Thirty years after killing John Lennon outside his New York City apartment right in front of his wife Yoko One on December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman is still serving time on a twenty years to life sentence in Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. He instantly became one of the most famous and hated murderers of all time when he gunned down the former Beatle and then sat reading a book and calmly waiting for the police to arrive. After all these years, there is still no sign that Mark David Chapman will ever get paroled - not even Matt Cassel is having as tough a time.
Denied Six Times by Parole Board
His first chance for parole came up in 2000, twenty years after the murder. Since then, he has been brought before the parole board a total of six times, and six times they have denied Mark David Chapman the chance to go free. Yoko Ono appeared at all six hearings and opposed him being paroled. While most people get into their middle age and wonder how to make ends meet and if the kids are doing all right and how they will pay the online insurance companies, he has no such worries because the state of New York pays for everything for him.
In 1980 in the fall, Mark David Chapman says he actually thought about killing Johnny Carson or Liz Taylor but eventually decided to kill John Lennon instead. Something in his mind must have made him think this was a good idea because he went through with it and then did not try to run or flee but instead sat and waited for his imminent arrest. He eventually pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree when the case went to trial.
Problems before Lennon Murder
Prior to killing the former Beatle, Mark David Chapman displayed many different emotional and mental problems through the years, being treated for clinical depression on different occasions and once even trying to kill himself a few years before the incident in front of the Dakota. It is strange to think that someone like Mark David Chapman who had so many problems instead of taking comfort in the music of Lennon found reason to be angry with him and chose to end his life. Stranger still is the fact that he succeeded. Stories come out from time to time of fans that lost their way and were caught engaging in some sort of plot against their idols, but not too many of them were ever successful like Mark David Chapman.
He was able with five gunshots to silence a voice that had encouraged the exact opposite of what those gunshots stood for. His crime ended the life of the singer of songs like "Give Peace a Chance" and others that encouraged understanding and togetherness. It was not as if Mark David Chapman had chosen someone who lived a violent life or who stood for violence in any way. When he killed the rocker, he ended an era in music.
The Beatles had been broken up for upwards of a decade at that point but on December 8 1980 Mark David Chapman did something to the memory their fans had of this group and its members. He said he heard voices in his head. They obviously weren't voices anyone should listen to. It is tough to even empathize with someone so sick. Mark David Chapman made his mark on music history and on the history of New York and America when he ended the life of John Lennon on December 8 1980.