FBI Seizes John Lennon Fingerprint Card at Auction

Feds still on his case

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 7, 2010 1:58 AM CDT | Updated Oct 7, 2010 6:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The FBI swooped into a Manhattan auction of John Lennon memorabilia yesterday and grabbed a fingerprint card of the legendary Beatle taken at a city police station. Managers of the Gotta Have It! store expected the card to be the biggest sale of the auction, and had set a minimum bid of $100,000. It wasn't immediately clear why the feds seized the card, which was made in 1976 as part of the singer's application for US citizenship and bears the signature John Winston Ono Lennon. Lennon was under FBI surveillance in the early '70s because of his anti-war activism.

“I’ve been doing this 20 years and have never had this much government interest in something,” said Peter Siegel, an owner of the store. “Here he is, one of our greatest musicians ever, and they just don’t stop investigating this guy.” Siegel said he received calls about the card from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the US attorney's office in Manhattan. One official told the New York Times that investigators are attempting to determine "how that item came to be up for auction.” Siegel said the card is being sold for a private owner who bought the card at a Beatles convention. Lennon would have turned 70 on Saturday.

John Lennon talks at a New York press conference in 1968.
John Lennon talks at a New York press conference in 1968.   (AP Photo/John Lindsay, file)
John Lennon's signed 'Primal Scream' book is displayed at the Gotta Have It's Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction Press Preview at the Gotta Have It! store in Manhattan.
John Lennon's signed 'Primal Scream' book is displayed at the Gotta Have It's Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction Press Preview at the Gotta Have It! store in Manhattan.   (Getty Images)
The feds grabbed this fingerprint card John Lennon made as part of his application for US citizenship.
The feds grabbed this fingerprint card John Lennon made as part of his application for US citizenship.   (Gottahavetockandroll.com)
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