The father of presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. said today that his son's request for a 12-hour Easter pass to leave a mental hospital was withdrawn because "a certain hysteria" developed over revelations that he had corresponded with convicted serial killer Theodore Bundy.
John Hinckley Sr. asked to appear on NBC's "Today" show, where he said: "I think that it's time that the other side of this story be told. . . . We are so convinced that John is no longer dangerous."
St. Elizabeths Hospital withdrew its request Wednesday for a pass for Hinckley. (Story on Page 21.) Hinckley and his parents had been silent on the matter until today.
"The facts are that John has been in St. Elizabeths now for five years. He is doing extraordinarily better," the elder Hinckley said.
"We've been hearing all week long that John is still dangerous and all sorts of other terrible things. And a certain hysteria has been developed that we feel is not necessary."
Hinckley's father said he has looked at the Bundy letters and "will be delighted when that is out in the open because they contain absolutely nothing.
"He wrote him as one human being to another. It may not be something that you or I would do, but because John did write him doesn't mean that he's still dangerous," he said.