Mark Chapman's name appeared in the news again recently after he was denied parole for the 11th time last month.
The 65-year-old, who became notorious after shooting John Lennon as he entered the Dakota Building in NYC, has been in prison since murdering the Beatle in 1980.
However, a transcript of his most recent parole hearing, which took place at New York's Wende Correctional Facility, was obtained by the PA, and in it he appears to take responsibility for his evil deed.
Chapman admitted that he killed Lennon, who was 40 at the time of his death, for 'glory'. "I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime,” he said. “I have no excuse. This was for self-glory. I think it’s the worst crime that there could be to do something to someone that’s innocent.
"He (Lennon) was extremely famous," he added. "I didn’t kill him because of his character or the kind of man he was. He was a family man. He was an icon. He was someone that spoke of things that now we can speak of and it’s great.”
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50 years ago, John and I had the idea to do the “WAR IS OVER! (If you want it)” campaign. The experience and the memory of war was deeply imbedded in both our minds, and had become the springboard for our efforts to speak out for world peace. We did the “Bed-In for Peace”, unaware of the fact that we made our beds then, for life. Pairs of Acorns were sent to all heads of States of the world, asking them to be planted for Peace. “WAR IS OVER! (If you want it)” billboards were placed in main cities of several countries. We announced the birth of a Nutopian nation: a conceptual country anybody could join and be the ambassador of. Our white flag, and ordinary bed-sheet, symbolized a surrendering to Peace. “Give Peace A Chance” was our chant. “Imagine” was our anthem and a song of prayer. “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” This was a song asking people to imagine, to visualize, and realize our future. It was especially important that it was asking people to use the power of their own minds to make things happen. The days of one hero building a castle for all of us are over. Our world is getting too complex for that. Now we need each of us to be a hero. The human race realized its dreams and innermost desires by wishing together. Sometimes, we got sidetracked and listened to destructive powers within us. When you read the history of the last century, you wonder how we ever survived its violent events. We did. And I am sure we will. They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. The road to Peace has been longer than John and I hoped it would be, but sitting here today as I write this, I can still see it waiting for us just over the horizon. Waiting for us to realize it’s already there. love, yoko Photo © Frank Barratt/Getty
Chapman also apologised to Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, saying that he thought about his crime often. He claimed that he was influenced at the time by the novel 'The Catcher in the Rye' and the protagonist's sense of isolation, but that he could now see that his act was 'pretty creepy'.
“I assassinated him, to use your word earlier, because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory, very selfish," he said. “I want to add that and emphasise that greatly. It was an extremely selfish act. I’m sorry for the pain that I caused to her (Ono). I think about it all of the time."
Chapman is now a Christian and has a wife who lives near the prison. He also said that he should have received the death penalty for committing the murder.
"When you knowingly plot someone’s murder and know it’s wrong and you do it for yourself, that’s a death penalty right there in my opinion," he said. "Some people disagree with me, but everybody gets a second chance now.
“The view on the death penalty for me is a little up and down at times but for me I deserve that. I know I’m speaking for myself. I know what I did. I know who was in those shoes at that time. I know my thoughts. They were not thinking of him at all, his wife, his child, the fans, nobody. I was just thinking of me. That deserves a death penalty. He was a human being and I knew I was going to kill him. That alone says you deserve nothing and if the law and you choose to leave me in here for the rest of my life, I have no complaint whatsoever.”
Despite his admission of guilt, Chapman was denied parole and will not be eligible to apply again until 2022.