Site Index

Date of Birth: 
October 9, 1940

Place of Birth: 
Liverpool, England

December 8, 1980
New York City

John Lennon Day Petition

John Lennon Links

Links For The Beatles


John Lennon
Video Page


Working Class Hero


BBC News
John Lennon
Shot Dead
by Peter Hobday

John Lennon
Video Clips


John Lennon
Audio Page

CBS News
Former Beatle
John Lennon Shot
And Killed
by John Bohannon
and Stephanie Shelton

John Lennon Assassination

John Lennon
Interviews And Spoken Words Recordings

The Murder Of
John Lennon


John Lennon
Photographs Page

Photographs of
John and Yoko
by Allan Tannenbaum

John Lennon and
Yoko Ono Photographs
by Bob Gruen

Photographs of
John Lennon,
Yoko Ono, and Sean
by Sanford Kreger

Lennon Collection
by David Spindel

Photo Gallery

News and Articles


1957- 1970
The Beatles
Bio and Discography


Unfinished Music, No. 1: Two Virgins

Life with the Lions: Unfinished Music #2

Wedding Album

Live Peace in Toronto

John Lennon
Plastic Ono Band


Sometime in
New York City

Mind Games

Walls and Bridges

Rock n Roll

Shaved Fish

Double Fantasy

John Lennon Box Set

John Lennon Collection

Milk And Honey

Live in New York City

Menlove Ave.

Imagine: John Lennon
[Original Soundtrack]


Lennon Legend:
The Very Best of
John Lennon



Legend Box


The Legends Collection

Milk and Honey
[Bonus Tracks]

Lennon Legend DVD

John Lennon Links

John Lennon Song Poll

What are Your Favorite John Lennon Songs?

(Pick One or More)

Give Peace A Chance
Instant Karma
Gimme Some Truth
Nobody Told Me
Just Like Starting Over
Watching The Wheels
Power To The People
Number 9 Dream
Mind Games
Working Class Hero
Come Together
Beautiful Boy
Happy Christmas/War Is Over
Strawberry Fields
Nowhere Man
All You Need Is Love
In My Life
Jealous Guy
Stand By Me
Across The Universe
You Got To Hide Your Love Away
It's Only Love
Grow Old With Me
Oh My Love

Current Results

Assassination Preparation Of John Lennon
October Through December 1980

On Oct. 20, 1980 Chapman read in the Honolulu Star Bulletin about Lennon's return to recording after a five-year hiatus. Lennon and his wife, the artist Yoko Ono, had cut an album called "Double Fantasy."

On Oct. 23 he quit his security job and signed out for the last time. Instead of the usual "Chappy," he wrote "John Lennon." Then he crossed it out.

On Oct. 27 Chapman went to a Honolulu gun store and, for $169, bought a five-shot, short-barrel .38-caliber Charter Arms Special. Ironically, the salesman was named Ono.

On Oct. 30 wearing a new suit and topcoat, the revolver in his suitcase, he boarded a plane for New York.

He had several thousand dollars with him, what was left of a $5,000 loan from his father-in-law. As with his first visit to Hawaii, Chapman had decided to live it up a little before carrying out his plan. He checked in at the Waldorf and treated himself to a dinner of filet mignon and Heineken beer at its restaurant.

He knew that John Lennon lived in the Dakota, a celebrity-filled apartment hotel across from Central Park at West 72nd Street. He spent that day walking around it and studying it, looking for the Lennons' sixth-floor windows. He struck up a conversation with the doorman, getting the standard statement that he didn't know if the Lennons were in town.

He also tried to buy the .38 bullets he hadn't bothered to buy in Honolulu. He found to his chagrin that New York's Sullivan Law forbade their sale.

He called Dana Reeves, now a sheriff's deputy in Georgia, and said he wanted to visit his old friends; Reeves invited him to stay at Reeves' apartment. Chapman flew to Atlanta.

While there, he told Reeves he had bought a gun for personal protection while he was in New York but he needed some bullets "with real stopping power." Reeves supplied him with five hollow-point cartridges - the kind that expand as they pass through their target.

On Nov. 10 he was back in New York. The next night he decided to take in a movie -- "Ordinary People," in which Timothy Hutton plays a suicidal youth trying to come to terms with his dysfunctional family. When the movie ended, he immediately made a phone call.

In a Jack Jones recording played on the "Mugshots" show, he describes that call: The experience in that theater, somehow - when I called my wife, I had defeated, I had capped that volcano. And I called Hawaii and I said, "I'm coming home, I won a great victory. Your love has saved me."

It was like a snapback to reality. I realized that I had a wife and she loves me. I told her I was going to kill someone and I whispered -- I remember whispering it in the phone -- "John Lennon. I was going to kill John Lennon." She said, "Come back," and that's when I came back."

Chapman's demons were gone, but only briefly. Back home, they were soon tormenting him again.

He started making threatening phone calls and bomb threats. He spent his days harassing a group of Hare Krishnas who daily appeared in downtown Honolulu.

He told an alarmed Gloria he was going back to New York - but only for a few weeks, to try to find a new career.

