John Lennon was one of the most important musicians of all time and unfortunately died too soon at the age of 40 back in December 8, 1980. He was killed with four shots by the obssesed fan Mark Chapman in front of the Dakota building, where Lennon lived with his wife Yoko Ono and his son Sean.
Chapman said later that he was angry that Lennon had asked the public to “imagine no possession” (in the song “Imagine”) while living a millionaire life. The killer was also fan of the book The Catcher in the Rye written by J. D. Salinger and projected itself into the protagonist Holden Caulfield. He felt that he was a pure person among “false” people, what in his opinion Lennon was.
Chapman was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Since 2000, he has asked for freedom seven times (two years to wait between requests).
A worldwide outpouring of grief ensued on an unprecedented scale. Lennon was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York; in lieu of a funeral, Ono requested 10 minutes of silence around the world. Chapman pleaded guilty to murdering Lennon and was given a sentence of 20-years-to-life imprisonment in an Upstate New York prison. He has been denied parole eleven times since he first became eligible in 2000.
Earlier in the same day as the murder, Mark Chapman asked Lennon to sign a copy of his album, Double Fantasy. Later, Chapman said, “He was very kind to me. Ironically, very kind and was very patient with me. The limousine was waiting … and he took his time with me and he got the pen going and he signed my album. He asked me if I needed anything else. I said, ‘No. No sir.’ And he walked away. Very cordial and decent man.” Photographer and Lennon fan Paul Goresh took a photo of Lennon signing Chapman’s album.
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