John Lennon's murder rocked the world in 1980 and his killer has now been denied parole for the 12th time.
The Liverpudlian was gunned down outside his apartment in New York City. Crazed fan Mark David Chapman shot Lennon four times from close range and despite being rushed to hospital, the former Beatle died from his injuries.
Mark David Chapman was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, which made him eligible for parole in 2000, however this has now been denied 12 times, most recently last week.
The then 25-year-old Chapman had reportedly been angered by John Lennon claiming the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus", and had a desire to emulate Holden Caulfield from the book Catcher in the Rye. New York corrections officials said on September 12 that he’d been denied parole once again. Chapman is next due to appear before the parole board in February 2024.
Raised in Decatur, Georgia, Chapman had been a fan of the Beatles, but was incensed by Lennon's lifestyle and public statements, such as his remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus" and the lyrics of his later songs "God" and "Imagine". In the years leading up to the murder, Chapman developed a series of obsessions, including artwork and the music of Todd Rundgren.
Chapman also contemplated killing other public figures, including Johnny Carson, Paul McCartney, Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor. He had no prior criminal convictions and had just resigned from a job as a security guard in Hawaii. After denying an insanity plea and pleading guilty, Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
The killer unsuccessfully appealed for parole in August 2020, and then had to wait another two years before he was eligible for another hearing. The now 67-year-old described his actions as "despicable" and said he could have no complaints if he spent the rest of his life behind bars.