October 12, 2000
KILLER HAD HIT LIST OF CELEBS
By KENNETH LOVETT
ALBANY - John Lennon's murderer said he had a backup
hit list in case he was unable to get to the legendary former
Mark David Chapman spoke of the list of other celebrities in
a parole hearing last week. The transcript of that 50-minute
closed-door hearing was released to The Post yesterday.
Chapman, serving a life sentence in Attica prison for the
1980 murder, was denied release by a three-member state
Parole Board panel. He's eligible for another hearing in two
Chapman told the panel that within a month of deciding to kill
Lennon, he thought up "a substitute list" consisting of several
"Probably, I thought he wouldn't be an attainable type of
thing, and I did think of harming some people," he told the
He listed three names, which state officials blacked out from
the transcript and would not release, and said there were
several others he could not remember.
While none of the three other Beatles were on the list,
sources said, Jack Jones, an author who has chronicled
Chapman for 16 years, said Jackie Onassis, George C. Scott
and Johnny Carson were among those considered killed.
The inmate cited feelings such as "vanity," "jealousy,"
"anger" and "stupidity" as reasons he wanted to kill Lennon
and other celebrities.
While he said he was not asking the board to release him,
Chapman insisted that he poses no threat to Lennon's family
or other celebrities if paroled.
During the hearing, the pudgy 45-year-old detailed his mental
state leading up to the high-profile murder.
He said his desire to kill Lennon began after seeing photos of
the pop icon standing in front of the singer's Dakota
apartment building in a book called "One Day at a Time."
"I took it upon myself to judge him falsely for ... being
something other than, you know, in a lotus position with a
flower, and I got angry in my stupidity," he said.
He spoke of an "obsession" on the night he killed Lennon,
and claimed he heard a small voice - "probably something
very evil" - telling him to "just do it."
He told the board he never considered the effect the murder
would have on Lennon's family and friends.
Prison life the first few years was hard, and he said he
experienced fits of rage that he learned to quell in the 1980s
and '90s to the point that he says he is now free from any
Chapman said a recent statement from Lennon's widow,
Yoko Ono, that she was violently shaking after witnessing
the murder haunted him so much he said he considered
skipping his parole hearing.
He reiterated earlier statements that he belongs in prison,
and is lucky to be alive.
"I believe once you take a person's life, there's no way you
can make up for that. Period," Chapman said.
He also apologized to Ono, who in a letter asked the board to
deny Chapman release for a recent statement in which he
suggested Lennon would forgive him and want to see him
"Maybe it wasn't my right to speak my own crime victim's
words," he said.
Tuesday October 3, 2000
3:14 PM ET
Text of Chapman Parole Decision
The Associated Press
Here is the text of the decision of
a New York State Division of Parole
board to deny parole to John Lennon's
killer, Mark David Chapman.
parole board was headed by R. Guy Vizzie.
other members were W. William
Smith Jr. and Daniel J. Doyle.
is denied. You murdered the victim, John Lennon, when you fired a .38 special
caliber Charter Arm
filled with hollow-point bullets. You discharged all five chambers and
hit Mr. Lennon as many as four
Mr. Lennon was returning to his residence and was in the company of his
wife when you committed this
This act was calculated and unprovoked. You had planned this crime for
a protracted period of time and
is apparent that you were obsessed in causing fatal harm to John Lennon.
In addition to being an international
Mr. Lennon was a husband and a father of two young children.
your incarceration, you have maintained an exemplary disciplinary record
which this panel has noted and
This panel also recognizes that, because of your continued special housing
status, you have been
to avail yourself of anti-violence and/or anti-aggression programming.
most vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged.
During your parole
this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety.
all factors are reviewed, your discretionary release is determined to be
inappropriate. Additionally, this
strongly believes that your release to parole supervision at this time
would deprecate the seriousness
the crime and serve to undermine respect
for the law.
