Mark David Chapman
Mark David "Chappers" Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American murderer, prison inmate, superfan, religious zealot, deep-fried pork chip connoisseur, and wearer of aviator glasses. He is best-known for murdering John Lennon, a former member of The Beatles, in 1980. Chapman is despised by pretty much everyone, and was named Time magazine's "Sickest Son of a Bitch of the Decade" in 1989.
Early life and education
Chapman was born on May 10, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was a true blue military brat, being the son of a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Chapman stated that as a boy, he lived in fear of his father, who he said was physically abusive towards his mother and unloving towards him. Chapman began to fantasize about having king-like power over a group of imaginary "little people" who lived in the walls of his bedroom. He imagined one of these little people to be his father, and took great pleasure in shining a magnifying glass over his Little Dad on hot summer days.
Chapman attended Columbia High School in Decatur, Georgia. By the time he was fourteen, he was using drugs, skipping classes, and he once ran away from home to live on the streets of Atlanta for two weeks. He claims that he was bullied at school because he was not a good athlete, although it was actually merely because of his obesity.
Odd jobs and descent into the Rye
In 1971, Chapman found salvation by becoming a born-again Presbyterian and distributing Biblical tracts. He began work as a YMCA summer camp counselor; he was very popular with the children, who nicknamed him "Nemo" for his clownish antics and rosy orange face. He won an award for Outstanding Counselor and was made assistant director; those who knew him unanimously called him an outstanding worker, and had no idea this chubby kid-loving fellow would eventually morph into a murderous psychopath.
A friend recommended The Catcher in the Rye to Chapman, and the story eventually took on great personal significance for him, to the extent that he reportedly wished to model his life after its protagonist, Holden Caulfield. After graduating from Columbia High School, Chapman moved for a time to Chicago and played guitar in churches and Christian nightspots while his friend did humorous impersonations of Biblical figures. He worked successfully for World Vision with Vietnamese refugees at a resettlement camp at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas, after a brief visit to Lebanon for the same work. He was named an area coordinator and a key aide to the program director, David Moore, who later said that Chapman cared deeply for the children and worked hard. Chapman accompanied Moore to meetings with government officials, and President Gerald Ford even shook his hand. It looked as though Chapman was set to become a beloved national celebrity — but then he started reading more and more of that fateful book.
Chapman joined his girlfriend, Jessica Blankenship, as a student at Covenant College, an evangelical Presbyterian liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. However, Chapman fell behind in his studies and became obsessed with guilt over having an affair. He started having suicidal thoughts and began to feel like a failure. He dropped out of Covenant College after just one semester, and his girlfriend broke off their relationship soon after. He returned to work at the resettlement camp, but left after an argument. Chapman worked as a security guard, eventually taking a week-long course to qualify as an armed guard. He again attempted college but dropped out. He went to Hawaii and then attempted suicide by carbon monoxide asphyxiation; he connected a hose to his car's exhaust pipe, but the hose melted and the attempt failed. A psychiatrist admitted him to Castle Memorial Hospital for clinical depression. Upon his release, he began working at the hospital. His parents began divorce proceedings, and his mother joined Chappers in Hawaii, scolding him for not staying away from big bad exhaust pipes like she told him as a child.
In 1978, Chapman went on a trip around the world in eighty days, inspired at least partly by the film Around the World in Eighty Days. During this time he began a relationship with his travel agent, a Japanese mail-order bride named Gloria Abe, and they married in 1979. Chapman went to work at Castle Memorial Hospital as a printer, working alone rather than with staff and patients; due to his reclusive weirdness, he was fired by the hospital, then rehired, fired again, rehired again, then finally he got into a shouting match with a nurse and quit. He took a job as a night security guard and began drinking heavily. Chapman developed a series of obsessions, including artwork, The Catcher in the Rye, music, and John Lennon. In September 1980, he wrote a letter to a friend, Lynda Irish, in which he stated, "I'm going nuts", and signed the letter with, "The Catcher in the Rye"; Chapman had no criminal convictions up to this point. Dun dunn dunnn...
Assassination of John Lennon
Chapman, in the past few years, had become obsessed with John Lennon, so much so he wanted to become John Lennon. In his mind, in order to become John Lennon, he had to kill the actual John Lennon. Further cementing his decision to kill Lennon was Lennon's "Bigger than Jesus" remark, since Chapman was a hardcore Christian, as well as Lennon publicly falling out with Todd Rundgren; Chapman read about their falling-out in a magazine, and immediately went full-blown "WTF I hate John Lennon now". Chapman claims that he danced around his hotel room naked doing a Satanic ritual to obtain the strength to kill Lennon.
On December 8, 1980, Lennon was outside his home in New York when Chapman asked for his autograph. Lennon complied, then asked for Chapman's autograph in return. This kept up for several minutes as the two men exchanged signed books, sketches, and album covers. However, it was interrupted when Lennon said he had an appointment with the tanning salon, and he left in his limousine.
Later that day, Lennon returned from the tanning salon and exited his limo with his wife, Yoko Ono. Chapman then called out, "Give peace a chance, Mr. Lennon?", and John turned around, saw Chapman, smiled widely, and got ready to sign things again. Chapman surprised the peacenik by taking out his Charter Arms .38-caliber pistol and firing five shots at Lennon. Dodging the bullets, Lennon pulled out his piece and returned the fire; the bullets ricocheted off Chapman's fat and instead wounded several bystanders. The gun battle, ranging over a half-block radius, drew a crowd of onlookers who took side-bets on the action and cheered for the participants. At one point Chapman climbed a tree, Lennon climbed up after him, and a furious fistfight took place. Chapman continuously slipped due to his lard-arsery, and fell on Lennon during the fight, knocking the two men out of the tree.
Lennon then came to his senses and was all like, "Wait... what am I doing?", and went for his shotgun. Chapman then proceeded to pull out his pistol, got off a lucky shot, and blew Lennon's brilliant brains out. Lennon fell to the ground and shouted "I'm shot, help! I need somebody!", in hopes that someone would come and rescue him, to no avail. Glancing at Chapman, Lennon screamed, in his Scouse Britboy accent, "WE'LL FINISH THIS IN hell, you piece of s h i t e", and peacefully died.
Further attempts at murder
Chapman avoided police capture and tried to assassinate Paul McCartney, but found out that Paul had been dead for, what, 14 some years? So then he later switched gears and tried to take out George Harrison, but George was trained in the martial art of Hare Krishna, and totally whipped Chapman's sorry blubbery ass, despite being the so-called "quiet one" of the Beatles.
Chapman, being the lard bottom that he was, decided to sit down outside Harrison's house, read another awesome book called The Catcher in the Ondeck Circle, and wait to be arrested. Sadly, nobody gave a damn about him. So after walking away, and deciding not to even try to kill Ringo Starr, he took a run at The Rutles.
Failing there too, Chapman gave up on murdering for good. He hung his head in shame, shuffled off, and turned himself in to the
Attica Wende Correctional Facility in Attica Alden, New York, where he will live for the rest of his life, alone, depressed, and praying that Jesus will someday give him parole. He is occasionally visited by his wife, his mother, and two or three friends.