When Mark David Chapman stared at a picture of John Lennon, he said to himself, “Wouldn’t it be something to kill him?” That’s according to a transcript of Chapman’s parole hearing obtained by ABC News through a New York State Freedom of Information Law request.
“At that point, the seed was planted to kill him. That seemed like the way out of all my problems and that’s it, basically, in a nutshell,” Chapman told the parole board, which denied him parole for a 12th time in September.
The transcript shows the parole board thought releasing Chapman “would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.” It conceded Chapman, 67, poses a low risk at this point after 41 years in prison, but cited his “selfish disregard for human life of global consequence” in deciding to keep him locked up.
“The worldwide impact of your crime resonates such as to evoke images, memories and emotions internationally, leading the panel to concur that your release at this time would be incompatible with the welfare of society,” the decision said. “The panel is significantly concerned about your behavior before and during the [incarcerating offense], underscoring your stated quest to be immortalized, identifying, murdering your victim as your path to said end.”
Chapman shot and killed Lennon on December 8, 1980. He told the parole board he acted on a “compulsion to kill” Lennon.
“I was that desperate for attention. I gave up everything in my life, my wife, my family, my location in beautiful Hawaii, for one thing and that was to be somebody. I was feeling like a big nobody in the world, and this would change that, and that’s why I did it,” Chapman said.
He is next eligible for parole in 2024.
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