John Lennon's killer, Mark Chapman, up for parole, again
Mark Chapman shot and killed John Lennon outside of John and Yoko's home in New York on the 8th December 1980. He did this in front of John's wife Yoko Ono. Fans around the world wept in shock.
The Beatles were very much a part of my young life and teenage years. As I have already written. I was not their biggest fan. For me, it was the Rolling Stones that had the edge. However, I was a great admirer of John Lennon.
John Lennon was a rebel, a humanitarian, a great writer, an artist, a poet, a husband, a father, a musician and so much more. Once he and Yoko got together they broke down musical boundaries.
When this hub was originally created he had been dead almost 28 years. Now it is 32 years and yet it is still fresh in my mind. Mark Chapman continues to seek parole.
I can remember that I was painting some woodwork at home. We had two dogs back then and one was a rescue dog that had a fondness for chewing door frames, window sills and whatever it could get its teeth into. Hubby was on an early shift at work. We had been married almost 8 years at the time.
With no video or computer back then I recorded the days news, tributes and music for hubby to listen to when he returned home. These were recorded on cassette tapes. He had always been a great Beatles and Lennon fan.
To this day we still have all those cassettes stored away.
On the 27th July 2010 I read that Mark Chapman is to go before the parole board on 9th August 2010.
Isn't it strange how you forget about such criminals? I often think of John Lennon, when I hear his music, see a sixties documentary or the like, but have never truly considered Chapman.
Mark Chapman is now 55 years old and has been eligible for parole since the year 2000. He was originally sentenced to 20 years. This will be his 6th attempt at being paroled.
Yoko Ono has once again written to the parole board expressing her fears and hopes that Chapman will not be awarded parole. Apparently she has done this before. Her reasons? Yoko has stated that she fears for herself and her children, if Chapman is released. She has also stated that, knowing he was on the streets would make her relive that dreadful night again and again.
The overriding decision though must be based on whether or nor Chapman still poses a risk and would re-offend.
At the time of the murder Chapman did not deny wrong doing. Nor did he flee the scene of the crime. Here is some of what he said:
"There was no emotion in my blood. There was no anger. There was nothing. It was dead silence in my brain.
"Dead, cold quiet, until he walked up. He looked at me...
"He walked past me and then I heard in my head. It said, 'Do it, do it, do it,' over and over again."
Chapman has since claimed that his mental instabilities had cleared with seven or so years of being in jail. He has supposedly been a model prisoner since.
I find this case a very difficult one to form a firm opinion on. My heart says that he should rot in jail. However, if he was sentenced to 20 years and is suitable for parole should that not happen? If not is he simply being treat differently because John Lennon was a high profile celebrity?
I have no hard answers so feel free to leave your input in the comments, politely please.
Finally all I can say is that reading the news of Chapman's parole board hearing took me back to 8th December 1980 and in Lennon's life I was no-one. How awful it must be for his kith and kin.