John Lennon killer Mark David Chapman says he was motivated by fame: ‘I wasn’t going to be a nobody’When Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon in 1980, he was motivated by a desire for fame, he said in a new interview.
“I wasn’t going to be a nobody,” Chapman told The Daily Beast in an article published Tuesday. “I was going to be somebody.”
Chapman, who is now 62, is currently serving a 20-year-to-life sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
In the new interview, Chapman said he became fixated on Lennon after reading The Catcher in the Rye and seeing the former Beatle in person in New York City.
“I was just so caught up in the book and then seeing him, it just clicked,” Chapman said. “This is the guy that I need to kill to make a statement.”
Chapman said he initially planned to kill Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, but decided to wait a day so he could “get it right.”
On Dec. 8, Chapman shot and killed Lennon outside of the Dakota apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He then calmly waited for police to arrive and was arrested without incident.
At his sentencing hearing, Chapman told the court that he murdered Lennon to gain notoriety.
“I didn’t want to kill anybody, I just wanted to be famous,” Chapman said.
In the new interview, Chapman said he still believes that killing Lennon was the “correct thing to do.”
“I think it was the right thing to do, given the circumstances,” Chapman said. “I thought about it for a long time, and I’m still sure it was the right thing to do.”
Chapman said he has no regrets about killing Lennon and would do it again if given the chance.
“I would do it again, given the opportunity,” Chapman said. “I felt like I had a mission.”
On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman. Chapman had been stalking Lennon for weeks, and on the night of the murder, he waited outside of the Dakota apartment building for Lennon to return home. When Lennon arrived home with his wife, Yoko Ono, Chapman fired five shots at the couple, hitting Lennon four times in the back. Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He has been denied parole multiple times and is currently serving his sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York.
In the years since the murder, Chapman has been interviewed a number of times, and his statements have caused controversy. In a 2006 interview with the New York Times, Chapman said that he felt no remorse for killing Lennon and that he would do it again if he had the chance. These comments sparked outrage, and many people called for Chapman to be denied parole once again.
In 2016, Chapman was once again denied parole. The parole board cited his lack of remorse and continued danger to the public as the reasons for their decision. Chapman will be eligible for parole again in 2018.
John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, is up for parole for the ninth time.
Chapman shot and killed the former Beatle in 1980 outside of his New York apartment.
He has been denied parole eight times, but is hoping the ninth time will be the charm.
The parole board is expected to make a decision on Chapman’s parole next month.
Chapman’s attorney, Jeremy Goldberg, says his client is remorseful and has been a model prisoner.
“Mark David Chapman is a changed man,” Goldberg said. “He is profoundly sorry for what he did. He has been a model prisoner.”
If parole is granted, Chapman would be released in December.