Dec. 8, 1980, is the day that John Lennon was shot and killed outside his Manhattan apartment.
More than 37 years ago, Lennon was shot and killed by his stalker, a man who idolized him.
Shortly before 11pm, 25-year-old Mark David Chapman approached Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono as they entered their Manhattan apartment building, The Dakota. Hours earlier, Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman as he left home to attend a recording session. Chapman then remained outside the building waiting Lennon’s return and shot the musician four times at close range with a .38 calibre revolver.
Despite attempts to perform first aid at the scene, he was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital. He was 40 years old.
The Beatles, the band he formed with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, were one of the most popular music groups of the 20th century and sold millions of albums across the UK and around the world. For weeks after Lennon’s murder, mourning fans kept vigil outside his apartment.
After the shooting, Chapman remained nearby and waited for police to arrive, calmly reading a copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
His murderer, Mark David Chapman, was sentenced to prison for 20 years to life and became eligible for release in 2000. He was denied parole for the 10th time in August.
In his most recent parole hearing, Chapman, 63, admitted to the Wende Correctional Facility board that he feels “more and more shame” every year for gunning down the former Beatles’ frontman.
Chapman’s next opportunity to apply for parole will be in 2020.