John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman admits 'evil in my heart' at parole hearing

He said decision to murder former Beatle was 'my big answer to everything'

John Lennon fans gather to mark the anniversary of his death in New York. EPA
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The man who killed John Lennon outside his New York City apartment building told a parole board he was seeking fame and had “evil in my heart”.

Mark David Chapman made the comments in August to a board that denied him parole for a 12th time, citing his “selfish disregard for human life of global consequence”.

Chapman shot and killed Lennon on the night of December 8, 1980, as the singer and his wife Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment.

Chapman said he knew it was wrong to kill the former Beatle.

The decision to murder Lennon was “my big answer to everything. I wasn’t going to be a nobody, any more”, he said.

“I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,” Chapman told the board.

“I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life.”

Chapman, 67, said: “This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that.”

Chapman is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York’s Hudson Valley. He has repeatedly expressed remorse during his parole hearings over the years.

“I hurt a lot of people all over the place and if somebody wants to hate me, that’s OK, I get it,” he said at the August 31 hearing.

The transcript was released on Monday after a freedom of information request.

In denying him release, the board mentioned Chapman’s action has left “the world recovering from the void of which you created”.

Chapman’s next parole board appearance is scheduled for February 2024.

On the day he was killed, Lennon had earlier signed an autograph for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, Double Fantasy.

Chapman called his actions “despicable” during his hearing in 2020, and said he would have “no complaint whatsoever” if they chose to leave him in prison for the rest of his life.

In June, John Hinckley Junior, who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was freed from court oversight, officially concluding decades of supervision by legal and mental health professionals. Hinckley had been acquitted by reason of insanity.

Updated: November 08, 2022, 10:43 AM