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John Lennon: The Tragic Death of the Legendary "Beatle"

Herbie J Pilato

According to journalist Kaleena Fraga, editor John Kuroski, and (ATI), "On December 8, 1980, a young man named Mark David Chapman asked John Lennon for his autograph in New York. Hours later, he fired four hollow-point bullets into John Lennon's back — killing him almost instantly."

As ATI continued to report, "Lennon’s death shocked the world. On December 8, 1980, the former Beatle was fatally shot outside of his Manhattan apartment building, The Dakota. Within minutes, one of the most iconic rock stars was gone forever.

"At 10:50 PM on December 8, 1980," ATI explained, "...John Lennon and Yoko Ono returned home to The Dakota.

Chapman later said, “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.”

"As Lennon walked toward his home," Fraga chronicled, "Chapman raised his weapon. He fired his gun five times — and four of the bullets hit Lennon in the back. Lennon staggered into the building, crying, “I’m shot!” Ono, who, according to Chapman, ducked for cover when she heard the shots, rushed to hold her husband after she realized he had been attacked."

“I stood there with the gun hanging limply down at my right side,” Chapman recounted in a later interview. “Jose the doorman came over and he’s crying, and he’s grabbing and he’s shaking my arm and he shook the gun right out of my hand, which was a very brave thing to do to an armed person. And he kicked the gun across the pavement.”

As Fraga concluded, "Chapman stood patiently and waited to be arrested, reading The Catcher in the Rye, a novel that he was obsessed with. He would later be sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder of John Lennon."

To read more about John Lennon's death, click here.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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