Hinckley's Obsession -- Jodie Foster
According to the letter Hinckley wrote just hours before the shooting, the attempted assassination was an effort to impress Hollywood actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley's obsession began after he saw Foster star in a 1976 flick entitled Taxi Driver; she played a teenage prostitute named Iris.
Hinckley learned in a magazine that Foster would be attending Yale University in the fall of 1980; it would be the perfect opportunity to meet her. The only problem -- money. He made up a story about a writer's workshop that would take place at Yale in order to get money from his parents. His parents agreed to finance the trip and Hinckley arrived in New Haven Connecticut on September 17, 1980. Within hours of his arrival, he called and spoke briefly to Foster at her Yale dormitory. He continued to call her over the next four days, but she soon refused to talk to him at all. He soon left Connecticut and returned home to his parent's Colorado home.
After his commitment to St. Elizabeth's, Hinckley wrote a letter to Time magazine professing his feelings for Jodie: "The most important thing in my life is Jodie Foster's love and admiration. If I can't have them, neither can anyone else. We are a historical couple, like Napoleon and Josephine, and a romantic couple like Romeo and Juliet."