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How Did John Lennon’s Fans React to His Murder?

John Lennon was distinguished for his musical artistry and excellence. Even now, Lennon’s music highly impacts people around the world. His sudden death came as a shock to everyone. Grief, despair, and anger filled the people when they’ve heard the news: John Lennon was murdered!

After John Lennon’s murder, at least three fans took their own lives out of grief. Yoko Ono made an appeal to the mourners to not give into their devastation of his passing.

The Murder of the Renowned John Lennon

On the dreadful day of December 8 in 1980, John Lennon was murdered, at the arch of the Dakota, by Mark David Chapman. Chapman asked Lennon to sign his music album hours before shooting him. Chapman stayed at the crime scene until his arrest, passing his time by reading The Catcher in the Rye. 

Chapman was a former avid fan of the Beatles. What stopped him from being a fan was his furiousness towards John Lennon’s previous statement wherein he said that the Beatles were more famous than God. Chapman found more reasons to be angered by John Lennon through his songs “God” and “Imagine”. 

Chapman intended to murder John Lennon because he was feeling jealous and angry with him. His jealous feelings were rooted in how Chapman and Lennon had massive lifestyle differences. Chapman told his parole commissioners how he was envious of the money & lifestyle Lennon generally has. His murdering of Lennon was for him to revel in self-glory. He did not attempt to give excuses for his unjustifiable actions. 

The judicial panel that Chapman once faced was filled with unease in his remarks regarding his self-glory, expressing that it was disturbing for Chapman to still view his crime in a positive light, even after 40 years. Chapman pledged to follow his dreams of becoming an evangelist if he was released, expressing his gratefulness towards God for giving him a purpose even when he was at his lowest.  With that, he ended his plea with an apology to Yoko Ono. (Source: ABC News

Consequentially, Mark Chapman was charged with second-degree murder. Through the years, Chapman was constantly refused for release even when he became eligible for parole. (Source: Britannica)  

The Bandmates’ Response

The murder of John Lennon made millions of people fall into despair, not to mention his bandmates. The day after John Lennon’s death, Lennon’s Bandmate, George Harrison, had already prepared a public statement for the press. 

After all we went through together, I had and still have great love and respect for him. I am shocked and stunned. To rob a life is the ultimate robbery in life. The perpetual encroachment on other people’s space is taken to the limit with the use of a gun. It is an outrage that people can take other people’s lives when they obviously haven’t got their own lives in order.

George Harrison

Harrison, later that day, expressed his grief privately with his friends, saying that all he just wanted was to play guitar in a band, yet here they were 20 years later with his bandmate shot. The reaction of the other bandmate, John Lennon, received much criticism. When reporters interrogated John Lennon on his statement toward the matter, he only responded with a “Drag, isn’t it?”. Lennon later justified his response, saying that it was such a shock that he had no opportunity to process his feelings. (Source: ABC News

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