Mark Chapman charged for murder of John Lennon

On this day Mark David Chapman was charged with the murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon. On 6th December 1980, Mark David Chapman checked into a local YMCA, and began staking out the apartment building of Lennon, as well as buying a copy of Lennon’s new album, ‘Double Fantasy’. The next day, he moved from the YMCA to the Sheraton Centre Hotel but was again unsuccessful in his quest to spot Lennon. The following day, Monday, however, his luck had improved. Not only did Chapman get to shake hands with Lennon’s five-year-old son, Sean, but in the early afternoon, whilst talking to the Dakota’s doorman, John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared from inside, en route to a studio appointment, and Lennon graciously autographed the dumb-struck Chapman’s copy of ‘Double Fantasy’. Chapman was so overcome by Lennon’s presence, and evident sincerity, that all thoughts of shooting him were temporarily forgotten. Chapman claims that he spent the rest of that day fighting his demons, praying for help from God to overcome his desire to kill Lennon. The demons won out and, when Ono and Lennon returned to the Dakota at 10.50 pm, on Monday 8th December 1980, Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back, in front of his wife, on the steps to the building’s main entrance. By 11.15 pm Lennon had died of exsanguination, en route to the Roosevelt Hospital. Chapman made no effort to flee and was overpowered by the doorman, with whom he had been chatting earlier in the day. He was apologetic when the police arrived, claiming to be sorry for putting them to so much trouble. When he had been handcuffed and placed in the police car, Yoko Ono came over to look at him, without saying a word. Within minutes of the news announcements of John Lennon’s death, crowds began to assemble at both the Dakota and Roosevelt Hospital. Fearing reprisals from enraged fans, police kept Chapman under close guard during psychiatric evaluations and court appearances, and otherwise kept him at the high security jail on Riker’s Island. He was sentenced to 25 years to life. His ninth parole request was denied on the 28th of August 2016.