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John Lennon's Killer Denied Parole, Again

In 1980, Mark David Chapman shot and killed The Beatles singer outside "The Dakota," the New York City apartment building he lived in with Yoko Ono and their son Sean.

By Gina Tron

John Lennon’s convicted killer has tried, and failed, to get released from jail once again.

Mark David Chapman, 63, was denied parole for the 10th time before a parole board on Wednesday.

The board determined that releasing Chapman would be “incompatible with the welfare and safety of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law,” according to the Associated Press.

Chapman was 26 when he was found guilty in 1981 of killing Lennon a year earlier by shooting him as he walked into his Manhattan apartment with his wife Yoko Ono. On Dec. 8, 1980, Chapman asked Lennon for his autograph as Lennon and Ono were leaving the building. Lennon complied and signed a copy of his most recent album for Chapman, probably thinking he was just another fan. Later that same night, Lennon and Ono returned to their home. It was at this point Chapman shot five rounds at Lennon’s back with a revolver, according to CNN, killing him.

Before his sentencing, Chapman read a passage from a book that he carried with him his entire trial: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger:

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all,” Chapman read, quoting the book’s protagonist Holden Caulfield, the New York Daily News reported. “Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I’m standing on the edge on some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going, I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”

Chapman will not be up for parole again for another two years.

The parole panel wrote in its denial decision to Chapman this week, “You admittedly carefully planned and executed the murder of a world-famous person for no reason other than to gain notoriety.”

[Photo: New York State Department of Corrections]

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