Thirty years ago a young Mark David Chapman stood outside the Dakota apartment building in New York City waiting for John Lennon. Chapman had a history of emotional problems, had begun to hear voices and began to obsess over two things: the book "The Catcher in the Rye"; and killing John Lennon.
On October 27, 1980, Chapman went to a Honolulu gun store and bought a .38-caliber Charter Arms Special five-shot revolver for $169. Chapman purchased the gun legally. Because he had no criminal record and had never been committed to a mental institution he was allowed to purchase the gun.
A few days later he flew to New York. Once there he discovered that New York's Sullivan Law blocked him from buying ammunition for the gun. He turned to a friend in Georgia for help. He flew to Atlanta and told his friend he had bought a gun for personal protection and needed some bullets "with real stopping power." His friend sold him five hollow-point bullets, the kind that expand as they pass through their target.
After flying back to Hawaii to visit his wife, Chapman returned to New York in December. According to the statement he gave to police: "I went to the building. It's called the Dakota. I stayed there until he came out and asked him to sign my album. At that point my big part won and I wanted to go back to my hotel, but I couldn't. I waited until he came back. John came and looked at me and printed me. I took the gun from my coat pocket and fired at him."
Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back and shoulder. One of the bullets dissected Lennon's aorta, which caused severe bleeding. Police rushed Lennon to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m., December 8, 1980.
John Lennon's songs include:
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE