Mark David Chapman and the assassination of John Lennon

Previously, shut insiders recalled John Lennon’s final days in New York City —stuffed with ifs and buts that, they are saying, may need prevented his dying. One of the chilling moments was assembly the fan who, hours later, would homicide him.

Mark David Chapman was no stranger to mad missions. In the fall of 1980 — proper round the time of the presidential election — he flew from his house in Honolulu to Manhattan. Snooping round varied occasions, Travis Bickle-style, he thought of attempting to assassinate Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter however left city with the mission unaccomplished.

Returning on Dec. 6, with some 14 hours of Beatles recordings, a .38 Special handgun and hollow-point bullets in tow, he knew precisely what he was going to do: assassinate John Lennon.

Although he was a longtime fan, Chapman felt disenchanted by Lennon’s conspicuous wealth. “Chapman thought he had offered out,” Dave Wedge, co-author of the new guide “The Last Days of John Lennon” (Little, Brown and Company) advised The Post. “He thought Lennon was a fraud.”

Chapman checked into an Upper West Side YMCA earlier than transferring to a Sheraton lodge in Midtown. Over two days, he had random encounters with Robert Goulet at an artwork gallery (the actor grudgingly posed for {a photograph}) and James Taylor close to the exit of the West 72nd Street subway station. Chapman buttonholed the singer close to the prime of the staircase. Sweating and with eyes dilated, “Chapman stated, ‘I’m a musician identical to you. I’ve one thing to get to John Lennon. Can you assist me?’ ” in response to “Last Days” co-author Casey Sherman.

Taylor broke away and started strolling east on 72nd Street. Chapman adopted from a distance. After passing the Dakota, in response to Sherman, “Taylor circled to see if Chapman was nonetheless behind him. But Chapman had given up the chase. He planted himself in entrance of the Dakota and was mumbling to himself.”

This incident passed off on Dec. 8, 1980. Later that afternoon, Chapman did get to see Lennon and his spouse Yoko Ono in entrance of the Dakota, the place they lived. He proffered a duplicate of their just-released “Double Fantasy” album and a Bic pen. Lennon signed the cowl with its romantic Kishin Shinoyama picture of him and Ono touching lips.

When the couple returned house from a recording studio at 10:50 in the night, Chapman was, as soon as once more, in entrance of the Dakota.

Yoko Ono leaving the hospital after her husband John Lennon had been shot.
Yoko Ono leaving the hospital after her husband John Lennon had been shot.
NY Daily News through Getty Images

Lennon and Ono emerged from their limo. Lennon and Chapman briefly locked eyes. As Lennon turned away, Chapman assumed a fight place and shot at his onetime idol. Four hollow-point bullets hit their goal. Ono screamed. Lennon stumbled towards the Dakota foyer, crashed by the entrance door and collapsed.

According to “Last Days,” doorman Jose Perdomo knocked the gun out of Chapman’s hand. The killer then stood calmly and learn his paperback copy of “The Catcher in the Rye.”

In his room at the close by Langham lodge, as per Sherman, “James Taylor heard gunfire. He was on the cellphone with a buddy and he stated, ‘Somebody’s simply been shot.’ ”

NYPD officer Peter Cullen and his accomplice Steve Spiro have been parked close to 72nd Street and Broadway, out on theft element, when their police radio crackled with particulars about “photographs fired.”

Responding to the name, Cullen advised his accomplice, “Take it simple. It may have been fireworks.”

As they neared the Dakota, nonetheless, it was clearly one thing else. “I requested Jose, ‘What’s happening?’ ” Cullen advised The Post. “Perdomo pointed to Chapman and stated, ‘This man simply shot Lennon!’ ”

Cullen went inside to analyze. He noticed Spiro urgent Chapman towards the wall and shouted out, “Cuff ‘im!”

In the foyer, recalled Cullen, “I noticed Lennon laying face down with blood popping out of his mouth.”

As different cops arrived and a crowd shaped exterior of the Dakota, Lennon was carried out by two officers and positioned in the backseat of a squad automobile. There was no time to attend for an ambulance. They rushed him to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center on West 59th Street.

Cullen and Spiro took Chapman to the twentieth Precinct on West 82nd Street. “He was docile,” recalled Cullen. “He apologized to us for ruining our night time. I circled and stated to him, ‘You’ve acquired to be f - - king kidding me. You’re frightened about our night time? Do you realize what you simply did to your life?’ We learn him his rights greater than as soon as.”

Ono was pushed to the hospital by two different cops, Tony Palma and Herb Frauenberger. “She was in a state of shock,” Frauenberger advised The Post. “She requested if John can be alright. I advised her, ‘He’s going to the finest hospital in New York City.’ That was true. And the trauma unit was prepared for John once we arrived.”

Lennon was positioned on a gurney and wheeled right into a trauma room. Barbara Kammerer, an ER nurse on obligation, described the affected person as “a younger, well-muscled man with gunshot wounds. We reduce off his garments and cracked his chest.”

Mark David Chapman
Mark David Chapman
Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images

Dr. David Halleran, a third-year resident at the time, tried resuscitation. He had his hand inside the affected person’s chest and tried pumping his coronary heart. “I couldn’t get any vitals,” stated Halleran. “Halfway by, although, anyone stated, ‘This seems to be like John Lennon.’ I stated that it might probably’t be. Then, Richard Marks, the common surgeon, got here in. He and his spouse handed the Dakota. He noticed Yoko in the again of a cop automobile and adopted her right here. Dick stated, ‘It’s John Lennon.’ We continued to work on him and by no means acquired the pulse again. After 45 minutes, we referred to as it.”

Meanwhile, Alan Weiss, a producer with the native ABC information affiliate, was coincidentally in the ER as properly, having simply been concerned in a bike accident. He spied the proceedings and positioned a name to his assigning editor. Details on Lennon’s capturing and subsequent dying rose up the meals chain earlier than touchdown in the broadcast sales space of “Monday Night Football,” which was consuming into the 11 p.m. newscast.

A verbal tussle ensued between Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford: Cosell needed to interrupt the information; Gifford stated, “Bulls - - t, we’re not. . .” Cosell prevailed, informing the nation about an “unspeakable tragedy.”

Simultaneously, a Muzak model of The Beatles’ “All My Loving” chillingly performed on the hospital sound system. Weiss heard a girl behind closed doorways scream, “No, no! Oh, no. . .” Suddenly, Weiss recalled, Ono “stroll[ed] proper previous me, alongside David Geffen,” the music govt whose eponymous label had simply launched the couple’s “Double Fantasy” album.

Ono went out a aspect door. ER nurse Deartra Sato, who attended to Lennon, didn’t have that luxurious. “I walked onto Ninth Avenue and it was fully shut down by folks enjoying John Lennon’s music and lighting candles,” she stated. “Some fool shouted to me, ‘I’ll offer you $500 in your bloody pants.’ Of course I refused. I went house and washed them.”

Meanwhile, at the 20th Precinct, Chapman acknowledged being the shooter. As Cullen recalled, “He stated to me: ‘I’ve been monitoring [Lennon] for some time. I’ve an enormous individual inside of me and just a little individual. The large individual had been profitable up till tonight. But now the little individual gained.’ ”

Questioning went on for eight hours earlier than Chapman was delivered to NY County Criminal Court downtown. He left the police station through a aspect door whereas a decoy went by the entrance: “We have been afraid anyone would take a poke at him,” Cullen stated. A decide remanded Chapman to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric analysis. “He tried to withdraw his [admission of guilt], however the decide wouldn’t enable it,” Cullen added.

According to co-author Wedge, that didn’t cease the killer’s lawyer from eager to go to trial. “But Chapman had a change of coronary heart. He pleaded responsible. An observant Christian who by no means acquired over Lennon’s declare that The Beatles have been extra fashionable than Jesus, Chapman advised the courtroom: ‘It is my resolution and God’s resolution.’ ”

Unmoved, the decide sentenced Chapman to twenty years to life. He continues to serve his sentence at Wende Correctional Facility close to Buffalo.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here