Lennon's Killer: I Intentionally Chose Those Bullets

He's not '100% remorseful' and 'weeping' yet, per transcript of last parole hearing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2018 6:16 AM CST
This Jan. 31, 2018, file photo shows Mark David Chapman.   (New York State Department of Corrections via AP, File)

(Newser) – Is John Lennon's killer completely repentant yet? By his own admission, no, but he's getting there. "As each year goes by, I feel more and more shame," Mark David Chapman said at his last parole hearing in August, the transcript of which was released Thursday, per the New York Daily News. "Thirty years ago I couldn't say I felt shame and I know what shame is now. ... [But] I can't say that I am 100% remorseful and I am weeping." Chapman, 63, was denied parole for the 10th time at his hearing, which Rolling Stone notes took place at the upstate New York prison where he's being held, but not before he stated he'd flown from Hawaii to New York to kill Lennon a few months before he actually carried it out; his wife had convinced him to come back home that time. He also started second-guessing his plans to shoot Lennon in December 1980 after he'd gotten Lennon to autograph an album, but "I was too far in."

Chapman said the choice to use hollow-point bullets, which the AP notes are more dangerous than regular bullets, to kill Lennon was a purposeful one. "I secured those bullets to make sure he would be dead," he noted, though he added he hadn't wanted the ex-Beatle to suffer, and that he'd chosen to kill Lennon not because he had anything against him but because Lennon was "super famous, just the right kind of a person if you want to become infamous yourself." As for getting out of prison someday—he'll next be up for parole in 2020—Chapman, now a born-again Christian, says "of course" he wants to be released, but whether he deserves to be is murkier: "I don't think somebody that did what I did deserves anything." More here. (The album Lennon signed for Chapman is worth quite a bit of money.)

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