Mark Chapman said he killed John Lennon because he “wanted to be somebody”

"I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life"

John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman has said he shot The Beatle because he “wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that.”

Chapman shot and killed Lennon on December 8, 1980 as he and Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment. Chapman then remained at the scene until police arrived, and later pled guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to serve a prison term of twenty years to life.

Last year, Chapman was denied parole for the 12th time and transcripts from the hearing have now been made available.

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Speaking to the parole board, Chapman said (via Sky News) that he had a “selfish disregard for human life of global consequence.”

“I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life. I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,” he said.

“This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that,” continued Chapman, who then said that killing Lennon was “my big answer to everything. I wasn’t going to be a nobody anymore.”

john lennon beatles
John Lennon of the Beatles, tuning his guitar (Gibson J160E acoustic) during the filming of “A Hard Day’s Night” at the Scala Theatre (Picture: Max Scheler – K & K/Redferns)

In previous hearings, Chapman has described his actions as “despicable” and said he’d have “no complaint whatsoever” if he remained in prison for the rest of his life.

During his 2018 appeal Chapman said he felt “more and more shame” each year since committing the crime. “Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now,” he explained.

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The killer unsuccessfully appealed for parole back in August 2020 where he said: “I hurt a lot of people all over the place and if somebody wants to hate me, that’s OK, I get it.”

Speaking about their decision to deny his appeal, the parole board said Chapman’s action left “the world recovering from the void of which you created”.

He will now have to wait until 2024 until he can appeal again.

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