ive always loved the beatles, but never looked into what happened to john till now...i dunno maybe most here hate the beatles but reading this while listening to abbey road on my mp3 player brought tears to my eyes, a truely senseless death.
Then this morning I went to the bookstore and bought The Catcher in the Rye. I’m sure the large part of me is Holden Caulfield, who is the main person in the book. The small part of me must be the Devil.
I went to the building. It’s called the Dakota. I stayed there until he came out and asked him to sign my album. At that point my big part won and I wanted to go back to my hotel, but I couldn’t. I waited until he came back. He came in a car. Yoko walked past first and I said hello, I didn’t want to hurt her.
John Lennon (AP)
Then John came and looked at me and printed me. I took the gun from my coat pocket and fired at him. I can’t believe I could do that. I just stood there clutching the book. I didn’t want to run away. I don’t know what happened to the gun. I remember Jose kicking it away. Jose was crying and telling me to please leave. I felt so sorry for Jose. Then the police came and told me to put my hands on the wall and cuffed me.
Statement of Mark David Chapman to police at 1 a.m., Dec. 9, 1980, three hours after the murder of John Lennon.
And I will not appeal any decision you have. If it’s a decision to keep me here in the prison, I will not appeal it, and I never will. I’d like the opportunity to apologize to Mrs. Lennon. I’ve thought about what it’s like in her mind to be there that night, to see the blood, to hear the screams, to be up all night with the Beatle music playing through her apartment window. …
And there’s something else I want to say. I feel that I see John Lennon now not as a celebrity. I did then. I saw him as a cardboard cutout on an album cover. I was very young and stupid, and you get caught up in the media and the records and the music. And now I – I’ve come to grips with the fact that John Lennon was a person. This has nothing to do with being a Beatle or a celebrity or famous. He was breathing, and I knocked him right off his feet, and I don’t feel because of that I have any right to be standing on my feet here, you know, asking for anything. I don’t have a leg to stand on because I took his right out from under him, and he bled to death. And I’m sorry that ever occurred.
And I want to talk about Mrs. Lennon again. I can’t imagine her pain. I can’t feel it. I’ve tried to think about what it would be like if somebody harmed my family, and there’s just no way to make up for that, and if I have to stay in prison the rest of my life for that one person’s pain, everybody else to the side for a second, just that one person’s pain, I will. …
Again, I’m not saying these things for – for you to give me any kind of consideration for letting me go. I’m saying that because they are real, and it happened to me, and I felt her pain then, and I can honestly say I didn’t want to feel it up until then. It’s a horrible thing to, you know, realize what you’ve done.}
Statement of Mark David Chapman to the New York Parole Board, Oct. 3, 2000
Mark David Chapman lives alone in a six-by-ten-foot cell at Attica Correctional Institution near Buffalo, N.Y. He is a model prisoner, apparently freed of the demons that in 1980 told him to kill his onetime hero -- John Lennon, the legendary founder of the Beatles.
Lower-profile criminals might have been released by now, but Chapman has little chance of ever winning parole: He was turned down for the third time on Oct. 5, 2004, despite what the Parole Board called his "exemplary discipline record." The decision was partly because of multiple threats to kill him if he were released. At Attica, he is in solitary confinement for his own protection;Lennon may have been a hero to some of his fellow inmates.
So Chapman, soon to be 50, seems doomed to live out his life in his tiny cell. His release, ironically, would be a death sentence.
He has received little psychiatric treatment except after two violent incidents early in his imprisonment. That's a result of his own decision over the strenuous objections of his lawyers to plead guilty to murder. His lawyers were confident he would have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, in which case he would have been committed to a state mental hospital.
He has little to do except read, watch television and think about the act he committed a quarter of a century ago that, and the events of the first 25 years of his life that led to that act.
He analyzes himself like a psychoanalyst hardly surprising in that he was interviewed for hundreds of hours by psychiatrists after his arrest. Nine were prepared to testify at his trial. He told the Parole Board he believes that for the last several years he has been free of the demons that tormented him for most of his life.
For the first six years in Attica, he refused all requests for interviews. He didn't, he said, want to fuel the perception that he had killed Lennon to become a celebrity himself. But he later told James R. Gaines his story of the murder and of his confused youth. Gaines turned the interviews into a three-part, 18,000-word People magazine series in February and March 1987. Chapman told the Parole Board it was an interview "which I regret."