The Woman Who Tried to Kill President Ford
“Spieler offers a portrait of an erratic, unstable woman with a protean capacity to shift identities, with the 1960s and ’70s as a dramatic backdrop. Fans of true crime accounts or contemporary history will savor this.” ―Publishers Weekly
President Gerald Ford suffered two attempts on his life during his term in office: one by a young woman in Charles Manson’s Family, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, and the other by a far more unlikely candidate—an average middle-aged mother of five—Sara Jane Moore. After thirty years in contact with Moore in prison, journalist Geri Spieler deconstructs her life in Housewife Assassin, tracing the path from Moore’s small-town upbringing in West Virginia to that fateful moment when she tried to assassinate the president.
Throughout Moore’s dodgy life she hid her identity and misled those around her. Through the turbulent 60s and 70s, she married five times, abandoned children, faked amnesia, befriended Patty Hearst’s father, became a revolutionary, and worked as an FBI informant turned double agent feeding information to the underground radicals, all before the assassination attempt.
From Spieler’s insider correspondence and independent research, including interviews with President Ford himself, she confirms details (the gunshot missed the President’s head by six inches) and debunks others (Sara Jane did not “shoot wild” as the press had reported) to deliver a compelling profile of a society lady turned elusive assassin.