John Lennon’s Killer: “I Knew What I Was Doing, and I Knew it was Evil”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Earlier this year, John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, was denied parole for the 12th time. A recently released transcript from that hearing reveals what was in Chapman’s heart the day he shot and killed Lennon. His answer: evil.

“This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that,” Chapman told the parole board at his Aug. 31 hearing, according to a transcript published Monday (Nov. 7) and reported by The Associated Press.

Chapman fatally shot the beloved Beatle on the street outside of his New York City apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980. Lennon was 40-years-old. The gunman admitted his wrongdoing to the board, citing his “selfish disregard for human life of global consequence.” However, he said nothing would get in the way of his quest for fame.

Of his decision to kill Lennon, the now 67-year-old said it was, “my big answer to everything. I wasn’t going to be a nobody, anymore.”

He told the board, “I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there. 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.”

Chapman was sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison the year following Lennon’s death. He is currently serving at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York’s Hudson Valley. His first attempt at parole came in 2000 with a hearing taking place every two years since. His next appearance in front of the parole board is scheduled for February 2024.

“I hurt a lot of people all over the place and if somebody wants to hate me, that’s OK, I get it,” he said during the hearing.

Recently, an artist used AI technology to bring music legends, like Lennon, “back to life.” Titled “As If Nothing Happened,” see what the Beatle would have looked like today, HERE.


(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

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