Sara Jane Moore, Woman Who Tried to Assassinate President Gerald Ford, Tells Her Story

by Peter Barnes
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Sara Jane Moore became the second woman in 17 days to attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford on September 22, 1975, and she came close to succeeding.

Photo – TFP

President Gerald Ford almost escaped assassination on September 5, 1975. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme approached the president in Sacramento that day and pointed a.45-caliber pistol at him, only to be thrown to the ground by a Secret Service member. Fromme moaned, “It didn’t go off.” Isn’t it incredible? “It didn’t go off,” says the narrator.

On September 22, 1975, another woman called Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate Ford just 17 days later. The shooter’s gun actually went off this time.

Sara Jane Moore came close to killing President Gerald Ford that day at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, but a few small twists of fate saved her from succeeding.

Photo – Dailymail

Moore’s Life Prior to the Attempt on His Life

Sara Jane Moore’s early life hasn’t been fully examined. However, it is known that she had been married three times and was the mother of five children before settling in Danville. “Sally,” she called herself. She lived and worked in Arizona and southern California earlier.

Sara Jane Moore’s public attorney, James Hewitt, remarked, “I never got a sufficient response from her as to why she did it.”

At a social gathering in Walnut Creek in 1967, she met Willard Carmel. Carmel was recently divorced and worked as a doctor at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. Moore desired to start a family, so the two planned to marry soon.

While growing up in West Virginia, Moore dreamed of becoming an actor. However, by the 1970s, she had mingled with a different set of people. Moore started hanging out with radicals. She did, however, become an FBI informant.

Moore was instructed by the FBI to infiltrate extreme organizations. The FBI severed its ties with Moore four months before the shooting, and Moore grew convinced that the feds wanted her dead.

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She and her son, Frederic, from a previous marriage, moved in with Carmel. Carmel, on the other hand, had a horrible marriage and filed for divorce four years after they married. Carmel filed a counter-suit, and the court annulled the marriage in 1972.

Moore finally moved out in June 1974, after a protracted legal struggle, and settled in San Francisco’s Mission District. During her time here, radicals had a big impact on her, and she joined leftist groups. This made her think that violence was the only way to bring about change.

Sara Jane Moore spent months in prison for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford. | Janet Fries/Getty Images

Moore claimed in a 1982 interview, “I was going to go down regardless.” “I was going to make a statement if the government was going to kill me.”

Moore has kept a low profile since her release in 2007 and has chosen to remain anonymous. During an interview, she said that she plans to write a book about her life.

By 2007, Moore acquired a new perspective on her activities. “I guess I was running on adrenaline and wasn’t thinking straight.” During an interview, she claimed that she had placed blinders on and was only listening to what she wanted to hear.

Sara Jane Moore’s assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford

Seconds before an assassination attempt, President Ford waved to the audience outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco | National Archives and Records Administration

Sara Jane Moore aimed at President Ford from around 40 feet away as he went out of the St. Francis Hotel. A person in the crowd snatched the gun as she fired. The bullet missed its intended target.

President Gerald Ford recoiled when the gunfire ricocheted off the wall behind him. His secret service agents loaded the president into a limousine and drove away. The president was not killed in the second assassination attempt in a month, but his assassins came close to it by lying on top of the President Gerald Ford in the limousine.

Following the incident, authorities swarmed Moore and roughly took her away. Moore’s feet are seen on the left in this shot | Bettmann/Getty Images

President Gerald Ford exclaimed from the limo floor, “I’m going to be crushed to death.” “It’s an armored vehicle.” “Get off my back.”

The situation at the St. Francis hotel degenerated into anarchy as Ford sped away to safety. A cab driver was wounded by a bullet that bounced off a wall. And the man standing next to Sara Jane Moore ensured that the would-be assassin was apprehended by authorities. Oliver Sipple was a former Marine who had been disabled in Vietnam.

Moore was interviewed by police to learn her reasons, but she was frustratingly evasive. “If I had had my.44 with me, I would have caught him,” she informed authorities.

“She would have had at least a head shot, maybe even better, because she had been training,” FBI agent Richard Vitamanti agreed with Moore. [Her] shot was about six inches off target.”

Sara Jane Moore shot a handgun at the president for a split second | Gerald R. Ford Library

The Case Against the Woman Who Tried to Assassinate President Gerald Ford

“Do you mind if I say I tried?” Sara Jane Moore responded “yes” and “no” during her sentencing hearing. “Yes, since it did nothing other than waste the rest of my life.” And, no, I’m not sorry I attempted it… because it seemed like a proper representation of my rage at the moment.”

Moore feared the government was about to murder lefties when she shot Ford. Moore had been visited by police earlier that day, the day of the incident. She also called Ford’s secret service personnel five times that morning for no apparent reason.

During the trial | Photo – Pinterest

Moore’s.44-caliber revolver had been seized, and she had been charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Moore was released early enough by the authorities that she was able to go out and buy another gun before hiding in the crowd outside the hotel.

Moore pleaded guilty at her trial, notwithstanding the advice of her public defender. She was sentenced to life in jail in the end.

Moore said from prison that a government agent accompanied her to the gun store where she purchased the revolver she used to shoot Ford. Moore also claimed she was being blackmailed by the San Francisco Police Department.

From prison, Moore said, “In the aftermath of Fromme’s assassination attempt, she was on the verge of canceling her own intentions.” Moore felt Ford’s security would be excessively rigorous. Moore, on the other hand, was incorrect; she was able to approach close enough to almost kill the president.


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Sara Jane Moore’s Criminal Motives

Sara Jane Moore and Squeaky Fromme shared a West Virginia prison for several years. Moore was eligible for release after serving 32 years of a life sentence. Moore was granted his release from prison in 2007. Two years later, Fromme was released. President Ford, on the other hand, died a year before Moore’s book was published.

Moore described her motivations on the Today show after her release. “It was a moment that few people recall.” “You know, we had a war,” Moore explained, “and you got, and I became, completely immersed in it.”

Sara Jane Moore remarked, “We were saying the country needed to change.” “The only way for things to change was for there to be a violent revolution.” I truly believed that [shooting Ford] would spark a new revolution in our country.”

Moore was sentenced to over three decades in prison for the attempted assassination, regardless of her motivations. Sara Jane Moore would have been the first and only woman to assassinate the president of the United States if she hadn’t missed her target by a fraction of an inch.


In October 1975, Sara Jane Moore rides in a car on her way to court | Getty Images/Bettman

Sara Moore’s Life After Parole

Sara Moore’s life was recorded in the book “Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at the President Gerald Ford,” written by American writer Geri Spieler in 2009. When Moore was imprisoned, Spieler had been in contact with him for around 30 years.

In May 2009, she appeared on NBC’s “Today” program, where she detailed her life and experiences in prison. Later that year, she was featured on Radiolab’s “Oliver Sipple” program.

She continues to give interviews to many people now and has expressed regret for her actions. Moore has said that she no longer thinks that violence is necessary to get something done.


Read about 7 Most Famous Female Serial Killers, after learning about Sara Jane Moore and her attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford.


Source: Wikipedia | ATI

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