1981: Chapman jailed for murder of Beatle John Lennon

In December 1980, Chapman fired 5 shots outside an apartment building in New York City, sending a shock of horror around the world.

In December 1980, Chapman fired 5 shots outside an apartment building in New York City, sending a shock of horror around the world.

1981: In a hushed Manhattan courtroom, Mark David Chapman has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

In court he uttered his only public explanation for the killing, by quoting a passage from the same book.

In the weeks and months that followed, Chapman became one of the most analyzed people in American history. Sentencing became formality.

The heaps of evidence which a huge team of investigators had spent six months compiling went unheard.

In December 1980, Chapman fired 5 shots outside an apartment building in New York City, sending a shock of horror around the world.

Outside the Dakota building, while John Lennon lay dying, Chapman, waited quietly for the police, holding above his head a copy of “The Catcher In the Rye”