Last August, Mark David Chapman was denied parole the tenth time which means the 63 year old will have to stay in prison for an indefinite time. Chapman was imprisoned for 20 years to life back in 1980 when he shot and killed one of the most beloved figures in music. He had previously shook hands with John Lennon and asked him to sign a copy of the singer’s latest album. Hours later, Chapman shot Lennon five times after waiting for him to return.
This week, New York prison officials released a transcript of Chapman’s parole hearing a few months ago in which he felt remorse from what he did on the night of December 8, 1980. According to the transcript he said that “Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now. It’s where you cover your face, you don’t want to, you know, ask for anything.” He also told parole board members that he still thinks about how Lennon was so “incredible” to him earlier that day.
He said he was going through an internal “tug of war” of whether to go ahead with the shooting. “I was too far in. I do remember having the thought of, ‘Hey, you have got the album now. Look at this, he signed it, just go home.’ But there was no way I was just going to go home.” He also said in an interview years before, that on the day Lennon signed his album, Chapman met a fellow fan and asked her to go out with him that night. He also talked with a photographer and asked him to stay with him. He said that if the girl had accepted his invitation, or had the photographer stayed, he would not have murdered Lennon that evening. But he did also say “I probably would have tried another day”.
John Lennon signing an autograph for his murderer Mark David Chapman hours before he was killed, 36 years ago today. pic.twitter.com/fDMubu8rZx— Lost In History (@HistoryToLearn) December 8, 2016
Mark David Chapman’s parole officers said that if they released him from prison, he would not only “tend to mitigate the seriousness of [his] crime” but also endanger public safety because someone might try to harm him out of anger, revenge or to gain notoriety.