John Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman, was just denied parole for the seventh time from Wende Correctional Facility in New York. He will be eligible again in two years.
Though Chapman has completed several prison programs which are deemed necessary by officials to be considered for parole–and has exhibited good behavior–the board agreed that to set him free would be to undermine not only the law, but the feelings of the millions of people who adored Lennon.
Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime, board member Sally Thompson wrote in the hearing’s transcripts. The panel notes your good conduct, program achievements, educational accomplishments, positive presentation, remorse, risk and needs assessment, letters of support, significant opposition to your release and all other statutory factors were considered. However, parole shall not be granted for good conduct and program completions alone.
Chapman told officials after killing Lennon that he did it because he wanted to “be somebody”. He also considered shooting Elizabeth Taylor and Johnny Carson, but ultimately chose Lennon because he was more accessible. The shooting took place on December 8th, 1980 in front of the Dakota Apartment House in New York.
Chapman was portrayed by Jared Leto in the 2007 film “Chapter 27”, which focused on Chapman’s obsessions and ended with the brutal killing of one of the world’s most beloved musicians.