Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Two Hinckleys are better than one

There has been a lot written about the peculiar, um, coincidence, that the brother of John Hinckley, the man accused of and incarcerated for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, was scheduled to have had dinner with Neil Bush on the day of the assassination attempt, a dinner that was wisely cancelled, and that the Bush and Hinckley families were close. I was not aware that there was a parallel Hinckley named Edward M. Richardson, who, no doubt by coincidence, shared some particular characteristics with John Hinckley:

"Both had apparently been captivated by the 18-year-old Miss Foster, the star of such films as 'Taxi Driver' and 'Carny.' Both stayed briefly at the Park Plaza Hotel in New Haven and sent letters to Miss Foster. Both had recently lived in Lakewood, Colo., just outside Denver. Both had been unable to find work and appeared to be drifting around the country with little purpose in the weeks before they allegedly took action against the President.

But Federal authorities reiterated yesterday that they had found no evidence that the two men had ever met."

The Underreported site (an excellent site, by the way) points out that it is unclear whether Richardson's interest in Foster was influenced by his knowledge of Hinckley gained from the press reports after the assassination attempt, but it appears likely that Richardson had mailed a letter to Jimmy Swaggart five days before the attempt predicting the assassination of Reagan (authorities didn't know who had sent the Swaggart letter but it contained almost identical language to a letter found in a room that Richardson had occupied, a room in a hotel in New Haven where Hinckley had also stayed, and was mailed from Grand Junction, Colorado, a city not that far from the suburb of Denver, Lakewood, where both Richardson and Hinckley had recently lived). I guess with Hinckleys, it's always wise to have one in reserve, as you never know how many you'll need.