Election 2016

How John Hinckley Lives Now

washingtonian.comEvery morning, John Hinckley Jr. leaves his room inside St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital and goes outside at 8:30 to feed his cats. They are a ragtag colony numbering more than two dozen, all feral. They especially like 9Lives.

It’s a routine Hinckley has kept up for many years now, at least when he’s in Washington. For two weeks each month, Hinckley leaves the hospital to stay with his mother—conveyed to Williamsburg, Virginia, by a limo service she hires for the trip.

Jo Ann Hinckley pays the $5,000 to $10,000 cost of each monthly visit, using the family’s dwindling oil fortune to cover the elaborate treatment team for her son in Williamsburg. She isn’t crazy about having cats in the house, especially wild-eyed strays, but sometimes John can’t help himself and brings one along. “They love me,” he told a psychiatrist last spring. “They come up to me, get my rub. I pet them all the time.”

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