The Plot to Kill Reagan on The History Channel(R)

Exactly Twenty Five Year's After the Failed Attempt

Airing Thursday, March 30th at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT

Mar 20, 2006, 00:00 ET from The History Channel

    NEW YORK, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In March of 1981, just 70 days after
 President Ronald Reagan took office, John Hinckley, Jr. came within an inch of
 changing history forever. What led a troubled twenty-five-year-old to this
 notorious fate? Follow John Hinckley's path from lonely teen to presidential
 gunman on THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN, premiering on Thursday, March 30th, at
 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on The History Channel.
     (Logo: )
     Reclusive teen John Hinckley has dreams of a career in music, but his
 parents insist that he attend Texas Tech to study business administration in
 1973. After dropping out of college, he finds inspiration in the movie Taxi
 Driver, in which Robert DeNiro's character plans to impress a woman by
 assassinating a president. When that plan fails, he tries to rescue a young
 prostitute, played by Jodie Foster. Hinckley sees the movie fifteen times.
     According to Dr. William T. Carpenter, defense psychiatrist at Hinckley's
 trial, interviewed exclusively for THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN , "he was sort of
 an empty vessel, demoralized and ready to fill up his inner world with
 something that was more compelling ... and this just struck a theme with him."
     Hinckley, desperate to act on his obsession with Foster, visits Yale,
 where she is a freshman. THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN offers harrowing
 dramatizations of the effects of his many phone calls and letters on the
 actress. After she deflects his attention, he is more determined than ever to
 prove himself worthy of her.
     It was then, during the presidential campaign of 1980, that viewers see
 Hinckley stalk President Jimmy Carter. Soon after, THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN
 documents Hinckley's stalking of Reagan for the first time.
     "He felt that notoriety would be the most important thing that he could
 achieve in his life, and the only way he could do that was to take down a very
 powerful figure or a celebrity that would attract the nation's attention," Dr.
 James W. Clarke, author of On Being Mad or Merely Angry, tell viewers.
     The program then offers a dramatic recreation of a turning point in March
 1981 -- Hinckley is devastated when his father cuts him off to encourage him
 to make it on his own. Taking a bus back to Yale, Hinckley makes a stopover in
 Washington, DC. While there, he reads that President Reagan will be making an
 appearance just blocks away.
     Combining historical footage with dramatizations, viewers relive the
 events outside the Washington Hilton from Hinckley's point of view. After
 seeing him wave to Reagan as he and his staff enter the hotel, viewers watch
 Hinckley wait patiently until Reagan returns to his limousine. Firing six
 shots in 1.7 seconds, Hinckley hits President Reagan, missing his heart by an
     In one of the program's highlights, those seconds and their immediate
 aftermath are re-lived by two participants in exclusive interviews. Danny
 Spriggs, former Deputy Director, U.S. Secret Service, who was on duty that
 day, tells viewers how he didn't see anyone suspicious in the crowd, and
 describes how the shooting changed how presidents have been protected ever
 since. Frederick Ahearn, Special Assistant to President Reagan, offers his
 account of hearing the shots, seeing the motorcade drive off, and attempting
 to help Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot in the forehead by Hinckley.
     THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN sheds light on one of the darker figures of
 American history -- one of the few to attempt to kill a president. Its profile
 of Hinckley provides a chilling look at how a lonely boy grew up to come
 within an inch of ending the life of the most powerful man in the world.
     THE PLOT TO KILL REAGAN is produced for The History Channel by Indigo
 Films. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Carl H. Lindahl.
     The History Channel(R) is one of the leading cable television networks
 featuring compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring
 history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple
 platforms.  The network provides an inviting place where people experience
 history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to
 the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the
 future. The History Channel has earned six News and Documentary Emmy(R) Awards
 and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television
 Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to
 historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more
 than 89 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at

SOURCE The History Channel