Sacramento holds connection to historical assassination attempt

A gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional team baseball practice Wednesday morning, leaving several people wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

The suspect, 66-year-old Illinois resident, James T. Hodgkinson, died of injuries he sustained when officers fired back at him during the incident.

Attacks on U.S. presidents and other government officials have happened throughout American history. One of the most notorious presidential assassination attempts happened just steps away from the California State Capitol, and involved a member of one of the most infamous cults in the country at the time.

In September of 1975, Charles Manson follower, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, was convicted of pointing a pistol in Sacramento at President Gerald Ford in an attempted assassination. President Ford was making a short walk from his hotel on L Street to the Capitol, and was scheduled to meet with Gov. Jerry Brown. The .45 caliber handgun never went off, but the red-haired would-be assassin was wrestled to the ground and arrested by Secret Service.

Fromme was living with Sandra Good, another longtime member of the Manson family at 1725 P Street in Midtown at the time of the assassination attempt. The pair settled into the attic of the Victorian home in 1973 to be closer to Manson, who was incarcerated at Folsom Prison after being convicted of the 1969 murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate and the LaBianca family.

The women started an organization called The People's Court of Retribution, which aimed to kill leaders and executives the women believed contributed to environmental pollution.

Shortly after the incident at the Capitol, the P St. apartment was searched for evidence by law enforcement and the FBI investigated the attempt on President Ford's life.

Fromme was sentenced to life in prison but was released on parole from federal prison in August 2009 at the age of 60, after serving 34 years. She reportedly lives in New York. 

In the same month, President Ford survived another assassination attempt by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco. She was also sentenced to life in prison.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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