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Yoko Ono reads her letter to parole officials
"It is still painful for me to think of what happened that night"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 22:31 GMT 23:31 UK
Yoko Ono: My fears
This is the text of Yoko Ono's letter to New York State Parole Board on the parole application of Mark David Chapman, her husband's murderer.

Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono: 'My husband John Lennon was a very special man'
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Parole Board:

This is my reply to the petition of parole made by Mark David Chapman from here on called "the subject."

It is not easy for me to write this letter to you since it is still painful for me to think of what happened that night and verbalize my thoughts logically.

Forgive me if I fall short of your expectation of giving you a satisfactory opinion. But these are my sincere thoughts.


For me, he was the other half of the sky

My husband John Lennon was a very special man. A man of humble origin, he brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music.

He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.

For me, he was the other half of the sky. We were in love with each other like the most vehement of lovers to the last moment.

'World shattered'

For our son Sean he was the world. That world shattered when the "subject" pulled the trigger.


With his one act of violence in those few seconds, the "subject" managed to change my whole life, devastate his sons, and bring deep sorrow and fear to the world.

For Julian, it was losing his father twice.

For the people of the world, it was as though the light went out for a moment and darkness prevailed.

With his one act of violence in those few seconds, the "subject" managed to change my whole life, devastate his sons, and bring deep sorrow and fear to the world.

It was, indeed, the power of destruction at work.

At first, I had refused to acknowledge John's death. I announced that, "There is no funeral for John." In my mind, I was saying "BECAUSE HE IS NOT DEAD!" "Tell me he is not dead, tell me he is not dead."

I was screaming inside myself.

'Let the darkness go'

But then, I started to hear that young girls were jumping off buildings to kill themselves.


For the past 20 years, I've carried the torch John and I once carried together to try to let the darkness go

I realized then that it was not a time for me to simply wallow in my own pain. I organized a world vigil with the prayer that, together, we would somehow get through.

For the past 20 years, I've carried the torch John and I once carried together to try to let the darkness go.

I asked the fans to remember John's birthday, not the day of his passing.

When people asked how I felt about the killer of my husband, I have always told them that I didn't think about that day anymore.

I wanted to look to the future, and not to remember that horrible moment.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
John and Yoko: 'We were in love with each other like the most vehement of lovers'
But in actual fact, the memory of that night has never left me for the last 20 years. It was so cruel. So unjust. My husband did not deserve this.

He was in no way ready to die. He was feeling good with the prospect of doing a concert tour after making the album which became his last.

He would have gladly changed his position with the "subject," and live the life of protection that the "subject" enjoys now.

Even in confinement, my husband John would have cherished hearing voices of people he loved, enjoyed creating songs, and simply appreciated watching the sky and its changes through the seasons.

'Anger and fear'

John cannot do any of that now.


I am afraid it will bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion once again

His family and the world rested because justice was finally done by the court. The "subject" was imprisoned.

If he were to be released now, many will feel betrayed. Anger and fear would rise again.

It would also give a "go" signal to the others who would like to follow in the footsteps of the "subject" to receive world attention.

I am afraid it will bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion once again.

Myself and John's two sons, would not feel safe for the rest of our lives. People who are in positions of high visibility and outspokenness such as John, would also feel unsafe.

'Violence begets violence'

Finally, it will not be safe for the "subject" himself. He will cease to have the security that the State provides him now.

I understand that he has been isolated from other prisoners because of the threat of possible harm to him. Well, there are more people in the outside world who are strongly distressed about what he has done.

They would feel that it is unfair that the "subject" is rewarded with a normal life while John lost his.

Violence begets violence. If it is at all possible, I would like us to not create a situation which may bring further madness and tragedy to the world.

I thank you in advance for your wise and just decision.

I am, Sincerely yours,

Yoko Ono Lennon

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See also:

03 Oct 00 | Entertainment
John Lennon's legacy
25 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's killer speaks out
12 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's Liverpool homage top song
07 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Unique Beatles recording lost
08 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's birthday tribute
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