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MURDER OF A BEATLE; 37 years since john lennon shot dead in new york.

Byline: ANDY RICHARDS Content Editor @AndyRichards9

THE start of December always brings sadness for Beatles fans around the world as the anniversary of the death of John Lennon arrives.

On Monday, December 8, 1980, Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City.

Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.

After sustaining four major gunshot wounds, Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital.

At the hospital, it was stated that nobody could have lived longer than a few minutes after sustaining such injuries.

Shortly after local news stations reported Lennon's death, crowds immediately gathered at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota.

Lennon was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, two days after his death; the ashes were given to Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him.

Chapman admitted to the murder of Lennon and was sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment. He has remained in prison since, having been denied parole nine times amidst campaigns against his release after becoming eligible in 2000.

Prior to the shooting, Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman, a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu.

Chapman silently handed Lennon a copy of a book called Double Fantasy, and Lennon obliged with an autograph.

After signing the album, Lennon asked, "Is this all you want?". Chapman smiled and nodded in agreement. Photographer and Lennon fan Paul Goresh took a photo of the encounter.

The Lennons then spent several hours at the Record Plant studio before returning to the Dakota, at approximately 10.50pm.

The Dakota's doorman, Jose Perdomo, and a nearby cab driver saw Chapman standing in the shadows by the archway.

As Lennon passed by, he glanced briefly at Chapman, appearing to recognise him from earlier. Seconds later, Chapman fired five hollowpoint bullets at him from a Charter Arms .38 Special revolver, in rapid succession, from a distance of about nine or 10 feet.

The fatally injured Beatle staggered up five steps to the security/reception area, saying, "I'm shot, I'm shot". He then fell to the floor, scattering cassettes that he had been carrying.

Outside, doorman Perdomo shook the gun out of Chapman's hand then kicked it across the sidewalk. Chapman then removed his coat and hat in preparation for the arrival of police to show he was not carrying any concealed weapons - and sat down on the sidewalk.

Perdomo shouted at Chapman, "Do you know what you've just done?", to which Chapman calmly replied, "Yes, I just shot John Lennon."

Police found Chapman holding a paperback book, J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival in the emergency room at the Roosevelt Hospital at 11.15pm.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy on Lennon also stated in his report that even with prompt medical treatment, no person could have lived for more than a few minutes with such multiple bullet injuries.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 9, 2017
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