If the rise of punk, hip-hop, and disco hadn’t already made that obvious, John Lennon’s murder outside of his New York City apartment building on December 8, 1980 was a clear signal that the peace-and-love era of the flower child was really over for good. Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, was found waiting at the crime scene reading The Catcher In The Rye shortly thereafter, and after pleading guilty to the crime—over the objections of his lawyers, who wanted him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity—Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Since then. he’s come up for parole nine times, and received his ninth denial earlier this week. Billboard, which reported the news, doesn’t say why Chapman was denied parole, but it does say that at his last parole hearing in 2014, he claimed to have found Jesus and called himself an “idiot” for murdering Lennon, adding that he was “confused” and “needed a lot of attention at that time, and I took it out on him.” Which sounds nice and all, but Chapman was a born-again Christian long before he killed Lennon. He even cited Lennon’s comment about the Beatles being “bigger than Jesus” as one of the things that drove him to assassinate the musician. So maybe the whole “finding God” thing isn’t the best evidence that Chapman has reformed.