The Beatle was killed with four shots by an obsessed fan. The crime occurred on December 8, 1980, in New York, in front of the Dakota building, where Lennon lived with his wife, Yoko Ono, and his son, Sean.
Mark Chapman, the killer, later revealed that he was angry that Lennon had asked the public to “imagine no possession” (in the song “Imagine”) while living a millionaire life. A big fan of the book The Catcher in the Rye, Chapman projected itself into the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, feeling like a pure person among “false” people – what Lennon would have become.
He 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), but he remains behind bars.
Just before his death, Lennon had released an album and planned to tour.
Around 11:00 am on December 8, 1980, Chapman woke up in his room at the Sheraton Hotel, picked up his 38-caliber Charter and set the stage for when the police would search his apartment after the assassination by placing objects on the desk. He had already attempted his attack the previous two days, but felt that this would be the date.
Chapman stayed on the sidewalk of the Dakota building and even greeted Sean, son of the Beatle, who arrived with the nanny. During the afternoon, Lennon and Yoko received photographer Annie Leibovitz, who conducted the couple’s final rehearsal, and interviewed a journalist.
Accompanied by his wife, the musician left the building again at 5 pm, heading to the Record Plant studio. With a Double Fantasy cover under his arm, Chapman approached the victim, who gave him an autograph: “John Lennon. December, 1980 “. The scene was recorded by a photographer.
At 22:50, the couple returned. Lennon got out of the limo after Yoko and was a few steps behind her when Chapman fired his revolver. Of the five bullets, two hit the back of the singer and two his left shoulder. Chapman was disarmed by the doorman of the building.
The police arrived and found Lennon in Yoko’s arms. The singer’s aorta had been injured and he was bleeding profusely, so the police decided to take him to the hospital. Chapman did not run away: he waited for the policemen sitting on the sidewalk, reading his copy of The Catcher in the Rye Field.
In the hospital, after useless attempts at resuscitation, John Lennon was officially pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. Yoko asked the doctors not to release the news until she got home: she feared that Sean would know about it on the TV. There was no funeral and Lennon was cremated two days later.
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