24. THE UNEXPLORED STORY BEHIND THE HINCKLEY ASSASSINATION
      ATTEMPT

On the afternoon of March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley Jr. fired six Devastator bullets at Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

For more than two months, there was endless speculation as to why this lonely young drifter would attempt to assassinate the President. But the speculation ended in June when Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt told reporters that authorities had established a motive in the attempted assassination. Then after a series of "leaks" from anonymous sources, the waiting public was told that Hinckley "did it for" Jodie Foster, an actress who was attending Yale University at the time.

Following are some facts which the American public wasn't told:

-- The day after the assassination attempt, Scott Hinckley, John's older brother, was scheduled to have dinner at the home of Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush;

-- The Bush/Hinckley family connection goes back more than ten years, encompassing joint oil ventures and campaign contributions;

-- Hours before the assassination attempt, the Hinckley oil business, headquartered in Denver, learned that federal investigators had uncovered evidence of major pricing violations on crude oil sold by the Hinckley company and was warned that it might be fined a penalty of $2 million;

-- While in custody, John Hinckley wrote letters saying that he was part of a conspiracy;

-- The only piece of evidence supporting Hinckley's alleged infatuation with actress Jodie Foster as a motive for the assassination attempt was a letter that was never seen by the press or public.

This extraordinary information is the result of a well-documented research effort by Nathaniel Blumberg, a journalist, professor, lecturer, and a former Dean of the University of Montana School of Journalism as well as a Rhodes Scholar. Blumberg attributes the censorship of the information to a conspiracy on the part of the Department of Justice and other agencies in the executive branch of government to control the release of information concerning the attempted assassination; to the failure of both the Bush and Hinckley families to answer questions of legitimate public interest; and to the American press for failing to ask the questions that should have been asked rather than following the Jodie Foster red herring which was more sensational but less relevant to the attempted assassination.

Blumberg says he does not mean to say definitely that there was a conspiracy to elevate Vice President Bush to the presidency; however, he does document how the American public was systematically deprived of pertinent information about a variety of "extraordinary coincidences" connected with the events of March 30, 1981.

SOURCES:

THE AFTERNOON OF MARCH 30, by Nathaniel Blumberg, Wood/FIRE/ Ashes Press, Big Fork, Montana, 1984.