Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hinckley Wants A Girlfriend

The following information comes from two articles in the Washington Post, here and here.

John Hinckley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan and forever ruined the life of Press Secretary James Brady, wants to move on with his life and find a girlfriend:
"Presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr., who is petitioning the court for more freedom, is lonely and longing for a close relationship like the one he had for many years with a former psychiatric patient, a psychologist testified yesterday.

"'He wants to have a girlfriend. He wants intimate contact with a female,' Paul Montalbano, chief of pretrial services at St. Elizabeths, the Southeast Washington mental hospital, testified yesterday.

"The psychologist said such a desire is natural for a man who has ended a long relationship, as Hinckley did this year. Hinckley, 50, cut his ties to Leslie deVeau after the relationship came under scrutiny during hearings to decide whether he was ready for expanded freedoms."
What's that? He dumped deVeau because of scrutiny? I get it! He rejected her, not the other way around. Keep that in mind.

Hinckley's past as it relates to the assassination attempt is well known:
"Hinckley was an aimless college dropout when he came to Washington and shot Reagan and three others in March 1981. On the day of the shootings, authorities found an unmailed letter to Foster in the hotel room where Hinckley was staying. 'Jodie,' the letter said, 'I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever.'...In the months before the shooting, Hinckley traveled 10 times to New Haven, Conn., where Foster was living, telephoned her dormitory room six times, left love letters for her and made tapes of himself playing the guitar and singing love songs.

"Hinckley has been found to suffer from major depression, a psychotic disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, but he is by all accounts much improved. His depression and psychosis are in remission, and the narcissistic disorder is significantly 'attenuated,' doctors say."
"Significantly attenuated" sounds like jargon designed to avoid legal liability. "Significant" might mean that Hinckley can now control his obsessions, or it might mean that he can control those obsessions only until they are challenged by real-world rejection. I see lots of hedging and ambiguity in those words "significantly attentuated." And doesn't "remission" mean that his mental illness can recur?

In the past few years, Hinckley has been allowed excursions limited to the Washington area. Some of these excursions have occurred in the company of hospital chaperones, but the more recent ones have been in the company of only the Secret Service. Now Hinckley is petitioning the court for overnight visits to his parents' home in Williamsburg, and one of those proposed visits would comprise a full week.

Here is the matter which now faces the court, which may rule as early as October 14:
"But how ready is Hinckley to venture a bit more into the real world and into the ups and downs of romance and rejection? It was the question on everyone's mind during three days of hearings last week in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman, who has overseen the case since 2001....

"Each side offered a parade of expert testimony. The assessments were often conflicting, depending on whether the witness was called by the defense or the prosecution. There was little middle ground. The experts ceded little -- or, in the case of Hinckley's therapist -- nothing to the other side.

"There was nothing romantic, psychologist Sidney Binks insisted, in Hinckley's interest in the psychology student who interned at the hospital last year. Yes, he offered to sing to her and, yes, he walked her to her car on occasion. But she was not the only woman he had wanted to sing for, nor was she the only staff member he escorted to the parking lot, Binks said."
The man likes to sing to women, and according to the psychologist, romance isn't the reason he is singing to women. Somehow, this singing to women strikes me as odd. It was also an earlier manifestation of his obsession with Jody Foster.
"On the hearing's first day, the questions and answers centered on how Hinckley handled his breakup with deVeau and how he has acted toward women since then. Hinckley met deVeau when both were confined at St. Elizabeths. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1982 shooting death of her 10-year-old daughter and was released from the hospital eight years later.

"Saddened by the breakup, Hinckley did not spiral into depression, Montalbano testified. His longing for a new female companion has been obvious to those who treat him, the psychologist said.

"The intern was apparently not his only romantic interest. Smitten with a hospital chaplain, he scheduled an appointment with her. But when asked about it by his doctors, Hinckley admitted that the appointment was mostly a chance to see a 'pretty lady' and agreed to cancel it, Montalbano said."
Regarding the above-mentioned intern, Hinckley full well knew that patient liaisons with hospital personnel are expressly forbidden. And he full well knew that the hospital chaplain was part of the personnel of St. Elizabeth's. Yet, he attempted to make contact anyway. Now, did he cancel the appointment because he realized that keeping it might have a negative effect on his upcoming hearings? Remember that he also broke off his relationship with deVeau because the relationship had come under scrutiny. I don't see that Hinckley has had any experience with rejection by a member of the opposite sex. How will he react if he experiences real and painful rejection?

