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On This Day: John Lennon Shot On His Doorstep 40 Years Ago



Late on a gentle December night in 1980, a younger man with a revolver shot John Lennon 4 instances within the again because the singer arrived house from a recording studio along with his spouse, Yoko Ono.

Police discovered his killer studying a e book as he waited for them to arrest him outdoors the Dakota house constructing in midtown Manhattan.

Lennon was rushed to hospital on the again seat of a police automobile however “did not have the slightest chance of surviving” regardless of receiving a number of blood transfusions, a physician advised reporters.

An AFP breaking information dispatch on December 8 learn: “Former Beatle John Lennon was assassinated in front of his home in New York.”

It was the beginning of a flood of media protection that will rival the attain of the world-famous singer, who was simply 40 years outdated.


Johm lennon and Yoko Ono in New York in the course of the 70s

Fateful autograph

Mark Chapman, then 25, had travelled from (*40*) and had obtained Lennon to signal his copy of the British singer’s newest album, “Double Fantasy”, earlier that day as Lennon left the constructing.

“I saw the photo where he signed the autograph. It was flashed on TV again and again,” Yoko Ono would write to followers a month later in an advert she took out in main newspapers throughout the nation.

“Somehow that photo was harder for me to look at than the death photo. John was in a hurry that afternoon. He did not have to give his autograph but he did, while the man watched him, the man who was to betray John later.”

Years later from a jail cell, Chapman, an evangelical Christian, advised a journalist he was “angry at (Lennon) for saying (in the song “God”) that he didn’t imagine in God, that he simply believed in him and Yoko, and that he didn’t imagine within the Beatles”.

Lennon’s quip that the Beatles have been “more popular than Jesus” additionally irked him.


Collage of a number of the newspaper headlines, Beatle protests, and “Beatle bonfires” that erupted within the U.S. following John Lennon’s “more popular than Jesus” comment.


Chapman was deemed competent to face trial and was sentenced to life in jail, the place he stays. His twelfth parole listening to is about for 2022.

‘Great tragedy’

Then US president-elect Ronald Reagan — who would later survive an assassination try himself — referred to as the killing a “great tragedy” as hundreds of mourners gathered outdoors the constructing the place Lennon had lived with Ono and their son Sean.

Ono introduced there can be no public funeral. Instead, she despatched phrase to followers singing outdoors her window to assemble at an amphitheatre in close by Central Park that Sunday to honour her late husband.

On December 14, about 200,000 folks braved the New York chilly to pay tribute to Lennon with all the metropolis’s radio stations going silent for 10 minutes.

Across the United States, tens of hundreds flocked to “parks, squares, parking lots or theatres — even the natural Red Rocks amphitheatre in the heart of the Rocky mountains, where the Beatles had performed in 1964”, stated the AFP report on the time.

Millions extra joined in all over the world.

Moscow mourns

In Moscow, the place Beatles albums had been banned, with their recordings circulating on the black market, tributes went on for days. Police lastly moved to disperse a whole lot of younger individuals who had gathered close to the college with portraits of Lennon.

There was an analogous crackdown on Beatles followers in Prague.

“You would have to go back to the tragic death of John Kennedy or Dr Martin Luther King Jr in the 60s to find a reaction like this in the wake of a celebrity,” stated an AFP account of the occasions.

Emotions have been equally excessive in Britain, particularly in Lennon’s hometown of Liverpool. Some 20,000 folks sang “Give Peace a Chance” on the finish of a tribute live performance.

There was crying and fainting harking back to scenes from overwrought audiences on the peak of Beatlemania, AFP reported.

“John Lennon is not dead. As long as his music lives he can’t die,” a Beatles impersonator advised the Liverpool crowd.


Decades after his dying, Lennon’s legacy continues to resurface as objects linked to him come up for public sale.

The piano he used to compose “Imagine” was bought in 2000 in London for two.45 million euros, and considered one of his guitars went for $2 million within the United States in 2015.

Other prized relics embody a pair of his spherical sun shades bought for £137,500 in 2019 and a lock of his hair which bought for $35,000 in Texas in 2016.

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