The first time Susan Collins threatened to kill a U.S. president was in 1985, when she was not quite 23 years old and Ronald Reagan was in office.
Since then, Collins has threatened to hurt or kill presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The threats are not politically motivated, and Collins says she has no intention of ever following through. In essence, her actions have been a rather unorthodox cry for help.
"It was the easiest way to get myself thrown into prison without having to hurt anybody or really do anything," she said. "The only danger I am to anybody is myself."
Collins, 48, is an articulate woman who at one time had a successful career in the medical field. She has a degree in commercial printing technology and certification in phlebotomy. But Collins also is a woman in a seemingly endless battle with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder.
A year ago, Collins had hit a low point in her life. She wanted to go to prison permanently, so she wrote threatening letters to President Obama and former president George W. Bush.
Rather than sending her to prison, the judge gave her probation and assigned a probation officer to her case so she could get her life in order.
Now, Collins is trying her hardest to live a normal life — and avoid going to prison.
"Every time I hit rock bottom I have to start back from scratch," she said. "I need help in getting over the doorstep."
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