He arrived on Saturday, Dec. 6. He told a credulous cab driver who took him into the city that he was a recording engineer who had just come from a secret session of Lennon and Paul McCartney: They were recording together for the first time since the Beatles split up.

He checked into a $16.50-a-night room at the YMCA on 63rd Street just off Central Park West; this time there was no splurge at the Waldorf. He walked the nine blocks to the Dakota. While waiting on the sidewalk there he struck up a conversation with two women, Jude Stein and Jerry Moll. They told him Lennon knew them by sight and sometimes stopped to chat with them.

When they left, Chapman offered to buy them dinner if they came back later. Meanwhile he waited, a brand new copy of "Double Fantasy" under his arm. At 5 p.m., he gave up the vigil and returned to his hotel. Ironically, the women arrived 15 minutes later, in time to see Lennon and talk with him.

Back at the Y, Chapman was disturbed by the sound of the men in the next room, who obviously were having gay sex. Outraged, he thought of barging in on them with his revolver. He decided to save his ammunition.

However, he checked out of the Y in the morning and moved to the Sheraton Centre at Seventh Avenue and 52nd Street.

It was Sunday, Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day.

He spent three hours waiting outside the Dakota, then, growing hungry, took a taxi back to the Sheraton. On the way, it occurred to him that he hadn't brought a copy of The Catcher in the Rye to New York. In a nearby bookstore, a poster of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion caught his eye. He bought it.

And on the newsstand he spotted the face of John Lennon. The January Playboy Magazine carried an interview with John and Yoko, their first in five years. Forgetting The Catcher in the Rye for the moment, he bought the magazine and read the interview over his dinner.

The Playboy centerfold reminded him of something that Holden Caulfield had done on his odyssey in New York. Chapman called an "escort service," but when the call girl arrived he told her he merely wanted to talk - just as Holden had done. He paid her $190 when she left at 3 a.m.


On about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, Chapman awakened in his room at the Sheraton. Something told him this was the day.

He dressed. Then, on his dresser, he constructed a tableau. He carefully laid out a Todd Rundgren audiotape. He took out the hotel Bible, opened it to the beginning of "The Gospel of John" and wrote in the word "Lennon" after "John." He placed on the dresser a letter praising his efforts at the refugee camp, along with photos of him with Vietnamese children. Behind them was the poster of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion.

He picked up the "Double Fantasy" album and one more item: the pistol, with cardboard over it to conceal the outline in his pocket.

On his way to the Dakota, he made a stop to buy the copy of The Catcher in the Rye he had forgotten the previous night. He also bought a ballpoint pen, and on the inside cover he wrote " This is my statement." He signed it "Holden Caulfield."

Outside the Dakota, he chatted with the doorman, Patrick O'Loughlin. Then, leaning against a railing, he started to read The Catcher. Engrossed, he missed seeing Lennon get out of a taxi and walk into the building.

Chagrined, he resumed his vigil. Paul Goresh, an amateur photographer who often staked out the Lennons and whom Chapman had seen there on Saturday, joined him. Then Jude Stein appeared again. She told him that she and her friend Jerry had held a conversation with Lennon on Saturday after Chapman left.

Chapman offered to buy her lunch. Afterwards, they returned to the Dakota. Five-year-old Sean Lennon came out with his nanny. Jude introduced Chapman to him and Chapman shook hands with the boy.

Chapman would tell Gaines: "He was the cutest little boy I ever saw. It didn't enter my mind that I was going to kill this poor young boy's father and he won't have a father for the rest of his life. I mean, I love children. I'm the Catcher in the Rye."


Chapman recalled seeing Gilda Radner, Lauren Bacall, Paul Simon and Mia Farrow coming or going. But not Lennon.

He chatted with Goresh and with doorman Jose Perdomo, whom he remembered from his visit in November. He showed him the album he had brought for Lennon to autograph.

While they were talking, Chapman heard a familiar voice. He turned. John Lennon and Yoko Ono were emerging from the building with a gaggle of staff members.

He was dumbstruck. Goresh had to push him to approach Lennon. Speechless, he held out the album and the pen. Lennon smiled, took them and wrote "John Lennon 1980."

On the "Mugshots" show, Chapman's recorded voice tells the story. He is describing an event that happened 10 years before, but there is still awe in his voice.

He said "Sure" and wrote his name, and when he handed it back to me he looked at me and kind of nodded his head, "Is that all you want?"

Like - just like that, like an inquiry into a different matter, and I said, "Yeah." I said, "Thanks, John."

And he again said, "Is that all you want?" and there was Yoko, she was already in the car, the limo, the door was open and it was running, it was out in the middle of the street and he asked me twice, and I said, "Yeah, thanks, that's all," or something like that. He got into the car and drove away.

Chapman stood amazed, the album in his hands, the gun still in his pocket. He told Goresh, "They're never going to believe this back in Hawaii." He offered the photographer $50 if he had gotten a picture of him with Lennon and could bring it back the next day.

