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John Lennon killer Mark David Chapman again denied parole

August 23, 2012|By Randall Roberts | Times Pop Music Critic
  • Mark David Chapman, 57, was denied parole by a three-member board after a hearing Wednesday.
Mark David Chapman, 57, was denied parole by a three-member board after… (New York State Department…)

Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon in 1980 outside of his New York City home, has been denied parole for the seventh time. An inmate at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, N.Y., the 57-year-old Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the former Beatle's murder, and will remain behind bars until at least 2016, the date of his next parole board hearing.

Chapman last appeared before the three-member panel in 2008, and in the transcript of that hearing he revealed that his notorious slaying continued to be a subject of conversation at Attica, where he was housed before being moved to Wende in May.

"I wish I was in here for something else. Anybody could have done this," Chapman said. "People come up and treat me a little bit different and maybe say a few things about the case. And I say, 'Anybody could have done this. I am not anybody special just for pulling out a gun.' "

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"I made a horrible decision to end another human being's life, for reasons of selfishness," 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."

At his 2004 hearing, Chapman's first statement to the parole board was plain and simple: "I am ashamed, that is my first thought. And I am sorry for what I did."

That apology, however, hasn't changed the feelings of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who told Time magazine in 2010 that 30 years after that fateful day, "I have not been able to forgive him yet. But I'm not thinking about him all the time. And that's good."


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