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John Lennon’s Haunting Last Words Revealed Over 40 Years After His Death

Photo Credit: Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images

The untimely death of John Lennon at the hands of Mark David Chapman in December 1980 shocked the music world, with fans continuing to mourn his loss. A new Apple TV+ documentary series, titled John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial, looks into the shooting and its aftermath, and reveals what the Beatles guitarist and songwriter’s last ever words were.

Large crowd gathered outside of the Dakota
Fans gathered outside of the Dakota following John Lennon’s death, December 1980. (Photo Credit: Keystone / Getty Images)

John Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980, upon returning to his apartment in New York City. He and his wife, Yoko Ono, had arrived at the Dakota when they were approached by Chapman, a fan of the Beatles who’d become angered by the musician’s 1966 claim that the band had become “more popular than Jesus.”

Chapman had encountered Lennon earlier that day and asked the musician to sign his copy of the album Double Fantasy. Later that evening, the fan approached Lennon and Ono as they were returning to their apartment and raised a revolver. He fired five shots, four of which struck the musician in the back.

Upon arriving at Roosevelt Hospital (now Mount Sinai West) in Midtown West, Lennon was declared dead. He was 40 years old. Chapman had remained at the scene until he was arrested by police officers, who found him reading J.D. Salinger‘s The Catcher in the Rye.

Mugshot of Mark David Chapman
Mark David Chapman’s mugshot, December 9, 1980. (Photo Credit: Bureau of Prisons / Getty Images)

John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial, is narrated by actor Kiefer Sutherland. Along with providing a look at Lennon’s murder, the three-part docuseries looks at the various conspiracy theories that have popped up over the years, using audio of Chapman speaking with his lawyers while applying for parole, as well as interviews with attornies, detectives, psychiatrists and friends, to propel the story.

Among the revelations made include Lennon’s last words, which have largely been left to speculation in the years since. They’re shared by Jay Hastings, who was working the front desk of the Dakota at the time of the shooting. Speaking in the documentary, he recalls:

“He runs past me. He goes, ‘I’m shot.’ He had blood coming out of his mouth. He just collapsed on the floor. I half rolled him to his back and took his glasses off, put them on the desk. And Yoko was screaming, ‘Get an ambulance, get an ambulance, get an ambulance.'”

Mark David Chapman is currently serving out his sentence for second-degree murder at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York. He’s repeatedly been denied parole, with his next chance to apply coming up in February 2024.

More from us: The Beatles Release Their Final Song Ever – ‘Then and Now’

John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial is slated to premiere on Apple TV+ on December 6, 2023.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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