New York State Division of Parole.
|October 3, 2000
Killer Asks for Release
CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer
ATTICA, N.Y. (AP) - Mark David Chapman,
the man who shot John Lennon to death 20
years ago, sought parole for the
first time Tuesday.
Chapman was interviewed for 50 minutes
Tuesday morning at the maximum-security Attica
state prison by three parole board
members, said Tom Grant, a spokesman for the state
Division of Parole.
Grant said the decision will probably
be made public Wednesday morning, after Chapman is
Chapman, 45, is serving 20 years
to life in Attica for slaying Lennon outside the rock star's
Manhattan apartment in 1980. If
he is denied parole, Chapman will probably be ordered held
for two more years before he gets
He was expected to claim that he
has become a born-again Christian who should be paroled
so he can spread a message of love
and forgiveness. He recently said in an interview that
Lennon would have wanted him to
But the odds are strongly against
Chapman's release now or ever, said inmate advocate
Robert Gangi of the Correctional
Association of New York.
Gangi said those who committed violent
crimes in New York are almost never granted
release on their initial parole
hearing. The notoriety of Chapman's crime just worsens his
chances, he said.
"The fact that it was John Lennon
... eliminates any hope for even a slim chance for
Chapman being released," Gangi
said. "The parole board is not going to risk the political heat
by releasing Chapman."
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, had written
a letter to the parole board about Chapman's
hearing. Her spokesman Eliot Mintz
did not immediately return telephone calls for comment
State Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio,
chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction
Committee, had asked parole authorities
to deny Chapman's bid.
"John Lennon represented a vision
of hope, peace and love," Nozzolio, wrote to Parole Board
Chairman Brion Travis.
"Tragically, his positive message
and his life were fatally ended by Mark David Chapman,"
Nozzolio wrote. "It is the responsibility
of the New York State Parole Board to ensure that
public safety is protected from
the release of dangerous criminals like Mark David
Lennon was shot by Chapman outside
his Manhattan apartment building in December 1980.
Some fans who gathered Tuesday
at Central Park's Strawberry Fields, which is dedicated to
Lennon, said they hoped Chapman
would be denied parole.
"I don't think they should ever
let the guy out," said Rod Hanson. "It was a tragic loss to
everybody, not just Beatles fans."
If the parole board grants Chapman's
release, he would leave Attica Dec. 4 after arranging
for a job and a place to live,
Grant said. Chapman would be under the supervision of a parole
officer the rest of his life.
KILLER'S WILD DREAMS ABOUT YOKO
By BILL HOFFMANN
John Lennon's killer has had bizarre dreams of returning to
the scene where he blew away the famed Beatle - and
having widow Yoko Ono lovingly embrace him.
"I've had that dream several times," Mark David Chapman
says of going back to the Dakota apartment house on
Central Park West.
"In it, Yoko Ono is friendly to me and I am, you know,
accepted in the home and feel loved."
Chapman, serving life at upstate Attica prison, bared his
thoughts one week before he's scheduled to go before the
parole board in a bid to win his freedom.
Ono has asked the board to keep her husband's killer
The 45-year-old convict, who hopes to be sprung after 20
years behind bars, says Lennon may have been just a
stand-in for his skirt-chasing dad, whom Chapman hated
and wanted to kill.
The pudgy-faced assassin also bares the diabolical death
plan he'd cooked up for his dad:
"I wanted to go hold a gun to his head, make him beg.
Blow him away. I was really mad at him.
Chapman, who's in protective custody at Attica, regularly
receives hate mail and is despised by some inmates.
"There's always that potential person who wants to make a
name for himself by saying, ‘I'm the guy who killed the guy
who killed the guy,'" he says.
Only 25 years old when he shot Lennon, Chapman argues
he's no longer a threat to society and could never kill again.
"I'm nobody. I'm no celebrity. I did what anybody could
have done. There's no talent here. In fact, there's a lot of
stupidity, a lot of insanity," he insists.
"Nothing was accomplished. Nothing at all. Just a bunch of
garbage. That's it."