Later, he would tell Gaines: "I was just overwhelmed by his sincerity. I had expected a brushoff, but it was just the opposite. I was on Cloud Nine. And there was a little bit of me going, 'Why didn't you shoot him?' And I said, `I can't shoot him like this.' I wanted to get the autograph."

And for the first time in a while, he prayed - to God, for the grace to just take his record and go home.

Mark Chapman was torn, he would later say, between the adult and the child inside him. The child won. He stayed at the Dakota.

At 8 p.m., Goresh announced he was going back to his home in New Jersey: It was obvious the Lennons had gone back to the Record Plant, their recording studio, and might not be back until after midnight.

Chapman pleaded for him to stay. "I'd wait," he said. "You never know if you'll see him again."

Goresh didn't catch the hint. Chapman was left with doorman Jose Perdomo to talk to.

And two others.

He told Gaines: "I remember I was praying to God [to keep me from killing Lennon] and I was also praying to the devil to give me the opportunity. 'Cause I knew I would not have the strength on my own.''


At 10:50 p.m. a white limousine pulled around the corner and stopped at the curb. Yoko Ono got out first. Lennon started to follow her into the building.

In a statement recorded by police hours later, Chapman declared, "He walked past me, and then a voice in my head said, 'Do it, do it, do it,' over and over again, saying `Do it, do it, do it, do it,' like that."

He called out, "Mr. Lennon!"

Lennon turned to see Chapman, crouching combat style with both hands on the pistol.

Chapman's statement continues: "I pulled the gun out of my pocket, I handed over to my left hand, I don't remember aiming, I must have done it, but I don't remember drawing the bead or whatever you call it. And I just pulled the trigger steady five times."

Lennon turned to escape, but four of the five bullets tore into him. To Chapman's amazement, he did not fall but managed to run up six steps into the concierge's station. He said "I'm shot," then fell face down.

There was a subway entrance across the street, but Chapman made no effort to flee.

Perdomo turned to him: "Do you know what you done? Do you know what you done!" He knocked the gun from Chapman's hand and kicked it away.

Chapman took off his hat and coat and threw them on the sidewalk. He knew the police were coming and wanted them to see he wasn't hiding a gun. He took The Catcher in the Rye out of his pocket and tried to read it as he paced the sidewalk and waited.

A police car roared up to the Dakota and two uniformed police jumped out. One ran inside. Perdomo pointed out Chapman to the other.

Chapman put his hands in the air. "Don't hurt me," he pleaded. "I'm unarmed."

"I acted alone," he said as the officer spread-eagled him against the wall and searched him.

The police cuffed him and put him in the back seat of their car.

"I'm sorry I gave you guys all this trouble," he kept telling them.


John Lennon Message Board
Post | Read

For me, John is still alive. I believe he's still with us,
looking over Yoko, Sean and Julian. If you are reading this John, remember that I will never loose faith in you,
and say hi to George for us. Even though I'm only 13,
you're forever going to be my hero,
because of giving your life for Love and Peace.

I'm a great fan of The Beatles, and I beleive that they were
the best rock & roll group in music history. Not many people
my age understand me well. They don't understand why I like
The Beatles and why John Lennon is forever going to be my hero.
They don't understand why a 13 year old girl would be into
The Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison. All I've got to say about this Message Board, is that it helped me in a sort of way,
tell the whole world how I fell about a man, who for no reasons, died.

Remember, War Is Over If You Want It.

Jo, a 13 year old girl from Canada
[email protected]

The heartbeat of Homo Sapiens is music
John was the greatest singer songwriter and
the most influential political artist of our time

Imagine honoring John’s 65th birthday

Sunday October 9, 2005
every October 9th with an International holiday
Celebrating Peace and Love on Earth

Please sign our online petition in order to gather
the 10 million signatures needed
to accomplish this

You can also help us collect petition signatures by snail mail

Click here to print out petition and signatures form

Read Petition Letters From Fans In Support Of
An International Holiday To Honor John Lennon

To me, John is a spirit who lives with me each day,
and he holds my hand and teaches me how to live in peace and
be a better person. He guides me to love nature, the environment, myself and my fellow human being. Through his brilliant mind,
I've learned what kind of person I want to be,
and to me he is the true meaning of an artist. He will never
fade as being my all-time favorite song writer and musician.

Laura Coteff:) Love is real //00\\
[email protected]

The Beatles

The Beatles CDs

Photographs of John and Yoko

Let's Be Like John And Yoko
Song, Lyrics and Vocals
by Lori-ann Latremouille

All Instuments, Recorded, Produced and Arranged
by Ray Garand

Contact: [email protected]

Yoko Discusses John's Life
And The New Lennon Legend DVD

Just Imagine
In the 60s, Yoko Ono married John Lennon
and campaigned for peace in Vietnam.
More than 30 years on,
she's still irrevocably linked to her dead husband
and America is once again at war.
Here, she talks to Andrew Smith about marriage,
art and inner peace

Give Peace A Chance
Listen To Yoko's New Version


The Greatest Song Ever Written

Imagine (Video)

Imagine (Audio)


Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try,
No hell below us, above us only sky,
Imagine all the people, living for today.
Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one. |

Back to

John Lennon Site Index