Woman Who Tried to Kill Ford Set for Aug. 16 Release

The Charles Manson follower wanted to shoot Ford to win a new trial for Manson.

ByABC News
August 5, 2009, 5:57 PM

Aug. 5, 2009— -- Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the Charles Manson cult follower who tried to kill President Ford, is scheduled to be released from prison next week.

Fromme, now 60, took aim at the president with a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol Sept. 5, 1975. There were four bullets in the gun's magazine, but none in the chamber and an alert Secret Service agent grabbed the gun from Fromme.

Fromme was a devoted member of the demonic Manson "Family." At the time of the assassination attempt, Manson and several of his followers were serving life terms for killing nine people in his grisly Helter Skelter plot to start a race war.

She told her defense attorney that she targeted Ford because she wanted to garner attention for a new trial for Manson.

Seventeen days after Fromme's assassination attempt, another Manson "Family" member, Sara Jane Moore, also tried to kill the president. Moore was released from prison earlier this year.

Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said Fromme had already completed her sentence for the Ford assassination attempt. That term was up in July 2008. But Fromme was ordered to serve additional time for a 1987 prison escape.

Fromme is scheduled for release Aug. 16, just a few days after the 40th anniversary of the murder of actress Sharon Tate and nine others during a bloody weekend of slaughter that was ordered by Manson. But because the 16th falls on a weekend, Fromme could be out as soon as Friday, Aug. 14, Billingslley said.

Fromme was one of Manson's earliest followers and remained devoted to him. During his murder trial, Fromme and other female followers camped outside the courthouse, and when Manson showed up in court with an X carved into his forehead, Fromme carved an X into her forehead.

During the trial, Fromme was convicted of trying to prevent other "Family" members from testifying and of contempt of court for refusing to testify herself. She was given short jail terms.

Fromme and other female followers later sent nude photos of themselves to imprisoned members of the Aryan Brotherhood to convince them to protect Manson in prison.