Chapman is still married to a Hawaii travel agent he wed
six months before killing Lennon. He hopes to have kids
with her if he ever gets out, he says.
Killer Says Dad Didn't Love Him
3 p.m. ET) - The man convicted of killing former Beatle John Lennon is
continuing his media
campaign to win parole, and in his latest interview he's blaming his problems
on that most common of
scapegoats--his father. "I think the main problem was that my father never
talked about life or problems.
He didn't talk too much,"
Mark David Chapman told Court TV during an interview from the Attica Correctional
Facility in upstate
New York. "Never 'I love you' or anything like that. And, I guess, the
more I look back on it, I didn't feel any
love from him."
Chapman--who has become a Christian activist since being imprisoned for
shooting Lennon in New York City
on December 8, 1980--said his resentment toward his father runs so deep
that he even fantasized about killing
him, too. "I wanted to go hold a gun to his head, make him beg, blow him
away. I was really mad at him [for]
not having any money for my mother, getting divorced, and supposedly selling
the house and spending the
money on a fling or something. Perhaps, I was getting him back [by] killing
John Lennon, ruining my life as
During the interview, Chapman also described the events of the day he killed
Lennon, including having the
musician sign an album for him on the same afternoon. "I grabbed the album
I had leaning against the rail and I
said, 'John, would you sign my album?' He said, 'Sure,' and wrote his name
and he handed it back to me. He
looked at me and nodded his head down and said, 'Is that all you want?'.
. .It was a ruse. I really didn't want
his signature, I wanted his life. And I ended up taking both."
Chapman's full Court TV interview will air Monday (October 2) as part of
the documentary Death Of A
Beatle. Chapman's parole hearing is scheduled for Tuesday (October 3),
and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has
written a letter to the parole board which is thought to oppose Chapman's
release. In other interviews,
Chapman has theorized that Lennon would have forgiven him and supported
his parole bid, but in an interview
with The New York Post, Elliot Mintz, a spokesman for Lennon and Ono, said,
"John would have loved to
have been here to speak for himself."
Gary Graff, Detroit -Launch.com
Deserve to Die' - John Lennon's Killer
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The man who gunned down John Lennon two
decades ago says he deserved to be executed for murdering the former
Beatle but that Lennon, being a liberal, would probably have wanted him
to be released from prison.
an interview published Tuesday, Mark David Chapman also described in
detail how he posed as an autograph seeker to get close to the
outside his New York apartment building on Dec 8, 1980, and shot
in the back. Chapman even recalled how a policeman cursed him after
Lennon's body in a patrol car.
45, has a parole board hearing Oct. 3 that he hopes will allow him
leave New York state's Attica prison, where he has spent the last 20 years
the murder that stunned the world.
should have been executed, you know,'' Chapman said. ``I'm lucky to be
You know I deserve to die.
think he (Lennon) would be liberal. I think he would care, I think he would
want to see me released,'' the convicted killer told a reporter from
Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle. The interview was re-printed
the New York Daily News on Tuesday.
was sentenced to life in prison since there have been no executions
New York state for more than 25 years. Under state law he is eligible for
once he has served 20 years.
another interview also published on Tuesday, Chapman told London's
Express he might have killed the British musician -- who would have
60 on Oct. 9 -- to get back at his own unloving father.
think the main problem was that my father never talked about life or
Chapman said. ``I guess the more I look back on it, I didn't feel
love from him,'' he said. ``Perhaps I was getting him back, killing John
ruining my life as well.''
widow Yoko Ono, who lives in New York and was with Lennon
night of the shooting, issued a statement saying only: ``I do not wish
the Parole Board by making an untimely public statement which may
construed as an attempt to try and influence their decision.'' She is
to have written to the board expressing her opinion of Chapman's
told the Daily Express he shot Lennon after considering killing his
who worked as a debt collector for a bank. ``I wanted to hold a gun
his head, make him beg. Blow him away. I was really mad at him,'' he said.
