John Hinckley, singer, song writer, and failed assassin, announces show in New York

John Hinckley, Jr. has already cornered fame with his failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, but he’s not done yet.

The would-be assassin has reimagined himself as a singer, announcing on April 8 that he will be performing a concert in Brooklyn, NY on July 8, 2022.

Hinckley first captured the attention of the world on March 30, 1981, when he shot President Ronald Reagan with a .22 caliber revolver following a speaking engagement at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan was injured when a bullet ricocheted off his limousine and was taken to George Washington University Hospital for treatment. Three others were wounded during the incident including White House press secretary James Brady, who suffered a brain injury and partial paralysis following the shooting.

Hinckley claimed he fired the shots to get the attention of actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed after her role in the 1976 movie, “Taxi Driver.” Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity following the incident and was placed under institutional psychiatric care for over thirty years in Washington, D.C. at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Throughout the early years of his confinement, it was discovered that Hinckley had been in communication with serial killers Ted Bundy and Charles Manson and that he continued his obsession with Jodie Foster. He was released from St. Elizabeth’s hospital in September 2016. The terms of this release included being prohibited from contacting the Reagan family or Jodie Foster, visiting graves of certain deceased government officials, and watching violent movies. Now 66 years old, Hinckley will be fully released in June of 2022, just before his planned concert.

He was granted permission by a federal court to showcase his music and his artwork, and by December of 2020, he had created a YouTube channel and was publishing his original songs and covers. He was picked up by Emporia Records and announced an album release in early 2022.

Hinckley, who also fancies himself a painter, sells his works of art on eBay, where it’s immediately apparent that his artistic talent matches his musical talents.

Not one to be held down by mediocrity, Hinckley warned everyone this week that he wanted to do some live shows. Just him and his guitar, singing his songs, he threatened.

Even more astounding than Hinckley’s failed attempts to sing on-key is his YouTube following of 26.2k subscribers. While there was originally a litany of comments regarding his inspirational, touching lyrics and musical talents, comments for his account have, perhaps unsurprisingly, been disabled.

Fans seem to be lining up for his July concert.

Other followers aren’t as supportive, however.

While a future duet with Jodie Foster is probably out of the question, his other musical offerings include a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and several original pieces, each more insipid than the last.

On April 9,  Hinckley again took to Twitter, this time to announce that he is excited about his show, and that ticket sales seem to be going well.

He hinted at surprise guests for his July concert at the Market Hotel; perhaps New York’s “1976 Summer of Terror” serial killer Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, can get a weekend pass from Shawangunk Correctional Facility to join in the festivities.


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Becky Bevard


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