John Lennon 30th Anniversary: Killed By Mark David Chapman In NYC
30th Anniversary Of John Lennon Death At Hands Of Mark David Chapman In New York City
Thirty years ago on Wednesday December 8th, former Beatles, John Lennon, was gunned down in front his Dakota Apartment home (his wife Yoko Ono by his side) in New York City by Mark David Chapman.
Since that tragic moment the name of Mark David Chapman became infamous, a murderer forever linked with his victim.
Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Chapman has been denied parole six times since his conviction for John Lennon's murder in 1981.
Mark David Chapman was born in Fort Worth Texas in 1955. He traveled to New York City in 1980 with the intention of killing John Lennon.
On the morning of December 8, 1980, he departed from the Sheraton Hotel, leaving personal items in his hotel room for police to find. Chapman bought a copy of The Catcher in the Rye from a New York book store, in which he wrote "This is my statement" and signed it "Holden Caulfield", who is the protagonist of the novel. He then spent most of the day near the entrance to The Dakota apartment building where Lennon and Yoko Ono lived, talking to other fans and the doorman. At one point, a distracted Chapman missed seeing Lennon step out of a cab and enter the Dakota building on the morning of December 8. Late in the morning, Chapman met Lennon's housekeeper, who had just taken their five-year-old son Sean for a walk. Chapman reached in front of the housekeeper to shake Sean's hand and said that he is a beautiful boy, quoting Lennon's song "Beautiful Boy".
Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon 4 timess. John Lennon was rushed to the hospital but it was too late.
Mark David Chapman waited at the Dakota apartment building for police to arrive and confessed. After a passing psychiatric revue Mark David Chapman was ultimately sentenced to serve his time in the Attica correctional facility.
Each time Mark David Chapman became eligible for parole it has been challenged by John Lenon's widow, Yoko Ono.
During a 2008 parole hearing Mark David Chapman had this stay about killing John Lennon
I had been going through some problems and was very confused ... and was feeling like a big nothing and a nobody," he said.
He had taken out some books on Lennon from the library and felt he was a "phony" for singing of love while living in a ritzy building.
"It was more about me and not him, I was probably mad at myself for my failures," he said.
The last straw was when he saw Lennon's face on the Sgt. Pepper's album cover.
"I just saw his face and it seemed like it all came together, the solution to my problem of being confused and feeling like a nobody," he said. "And I said, 'Wouldn't it be something if I killed this individual? I would become famous, I would be something other than a nobody.' And that was my reasoning at the time."
The most recent parole hearing for Mark David Chapman was in September 2010
On July 27, 2010, in advance of Chapman's scheduled sixth parole hearing, Ono said that she would again oppose parole for Chapman stating that her safety and that of John's sons would be at risk, as would Chapman's. She added "I am afraid it will bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion (of that night) once again." On August 11, 2010, the parole board postponed the hearing until September, stating that it was awaiting the receipt of additional information to complete Chapman's record. On September 7, the board denied Chapman's latest parole application, with the panel stating "release remains inappropriate at this time and incompatible with the welfare of the community."
On the 30th Anniversary death of John Lennon, The New York Daily News has put together an interesting video that explores the killing of John Lennon. The video has a fascinating interview with Dr. Stephen Fry, the surgeon who was on hand and tried resuscitate John Lennon.