posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 11:40 AM
There has never been any mystery as to who fired four bullets into John Lennon’s back, outside the Dakota apartment building in New York City, on
December 8, 1980. Indeed, as the former Beatle and prominent anti-war activist lay dying in the arms of his wife Yoko Ono, the man with the revolver,
Mark David Chapman, relaxed his military-style shooting stance, and instead of fleeing, began to read The Catcher in the Rye. A witness asked him if
he knew what he’d done. “I just shot John Lennon”, Chapman replied, having flown in from Hawaii, with the revolver, to do just that.
A few months later, Chapman, officially deemed to be a “deranged fan” with the catch-all loser motive of “wanting attention”, pleaded guilty
and was sentenced to twenty years to life. Lennon appeared to be slain by a lone nut.
But was he?
It was strange of Chapman suddenly to pled guilty, after lawyers had spent six months preparing his defence. He did so, he said, on orders from a
“voice” he heard in his cell. A psychiatrist for the defence, Dr Bernard Diamond, who coincidentally had also testified on behalf of Robert
Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Bahira Sirhan, called Chapman a “paranoid schizophrenic”.
Nonetheless, Chapman was deemed rational enough to stand trial, and was sent not to a mental institution but to a normal jail. One detective commented
that there was something vacant or “programmed” about Chapman on the day of the killing, adding that Chapman “did not want to talk to the press
from the very start”, which cast doubt on Chapman’s supposed craving for attention.
Chapman has since agreed to just one press interview (with James Gaimes of People magazine), in which he said: “He [Lennon] walked past me and then
I heard in my head, ‘do it, do it, do it’, over and over again … I don’t remember aiming” – and that he felt “no emotion, no
Its also puzzling why Chapman made no attempt to escape. With a couple of bullets left, several credit cards and $2000 in cash, he could have got a
long way. In any case, where did he get the money? And where did an untrained civilian learn to shoot like that?
Lennon, Nixon, Chapman and the CIA
One theory, proposed by author Fenton Bresler in Who Killed John Lennon? And supported by radio journalist Mae Brussell, suggests that Chapman’s
madness was the result of being a brainwashed CIA assassin, who was programmed to kill Lennon by right-wing elements within the US government. They
argue that Chapman, while working for World Vision as a children’s counsellor in refugee camps from Laos to Beiruit, fell into the clutches of just
the sort of covert operatives you’d expect to find in such war zones – the CIA.
Chapman’s sojourn in Beiruit coincided with the presence of CIA assassination squads and, in 1976, he appeared in Hawaii, a centre for CIA and
Special Forces operatives, where mental ill-health and hospitalization caused him to drift from job to job. Somewhere along the way, its speculated
that the CIA hypnotised and drugged Chapman under their MK-ULTRA programme, and brainwashed him into killing Lennon.
Although Chapman was certifiable, no paperwork prevented him from buying a gun, and there was no metal detector to stop him from taking it to the
mainland. Somehow, this indolent lunatic had the funds in October 1980 to travel to Switzerland and Georgia, and from Hawaii to New York and back, on
what was perhaps an aborted killer-run, in which he managed to resist the “master inside himself”. In December, however, he succumbed, and killed
So why would the government want a hippy singer like Lennon dead? Because John Lennon was much more than that. He was an outspoken activist,
demonstrating against the Vietnam War, marching for the IRA and CND and supporting striking ship builders. During the 1970s, John and Yoko supported
radicals like jailed White Panther John Sinclair, and anti-establishment Yippies and planned a series of anti-war concerts across the US.
To President Nixon’s right-wing administration, anti-war meant anti-them. And Lennon, allegedly able to “draw out one million anti-war protesters
in any given city in 24 hours”, seriously threatened their ability to mobilize for war. FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover wrote on Lennon’s file “ALL
EXTREMISTS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DANGEROUS.” Agents tapped Lennon’s phone and stalked him everywhere. Right-wing senator Strom Thurmond urged that
Lennon’s 1968 marijuana conviction in the UK – a set-up in itself – should be used to stop his immigration to the US. Later, Senator Frank
Church’s committee hearings outlined the dangers of the anti-war “new Left”, and cited Lennon as a prominent member.
Lennon remarked in 1972 that “if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident”. As the continual threat of deportation, and harassment
by the FBI, strained Lennon’s career and marriage, the birth of his son Sean in 1975 pushed the Lennon’s into seclusion. However, Lennon then got
his green card and, after 1976, his 300-page FBI file was left to gather dust. The fact that he was keeping quiet may have kept everybody off his
case, or perhaps it was simply becase Nixon had left office in 1974, and the Republicans were dumped in 1976.
In 1980, Lennon’s career was relaunched by the release of the Double Fantasy album, and the Republicans returned to the White House, when Ronald
Reagan won the Presidency on the back of future CIA chief William Casey’s election campaign. Their plan to square up to the USSR, flood the
Pentagon’s coffers and kick off numerous covert operations in Central America wouldn’t have been popular with the rabble-rousing like of Lennon.
At the time, Mae Brussell said “the old assassination teams are coming back into power”. The very next day, the drugged-up Chapman cut Lennon
According to a spokesman for Lennon’s record label Parlophone, certain of Lennon’s songs contained “spooky” clues that predicted his death.
Some read significance into the US release of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, which showed a picture of Lennon next to a sign that read “The
best way to go is by MD & C – Chapman’s initials.