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The man behind the death of music legend John Lennon told a parole board that he believed murdering the former Beatle would be his ticket to infamy.
Mark David Chapman, 67, remains at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York State for the murder of John Lennon, whose death continues to reverberate within the rock music industry. On Dec. 8, 1980, The Beatles’ singer and songwriter was gunned down as he and his wife, musician Yoko Ono, returned to their Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan.
Facing a parole board for the 12th time in August, Chapman — once again — claimed he shot Lennon for the fame, as revealed in transcripts obtained by The Associated Press Monday.
Chapman confessed the slaying was “my big answer to everything,” adding that he “wasn’t going to be a nobody anymore.”
Chapman’s remarks reiterate similar ones he made to the parole board in 2020, in which parole commissioners denied his release because he admitted to wanting fame.
Since 2000, Chapman has appeared before the parole board every two years.
In August, Chapman claimed he had “evil” in his heart, adding, “I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that,” according to the Associated Press.
“I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,” he said. “I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life.”
Once again, the parole board denied Chapman’s release, writing that the convicted killer left “the world recovering from the void of which you created.”
Lennon had massive success as a founding member of the British rock group, The Beatles, paving the way for pop music’s “British Invasion.” The group’s hits included “She Loves You,” “All You Need Is Love” and “Let It Be,” among countless other chart-topping songs.
By 1969, the frontman left the band and began to establish himself as a solo artist with hits such as “Imagine.” Lennon also became an icon as a peace activist after many of his Beatles’ songs became anthems in the counterculture and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
At around 5:00 p.m on the day of his murder, Lennon autographed his solo album, Double Fantasy, for Mark David Chapman, according to the Associated Press. A historical photo by Paul Goresh shows Lennon signing the album for Chapman just hours before the murder.
Lennon and his wife left for a recording session and returned to their Dakota apartment building shortly before 11:00 p.m. when Chapman opened fire.
Chapman’s actions shocked the world, and the event became known as an end of an era. Many, including Time Magazine, compared Lennon’s death to having as much cultural impact as the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.
“I hurt a lot of people all over the place,” Chapman said at his most recent hearing. “And if somebody wants to hate me, that’s OK. I get it.”
Prison records show Chapman will be up for his 13th parole hearing in February 2024.
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