Amid all of the controversy over the John W. Hinckley Jr. trial, one crucial detail never received the attention it deserved. Regardless of whether or not Hinckley was insane when he shot at President Reagan, he certainly had a clear-headed impression of a certain school to the south.
Following is an excerpt from trial testimony on May 25 in which psychiatrist Dr. Thomas C. Goldman described the defendant's visit to Yale University in search of movie actress Jodie Foster.
"When he got to New Haven, he had the kind of immediate letdown that he had had on previous trips to Nashville, on his previous 1978 trip to Nashville. It was an immediate sense of disappointment, disillusionment.
"He got off in the middle of town, got off the bus and saw what looked to him to be a rather seedy, ugly town, asked somebody where Yale was and was told there it is across the street and could scarcely believe his eyes.
"He said My God, just didn't look like much at all, Instead of people who were dressed the way he thought people in such a school were dressed, they were dressed in jeans and the shirts and so forth.
"He immediately decided it was a third-rate school it was only its reputation. It was only surviving by its reputation, that one sight was enough to convince him the place was nowhere."