September 16th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Killer: Lennon's murder meant 'I would become somebody'

Mark David Chapman, left, and John Lennon.

The man who shot John Lennon told a parole board this week that he killed the star because he wanted "instant notoriety."

"I made a horrible decision to end another human being's life, for reasons of selfishness, and that was my decision at that time," Mark David Chapman said.

"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody, and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies."

Chapman said Lennon was at the top of his celebrity hit list which included Johnny Carson and Elizabeth Taylor. He's been in prison for 29 years. He was denied parole on Tuesday.

Read Chapman's own words about the slaying

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Filed under: John Lennon • New York
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. THEBEATLESARESTILLTHEGREATESTROCKBANDEVER!

    John said in his last interviews that he regretted being drunk
    violent getting into fights with men and hitting women,as a *very young guy*and said that is why he felt so strongly about being peaceful and promoting peace.Yoko changed him for the better,because of their love,and great relationship and her feminism,John went into scream therapy with psychologist Dr.Arthur Janov and dealt with his traumas for the first time,and he made a brilliant album out of it,his first solo album,John Lennon Plastic Ono Band and he became a feminist,and a nurturing caring husband and father to Yoko and his son Sean.If you listen to the radio interviews he did hours before it happened,he sounded much more together,and happy and not angry and bitter any more.He talked about how he regretted not spending enough time with his first son Julian and that he was in his 20's like most men too involed with their careers to be a real involed father.He said that he regretted this and that he and Julian would have a relationship in the future.

    And as many problems John had,he(and Paul McCartney) gave millions of people happiness with their musical brilliance,and John never would have shot and killed anyone!

    September 18, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • giz

      I agree, except for comments on yoko.. what a piece of garbage she was. too bad they met!

      August 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. King of Men

    The Beatles blow. Always have. Always will.

    September 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • John P

      You are a vessel of misery.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Peace and love be with you my friend ,,,I hope you can find it !

      August 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bruce

    I am convinced that John Lennon is the only celebrity if still alive the world might be different.

    August 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hear Ye

      You've obviously heard Imagine far too many times. Take a look around you – what you see is r e a i t y .

      August 19, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. OJ

    I think 30 years in jail is enough. It is time to release him.

    August 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      If it was your dad he had shot, would you still feel the same way?

      August 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mujer

    30 years is NOT enough! John Lennon is still dead; let Mark Chapman die in prison.

    August 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laurasissy

      That's right – he walks when John Lennon walks

      August 20, 2012 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Stephanie

    John Lennon is still dead. If you take someone else's life, you should be prepared to lose yours. Let Mark Chapman die in prison. 30 years is NOT enough...

    August 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. MP

    He should have died in 1981 – we are paying for a cushy life for him – and he took another's life. 30 years is NOT enough.

    August 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. sonny

    john Lennon was a man and not a GOD as some believe if he was as peaceful as people claim then he would be the first to say " give my killer a chance ". MR.LENNON said give peace a chance so give MR.CHAPMAN A CHANCE.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • martha thomas

      He has a chance, in jail. Yoko is afraid of him. Also, she is afraid for Lennon's sons. This guy is a whack job. He is safer in jail anyway. Where would he go in society to stay safe? So many people hate him.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Desperado

    Chapman needs to die in prison, and it's not right he be in protective custody and be in a single man cell. There are Lennon fans in prison too, let them at him.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jfairweather

    This murder left a permanent scar on the heart of society. For millions of us, it was like a favorite uncle had been killed. If he had died as a result of an accident or something like a burglary gone wrong, we could be at peace. If he had been killed by an individual for political reasons, such as Gandhi, or racial reasons, such as MLK, we could rest easier because they were martyred for doing what was right and noble.
    In contrast, the death of John Lenon was a coldly planned murder, the purpose of which was simply to feed the ego of the murderer and nothing more. As such, there is no easy way to acceptance.

    August 19, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      Well said...

      August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. martha thomas

    He is where he should be in jail. Glad he was denied parole.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dana Arwin

    Proven CIA ties....inside job, end of story. Sad but true, another peaceful pioneer gunned down by our own black ops.

    August 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Holden Caulfield

    The quotes attributed to Chapman in this CNN article are from Chapman's 2010 parole hearing. They are not from his more recent hearing. I clicked on the link and a PDF of the 2010 hearing came up. The words quoted in the story are from that hearing. I guess CNN was too lazy to find out what Chapman said at his more recent hearing.

    August 20, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dr. Phil Stephens

    As a society, we don't like it when someone comes along and tells us there is a better way of life to live rather than the one we are living. Not saying Lennon was a prophet ofany kind, but his message of peace, not war, love, not hate proved a bit too much for some. He will remain an icon of a better way to live. As for his murderer, he should not be given a microphone because its attention he still craves after 29 years. We should set him free on an iceberg, and watch him float away. "Imagine there's no Chapman... its easy if you try".

    August 20, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
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