ALBANY, NY (AP) – The man who murdered John Lennon in 1980 says he sought glory and deserved the death penalty for an “despicable” act.
Mark David Chapman made the comments in response to questions from a parole board last month, which refused him parole for the 11th time. As with previous parole board hearings, the now 65-year-old inmate expressed remorse for shooting the former Beatle outside the musician’s Manhattan apartment building.
‘I killed him … because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was looking very, very, very, very much for self-aggrandizement. Very selfish, ”said Chapman, according to a transcript released by the state on Monday following a request for open files.
Looking back 40 years later, Chapman called his actions “creepy” and “despicable”. He said he’s been thinking all the time about the pain he caused to Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono.
“I just want her to know that she knows her husband like no other and knows what kind of man he was. I didn’t, ”he said.
Chapman shot and killed Lennon on the night of December 8, 1980, when he and Ono returned to their Upper West Side apartment. Earlier that day, Lennon had signed a signature for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, “Double Fantasy.”
“He was actually nice to me that day,” Chapman said.
Chapman is serving a 20-year to life sentence at Wende Correctional Facility, east of Buffalo. He told the board that he would “not have a single complaint” if they chose to leave him in prison for the rest of his life.
“I deserve zero, nothing. At the time, I deserved the death penalty. If you knowingly plan to murder someone and know it’s wrong, and you’re doing it for yourself, I think that’s a death penalty,” he said.
By denying him parole, the board said Chapman had committed a “bad deed” and said they found his statement that “shame brings glory” disturbing.
Chapman will be paroled again in August 2022.