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Monday, 25 September, 2000, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Lennon's killer speaks out
John Lennon
Lennon was shot four times outside his New York apartment
Mark Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon, has said the former Beatle would want to see him released from prison.

The 45-year-old is serving a 20-year-to-life sentence at Attica state prison and has a parole hearing early next month.

Mark Chapman
Mark Chapman: A voice said 'Do it, do it, do it, do it'

He told the Daily Express newspaper that a voice in his head told him to shoot the star outside his New York City apartment in 1980.

He said Lennon had been just "a picture on an album cover" to him before the shooting.

"I think he would be liberal, I think he would care," he said.

"I think he would probably want to see me released," he added.

On the day he shot the singer he approached Lennon as he and Yoko Ono emerged from a limousine outside their apartment.

"A voice in my head said 'do it, do it, do it, do it'.

"I aimed at his back and pulled the trigger five times and all hell broke loose in my mind," he said.

Chapman also admitted should have received the death penalty for his crime.

He is eligible for parole because he is approaching the end of his minimum 20-year period behind bars.

Dakota apartment

If the board approves the parole request, Chapman could be free by December.

Lennon was shot four times outside the Dakota apartment building in Manhattan on 8 December 1980.


I just sought a way to be someone I wasn't

Mark Chapman

Chapman says he is keen to lead an ordinary life, if released.

"I don't know how easy that would be but I'd try just to lead an ordinary life again. Stay out of the papers.

"There are not many places to go once you've killed someone like John Lennon."

Asked why he did it, he said: "I just sought a way to be someone I wasn't. To be loved."

See also:

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