On the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, a grim reminder of the man who shot and killed him is up for sale, according to music website Lehigh Valley Live. In autographing his latest album “Double Fantasy” for Mark David Chapman on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon would unknowingly foster his own death. Later that night, after signing the album cover for Chapman, Lennon came out of his apartment building and was shot in the back and killed. Chapman is still jailed today. The owner of the record claims he’s selling it because he’s tired of getting death threats.
Chapman’s album cover is just one reminder we have of famous murders throughout history. Chapman is only famous because he killed someone famous. His infamy is just as bad as other famous assassins.
On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The InfoPlease Almanac states nightclub owner Jack Ruby was made famous when he shot the accused assassin on live television two days later.
Ruby was convicted of shooting and killing Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for killing Kennedy. As Oswald was being led off in handcuffs, Ruby rushed him and shot him in the abdomen. Ruby was sent to jail, where he died in 1967 of lung cancer. Kennedy’s actual assassin was never fully brought to justice–Oswald was arrested for the crime but never convicted of actually killing the president.
James Earl Ray
Escaped convict James Earl Ray shot and killed civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 1968. InfoPlease states he was an escapee from a Missouri jail who was captured in England two months after the shooting.
Ray confessed to the killing, which he later retracted in the 1990s. Ray died in 1998 while he was still in prison.
Robert Bardo was a crazed fan of soap opera actress Rebecca Schaeffer. Discovery.com states Bardo murdered her in almost the same fashion as Chapman killed Lennon. Bardo had stalked Schaeffer and then shot her as she came out of her apartment building on July 18, 1989.
Bardo was 19 at the time, and Schaeffer was only 21. Bardo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the crime in Los Angeles.
Chapman was denied probation as recently as Sept. 8. He will likely spend the rest of his life locked up without being a free man again, much like other famous assassins. Today, many Hollywood stars live in highly protected places with gates and security cameras so as to avoid tragic altercations. Some go so far as to have their own security guards.
Richter, Adam, “A dreaded souvenir, Mark Chapman’s copy of ‘Double Fantasy’ goes up for sale,” Lehigh Valley Live.
InfoPlease, “Jack Ruby.”
InfoPlease, “James Earl Ray.”
Discovery.com, “Rebecca Schaeffer.”