It’s been 36 years since John Lennon died

On Dec. 8, 1980, this happened:

Mark David Chapman waited for John Lennon outside the New York City apartment building where the former Beatle lived with his wife Yoko Ono and his son.

Chapman, who was 25 at the time, had asked Lennon earlier that day for an autograph, which the former Beatle signed. 

Yet five hours later, the killer, who said he wanted to be famous, opened fire with a Charter Arms .38-caliber pistol striking Lennon four times.

The 40-year-old singer-songwriter collapsed, mortally wounded. TV networks in the United States interrupted their Monday Night Football broadcast to announce news of Lennon’s death. Within hours, the shocking murder became front page news across the globe. 

I was living in Pennsylvania at the time. My ex-girlfriend called me that night from Florida, crying. That’s how I found out John was dead.

John’s wife, Yoko, asked for a 10-minute silent vigil a week later in his memory. I drove from Harrisburg to New York to join the thousands who gathered outside the Dakota, the building in which John and Yoko lived across from Central Park.

One thing to point out in this video clip, though. The TV reporter said that you couldn’t hear a thing during the 10 minutes. He lied. Because I heard TV people saying how silent it was DURING THE TRIBUTE. I wasn’t the only one to try to shush the guys with the mikes, but they just prattled on. That was probably when I began to look down on TV people. They haven’t done anything to gain my respect, since.

Anyway, when the 10 minutes were over we heard this:

Mark David Chapman was born the same day I was. He was sentenced to 20 years to life for second degree murder. In his eighth parole application in 2014, he said he should be let go because Jesus has forgiven him. That was rejected. He sought parole this past August. That was rejected. His next parole hearing is in 2018. He should never be released from jail.

Yoko, who is now 83, still lives at the Dakota, across the street from the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park.

If John had lived, he would have been 76.

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