Talk:Mark David Chapman/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2


At one point, Chapman signed as "John Lennon". Initially, the FBI mistook him for another Mark Chapman, who was not responsible for Lennon's death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


Yes, I understand that everyone hates him, and I guess I get that. I do think it's a bit sad; I don't hate him (althogh I am not a Lennon fan, Lennon really rubs me the wrong way). Chapman does have mental problems, but I feel he is sorry for what he's done and is not looking to "cash in" on it. I think he regrets his actions, and now is a beter person because he turned to God. That's just my opinion, and I do think this article is NPOV on another note. People, just give him a break. Yes, he committed murder, but I believe he is sorry. And that's what's so great; you can be forgiven. (talk) 15:25, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

From the article:
"Chapman was a fan of the Beatles, particularly Lennon, but was reportedly angered by Lennon's infamous 1966 remark that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Jan Reeves, sister of one of Chapman's best friends, reports that Chapman "seemed really angry toward John Lennon, and he kept saying he could not understand why John Lennon had said it. According to Mark, there should be nobody more popular than Jesus Christ. He said it was blasphemy."
It was Chapman's "turning to God" one of the reasons why he commited the crime. Of course the real problem were his mental issues, but nevertheless, deep inside I don't believe he truly is sorry - if he was, he wouldn't have pleaded guilty with such "pride" as he did. (talk) 02:04, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Protect this article?

I mean, Capote, F.Scott F., Lee, and so on could not describe in their perfect, articulate style what I could do to this man. But I could. And sadly, it hurts me so much to say this, I think this article should be protected, yet I guess how anyone born from 1940-1985 could be neutral on something like this, I still should say it should be this way, for the sake of decency(even though if Furman vs Georgia was not passed by than, and even though I am theoretically against it, I would have voted "yay") —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Denied parole again?

Wow I thought that was a practical joke addition at first, i had a vague idea the next hearing was scheduled for october, did they bring it forward?

Can anyone explain how this is working? He was apparently at least somewhat delusional at the time of the crime, even by the harshest standards. He didn't resist arrest, he pled guilty, and he had no priors. He was sentenced to 20 years to life, rather than 25 to life. He was apparently supposed to get psychiatric help in prison. He's apparently had an exemplory disciplinary record. Yet he's now going to be in prision for at least 30 years. How is it constitutional to keep someone in prison partly on the grounds that it's for their own safety? Don't the police have a duty to protect those who have served their time but potentially have hate mobs after them? Or if it's on the grounds of safety of others, how is that being evaluated in a 36-minute hearing? Guess will have to wait to see the transcript. EverSince (talk) 22:35, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

They could let him go, but how long would he last? Maybe they should let him go and put him in an apartment next to where you live? :) Both suggestions don't bear thinking about.--andreasegde (talk) 11:42, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Well it looks from the transcript[1] that he's been offered work/residence on an upstate farm, and Chapman seems to want to take the risk. And the board seemed to be considering the details and feasibility, and it looked from the final comment that he was going to get the chance - Commissioner: "At fifty-three, there is a far better life for you out there. We hope that you can achieve it and wish you good luck in doing so." The rationale for the subsequent denial seems to be two sentences: "However, during the interview, you stated that you planned and conducted the premeditated slaying of John Lennon with an essentially clear mind. Your conduct thus precipidated a horrendously tragic event, which has impacted on many individuals." It doesn't explain the reason for concern for the "public safety and welfare", other than that his release would apparently suggest the "instant offense" (what does that mean?) wasn't serious and would "undermine respect for the law" (what about the original lack of a proper trial or evaluation of competency to plead guilty, and these cursory opaque parole decisions, undermining respect for the law...)
What Chapman actually seemed to be saying was that he felt "under compulsion", but was very clear in mind in the sense that "I knew that I had a weapon, that I wanted to kill this person...". And also said he tried to get help beforehand, that he was "confused" and "obsessed, I couldn't get away from it". Yet also seems to go along with the view that he did it partly because he felt like a nobody and wouldn't be afterwards (though what he doesn't say is that he apparently thought he would be famous for helping change the world for the better as per Catcher in the Rye). The whole mental status exam is blocked out...but the decision doesn't say it's based on that. Guess can add a brief summary to the article, and mention again the submission of the thousand+ objections to his release. EverSince (talk) 13:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

How did he get the gun from Hawaii to New York?

