Chapman told parole board confusion led to Lennon’s murder
This June 1, 2013 photo provided by the New York State Department of Corrections shows Mark David Chapman at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, N.Y. Chapman, who killed John Lennon in 1980, was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, New York corrections officials said Friday, Aug. 22, 2012. Chapman shot Lennon in December 1980 outside the Manhattan apartment building where the former Beatle lived. He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. (AP Photo/New York State Department of Corrections)
Mark David Chapman, who was denied release from a New York prison last week for the eighth time for the murder of John Lennon, told a parole board he was “confused” and “needed attention” and took it out on the musician.
Chapman, 59, told a three-person panel during a video interview from Wende Correctional Facility in Alden on Aug. 20 that his life had “sunk into a depressed state” and he had been drinking before he killed the former Beatle in December 1980, according to a transcript of the hearing made public yesterday.
“I just saw that as my way out, you know, a lazy way out of my doldrums,” Chapman said, according to the transcript. “It was a horrible decision, but I knew what I was doing.”
Chapman was 25 when he shot and killed Lennon outside the Dakota, the luxury apartment building where the 40-year-old composer of “Imagine” lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Lennon, who was returning from a recording session with his wife, Yoko Ono, died after being shot with four hollow-point bullets.
“You stalked and waited for your victim and thereafter shot him multiple times causing his death,” the board said in its decision, released last week. “The victim had displayed kindness to you earlier in the day and your actions have devastated a family.” Lennon had autographed an album for Chapman hours before the shooting.
Chapman, convicted of second-degree murder, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He became eligible for parole in December 2000. His next scheduled appearance before the board is set for August 2016. Excerpts of earlier parole bids were previously made public.
Chapman described for the board how he planned the murder, traveling to New York from his home in Hawaii three months earlier to scope out Lennon’s residence, according to the transcript. Chapman then called his wife in Hawaii to tell her about the plan, according to the transcript.
He said he returned home on his wife’s urging and “the thoughts subsided for a while,” according to the transcript. He falsely told his wife that he’d thrown the gun away, he said.
“She didn’t have a clue,” he said, according to the transcript.