All of us know that Nixon was not murdered in office and lived to a ripe old age. Therefore, this movie begins with what TV guide called a "suspense deficit". HOWEVER, it had me on the edge of my seat and chewing my nails. This is the greatest compliment that you could pay a film like this. Most of us know that four of our Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy have been assassinated and there were attempts to kill both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Gerald Ford (he had two attempts made on his life in one month!). This film tells of another attempt that is little-known but chilling. First it is the most unusual attempt and the method was a chilling premonition to a national nightmare 27 years later. Samuel Byck was an unemployed tyre salesman with a failed marriage and severe depression. Turned down for a small business loan, Byck turns his rage on the leader of the society he feels has let him down. The movie takes us deep into this man's disturbed mind by letting him tell his story in his own words. Byck decides to strike out by hijacking a commercial airliner at BWI airport, ordering the pilots to fly over the White House, then killing the pilots and steering the plane into the executive mansion incinerating President Nixon. What got me is that Byck sounded so calm and rational talking about this mad plan. That made it even more chilling. SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Byck drove to the BWI airport that February 1974 morning, he shot and killed a security guard and then ran up the ramp. Lumbering into the cockpit, he ordered the pilots to take off. They informed him they could not and Byck became so enraged he shot and killed both of them. The police surrounded the plane and tried to shoot out the tires. Byck grabbed a female passenger as a human shield before a heroic policeman was able to shoot him twice in the chest. Realizing his plan was over before it even began, the pathetic loser turned the gun on himself. The part of the film that was most original was Byck actually commandeering the cockpit and getting the plane airborne! We see the plane buzzing the White House and then flying into it in a fiery fireball! Then it dissolves and we see its only in Byck's demented mind! Various interviews with law enforcement and airport personnel show them as heroes who boldly faced down the killer. Historians point out that short of dropping a nuclear bomb on it, there isn't really any way to attack the White House because it is so heavily fortified. There is a feature film out now starring Sean Penn that also tells of this little known incident called The Assassination Of Richard Nixon. This is a first rate TV thriller, but it really sickened and made me angry. Samuel Byck was a rotten loser who hated life, why didn't he just blow his brains out. Why did he have to take three innocent people with him. Its just like I read today of another loser who parked his car on the train tracks in California and then ran out when he saw the train coming. He lived but ten innocent people died. What a sick world we live in.
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