The man who shot John Lennon outside his apartment building in New York in 1980 told a parole board he knew it was wrong to kill the beloved former Beatle, but was looking for glory and had “evil in my heart”.
Mark David Chapman made the comments in August before a board that denied him parole for the 12th time, citing his “selfish disregard for human life with global consequences”. Chapman, in a transcript released by state officials on Monday as part of a freedom of information request, said the decision to kill Lennon was “my big answer to everything. I was no longer going to be nobody”.
“I’m not going to blame anybody else or anybody else for getting me there,” Chapman told the board. “I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was wrong, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the glory so badly that I was ready to give it my all and take a human life.”
Chapman killed Lennon on the night of December 8, 1980, as he and Yoko Ono returned to their Upper West Side apartment. Earlier in the day, Lennon signed an autograph for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, “Double Fantasy.”
Chapman, 67, told the council: ‘It was bad in my heart. I wanted to be someone and nothing was going to stop it.”
Chapman is serving a 20-year to life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Center in New York’s Hudson Valley. He has repeatedly expressed remorse during his parole hearings over the years.
“I’ve hurt a lot of people everywhere and if anybody wants to hate me, that’s fine, I get it,” he said during the August 31 hearing.
In denying him release, the board said Chapman’s action left “the world to recover from the vacuum you have created”. Chapman’s next appearance before the parole board is scheduled for February 2024.
In June, John Hinckley Jr., who shot and injured President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released from court supervision, officially ending decades of supervision by legal and mental health professionals. Hinckley had been acquitted of insanity.