Weren't there security screens in domestic airports in the 1980s? It wasn't explained in the film Chapter 27, and I don't see any explanation here.

Thanks Adambrowne666 (talk) 00:08, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Bigger than Jesus?

Toward the beginning of the article, it states that he laughed about Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" statement with his friends, but at the bottom, in Motivation and Mental Health, it states that he was angered by the statement. The latter isn't sourced.

Slicedoranges (talk) 10:59, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

The whole Motivation and Mental Health section seems a bit iffy. Seems to have been written independently of the sections before it.. -- (talk) 06:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Assasinate vs Murder

I have changed the references to "assasinate" to "murder". My reasoning is below.

  1. There were no sources to verify that anyone but wikipedia calls it an assasination. According to biographies of living persons policy all unsourced potentially negative information must be removed immediately. Assasinate in my mind is worse than murder.
  2. Two other articles, Death of John Lennon and John Lennon (both listed as good articles) describe Mark David Chapman's actions as murder and do not mention the word assasinate at all.

We should maintain consistency about these actions across wikipedia articles and since it is not sourced they should all say murder as they do now. A new name 2008 (talk) 12:33, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

A simple Google Books search returns an extensive number of sources which refer to Chapman as an assassin. (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4, Example 5, Example 6, Example 7, Example 8, Example 9, I could go on and on.) In addition, media sources, including The New York Times [2] have regularly referred to Chapman as Lennon's assassin ever since the killing. In this case, "assassinated" is a better word than "murdered" as it is a more specific, descriptive word. Anyone can be murdered, not many can be assassinated. We should strive to be as accurate in our language as is pertinent; Chapman's killing of Lennon wasn't just a murder, it was an assassination. If consistency is a concern, then the other articles should be changed. faithless (speak) 01:28, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I was going to correct you, but you're right. According to wiktionary, Assassination is "To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons.". While one could argue that he did not have ideological or political reasons, the attack was certainly sudden, and Lennon was certainly an important person. (talk) 00:28, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what "sudden or obscure" means in this context. If Chapman had kidnapped Lennon, held him for a few weeks, and then killed him, is that sudden? Perhaps the "sudden" part is attempting to capture the fact that the victim does not feel in danger, i.e., he or she is not in a war zone, etc.
Moving on, every "important" person who is killed is not assassinated, and while the wikitionary definition makes the ideological or political reason optional, in practice such a reason is usually present. Was Phil Hartman murdered, or assassinated? He's notable, the attack was sudden, the killer was acting irrationally, so there are many parallels. One big difference is that Hartman knew his attacker whereas Lennon didn't. Is that why people want to call this an assassination? If Lennon's driver had killed him, would it be different?
I can live with this and won't change it again, but I don't understand the rationale used by editors who favor assassinated and I think the WP articles should be consistent one way or the other. They aren't now. — John Cardinal (talk) 14:10, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Birth year

1953 or 1955? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Hearing Voices

Near the end of the "Early Life" section it states that Chapman started hearing voices again. I can't seem to find anywhere earlier in the article where it states that he started hearing voices in the first place. Did I miss something or is everyone else confused by that statement too? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cscz28 (talkcontribs) 08:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Numbers

User:John Cardinal and I are having a disagreement over numbers in the prose of the article. Citing The Chicago Manual of Style, I have argued that numbers from one to one hundred should be spelled out, rather than given numerally. John Cardinal contends that numbers larger than nine should be given as numerals, citing WP:MOSNUM. My contention is that MOSNUM is a style guideline written by Wikipedians, and hardly an authoritative voice on style, and have ignored it for the betterment of the encyclopedia. John Cardinal, obviously, disagrees with this. We could use an impartial opinion. Thank you. faithless (speak) 22:12, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

