Death of a Beatle

A few weeks after John Lennon was shot by obsessed fan Mark David Chapman, Newsweek devoted a special report to the singer, painstakingly tracing the steps of his killer and describing the mourning that followed the Dec. 8, 1980 shooting of the beloved Beatle. Read one of the issue stories, published in the Dec. 22, 1980…

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  1. For the record Chapman’s rock hero was Todd Rundgren a cynic who couldn’t have been further from Lennon in artistic sensibility. The Catcher in the Rye may have been Chapman’s programed trigger and not his favorite novel. Chapman’s public defender spent six months preparing for his defense only to have Chapman suddenly change his plea to guilty. He said he was acting on instructions from a “small male voice” that spoke to him in his cell. Chapman interpreted it as God’s voice. Lennon’s death coming at the beginning of Reagan’s presidency sounds more like settling unfinished business than like the act of a crazy, obsessed, loaner.

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