John Hinckley says he's never been happier in his life after leaving a psychiatric hospital, though he suffers from arthritis and hypertension, walks with a limp, and could use some help on the dating front. As Hinckley himself is barred from speaking to the media, the Los Angeles Times profiles the would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan based on newly released psychological reports. They reveal a smooth transition to life in Williamsburg, Va.—where the 63-year-old lives with his mother and older brother and sells antiques and books in an antiques mall. One hitch: He spooked a potential romantic interest to the point that she called authorities last year. Introduced to "John" on a walk, she "became uncomfortable once she learned his last name," which he had signed on a letter asking her out. Therapists had advised him to do so. They also deemed online dating "too risky" for him, per the AP.
"He's a nice, quiet guy" who "acts like everyone else," one local tells the Times, which notes Hinckley has gained up to 40 pounds in recent years. There have been losses, too. One friend "rocked his world" when she committed suicide in August 2017. The same month, Hinckley's mother broke her hip. Now primary caregiver, Hinckley drives her to appointments, buys groceries, and does some cooking. "He described 'working hard' to take care of his mother in order 'to give her good things'" as she nears the end of her life, per the psychologal reports. Still, "this is the best I've ever felt in my life," Hinckley is quoted as saying. "I'm happy as a clam." He's even looking to expand his business, which earns him several hundred dollars a month, into the online marketplace. (His lawyer hopes conditions of Hinckley's release will eventually disappear.)