Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mark David Chapman Denied Parole for 7th Time

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman, May, 2012

On August 22, 2012, corrections officials announced, a three-member parole board denied parole to Mark David Chapman, 57, who is currently in prison for the 1980 shooting murder of former Beatle John Lennon. This was Chapman’s seventh time before the parole board; he will not be eligible again for at least another two years.

Board member Sally Thompson wrote, “Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime.” The other board members, Joseph Crangle and Marc Coppola, concurred.

Thompson also wrote, “The panel notes your good conduct, program achievements, educational accomplishments, positive presentation, remorse, risk and needs assessment, letters of support, significant opposition to your release and all other statutory factors were considered.” Thompson concluded, “However, parole shall not be granted for good conduct and program completions alone.”

A full transcript has not yet been released, but Chapman had noted at his last parole hearing two years ago that his motive for the murder was fame. Chapman said that he believed that by killing his target, he could acquire the target’s fame, “I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer, and murderers are not somebodies.”

He added that he had been considering other targets at the time of the murder, specifically talk show host Johnny Carson and actress Elizabeth Taylor, but that he settled on targeting Lennon, because he was physically most accessible to the public that the others.

Chapman remains in prison in protective custody.

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Mark David Chapman: The Man Who Killed John Lennon

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