31 Dec 2007

Would-Be Ford Assassin Released From Jail at Age 77

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AP:

Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Ford in a 1975 assassination attempt, was released from prison Monday.

Moore, 77, had served about 30 years of a life sentence when she was released from the federal prison in Dublin, east of San Francisco, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said.

She was 40 feet away from Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on Sept. 22, 1975. As she raised her .38-caliber revolver and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Ford’s head by several feet.

In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views.

“I am very glad I did not succeed. I know now that I was wrong to try,” Moore said a year ago in an interview with KGO-TV.

Just 17 days before Moore’s attempt, Ford survived an attempt on his life in Sacramento by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson.

Moore said that she was convinced at the time that the government had declared war on the left.

“I was functioning, I think, purely on adrenaline and not thinking clearly. I have often said that I had put blinders on and I was only listening to what I wanted to hear,” she told KGO.

Moore’s confusing background — which included five failed marriages, name changes and involvement with political groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army — baffled the public and even her own defense attorney during her trial.

“I never got a satisfactory answer from her as to why she did it,” said retired federal public defender James F. Hewitt. “There was just bizarre stuff, and she would never tell anyone anything about her background.”

Sarah Jane Moore is probably too old to be a danger to anyone, but the same ideology, the same climate of insanity, which infected her and produced her murderous attempt on the life of an American president is just as thriving in San Francisco and other American cities. It is no less dangerous today.

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