According to one of the Washington Post articles,
"Hinckley is seeking more freedom....And, according to testimony, he wants to meet women, perhaps at singles events, and maybe even find a wife."
Aha! There is more to this requested release. And Hinckley even has some plans as to how to start his contact with the opposite sex out in free society. But just how much does he know about such relationships? As far as I know, he never had a girlfriend other than a perceived one in Jody Foster and in fellow-patient deVeau, whom he dumped.

And some cautionary words appear from St. Elizabeth's:
"Montalbano also said that given the scrutiny such a partner would endure, Hinckley may face a hard road to romance: 'Mr. Hinckley remains optimistic, but perhaps naively optimistic.'"
Yes, I rather imagine that scrutiny by the Secret Service or even on the part of Hinckley's parents could well be off-putting for a potential girlfriend. Then again, some women seem to prefer getting involved with men who have a shady past.

Is John Hinckley, Jr., really well--or just pretending to be well so that he can achieve his goal? And what, exactly, is his goal?

Something in my memory nags at me, but I don't find it in the recent articles. Didn't Hinckley, while under treatment in the hospital, secretly amass some sort of Jody-Foster collection? And wasn't that collection discovered after the psychiatrists said that he was well enough for partial release? That faint recollection is one reason I question his doctors' assurances even though I know that recent partial releases have been uneventful. And I've heard no more of any collections.

Nevertheless, Hinckley's singing to women and following those forbidden employees to their cars seem akin to stalking. And he made tapes of himself singing love songs to Jody Foster, too.

I hope my suspicions are wrong.

24 Comments:

At 10/02/2005 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10/02/2005 3:15 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I'm sorry but the idea of giving Hinckley more freedom sounds like something movies are made of. The ones about the pretty young lady that is stalked by a mad man that was recently released from a mental hospital. I went to high school in the early to mid 60's. One of my class mates stabbed a taxi driver over 100 times. He spent a couple of decades in prison, then he was paroled. The last time I heard of him he had murdered an elderly couple in Southern Missouri. Experts make mistakes, some people cannot be rehabilitated.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

 
At 10/02/2005 3:45 AM, Blogger samwich said...

The more time criminals are caged for is more time society is safe.
The more time criminals are caged, the LESS MONEY lawyers make.
The lighter the DWI penalties, the more money lawyers make.
The more lenient the sentence, the more crime is encouraged.
The more crime is encouraged, the MORE MONEY lawyers make.

The justice systrem is controlled exclusively by LAWYERS: Judge lawyers, prosecutor lawyers, defending lawyers, appealling lawyers, State Attorney General lawyers, Governor lawyers, parole board lawyers.

Of, by and for the benefit of blood sucking contention monger for profit parasite lawyers.

If a lawyer was not being paid at taxpayer's expense to represent Hinkley, Hinkley would never get mentioned.
S

 
At 10/02/2005 8:17 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

David,
Legally speaking, Hinckley was found "not guilty by reason of insanity." Therefore, he is constantly coming before the legal system. But I don't understand why time and money are being wasted in this way when Hinckley is not a model patient, nor has he ever been. He has had periodic lapses, even within the confines and "safety" of a mental hospital.

When I posted the article here, I almost included a section on his parents. Their financial support enabled their dropout son to fly all over the country as he stalked both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Did they know that their son was stalking? I don't think so. But I do think that they knew something was wrong with their son, and I don't recall hearing that they were trying to get him any help. Maybe they were, but I still have a problem with their supervision of their son's release to their custody when their supervision wasn't effective in the first place. Add to that the fact of his parents' age now. Can't he manipulate them?

In contrast, the parents of Charles Westin, the fellow who shot officers on Capitol Hill because of "the red ruby satellite" (his delusion), had tried their best to get medical treatment for their son's schizophrenia; indeed, when he was medicated, he was under control. But Westin quit taking his psychotropic medications and had a meltdown.

