Monday, September 20, 2010

"... murderers are not somebodies"

So said Mark David Chapman at his most recent parole hearing, the transcripts of which were made available to news outlets. He told the parole board about other celebrities he considered killing and explained his rationale for taking John's life.

"Johnny Carson was one of them. Elizabeth Taylor. I lose memory of perhaps the other two."
. . .

"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody," he said, "and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies.

"I made a horrible decision to end another human being's life for reasons of selfishness, and that was my decision at that time," he said.

Prior to reading this ABC News story, I wasn't aware of the various twists and turns that delayed, and maybe came close to nixing, Chapman's murderous act. According to his telling of the events, on one trip to the U.S. mainland (he lived in Hawaii at the time), he had a gun but no bullets in his possession and was forced to travel down to Atlanta to secure some. He did so by telling a police officer that he needed them "for protection" as he went back to New York.

Side-note: This led me to think about the small, unwitting, and yet critical roles that many individuals almost forgotten to history have played in tragedies like John's death. The innocent and the careless can easily become ensnared in the tangled webs woven by others.

In any event, Chapman arrived back in New York and, after revealing his plans to his wife by phone and finding himself overcome with grief, he quit the city, returning to Hawaii having committed no murder. That would change soon after.

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