Lennon’s killer apologizes to Yoko Ono for ‘despicable act’ and says ‘I think about it all the time’
John Lennon’s killer has apologized to the singer’s widow, Yoko Ono, saying he’s thinking about the “ despicable act ” all the time.
Mark David Chapman, 65, was denied parole for the eleventh time after a hearing last month. He has been incarcerated since the murder of the beloved former Beatle in Manhattan in December 1980.
He shot Lennon four times outside the Dakota apartment building on the Upper West Side, while Ono watched.
A transcript of the parole has revealed that the board has rejected Chapman’s release on the grounds that it would be “incompatible with the well-being of society.”
Mark David Chapman, seen on the left in a 2018 mugshot, has been paroled for the 11th time. He murdered John Lennon in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, outside The Dakota in Manhattan in 1980
Yoko Ono and John Lennon during their ‘bed-in’ in the presidential suite of the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam in March 1969
At the hearing, Chapman said he murdered Lennon, 40, for “ glory ” and admitted that he deserves the death penalty.
“I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime,” he said. ‘I have no excuse. This was for self-aggrandizement. I think it is the worst crime there can be to harm someone who is innocent. ‘
Chapman added, ‘He (Lennon) was extremely famous. I didn’t kill him because of his character or the kind of man he was. He was a family man. He was an icon. He was someone who talked about things that we can talk about now and it’s great. ‘
The hearing took place on August 19 at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York, where Chapman is imprisoned for eight years.
Chapman in 1980 when he was 25. He shot Lennon, he said, because he was angry about how famous he was
Chapman waited about five hours outside of The Dakota for Lennon after he signed his album
The luxury apartment building on West 72nd Street in Manhattan’s Upper West Side
Catcher in John Lennon’s Rye-obsessed killer
Chapman was 25 when he shot Lennon outside the apartment building on December 8, 1980.
At the time, he was angry about the immense fame the former Beatle had garnered, he later said.
On the day of the murder, he went to The Dakota in the afternoon and asked Lennon to sign an album for him.
He obliged, then got into his waiting limousine to go to the recording studio.
When Lennon returned to the building with Yoko that evening at around 10:30 PM, Chapman was still there.
He shot him four times in the back and shoulder with a .38 revolver.
Lennon was pronounced dead in the hospital an hour later.
When the police arrived to arrest Chapman, he flipped through pages of The Catcher in the Rye.
At trial, he rejected his attorney’s attempts to introduce a madness plea and instead pleaded guilty.
The killer apologized to Lennon’s family and revealed that he thinks about the murder “all the time.”
He said, ‘I killed him, to use your word earlier because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much looking for self-aggrandizement, very selfish.
‘I want to add that and emphasize it strongly. It was an extremely selfish act. I’m sorry for the pain I caused her (Ono). I think about it all the time. ‘
Chapman, who was 25 when he killed Lennon, said he’s older now, he can tell it was a “ despicable act ” and “ pretty creepy. ”
Chapman is married and his wife, 69, lives near the prison. In his meeting with the parole board he described that he was deeply religious and a ‘devoted Christian’.
He has not had a violation behind bars since 1994, the board was told. Chapman is a clerk and porter in a limited block of the prison, where he was placed for his own safety, and wakes up at 6:30 am every day.
He discussed his fascination with the book The Catcher In The Rye at the time of the murder and said he identified with the protagonist’s ‘isolation, loneliness’.
Asked if justice was meant, Chapman said, “I deserve zero, nothing,” adding that he should have received the death penalty after the murder.
He said, “If you knowingly plan to murder someone and know it’s wrong, and you’re doing it for yourself, I think it’s a death penalty.
“Some people disagree with me, but now everyone gets a second chance.”
Chapman is shown (left) in 2010 and (right) in 2012. He turned down a plea for insanity in 1980 and pleaded guilty instead. He now says he has found Jesus
Chapman in 1980, where he pleaded guilty
He added: ‘The view of the death penalty for me is a bit up and down at times, but for me I deserve it. I know I speak for myself. I know what I’ve done. I know who was in those shoes at the time.
‘I know my thoughts. They didn’t think about him, his wife, his child, the fans, no one at all. I was just thinking about me. That deserves a death penalty.
“He was human and I knew I was going to kill him. That alone says you don’t deserve anything and if you and the law choose to let me in here for the rest of my life, I don’t have a single complaint. ‘
Yoko Ono with her son Sean. She has written to the parole commission in the past asking not to release Chapman
In its decision, the board of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said it found Chapman’s statement that “ shame brings you glory ” disturbing.
It praised his “personal growth and productive use of time,” but said his “selfish actions deprived the opportunity for future fans to experience the words of inspiration that this artist gives to millions of people. Your violent act wreaked havoc on not only family and former band members, but the world.
Chapman will be eligible for parole in two years.