October 28, 2020

“I deserve the death penalty”


On December 8, 1980, shortly before 11 p.m., Mark David Chapman fired five rounds from his revolver at John Lennon at the entrance of the musician’s residence, the Dakota Building in New York City.

Rarities and other obsessions around John Lennon

Rarities and other obsessions around John Lennon

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It was the same day that photographer Annie Leibovitz took Lennon and Ono what would be their most famous photo to illustrate the magazine cover. Rolling stone. Just a few hours earlier, when the musician was getting into his limousine on his way to the studio, he had signed a copy of Double fantasy the man who would kill him shortly after.

The motives for the murder have never been clear and remain the subject of debate and conspiracy theories. All this helped because the murderer himself had never commented on the reasons that led him to end the life of one of the greatest rock stars in history, beyond, as he declared at the trial, a voice in his head that I would say “do it, do it, do it” while pulling the trigger.

Last month, at the eleventh meeting of the commission that must review whether the convict is ready for parole, Chapman declared that he did so seeking glory and, as he had done on previous occasions, expressed his repentance.

“I murdered him … because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was seeking great, great, great glory for myself. Very selfish.” These are some of Chapman’s words before the commission according to the transcript released Monday.

Similarly, he said he deserved the death penalty for such a “ruthless” act and apologized to Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, stating that he does not stop thinking about all the pain that has caused him: “I just want her to know that she knows her husband like no one else and knows the kind of man he was. I don’t ”

Chapman was sentenced in 1981 to a sentence of twenty years of life imprisonment, which were served in 2000. Despite this, he remains in prison after being denied parole up to eleven times. Chapman himself declared during the latter that he “would have no complaints” if they decide that he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

He even went so far as to state that he should have been sentenced to capital punishment 40 years ago: “I deserve zero, nothing. Back then I deserved the death penalty. When you intentionally plan to murder someone and you know it’s wrong and you do it for yourself, that it’s a death penalty right there, in my opinion. ”

Chapman will remain in prison, at least, until August 2022, when he will go through the commission charged with evaluating whether he meets the requirements for parole.

In this last hearing he said that Lennon “was very nice that day.” On other occasions he had stated that when the musician signed the record “he wanted to go back to the hotel, but he couldn’t. I waited until he came back. He knew where the ducks go in winter, and I wanted to know.” This last sentence is a reference to the book The catcher in the rye, by JD Salinger, a book that, after murdering one of the most famous musicians of all time, sat reading on the sidewalk while waiting for the police.

Three hours later he told the agents: “I am sure that most of me is Holden Caufield, the protagonist of the book. The rest must be the devil.”

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