US & Canada

Lennon's killer Chapman 'wanted to become somebody'

Mark David Chapman
Chapman is being held at Attica Correctional Facility in New York State

John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman has told the parole board in New York he thought by killing the Beatle he would become a somebody.

Instead, Chapman told the board that "I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies", according to the published transcript of the interview.

Chapman was denied parole for the sixth time last week.

Chapman, now aged 55, shot and killed Lennon outside his New York apartment in December 1980.

Porter and clerk

The former security guard, who experienced bouts of depression, told the parole board he had a list of people he wanted to kill, including the talk show host Johnny Carson and the actress Elizabeth Taylor. Lennon was at the top of the list.

"I wasn't thinking clearly," Chapman stated, "I made a horrible decision to end another human being's life, for reasons of selfishness."

"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies," he said.

In prison, Chapman works as a porter and a clerk in the law library.

He told the parole officers a judge was willing to help him find a job and give him a place to stay if he was released.

In a closing statement, Chapman said his life had changed because of Jesus.

"I know him, he is with me, he is with me now, he is helping me speak to you now. Without him I am nothing, I would have been an even bigger nobody."

After the interview, Chapman was denied parole yet again. The board said it remained concerned about the disregard he showed for the norms of society and the sanctity of human life.

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