I have heard of cases like that of your classmate. Probably we all have. A few years ago, a young child in the Northern Virginia area was murdered by a released mental case, a case which bears many similarities to that of Hinckley. Once the fellow was out, nobody saw to it that he continued his medications, and his delusions overtook him.

From what I know of psychiatry, Hinckley has a form of schizophrenia, a disease which is not fully understood by psychiatry but which is labeled as incurable--another way of saying there is no full rehabilitation. And Hinckley has already shown his propensity for violence, so he certainly has a dangerous form of the disease. Aren't mental hospitals the correct place in which to house such individuals? Is releasing them an experiment?

 
At 10/02/2005 8:23 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

David,
Addendum: Rehabilitation isn't always possible. And effective rehabilitation cannot be measured without taking the risk of release. Sometimes the risk to decent members of society is too great.

After all, we're not talking about a shoplifter in the case of Hinckley.

 
At 10/02/2005 8:35 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
The more crime is encouraged, the MORE MONEY lawyers make. No justice?

In my opinion, Hinckley would forever be left in the institution or would already have been released if his crime hadn't been such a high-profile one. The notoriety of his case draws our attention.

Expert testimony is usually bought, in one way or another. Maybe always.

I suppose that we have always had psychos among us. How did they get that way? What should we do with them?

 
At 10/02/2005 11:15 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Hmm

The far left will be disappointed Hinkley has normal biolgical yearnings.

Hinkley was clearly insane but belongs locked away forever. I wonder when the far left is going to start agitating for Sirhan Sirhan again.

 
At 10/02/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Esther said...

He should never be allowed out. Period. Innocent by reason of insanity is something I've always had a problem with. But regardless, shooting a president should carry a stiffer penalty.

Of course, thinking he had a chance with Jodie Foster, on any level, shows he's clearly insane. But it's stiill no excuse.

 
At 10/02/2005 12:52 PM, Blogger samwich said...

HI AOW, I'm gonna provoke something here, I hope it's constructive.

First off Schizophrenia is a psychosis. Many abused children become Schizophrenics by developing a personality which is loved, accepted and not subjected to abuse, their place of love and sanctuary.

Schizphrenia is also a sympton of Pellagra, B vitamin deficiency disease. Adding Whole Wheat foods to the diet have shown verifiable progress for suffers. White flour and white sugar are the responsible culprits.

I don't buy into the "innocent or not guilty" by reason of insanity.
I'll do accept "guilty but insane" and detention for the criminally insane.

And, Hinkley thinking he had any chance at all with Jodie Foster is proof Esther pegged him dead center. Delusional and Dumb both start with D.

At Hinkley's age, I do believe he wants to get all the sex he can get while he can still get it UP!
Time is short and getting shorter.
The body produces less and less testosterone with each passing year.
And there is no Disease an aging man misses more than Testosterone Poisoning!!!!!!(Ref: Burt Reynolds)

Any over 50's folks got any input for that one???

S.....(for sexy)

 
At 10/02/2005 5:14 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beak,
The far left will be disappointed Hinkley has normal biolgical yearnings. LOL. However, the left pushes the idea that everyone can be normal if only they are given the chance. Hinckley comes from an upper-crust family and had "all the advantages." Something besides a disadvantaged upbringing is wrong with him. As far as I know, he's never worked a day in his life. How in the world could he be released and function, much less support a family? Unless, of course, he inherits a mound from his parents.

I see an underlying plea for pity in the recent Hinckley hearings: "Poor Hinckley! He doesn't want to hurt anybody anymore. He just wants to be a normal guy." But has he ever been a normal guy? His problems are longstanding, and from the little bit I read in the paper, he still has some problems with his perception of reality and with following the rules; those problems got him into trouble in the first place.

Does Sirhan Sirhan ever come up for release? I don't hear much about him. Was he found not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty of a crime? Being found guilty of a crime implies that he must pay a penalty. We house and try to rehabilitate the insane.

