Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
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Monday, December 8, 2014
John Lennon was Murdered - December 8, 1980
This week (December 8-14) in crime history – John Lennon
was murdered (December 8, 1980); Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped (December 10,
1963); Bernie Madoff was arrested for masterminding a Ponzi scheme (December
11, 2008); Singer Sam Cooke was shot and killed (December 11, 1964); Leona
Helmsley was sentenced for tax fraud (December 12, 1989); The Mona Lisa was recovered two years after it was stolen from the
Louvre (December 12, 1913); Texas Seven escape from a maximum security prison
(December 13, 2000).
Story of the Week -
On December 8, 1980, singer John Lennon was shot and killed
by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City. After
committing the murder, Chapman waited calmly outside, reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Chapman was a
troubled individual who was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of the
J.D. Salinger's novel about a disaffected youth, and with various celebrities.
While working as a security guard in Hawaii, he decided that Lennon was a phony
and, while listening to Beatles tapes, Chapman decided to plan his murder. Chapman
purchased a gun and traveled to New York. Although he called his wife to tell
her that he was in New York to shoot Lennon, she ignored his threats. Unable to
buy bullets in New York due to strict laws, Chapman flew to Atlanta and
purchased hollow-nosed rounds.
On the day of the murder, Chapman bought an extra copy of
The Catcher in the Rye and joined
fans waiting outside The Dakota, Lennon's apartment building. That evening, as
Lennon walked by on his way into the building, Chapman shot him in the back and
then fired two additional bullets into his shoulder as the singer wrenched
around in pain. On June 8, 1980, just two weeks before he was scheduled to
present an insanity defense at trial, Chapman pleaded guilty to murder and was
sentenced to 20 years-to-life. Ironically, Chapman was sent to Attica prison,
where 10 years earlier, rioting had inspired Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, to
record a benefit song to "free all prisoners everywhere." In prison,
Chapman became a born-again Christian and spends his time writing evangelical
tracts for publication.
Check back every
Monday for a new installment of “This Week in Crime History.”
Michael Thomas Barry is columnist for www.crimemagazine.com and is the author
of six nonfiction books that include Murder
and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. Visit
Michael’s website www.michaelthomasbarry.com
for more information. His books can be purchased from Amazon through the