Music

Inside John Lennons tragic death – will, aftermath and murderers death plot

John Lennon, one of the most famous musicians of the 20th century, was brutally shot and killed on December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman.

The world was shaken and silenced after such an iconic and influential figure’s life was cut short at the age of 40 years old.

The impact was felt across the world as fans mourned the loss of such a creative mind and were robbed of the chance to see him perform live once more.

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John and his wife Yoko Ono had performed his final full concert performance back in 1972 in Madison Square Garden and as the 50th anniversary approaches, keep reading to take a look back at John’s untimely death.

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman, a Hawaii-born security guard, was 25 years old at the time of the crime and was an avid Beatles fan.

He had no prior convictions.

One of his main inspirations in life was Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in JD Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher In The Rye who repeatedly comments on the “phonies” of the world.

Mark became infatuated by Lennon’s lifestyle and an infamous statement he made in 1966.

John had said that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”, which caused controversy across the world and, along with the lyrics to his songs God and Imagine, riled Mark to the point of murder.

He flew from Honolulu to New York City and when he arrived, made his way to John’s NYC residence.

Chapman even shook John’s son Sean Lennon’s hand as he returned from a walk with the family nanny and then continued to camp out for John’s appearance.

John left the building but instead of seizing the opportunity, Mark asked for his autograph and later said that he “was very kind and patient to him” and even called John “very cordial and decent”.

Assassination

John Lennon was shot and fatally wounded just outside of where he lived in New York City.

The attack happened in the archway of the Dakota Apartments as Mark David Chapman waited for the Lennon’s to arrive back at the building.

John was with Yoko when he was shot as they pulled up to their residence for the final time.

Chapman fired five bullets into John and read excerpts from The Catcher in the Rye aloud until the police arrived at the scene, from which John was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Aftermath

The Beatles had an astronomical following and are widely regarded as the most influential band of all time.

Crowds of people gathered outside John's apartment building, the scene of the crime, and held up signs in protest, with “at least three Beatles fans” having committed suicide after he was killed.

The legendary musician was cremated and his ashes were scattered around Central Park, but no funeral was held.

Instead, Yoko requested a 10-minute silence to be held around the world in commemoration of her lover’s death.

In Liverpool, where Lennon was born, 30,000 people gathered, and more than 225,000 in Central Park for the silence.

Yoko still places a candle in the window of John’s room in the Dakota on the anniversary of his death.

John's Will

Chapman pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 20 years to life, but became eligible for parole back in 2000.

Since then, he has been denied parole 11 times.

Little was known about John’s will until his son Julian spoke to the Telegraph in May 1998.

He said that he felt excluded as his half-brother Sean was left to inherit most of their father’s fortune.

Julian was set to receive £2,400-a-year as well as a £50,000 trust fund when he turned 25 years old, but John’s net worth at the time was around £220million.

Julian admitted: “I don’t think it was necessarily fair, but I’m OK. The last thing I wanted was a court battle […] I just wanted to resolve it.”

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