Most of the information, photos, diagrams etc. in what follows are from the following website:
The website features an online version of a book examining the assassination of John Lennon. The book's title is Rethinking John Lennon's
Assassination:The FBI's War on Rock Stars
by Salvador Astucia (April 2004)
This book is well worth looking at in detail and features a lot of information pertinent to the conspiracy angle of John Lennon's assassination. I'm
in no position to judge the accuracy of what is in the book, but based on photos included and the transcript of an interview Chapman did with Larry
King, I have to disagree with Mr. Astucia's version of how the shooting happened.
On the www.jfkmontreal.com website, the author goes to a lot of effort to show that it must have been the doorman, Perdomo, or possibly confederates
at the service elevator alcove opposite the door to the Dakota, who shot Lennon.
Here is the "official" police version of what happened as reported by Mr. Astucia:
Lennon (1) gets out of limousine. Yoko Ono (4) got out seconds earlier and is about 35 feet ahead. Chapman (2) waits at the entrance under the
archway. As Lennon walks by (3), Chapman fires. Ono (5) is in the lobby when Lennon is shot. Lennon staggers about 30 feet to the concierge stand (6)
in the lobby where he falls, fatally wounded.
Here is the New York Times version of the crime scene diagram. Note the difference
between it and the Astucia version around the door into the
The diagram shown in Exhibit I was published in the New York Times on Dec. 10, 1980; two days after the shooting. The following text accompanied
the diagram in the NYT:
…Mr. Lennon and Yoko Ono left their car (1), while the assailant (2) waited inside the arch. As they walked by (3), he fired. Mr. Lennon staggered
up into a room (4) where he fell, fatally wounded.
Here is the relevant differance enlarged:
What the New York Times diagram includes and Mr. Astucia's diagram does not include is a removable exterior door/enclosure that is installed in the
winter at the foot of the stairs leading to the proper permanent door of the Dakota, a door which cannot be seen from the street. This removable
door/enclosure protrudes into the entry way (driveway) of the Dakota and presents a door almost perpendicular to the entry way which can easily be
seen from the street.
Here is a recent photo of that door/enclosure:
The exterior protruding doorway at the bottom of the short staircase is very important in what follows.
Here is Mr. Astucia's own version of what happened:
Lennon (1) gets out of the limousine. Yoko Ono (4) got out seconds earlier and is about 35 feet ahead. Chapman (2) waits at the entrance under
the archway. He is alert on a conscious level, but ready to receive mind control commands on a subconscious level. Lennon walks about 20 feet past
Chapman (3). Someone sends chapman mind control messages saying "Do it, do it, do it, do it." A gunman (3A) fires from the door that leads to the
service elevator. Lennon is hit in the left side of his body. Ono (5) is in the lobby when Lennon is shot. Lennon staggers about 15 feet to the
concierge stand (6) in the lobby where he falls, fatally wounded.
Mr. Astucia is well aware of the problem posed by the temporary winter door/enclosure, and discusses the problem on this page:
However he largely proceeds as if this installation were not present on the night of December 8, 1980, although he wonders if it might have been
if the New York Times diagram was purposely altered to include an enclosure so as to make it seem possible that a shooter in
Chapman's position could have caused the bullet holes in the glass.
This is a crucial point involved in reconstruction of the crime scene.
There is no doubt that the door/enclosure was there the night of the
shooting. If you examine the "bullet hole" photo of the door carefully, you realise that the door you are looking at in those underexposed photos is
part of the protruding enclosure.
Mr. Astucia interprets this photo as being either
of a door attached to a temporary protruding enclosure or
as being of the regular
lobby door in the open position and protruding into the entry way.
He says that this recent photo is of the latter:
But what he fails to consider is that the regular lobby door is up a flight of six stairs, not at ground level. Thus the above photo is indeed that of
a door which is part of an enclosure added in the winter, an enclosure that was included in the New York Times diagram as being in place the night of
Such a seasonal doorway in place would have presented a door leading into the Dakota (and through which John Lennon would have had to pass,) at nearly
a ninety degree angle to the drive, easily visible (and shootable) in the drive from the street, unlike the permanent door, which was recessed into
the wall, not visible from the street and situated at the top of the stairs.
