JOHN HINCKLEY JR .: Colorado sisters remember staying at their motel before the crime

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) – As a judge grants full release to the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, two Colorado women recall their interactions with John Hinckley, Jr., a few just days before his infamous crime.

“It’s very different when you grow up in a motel. You meet a lot of interesting people, ”Kathy Lee told FOX31. Lee and his sister Diane Redford grew up at the Golden Hours Motel on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. The motel belonged to their parents. And in early March 1981, Hinckley checked in for a 16-day stay. He allegedly plotted the crime in the motel. Days later, he shot President Reagan and others outside a Washington, DC hotel.

“Very calm. Very nice guy. You never would have thought it. I think we were shocked,” Lee said.

“We were hopscotch or playing with the ball and he would pass and he would ask us questions and buy us Dr. Peppers and ask us who is your favorite movie star?” What movies do you guys like, ”Lee said.

He frequently asked them questions about actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley was in love with the actress and wanted to shoot Reagan to get her attention.

“We didn’t even know who Jodie Foster was,” Lee said.

Hinckley’s stay at the Golden Hours Motel came to an abrupt end 16 days after check-in. Lee and Redford were stunned when they saw him on TV a few days later.

“I think I was the first to admit it because I was in my seventh year spring break, and it was all over the news. You know, I’m sitting at home with my parents, watching TV and everything is interrupted by national news and media coverage. And when they showed a picture of him, I was like ‘Oh my God, mum, you know, John Hinckley, he was in the upstairs room,’ ”Redford said.

It was then that Redford began to research Hinckley’s recording tapes.

“I found his card and was about to call the police and give them the information, and that’s when the FBI came in.”

Hinckley left without paying his entire bill. But despite all the issues her parents, who lived in Evergreen, were dealing with, they then sent the motel owners a check for the unpaid room and a letter saying they were sorry.


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