Photo Finish

Lennon signs the record album for his own killer
Amateur Photographer and eventual Friend, Paul Goresh, takes a photo with John. Notice the tight hug that John gives Goresh.
Beatles Last Performance-Rooftop style

Life After the Death and Oh-by-the-Way; Life after The Beatles.

Lennon also believed in an afterlife. “I am an optimist about eternity,” he said. “I believe in life after death. I believe that death is not an end but a beginning.”

The Polite Victim

Always too willing to mingle with fans

“He came out [of his apartment], and this is the part I really regret happening, he came out and as a ruse, I had his album and a pen and I asked him to sign the album.

“He took his time and asked me if I wanted anything else.”

Mark David Chapman

The notion that Lennon asked Chapman; “that’s it? That’s all you want?”, after Chapman handed him the Record Album “Double Fantasy” to sign. This almost fulfills the tragic vision John had for himself. Expecting ‘something’ to unfold, expecting Chapman to do something else? The fact his last album was called “Double Fantasy” could be the indication of parallel lives that Lennon was living; one that would go on beyond 1980 and the other that would end tragically on December 8.

The last signature of Lennon on Double Fantasy


Stunned that the Beatles icon was so polite, Mark David Chapman began an “Inner tug-of-war” with himself on whether to kill the music legend or back out. Not many people realize that John was not his first choice of celebrity he wanted to kill but he was the most accessible. While none of the three other Beatles were on the list, sources said, Jackie Onassis, George C. Scott and Johnny Carson were among those considered killed. Chapman was able to confront singer/songwriter James Taylor as described by Taylor in an interview with BBC’s Tom Brook the day before Lennon was killed. James Taylor reveals how he met John Lennon‘s assassin Mark David Chapman the day before the murder on December 8, 1980.

Taylor had a unexpected meeting with Lennon’s killer
Lennon and Taylor

“I thought by killing him I could acquire his fame”, Chapman explained. Chapman stated.

Daily Mirror 2010-Sue Summers

10AM It is an unusually warm and sunny pre-Christmas day in New York. John’s usual morning routine is to have coffee at Café La Fortuna near his home on New York’s Upper West Side. But on Mondays the cafe is closed, so he leaves the family apartment in the Dakota Building around 10am, to get his hair cut in a Fifties Teddy Boy style at a nearby barbershop.

The last (living) cover of John Lennon-Taken the day of his murder
That Last known Photo of John alive entering his Limo after signing Chapman’s Double Fantasy Album

‘I consider that my work won’t be finished until I’m dead and buried and I hope that’s a long, long time.’ Lennon

Lennon reflects on his future

‘John said to me, “Don’t forget to get your book.”

And as he was talking to me, the guy with the overcoat approached him from the left. And the guy didn’t say a word, he just held the album out in front of John and John turned to him and looked at the album and said, “Do you want it signed?” And the guy nodded. He didn’t say a word.

John and Yoko at the Record Plant in NYC-the last place John would record before his death
Not to be-The Stage Deli was a place to stop suggested by Yoko-John wanted to go home. Home is where he met his untimely fate.

‘John’s been shot.’

The duty porter, Jay Hastings, rings the alarm that goes through to the police, then kneels beside John to try to administer a tourniquet. This being futile, he removes John’s glasses and covers him with his porter’s jacket.

He walked past me, I took five steps toward the street, turned withdrew my 38 and fired. What happened before the shooting, before I pulled the trigger and after were two different scenes in my mind. Before everything was like dead calm and I was ready for this to happen. I even heard of voice, my own, inside of me, say, ‘do it, do it, do it, here we go.’ And then afterwards, it was like, the film strip broke. I fell in upon myself. I went into a state of shock. I stood there with the gun hanging limply down on my right side, and Jose the doorman and came over and he’s crying, and he’s grabbing my arm and he’s shaking my arm and he shook the gun right out of my hand. Which was a very brave thing to do, I just couldn’t wait, Larry, until those police got there. I was just devastated.

‘There was a man pointing into the vestibule and he said, “That’s the man doing the shooting,” ‘ says Spiro. ‘We realized this is for real. I peeked in and saw a man with his hands up, so I threw this guy against the wall and at that point the porter says to me, “He shot John Lennon.” And I said, “You what?”

Fans waiting at Roosevelt Hospital
ABC News Reporter Alan Weiss recalls the night in the ER with Lennon

“We’ve got a gunshot, gunshot in the chest.” And the doctor says, “When’s it coming in?” He says, “Hitting the door right now.”

‘Two police officers came around the corner, one with the body on his shoulder. He was holding him, just like a fireman’s hold, and the other one yelled: “Gunshot wound, no vital signs,”’ Dr. Lynn told CNN.

Dr. Stephan Lynn stands in the shampoo aisle of CVS, which used to be the emergency room of Roosevelt Hospital, and the spot where John Lennon was declared dead.
Howard Cosell breaks the bad news on Monday Night Football
Yoko leaves the hospital with David Geffen.

Prophecy Fulfilled

Lennon’s autopsy report said Lennon was shot four times. Two bullets entered the left side of Lennon’s left back, traveling through the left side of his chest and his left lung before exiting from the body. A second bullet also passed into the left side of his chest and through his left lung, then lodged in his neck. Two more bullets hit Lennon in his left shoulder. Lennon’s fear had become a gruesome and harsh reality.

Julian and Sean Lennon reflect striking similarities to their Father

The White Peacock

In 1977, John Lennon wrote and recorded the song ‘Free as a Bird’. Fifteen years after his death the surviving three Beatles, Paul, George and Ringo, gathered together to add their voices to the track. Throughout the recording, the three men felt the presence of John, even claiming to hear his name as the song faded out. It was the photoshoot afterward that brought the real surprise, though. During his lifetime, John promised to send his loved ones a white feather as a sign when he passed away. As the photographer snapped the group, a rare white peacock wandered into shot to the amusement of the three bandmates. Paul McCartney later stated,

A white Peacock wonders behind the remaining band members. A sign that John was present?

The White Feather Foundation

When John Lennon told his young son Julian that a white feather was a sign that he was watching over him, he couldn’t have realized the poignancy or the impact his words would hold in the years that followed.



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Steven C. Owens

Steven C. Owens

Writer of life lessons sprinkled with meaningful sports and history editorials.