That this installation was present the night of the shooting is reinforced by the recollection of one of the police officers who first arrived on the
SPIRO: We got out of the car and went up against the building and looked into the archway. Here's this guy - I'm sticking my head into the
archway - and he's got his hands up. He had dropped the gun; the gun had been kicked away by the doorman and he had his hands up. He had taken off
all his outer garments.
I figured there was a robbery going down. I didn't know how many guys were there. I wheeled him around. I saw the holes in the glass vestibule, and
then off to my right, Jose, the doorman, who I know for years working there, says, "No, he's the only one."
The existence of the door in this position and with the bullet holes takes the elevator alcove on the opposite side of the drive out of the scenario
Here is the angle that I believe Chapman shot from.
Note: This is a photo with the protruding door/enclosure missing (presumably taken in
summer). Note that the permanent lobby door is out of view, up the stairs. Any photo showing a door sticking out of the building at sidewalk
has to be of the temprary seasonal door/enclosure.
Here is Chapman's acount of the shooting from a longer Larry King interview:
Lunatics like Chapman are apt to say anything to make trouble
KING: The circumstances of the killing, what happened?
CHAPMAN: I was sitting on the inside of the arch of the Dakota Building. And it was dark. It as windy. Jose, the doorman, was out along the sidewalk.
And here's another odd thing that happened. I was at an angle where I could see Central Park West and 72nd and I see this limousine pull up and, as
you know, there are probably hundreds of limousines that turn up Central Park West in the evening, but I knew that was his.
And I said, this is it, and I stood up. The limousine pulled up, the door opened, the rear left door opened. Yoko got out. John was far behind, say 20
feet, when he got out. I nodded to Yoko when she walked by me.
KING: Did she nod back?
CHAPMAN: No, she didn't. And I don't mean to be so clinical about this, but I've told it a number of times. I hope you understand. John came out,
and he looked at me, and I think he recognized, here's the fellow that I signed the album earlier, and he walked past me. I took five steps toward
the street, turned, withdrew my Charter Arms .38 and fired five shots into his back.
KING: All in his back?
CHAPMAN: All in his back.
KING: Never saw it coming?
CHAPMAN: He never saw anything coming, Larry. It was a very quick -- it was a rough thing.
KING: What -- had you shot that weapon before?
CHAPMAN: That weapon, no. I didn't even know if the bullets were going to work, and when they worked, I remember thinking, they're working they're
working. I was worried that the plane in the baggage compartment, the humidity had ruined them, and I remember thinking, they're working.
KING: What did Yoko do?
CHAPMAN: She naturally, and I can't blame her. She dashed around the stair area. I don't know if it's still there at the Dakota today, but she
just, you know, ran for cover, which is what anyone would do. John, according to what I've been told, stumbled up the stairs, and then I saw her come
back around and then go up to the stairs and then she cradled his body.
, although for years he didn't seek press attention. Just the same, it bears
repeating; lunatics like Chapman are apt to say anything
to make trouble.
It would be unwise to base any theory on the testimony of a sociopath without some kind of corroberation. What I say next is
Chapman's account of the shooting, above, but there is circumstantial evidence that harmonizes with it, though obviously not proving it.
Chapman's gun held five bullets. A doctor following the assassination made a statement to the press that Lennon had seven wounds. The door is said to
have had three bullet holes in the glass. Seven wounds minus three holes in the glass equals four shots hitting Lennon, one of which lodged in his
body. That accounts for four of the five bullets.
It is known that one bullet went wide, striking a window in the Dakota. I'm presuming that the window struck was across the inner courtyard from the
entryway where Chapman stood, i.e., in a distant part of the building.
If that is the case, and if we take Chapman's word for it
that Yoko ran for cover around to the other side of the protruding door/enclosure,
then a shot may have gone wide as he tried to nail the running Yoko.
There may be more secrets to this story.
Mr. Astucia comments on his website that it is difficult to get clear accurate photos of the entrance to the Dakota. He also says that a clear photo
of the glass with the bullet holes that he saw on the MSNBC website had been removed before he could download it.
If Yoko actually saw Chapman pull the gun, or, (because she was facing in Chapman's direction as she waited for John,) she had a split second's jump
on the situation, enough to save herself but not him, it must weigh very heavily on her.
People beat themselves up over this sort of thing, blame themselves for things they never could have prevented.
A very sad story.
[edit on 21-1-2009 by ipsedixit]