For many people, the details surrounding the murder of John Lennon are etched in their minds as sharply as if it had happened yesterday, not 34 years ago.
At about 10:50 pm the night of December 8, 1980, Lennon was returning home from a late night recording session when Mark David Chapman fired five shots outside the New York City Dakota apartment building where Lennon lived, hitting him four times in the back. Lennon was pronounced dead less than 20 minutes later, and Chapman was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
At a parole hearing in 2012, Chapman recounted that Lennon had agreed to autograph an album cover for him just hours before the killing.
“He was very kind to me,” said Chapman, who had previously claimed to be angry with Lennon for not believing in God. “I did try to tell myself to leave. I’ve got the album, take it home, show my wife, everything will be fine. But I was so compelled to commit that murder that nothing would have dragged me away from the building.”
On Wednesday, 59 year old Chapman came before the three-person Parole Board for the eighth time, and on Friday, the board announced that they have denied Chapman's bid for release telling him: "You would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law.”
The board added: “This victim had displayed kindness to you earlier in the day, and your actions have devastated a family and those who loved the victim.”
"Those who loved the victim" included millions of people around the world.
Mark David Chapman: Then and Now