John Lennon's killer's wife admits he told her about his plans two months before he shot him
Gloria Hiroko Chapman still visits her husband in prison and says he told her about his plan to murder John Lennon two months before he actually committed the crime.
67-year-old Gloria Hiroko Chapman, the wife of John Lennon's infamous killer Mark Chapman, revealed he told her about his plan to murder the iconic singer two months before he carried out the deed in New York. She claims he did not carry out the crime immediately because of his love for her, even throwing his gun away to convince her. But she admits that when she heard the news of Lennon's murder from her home in Kailua, Hawaii, on 8 December 1980, she knew it was him.
"I knew it was Mark. How did I know? Two months earlier, Mark had traveled to New York. He came home scared, telling me that to make a name for himself he had planned to kill Lennon. But he said my love had saved him," she told the Mirror. Chapman had later admitted to as much himself, saying he targeted Lennon because of his fame and because he thought he was "a phony" for living a life of luxury.
On that fateful day, Chapman shot four bullets into a 40-year-old Lennon's back from close range and then calmly read a book as the singer bled to death. A hysterical Yoko Ono cradling him on her lap did little to faze him. He was subsequently handed 20 years to life in prison for the murder and has remained behind bars since.
But despite his incarceration, as well as the violent abuse she suffered at his hands during their marriage, Gloria has remarkably stuck by him. She attributes it to her Christian faith and the religious significance of the marriage vows she exchanged with Chapman, even claiming that she makes love to him during her conjugal visits to prison.
Now, however, there is a possibility that Chapman will be granted bail in what will be his tenth attempt. Now 63, he is locked in at the Wende Correctional Facility and has spent a total 38 years in prison. He has been filing for parole since he became eligible in 2000 but has been denied on each occasion, with the board opposing his 2016 release because of the "premeditated and celebrity-seeking nature of his crime." But they did take note of his rehabilitative efforts and his acceptance that the crime was "premeditated, selfish, and evil."
Chapman also revealed to the board that he still regularly gets letters from Beatles fans on the pain he's caused them. "At that time, I wasn't thinking about anybody else, just me," he said. "But now, you know, obviously through people's letters and through things I hear a lot of people were affected here. I am sorry for causing that type of pain. I am sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory."
For all his efforts, there will still be one person who will unequivocally oppose his release, Lennon's bereaved widow. Every time a potential release has been in the cards for Chapman, Ono has written to the parole boarding asking that he be kept in prison. She argues that his release would pose a threat to her, as well as her two sons, adding that there was also always the possibility of retribution from Beatles fans.
Both Gloria and Chapman have written to Ono asking for forgiveness for the murder, expressing a belief that Lennon and Chapman will be "reunited in heaven." Only time will tell whether Ono has taken their apology to heart.