Seeking Parole, Mark David Chapman Half-Apologizes For Murdering John Lennon
On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was fatally shot near his apartment building in New York City. Last week, Mark David Chapman described the murder of John Lennon during a parole hearing, where he offered a feeble apology and boasted about his "incredible stalking" of the musician. On Wednesday, the parole board released a full transcript of the hearing, detailing the ramblings of a man who is, apology or otherwise, far from redemption.
Chapman met with a three-person parole panel on August 20 via a video interview from Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, where he's been an inmate since 2012. Before that, he was at New York's Attica Correctional Facility, where he served time since his sentence began in 1981. Chapman had pled guilty in court to killing Lennon and was sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars. Last week's hearing was his eighth request for release, which the panel denied in a decision made last Friday.
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has fought all eight requests by submitting letters of protest to the parole board stating that she and her two sons with Lennon would live in fear if Chapman were to walk free.
Media interviews, biographies, and popular culture's depiction of Chapman — namely in the 2007 Jared Leto biopic Chapter 27 — have painted a delusional man obsessed with the J.D. Salinger classic The Catcher in the Rye. The transcript of last week's hearing reveals a man who sounds just as obsessed with the murder today as he was more than 30 years ago. Warning: It's a disturbing read.
"That Bright Light of Fame" Led Him to Murder
The panel asked Chapman to restate his reasons for killing Lennon.
He Stalked Lennon For Months
When the board asked Chapman about planning the murder, he sounded boastful.
He's Found Jesus
When Chapman tells the panel about his wife, he brings up one of many instances where he talks about the Lord.
Later on, when asked about the risk of being harmed by angry Beatles fans, he talks about trusting God to protect him, and even joining a faith-based profession.
When asked whether he will be tempted by notoriety again if he were to be released, Chapman says he's only interested in one thing.
An Early Fascination With The Beatles
Chapman reveals that he'd been fixated on the British band since childhood.
He's Sorry, Sort Of
Chapman attempts to show contrition in front of the panel, but his choice of words seem to betray his sincerity.
Read the full transcript here.
Images: Wikipedia Commons (2), Getty (4)