I know that Charles Manson and "The Manson Girls" have regular hearings, but their cases are different in that they were all found guilty. I notice that nobody truly advocates Manson's release. In fact, I'm not sure that Manson himself wants to be released because he's been confined in one way or the other for nearly his entire life. IMO, he doesn't know any other way to live. Besides, Manson and his followers should pay the penalty for the rest of their lives, in my view.

Some people should not be allowed out into society--certain ones because they still pose a danger, others because they are criminals and should pay the penalty.

 
At 10/02/2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Esther,
I'm with Samwich: we need guilty but insane as an option for a sentence. Such a label would allow for treating the insane, then if they recover, have them serve the sentence. It would keep the door locked, with the dangerous ones on the inside.

Sad fact: incurable insanity exists. The causes are many, and psychiatry has little understanding of all the factors. Contrary to what some people think, the insane are not always drooling and sitting in the corner (catatonia). Rather, psychotics can be diabolically clever. Think Ted Bundy here.

The fact is that some perpetrators know full well that what they are doing is against the law. But they sneak around and commit the deeds anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see Hinckley as one of those who sneaked around. Why he sneaked around clearly shows how out of touch he was (still is?) with reality. Can't let him out, as far as I'm concerned. And as you pointed out, he shot the President of the United States to impress a movie star. Maybe that's crazy to us laymen, but it might not fit the definition of legal insanity in the same way that hearing voices does (Berkowitz, Westin--from what I know, those two couldn't help themselves).

The Hinckleys are very well off. Did their son escape imprisonment because they had the bucks to manipulate the court and medical systems? IMO, yes.

You're right that "insanity" can be used as an excuse.

 
At 10/02/2005 6:18 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
"guilty but insane" and detention for the criminally insane. I agree. But we don't have that option in our system as far as I know.

Definition of schizophrenia: "a psychotic mental illness that is characterized by a twisted view of the real world, by a greatly reduced ability to carry out one's daily tasks, and by abnormal ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving." Not all schizophrenics are dangerous; in fact, most are not. They most often get noticed outside the family when they cannot function (I've seen such street people) and/or commit a crime.

I believe that there may exist some successful schizophrenics if their schizophrenia is an escape from an unbearable reality. The novel Dad (movie of the same title, with Ted Danson and Jack Lemmon, I believe) dealt with that theme.

Good point about diet! I've heard that before. I rather imagine that Hinckley's diet in St. E's isn't a healthy one. I wonder what his diet was prior to the assassination attempt?

Some schizophrenia appears to have a genetic connection. Usually, if the disease occurs naturally, so to speak, it appears in one's late teens or early 20's. Wasn't that the case with which A Beautiful Mind deals? Hinckley was around 23 years of age in 1981.

Sex: Lots of men over 50 want to get it while they can. But the manner in which they go about their quest is important. Pursuit in ways which do not violate the law--I understand that such behavior poses no danger to society.

I'm reasonably certain that Hinckley is being dosed with psychotropic medications because prescribing such medications is SOP for treating schizophrenia. What effect do they have on testosterone levels? Do the levels fluctuate significantly between doses? I've read that some anti-depressants reduce libido.

You may be correct that Hinckley has a biological basis for this latest petition to the court. Is there desperation as well? If so, how desperate is he? How far will he go to fulfill his sexual desires? Did a problem with sexual function contribute to his obsession with Foster in the first place?

Lots of older men make fools of themselves with younger women. My family refers to such men as "old fools" or "old fossils." The younger women make them feel more virile, and as a result, the aging men perform better. I believe that dropping testosterone levels, a natural part of the aging process, play a major part in the "old-fossil syndrome." So can boredom with or disenchantment with the aging body of their same-age spouses. Some of the same applies to aging women, of course.

 
At 10/02/2005 7:24 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Sirhan Sirhan: FPM published an article about Ted Kennedy having redeemed himself for the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne by being such a powerful voice for liberal causes. I beleive Sirhan Sirhan was quoted in that article. Sirhan was at a parole hearing and claimed that if Robert kennedy were alive today (parole hearing day) the Kennedy would want Sirhan Sirhan to be a free man.

Charles Manson was featured in a TV interview and stated "hell no I don't want no parole, I got a website to maintan". So parole hearings for Manson and co are DOA.

