Mark Chapman, the man responsible for murdering The Beatles legend John Lennon in December 1980, has apologised to Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, saying there was “no excuse” for what he did.
Nearly forty years after he shot Lennon four times in his New York apartment as Yoko helplessly watched on, Chapman told the parole board at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York that he was “sorry” for murdering the music icon.
“I have no excuse. This was for self-glory. I think it’s the worst crime that there could be to do something to someone that’s innocent,” Chapman said in court transcripts obtained by the BBC.
“He was extremely famous. I didn’t kill him because of his character or the kind of man he was. He was a family man. He was an icon. He was someone that spoke of things that now we can speak of and it’s great.”
“I assassinated him, to use your word earlier, because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory, very selfish,” he added.
Chapman continued, “I want to add that and emphasise that greatly. It was an extremely selfish act. I’m sorry for the pain that I caused to her [Ono]. I think about it all of the time.”
He added that he believed he deserved the death penalty for his “despicable act” – though it was abolished in the state of New York in 2007 although no execution had taken place since 1963.
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“When you knowingly plot someone’s murder and know it’s wrong and you do it for yourself, that’s a death penalty right there in my opinion,” said Chapman, adding, “Some people disagree with me, but everybody gets a second chance now.”
Asked if justice had been served, Chapman said: “I deserve zero, nothing.”
“If the law and you choose to leave me in here for the rest of my life, I have no complaint whatsoever.”
Chapman was denied parole for the eleventh time following the hearing last month, with the court saying that granting his release “would be incompatible with the welfare of society.”
Yoko previously said in 2015 that she lived in fear of Chapman being released from prison.
“One thing I think is that he did it once, he could do it again, to somebody else – you know. It could be me, it could be Sean [her son], it could be anybody, so there is that concern,” she told The Daily Beast.
The apology from Chapman comes as the 80th birthday of John Lennon approaches on Friday, October 9th, and ahead of the 40th anniversary of his murder on Tuesday, December 8th.