It’s very difficult to say there was a reason like it was an assassination, or there was some kind coherent design behind the murder. Chapman was mentally ill and disengaged from reality. There are those that point to his statements and the copy of the Catcher in the Rye in his possession, but this is not corporeal evidence. The guy was bat shit crazy and believed in some way that John Lennon needed to be punished for something or be sacrificed for some troubling cause. It’s a particularly difficult moment in the histories of rock and roll, New York City, the U.S. and literature. It makes me angry honestly, just thinking of the circumstances behind it and what we lost. There was no “reason” for that event.
Mark Chapman, 61, has admitted he was “too much of a coward” to commit suicide after shooting The Beatles’ frontman.
The chilling comments have been revealed by the New York Post, after the newspaper obtained a transcript from his recent parole unsuccessful parole hearing.
He said: “He came out [of his apartment], and this is the part I really regret happening, he came out and as a ruse, I had his album and a pen and I asked him to sign the album.
“He took his time and asked me if I wanted anything else.
“His wife had come out with him… and she was waiting in a limo and that’s something I often reflect on how decent he was to just a stranger.
“He signed the album and gave it back to me. He got in the limo.”
Later that evening, Chapman returned to the building and shot Lennon four times in the back in front of his wife, Yoko Ono.
He remained at the scene until police arrived, clutching a copy of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’.
“That’s a true sociopathic mind,” Chapman continued at the hearing.
“I will say this: Towards the end, I would say the last hour or so, I did talk to myself.
“I sent up a prayer and said please help me turn this around. I couldn’t do it… I couldn’t do it.”
Other than that, there was no feeling towards his son or his wife or himself.
“I was obsessed on one thing and that was shooting him so that I could be somebody.”
So Chapman is Still in prison, in New York. His sentence is 20 years to life, which means he’s been eligible for parole since 2000, and apparently can try for one every two years.
So far, including the latest one he’s been denied 9 times, and most people don’t expect him to ever get out. Reasons include the officially stated ‘concern for the public safety’ (his openness to media interviews has been said to show an continued ‘wish for notoriety’), and because prison committees will not want to deal with the political ramifications of releasing ‘Lennon’s killer’.
Yoko Ono has been involved in the denial of all these parole applications, and among her reasons she usually includes a concern for Chapman’s own safety, since he’s received death threats from many Lennon fans over the years.