Since Presidents are prominent figures, they become prime targets for assassination attempts. Many Presidents even had multiple attempts on their life, including Jimmy Carter.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter was set to give a speech at a Mayo festival in Los Angles at the Civic Center Mall. As usual, Secret Service gave the area a once over before the president gave his speech.
Since the agents are trained to spot things and people who seem out of place, they saw Raymond Lee Harvey, a known drifter who was acting nervous. He was searched and had weapons that could be used for assassination on him.
Harvey told the agents that he was going to shoot the pistol in the air to distract everyone. Then, once everyone was focused on the gunshot, two Mexican hitmen were going to assassinate the president.
Verifying The Story
However, Harvey was drunk at the time of his interrogation, and authorities were unsure of the story’s validity. But just because he was drunk did not mean that he was not telling the truth.
The FBI and the Secret Service went to the building where Harvey said the two hitmen were. They were able to see a shotgun case and ammunition, prompting a larger investigation into the whereabouts of the two men.
Not too long after, they arrested Osvaldo Espinosa Ortiz. Ortiz said he did not know Harvey and that none of what he said was true. But after questioning, he verified everything that Harvey said.
Of course, the news media came up with many theories, including pointing out that the names were similar to John Kennedy’s killer. Unfortunately, there was not a whole lot of evidence in the case, and the charges were eventually dropped.
Jimmy Carter had a second attempt when he was running for re-election, and it was said that John Hinckley wanted to kill him. But the assassination never happened. Hinckley, however, did try to assassinate President Reagan and was arrested.