the New York interview, Chapman talks about the day of the killing, which
spent outside the Dakota apartment building on Manhattan's fashionable
Park West. During the day he got Lennon to autograph one of his
and the singer said: ``Is that all you want?''
was a ruse,'' said Chapman. ``I didn't want his signature, I wanted his
I ended up getting both.''
with a gun in the pocket of his raincoat, said he struggled with
demons, saying to himself: ``Help me, Devil, give me the power and the
to do this.''
night, when Lennon returned from a recording studio, Chapman said ``a
in my head said 'Do it, do it, do it.' I aimed at his back and pulled the
five times and all hell broke loose in my mind.''
who did not run after the shooting, said police who came running
him with scorn. ``I remember that look of the officer as he was dragging
body to the back of his patrol car. How he looked at me and
he succeeds in winning freedom, Chapman wants to become a father.
wife Gloria has visited him in prison, where he is held apart from
told the New York interviewer he could not pinpoint when he wanted
kill Lennon, but he was obsessed with the Beatles and often took the
of killing John Lennon slowly began to creep into my
... and take hold of me. I could not control them, it was
a train, a runaway train.''
is convinced he is no longer a danger to society.
could never dream of hurting another person that way now. It's
going to happen. It's just not going to happen,'' he told the Daily Express.
who was widely regarded as the most thoughtful and outspoken of the four
Beatles during their peak of popularity during the 1960's, dropped out
of the music business, to devote his attention to his newly-born son, Sean,
and to his wife, Yoko Ono. Then in November 1980, he reentered the pop
mainstream with the introduction of a new album, "Double Fantasy," which,
Lennon said at the time, was an extension of his family life, as the songs
were direct celebrations of enduring love and the pleasures of home and
8, 1980 at around 5 p.m., John and Yoko left their apartment in the historic
Dakota on Central Park West in New York City to go to their recording studio
to supervise the transfer of some of the "Double Fantasy" album numbers
to singles. David Geffen, their record producer and friend, said that more
than 700,000 copies of the album had already been sold up to that time.
were leaving the Dakota, they were approached by several people who were
seeking autographs. Among them was a man who would be later identified
as Mark David Chapman. John Lennon scribbled an autograph on the cover
of "Double Fantasy" for Chapman.
spent several hours at the studio on West 44th Street, returning to the
Dakota at about 10:50 p.m. They exited their limousine on the 72nd Street
curb even though a car could have driven through the entrance and into
doorman at the entrance, an elevator operator and a cab driver who had
just dropped off a passenger--saw Mark David Chapman standing in the shadows
just inside the arch.
As the Lennons
walked by, Chapman called, "Mr. Lennon." Then he dropped into "a combat
stance" and fired four pistol shots. According to the autopsy, two shots
struck John Lennon in the left side of his back and two in his left shoulder.
All four caused internal damage and bleeding.
to police, Lennon staggered up six steps to the room at the end of the
entrance used by the concierge, said, "I'm shot," then fell down.
policemen at the scene were Officers Steve Spire and Peter Cullen, who
were in the patrol car at 72nd Street and Broadway when they heard a report
of shots fired at the Dakota. The officers found Chapman standing "very
calmly" where he had been.
said he had dropped the revolver after firing it, and said Chapman had
a paperback book, J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," and a cassette
recorder with 14 hours of Beatles tapes.
police team at the Dakota, Officers Bill Gamble and James Moran, took Lennon
to Roosevelt Hospital. Officer Moran said they stretched Lennon out
on the back seat and that the singer was "moaning." He said he asked, "Are
you John Lennon?" and that Lennon had moaned, "Yeah."
Lyman of Roosevelt Hospital said Lennon was dead when the policemen arrived
with him. He was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. Dr. Elliott M. Gross, the
Chief Medical Examiner, said after the autopsy that Lennon had died of
shock and loss of blood and that no one could have lived more than a few
minutes with such injuries.
crying "Tell me it's not true," was taken to Roosevelt Hospital and led
away in shock after she learned her husband was dead. David Geffen later
issued a statement in her behalf: "John loved and prayed for the human
race. Please do the same for him."
of the first broadcasts of the news of the shooting, people began to gather
at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota, reciting prayers, singing
Lennon's songs and burning candles.
