but I know that it gets inside of them over time, and that they do it. I don't know whether every agent would do it. I know that Clint Hill did it [during President Kennedy’s assassination]. I knew that Lesley Cofield, who was in the attack on Blair House back in 1950, dying he got a fatal shot into one of those two assassins. The agent who took the gun away from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme—he took a big chance. So these are the kind of things I think make the job so stressful. But it is worthwhile when you get through with it.
And you never know, because some presidents end up doing things like Ronald Reagan did with communism and the relationship with Gorbachev. There is no doubt that his loss would have been tremendous. And it is like Kennedy's loss: We don't know whether Kennedy would have worked on Vietnam. We just don't know that. We never had a chance.
But what I do know is that that Time magazine called Gavrilo Princip the “Assassin of the Century,” simply because he killed the Archduke Ferdinand. It was a minor assassination, but a major problem for the world because WWI ensued from that and then the rise of Hitler. And then WWII, and then the Holocaust. And when you think about it, close to 100 million casualties in a period between 1914 and 1945 make you realize what that what that man did. So it is serious stuff.

 

 

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