Here's another sicko, Mark Hacking in SLC Ut. failed to be accepted to medical school and feared his wife would leave him so he shot her in the head while she slept and disposed of her in the county landfill. He will do a minimum of 34 years in prison. His wife will spend until Resurection in the grave. I hope his pudgy butt gets the workout it deserves!

I been dumped so many times I bounce. Then I really piss'em off,
I take my suit to the cleaners and go back into circulation. You ain't never seen such "that dirty SOB" in your life.

S

 
At 10/02/2005 7:26 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I am not as certain and Hinckley did have top legal help. He was insane but schitzophrenia is fairly easy to fake or buy

Sirhan Sirhan was also the first act of Arab terror on our shores.

 
At 10/02/2005 9:37 PM, Blogger samwich said...

MARKET ALERT, BE A LERT, (we need all the lerts we can get)

Watch the DOW, S&P and Nasdaq take a good dump here in the near future. Greenspan is readying for his own departure in January and the next Fed Hed is walking into the perfect storm.

Warren Buffet, George Templeton, Goerge Soros, The Big Guys, have huge amounts in currencies and treasuries, NOT STOCKS!!!
S

 
At 10/02/2005 9:48 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Not Stocks includes mutal funds.

The Big Investors are in numismatics (gold and silver coins), Swiss Francs (up), US dollar (down) (selling short), 2 year treasuries.

Me personally, My commoditiy account is my INVESTMENT vehicle.
S

 
At 10/03/2005 8:26 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

"There was nothing romantic, psychologist Sidney Binks insisted, in Hinckley's interest in the psychology student who interned at the hospital last year.``

Kind of reminds me of Hannibal Lecter.

 
At 10/03/2005 10:27 AM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

awww, this is just cute... nothing more than a love story... of a homicidal maniac sure... but still, a love story.

Once again, "The Man" is trying to keep him down.

 
At 10/03/2005 12:08 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Esther, can you give us an UP when Desperate Houswives gets on the Hitlery for Prez band wagon??

The DOW, S&P and Nasdaq are going to dump big time and Clinton's Credit Bubble with the "It's The Economy Stupid" will be a remember the good old days under Slick Willie. The Clinton Campaign trick of splitting the conservative vote with a 3rd party independent is in the works. Packing the House and Senate with republicans will be a waste of time, the legislators will follow Hillary's lead with enough margin to give her what she wants.

Television ads for the stock market indexes are luring suckers back into the game to be fleeced.

When Warren Buffet dumped his McDonalds stock and put his money into commodities, no one was looking.(what, this is the first you heard of that??)
S

 
At 10/03/2005 12:24 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
Hinckley doesn't "bounce" when get gets dumped--or even thinks the gets dumped.

Thanks for the market info. I, too, even with my next-to-nil understanding of high finances, recognize that Greenspan's departure will have impact and that the big investors control the market.

The rise in gold and silver prices is long overdue. The last time precious metals crashed, the big boys (Hunt?) pulled out and stayed solvent; the rest went under.

Running on credit: A bubble which has to burst. Debt is deadly.

 
At 10/03/2005 12:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

G and Timothy,
Hinckley's definition of love has nothing to do with romance. Rather, his definiton is all about his own ego, which is poisoned by his twisted perception of reality.

 
At 10/03/2005 12:32 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beak,
Yes, schizophrenia is easy to identify. Yet it often isn't if the family doesn't take the lead or if the schizophrenic is of the quiet type. Hinckley's parents are rich, and I'm sure they do everything they can to help their son. Money won't buy a cure in this case, of course.

 
At 10/03/2005 1:18 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

I can't even believe that people are thinking of giving him more freedom. Is that his reward for trying to kill a President.

 
At 10/03/2005 6:27 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Gindy,
Reward? Yes, in a way he has been rewarded. Free board and keep for the last 20 years.

Like you, I cannot get away from the fact that he attempted to assassinate the President of the United States? Some deeds have lasting consequences.

Mental illness is really no excuse, though it is a mitigating circumstance. Hence, Hinckley's punishment was not a punishment at all, but rather treatment. No matter how we look at this, successful treatment for this particular mental illness is iffy, at best.

 

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