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John Lennon’s tragic assassination in 1980

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  • John Lennon’s assassination ended one of the most prolific music careers in the world. 
  • The Beatles star was shot 5 times in the back. 
  • Learn more about this terrible event.

Beatles star John Lennon was shot to death outside the New York apartment he shared with long-time partner Yoko Ono on December 8, 1980. It was a day that marked the history of music.

For several months, Mark David Chapman planned to murder Lennon, who he harassed until he managed to get him to autograph an album. On December 8, Chapman shot John Lennon five times in the back. Shockingly, Chapman remained at the crime scene until he was arrested by the police.

Who was John Lennon?

John Lennon

John Winston Lennon was a singer, songwriter, musician, and activist who stood out for being one of the Beatles, along with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. Their historic fame caught the attention of a man from Honolulu named Mark David Chapman.

Years later he would murder John Lennon, 10 years after the Beatles broke up. At the time, Lennon was promoting his fifth album with Yoko Ono, entitled Double Fantasy. Mark David Chapman would use that album to find John Lennon.

John Lennon’s assassination

The photo of John Lennon's corpse

On December 8, after months of coldly planning John Lennon’s assassination, Mark David Chapman headed to his apartment building carrying a .38 caliber gun. Chapman and Lennon met twice that day. First, Chapman approached the musician for an autograph. 

Just as Lennon and Ono were entering the Dakota apartment building, Chapman pointed a .38 caliber revolver at Lennon’s back and shot him five times. The singer was still alive when he was transported in a police car to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. Lennon was only 40 years old at the time of his death and his killer remained at the crime scene reading a book until he was arrested.

John Lennon’s autopsy

The photo of John Lennon's corpse
PHOTO: Getty Images

According to John Lennon’s autopsy, two projectiles had entered the singer’s body through the shoulder, while the remaining two entered through his back.

This caused massive blood loss as the bullets traveled through his body until they eventually destroyed his lungs. One remained lodged in his neck. John Lennon ultimately bled to death.

Who is Mark David Chapman?

mark david chapman
PHOTO: Getty Images

Mark David Chapman was a 25-year-old man from Honolulu and, until the day of the murder, had no criminal record. Chapman had found a refuge in reading that eventually became an obsession. This led him to want to emulate The Catcher in the Rye, which he was reading at the time of his arrest. One of the reasons he gave for assassinating Lennon was the fact that he had once said that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus.

Mark David Chapman underwent psychological evaluation while he was in Attica Correctional Facility, where he began his 20-year to life sentence and has repeatedly been denied parole.

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