Produced in West Virginia on February 15, 1930, Sara Jane Moore was greatly involved with extreme leftists in the San Francisco Bay area when she tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. Her effort to assassinate the president failed, and Moore was sentenced to life in prison, leaving the country to puzzle over how a seemingly mild mannered bookkeeper may be really capable of this kind of act. She was said to be a quiet kid who had been fond of music.
After high school, Moore went via some unsuccessful marriages and wound up involved in extreme leftist groups in the San Francisco Bay area. She was employed as a volunteer bookkeeper at Individuals in Need, a $2 million food-distribution plan developed by Randolph Hearst within an effort to placate the Symbionese Liberation Army, which had abducted his daughter, Patty Hearst, in February 1974. Throughout that time, Moore was also employed as a paid informant for the FBI.
As he was about to climb into his limo, Moore fired a shot in the president, but the bullet flew on the president’s head, ricocheted off a wall and injure a cab driver. Moore was wrestled to the floor via an onlooker. The shooting came just 17 days after an endeavor on Ford’s life by Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme—a member of the Manson family.
Moore said her effort on Ford’s life was made in hopes of triggering a revolution. “I eventually realized and joined those who’ve only destruction and violence to get a way of creating change—and came to realize that violence can occasionally be constructive,” she said at her sentencing in 1976. In 1979 Moore escaped prison by climbing on a barbed wire fence, but was caught several hours afterwards.
She became eligible for parole in 1985, but it was regularly refused. Through the years, she worked as an accountant in the penitentiary drapery factory and given her needlework to charity. In 2006, when Gerald Ford expired, Moore did not see his funeral, since the tv in the common room was constantly changed to films or MTV. The next year, at age 77, she was released on parole.