John Lennon’s Killer, Mark David Chapman, Says He Knew Murder Was ‘Evil…But I Wanted the Fame So Much’

John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman was recently denied parole for the 12th time since first becoming eligible in 2000 — 20 years after he gunned down the former Beatle outside of his Upper West Side apartment. And recently unsealed transcripts from the latest parole hearing, where he admitted that there was “evil in my heart,” shows he really hasn’t made a convincing case for himself as to why he should be free.

“I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,” Chapman told the board during a hearing in August. “I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life.”

In denying his parole, the board cited Chapman’s “selfish disregard for human life of global consequence,” which had lasting ramifications that have left “the world recovering from the void of which you created.” From his perspective, killing Lennon was “my big answer to everything … I wasn’t going to be a nobody anymore.”


The 67-year-old added: “I hurt a lot of people all over the place, and if somebody wants to hate me, that’s OK, I get it.” Chapman’s past hearings have yielded similar expressions of remorse, where he has referred to his actions as “despicable” and a large source of personal shame. “I assassinated him … because he was very, very, very famous, and that’s the only reason, and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory,” he told the board in 2020. “Very selfish.”

Chapman is currently serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York’s Hudson Valley. He interviews with the Board of Parole every two years seeking release. He will next appear in front of the board in February 2024.

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