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Samuel J. Byck
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Assassin (Failed)
    (January 30, 1930-February 22, 1974)
    Attempted to hijack a DC-9 passenger plane and crash it into the White House in order to kill President Richard Nixon
    He was bipolar.
    He thought he would be hailed as a hero and sent rambling tape recordings outlining his plot to public figures such as Leonard Bernstein and Jack Anderson.
    He killed an airport security guard and the co-pilot of the plane.
    When the pilot told him they couldn't take off until the wheel blocks were removed, he shot the pilot and co-pilot, which, in addition to being mean, was short-sighted since he had no idea how to fly the plane.
    He dragged a female passenger into the cockpit and told her, ‘Help this man fly the plane.'
    After he was shot by police snipers in the stomach and chest, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
    Accounts of his assassination attempt usually include bad puns along the lines of ‘His plot literally never got off the ground.'
    When the Secret Service investigated reports that Byck had threatened Nixon (1972), his psychiatrist said he was ‘a big talker who makes verbal threats and never acts on them.'
    When the police shot out the window of the cabin door, he let his female hostage return to her seat.
    The press reported his hijacking attempt but not the reason behind it to prevent copycat crimes.
    The pilot recovered and returned to flying five years later.
    Sean Penn played him in a movie (2004).

Credit: C. Fishel

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