“I just shot John Lennon,” those were the words uttered by Mark David Chapman after he gunned down the rock star in front of his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980. The Cranberries would later immortalize those words in the form of a song on their album To the Faithful Departed. Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon 4 times in the back as he and Yoko Ono made their way to their apartment from the recording studio. Chapman had spent the fateful day hanging out (waiting) in front of Lennon’s apartment. It was not an uncommon occurrence at the time. Fans and photographers would usually wait on the street in front of Lennon’s apartment in hopes of getting a glimpse of the rock star. On the morning of December 8, 1980, Chapman was photographed receiving an autograph from Lennon hours before he shot and killed him.
Why would a stranger go through all that trouble (time, plane fares and hotel costs), to kill a celebrity? And not just any celebrity, John Lennon was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time of his death. Mark David Chapman was not a native of New York; he came all the way from Hawaii to murder Lennon. Chapman, who was once a big Lennon fan, turned against Lennon after he made that unguarded comment about ‘the Beatles being more popular than Jesus’. After reading a book on the life of John Lennon, Chapman became angry and disillusioned. Chapman felt Lennon was not living up to the messages in his songs and the image he portrayed to the public. He accused Lennon of being a phony. It was at that moment that Chapman decided that he was going to kill John Lennon.
Conspiracy theorists suggest that Chapman might have been ‘programmed’ to kill Lennon. John Lennon was much more than a rock star. He was an anti-war activist, who was seen by the US government as somewhat of a ‘troublemaker.’ In the 1970s, Richard Nixon started proceedings to have Lennon deported. Nixon was worried that Lennon would influence the teenagers during the upcoming elections. As part of Nixon’s efforts to have John Lennon deported, the FBI ‘opened a file’ on Lennon. There were also concerns from Lennon’s side that he was being followed and that the phones in his apartment were tapped. However, by 1980 (The year Lennon was killed) Nixon was no longer in office, the deportation proceedings had been dropped, and John Lennon was now a Green Card holder. He was no longer a ‘threat’ to the US government, and he was hardly in the spotlight.
Chapman’s behavior leading up to & after that tragic incident has always seemed ‘weird.’ The morning of the shooting, Chapman bought a copy of The Catcher in the Rye; this was a book he had read many times before. He signed the book ‘To Holden Caulfield from Holden Caulfield’, and wrote ‘This is my statement’ inside. After shooting one of the most famous & beloved rock stars on the planet, Chapman sat on the curb, started reading The Catcher in the Rye & waited for the police to arrive. When the police arrived on the scene, Chapman was asked: “Do you know what you have done?” Chapman answered with those haunting words; “I just shot John Lennon.” He had completed his mission. Was Mark David Chapman ‘programmed’ to kill John Lennon? Was Chapman a Manchurian?
Manchuria is a region in north-east China. The Japanese army invaded Manchuria in 1931. After the invasion, The Japanese military set up Manchuria as an independent state in 1932. In truth, it was, in fact, a puppet government and the Japanese were still in control of Manchuria from behind the scenes. That’s how the term ‘Manchurian’ came about. A Manchurian is a person operating under someone else’s control.
Was Mark David Chapman a Manchurian? At his trial, Chapman gave a statement in which he said he killed John Lennon to gain prominence to promote the reading of The Catcher in the Rye. Chapman’s legal team wanted to use the Insanity Defence but were unable when tests proved that Chapman was not insane. If Chapman was not crazy? (I don’t believe he was) Was he just evil? Was Mark David Chapman a Manchurian?
The Man Who Shot John Lennon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFa4wuY1zgk
BBC Documentary: John Lennon’s Assassination – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ceN0WWgyyM
Mark David Chapman’s Larry King Interview – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaUe5rCO6xU
Sirhan Sirhan, Mark David Chapman, and James Earl Ray: Real-Life Manchurian Candidates – http://www.trutv.com/conspiracy/government-lies/manchurian-candidate/sirhan-chapman-ray.html