Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Who Killed John Lennon Up for Parole

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman, 57, convicted in 1980 for the shooting murder of beloved musician and former Beatle John Lennon, is up for parole this week. Chapman is currently serving a sentence of 20 years to life at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, where he is in protective custody in a single-occupancy cell. The infamous murder occurred on December 8, 1980, when Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back, after Lennon signed an autograph for him. Chapman, who was apprehended at the scene, was later quoted as saying, “And I will not appeal any decision you have. If it’s a decision to keep me here in the prison, I will not appeal it, and I never will. I’d like the opportunity to apologize to Mrs. Lennon. I’ve thought about what it’s like in her mind to be there that night, to see the blood, to hear the screams, to be up all night with the Beatle music playing through her apartment window.”

According to New York prison authorities, hearings may start as early as August 21. The last time Chapman was up for parole was in 2010. He was denied because the parole board determined that, “discretionary release remains inappropriate at this time and incompatible with the welfare of the community.” This will be his seventh time before the parole board since the murder 32 years ago. In the past Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, has written the parole board asking that Chapman be denied parole. This time will likely be no different.

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