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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
John Lennon killer 'wanted fame'
Mark Chapman
Chapman said he deserved "exactly what I've gotten"
John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman shot the former Beatle because he wanted to "steal" his fame, he told a recent parole board hearing.

Chapman, 49, said in some ways he had achieved his goal, according to a transcript released on Thursday.

But in other ways, "I'm a bigger nobody than I was before", he said.

Chapman has been in jail since shooting Lennon in New York in 1980. His third parole application was turned down earlier this month.

"People hate me now instead of, you know, for something positive. So that's a worse state," he said in the 5 October interview.

He said he deserved nothing "because of the pain and suffering I caused, I deserve exactly what I've gotten right now".

It was just a tremendous compulsion of just feeling this big hole
Mark Chapman
He also revealed he planned the killing for three months and considered murdering other celebrities who he thought were "phonies".

He also travelled to New York to kill Lennon once before, but did not go through with it, he said.

After that aborted attempt, he went to Hawaii - where he found a book containing photographs of the musician.

"It just angered me. You know, here I was with these struggles," he said.

Chapman expanded on his reasons for the shooting by saying: "It was just a tremendous compulsion of just feeling this big hole.

"Of being what I thought was a big nobody, a big nothing, and I couldn't let it go. And it just kept going very strongly, and I couldn't stop it."

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980
Yoko Ono was with Lennon when he was shot outside their home
It was previously believed that Chapman dropped his gun straight after the shooting, but he revealed he was tackled by a doorman.

"I didn't drop it. I stood there and held it in my hand," he said.

"And the doorman, Jose, came over and he said, 'What have you done, what have you done?'

"He grabbed my hand and he shook it, and he shook the weapon out of my hand, and he kicked it across the asphalt about thirty feet away.

"Pretty brave man to do that. But that's what he did."


He said he remembered Lennon's wife Yoko Ono walking up to the police car where he was sitting after his arrest, and looking at him but saying nothing.

"That was a very traumatic thing that I blocked out of my memory for several months," he told the board.

The parole board said it did not release him because of the "extreme malicious intent" he had shown.

The board told Chapman he had "a clear lack of respect for life" and subjected Lennon's widow Yoko Ono to "monumental suffering by her witnessing the crime".

John Lennon killer denied parole
06 Oct 04  |  Entertainment
Mark Chapman: Destined for infamy
06 Oct 04  |  Entertainment
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28 Nov 03  |  Entertainment



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