14, all around the world, people paused to stand alone or come together
in silence, heeding a plea from Yoko Ono that they take 10 minutes to remember
the former Beatle.
From the 'Lectric
Law Library's stacks
And Testament Of John Winston Ono Lennon
I, JOHN WINSTON
ONO LENNON, a resident of the County of New York, State
of New York,
which I declare to be my domicile do hereby make, publish
and declare this
to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all
Codicils and Testamentary dispositions by me at any time
FIRST: The expenses
of my funeral and the administration of my estate,
and all inheritance,
estate or succession taxes, including interest and
by reason of my death shall be paid out of and
against the principal of my residuary estate without
or proration. My Executor shall not seek contribution or
for any such payments.
my wife survive me, I give, devise and bequeath to her
amount equal to that portion of my residuary estate, the
denominator of which shall be determined as follows:
1. The numerator
shall be an amount equal to one-half (1/2) of my
estate less the value of all other property included in
my gross estate
for Federal Estate Tax purposes and which pass or shall
have passed to
my wife either under any other provision of this Will or
in any manner
outside of this Will in such manner as to qualify for and
be allowed as
a marital deduction. The words "pass", "have passed",
and adjusted gross estate" shall have the same
meaning as said
words have under those provisions of the Untied States
Code applicable to my estate.
2. The denominator
shall be an amount representing the value of my
THIRD: I give,
devise and bequeath all the rest, residue and remainder
of my estate,
wheresoever situate, to the Trustees under a Trust
November 12, 1979, which I signed with my wife YOKO ONO,
and ELI GARBER
as Trustees, to be added to the trust property and held
in accordance with the terms of that agreement and any
pursuant to its terms before my death.
FOURTH: In the
event that my wife and I die under such circumstances
that there is
not sufficient evidence to determine which of us has
other, I hereby declare it to be my will that it shall
be deemed that
I shall have predeceased her and that this, my Will, and
any and all of
its provisions shall be construed based upon that
FIFTH: I hereby
nominate, constitute and appoint my beloved wife, YOKO
ONO, to act as
the Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. In the
event that my
beloved wife YOKO ONO shall predecease me or chooses not
to act for any
reason, I nominate and appoint ELI GARBER, DAVID
CHARLES PETTIT, in the order named, to act in her place
SIXTH: I nominate,
constitute and appoint my wife YOKO ONO, as the
Gurdian of the
person and property of any children of the marriage who
may survive me.
In the event that she predeceases me, or for any reason
she chooses not
to act in that capacity, I nominate, constitute and
appoint SAM GREEN
to act in her place and stead.
SEVENTH: No person
named herein to serve in any fiduciary capacity shall
be required to
file or post any bond for the faithful performance of his
or her duties,
in that capacity in this or in any other jurisdiction,
any law to the
EIGHTH: If any
legatee or beneficiary under this will or the trust
myself as Grantor and YOKO ONO LENNON and ELI GARBER
dated November 12, 1979 shall interpose objections to the
probate of this
Will, or institute or prosecute or be in any way
instrumental in the institution or prosecution of any
action or proceeding
for the purpose of setting aside or invalidating
this Will, then
and in each such case, I direct that such legatee or
receive nothing whatsoever under this Will or the
IN WITNESS WHEREOF,
I have subscribed and sealed and do publish and
presents as and for my Last Will and Testament, this 12th
day of November,
INSTRUMENT consisting of four (4) typewritten pages,
page, was on the 12th day of November, 1979, signed,
and declared by JOHN WINSTON ONO LENNON, the Testator
as and for his Last Will and Testament, in the present of
us, who at his
request, and in his presence, and in the presence of each
other, have hereunto
set our names as witnesses.
(The names of
the three witnesses are illegible.)
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