John Hinckley attempted to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in his subsequent trial.
Hinckley has been housed at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC since he was found to be insane. In recent years Hinckley has repeatedly filed motions with the court to gain more freedom. At a recent hearing his psychologist Nicole Rafanello argued that he should be granted more leave from the hospital.
Rafanello, a clinical psychologist and clinical administrator for Hinckley at St. Elizabeth’s, said six-day visits would not provide enough time for Hinckley to bond with his family. Part of the time spent in James City, she said, would be used to meet with local therapists, to learn how to drive, and to apply for volunteer work.
``If he’s doing all of that in six days, there is no down time,” Rafanello said. ``It will create chaos in that home if he is rushing around to all those activities and then back to the hospital.”
Ultimately, Rafanello said, doctors would like to see Hinckley find a job in Richmond after he establishes himself in the Williamsburg community. But during the proposed home visits, she said, Hinckley should find volunteer work to begin adjusting to community life.
``We’re talking about the Williamsburg library,” she said. ``That is our intention, but it may be another place.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled on June 17, 2009 that Hinckley's health will probably improve with more freedom and that he wouldn't be a danger to himself or others. So Hinckley got the freedom he wanted.
Funny thing. Nicole Rafanello led a psychotherapy group that I was a part of in early 2004. She was a total nincompoop. I intentionally acted crazy to bolster my Social Security Disability claim. Rafanello ate it up. She totally falled for my crazy act. My personal experience is that Rafanello is extremely naive and can be manipulated by any clever psychiatry patient. If I could manipulate Rafanello to do my bidding, I'm sure John Hinckley could manipulate her just as well.
I was thinking of sending a letter to Judge Paul Friedman at the U.S. District Court in DC about my experience with Rafanello. It was Judge Friedman who presided over Hinckley's motion for more freedom for Hinckley. "Judge Friedman, Nicole Rafanello is an incompetent nincompoop who can be easily manipulated by any devious mental patient." That's what I'd tell Judge Friedman. I'm sure a letter from me would shake things up.
You can contact Judge Friedman yourself at (202) 354-3490.