User:Faithlessthewonderboy omitted something important about my position. His edit comments indicate he disagrees with WP:MOSNUM; he said it is a "flawed guideline" and "demonstrably incorrect". If he disagrees with WP:MOSNUM, he should start a discussion there. It makes no sense to change selected articles such as Mark David Chapman such that they do not conform; that makes the encyclopedia inconsistent (style guides are intended to avoid that), and such edits are a form of WP:POINT. WP:IAR doesn't apply here; this isn't some unusual circumstance where following the style guide on this particular article hurts the encyclopedia in some way and not following the rule would help it. If the style guide is wrong, he should raise the issue on the WP:MOSNUM talk page. This is not the place for this discussion. — John Cardinal (talk) 00:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
And you both appear to omit the fact that WP:MOSNUM says "numbers greater than nine are commonly rendered in numerals, or may be rendered in words if they are expressed in one or two words." This allows all numbers up to "one hundred" and many more to be written out, does it not? So it sounds like a matter of preference, the style guide being relative neutral on it. Dicklyon (talk) 03:23, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The full sentence begins "As a general rule, in the body of an article, single-digit whole numbers from zero to nine are spelled out in words; numbers greater than nine are commonly rendered in numerals, or may be rendered in words if they are expressed in one or two words". Are we free to ignore the "as a general rule" part? If so, does the weakly-worded style guide mean I can change all single or double-word numbers to figures if that's my preference? — John Cardinal (talk) 12:20, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
As I see it: Firstly, surely the main thing is consistency within a given article - if numbers are spelt out in the first instance, they should be spelt out throughout. If they are given in numerals, they should be so all the way through. I also think WP:RETAIN applies here (even though it refers to the British English Vs American English debate refered to at WP:ENGVAR), assuming consistency is existant. Thats just my opinion, of course. DB 103245talk 08:09, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

The current Wiki general guideline on numerals is supported by newspaper style in the U.S., Canada and the UK, according to AP Stylebook, CP Stylebook, and the online style sheets of the UK Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian. This, of course, is also the style in the online news media in these countries. It also seems to me that it is easier and faster to get the meaning from the more compact numerals than numbers spelled out (88 vs eighty-eight). However, perhaps, as a news media addict, it may be that I prefer this style simply because I am used to it. But could the same be true of Faithlessthewonderboy, who may be more accustomed to the more academic world where the Chicago Manual holds sway? In any case, and with all due respect to the latter, I prefer the simpler method of using numerals from 10 - 99, and suggest that this is probably the style that is most familiar to most people. --Early morning person (talk) 20:17, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

It is a waste of effort to write against the Wikipedia manual of style, and this discussion does not belong on this page. If some poor Wikipedia gnome does not change this by hand, then eventually someone will write a bot that does it. Anyone who feels strongly about changing policy should go to the source of the policy, not try to force an implementation of it on a specific page. And I say this without taking a stand on this issue; this is how I feel about any such issue. Blue Rasberry 19:28, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Some dumb petition?

...the wording of this article makes it sound like some online petition has been a major factor in denying parole, where there's where there's nothing marginally verifiable to back that up. nothing really to suggest the parole board was even aware of the petition. if this is common knowledge, it needs a source. if it's not, those sections need to be rewritten. at best, i'd suggest that the petitions are one barometer by which an observer can gauge public opinion on the matter.

Hollow point rounds

removed sentence: "The bullets were hollow pointed, and would explode into various pieces on contact, which would inflict the most damage."

that's not what hollow point bullets do (explode or break into pieces, i mean), but regardless you can click the hollow point link i added instead Bantosh 9 June 2006

Redundant content

It is stated twice in the article that 6 psychiatrists found Mark David Chapman to be psychotic and 3 declared him to not meet the legal definition thereof. If anyone reads the whole article, it really serves no purpose to say the exact same thing twice.Alfred (talk) 10:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Second degree murder instead of first?

Why was he charged/convicted of second degree murder instead of first when he planned it months in advance? TomCat4680 (talk) 05:16, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia page on murder in the United States outlines New York state's classification scheme for degrees of murder. SweetNightmares (talk) 17:24, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Syntax and symantics

The article states, "Chapman developed a series of obsessions, including artwork, The Catcher in the Rye, music, and John Lennon, and started hearing voices again." It is not previously mentioned that Chapman had heard voices.

The article quotes James Taylor: "According to Taylor, "The guy had sort of pinned me to the wall and was glistening with maniacal sweat and talking some freak speak about what he was going to do and his stuff with how John was interested, and he was going to get in touch with John Lennon." It appears that the words "and" and "with" have been switched in the part, "what he was going to do and his stuff with how John was interested..." If this is the actual quote it should be followed by a bracketed sic thus demonstrated: [sic]. Luckydagger (talk) 21:25, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Good spot I've altered the wording re. voices to clarify it's referring to the imaginary 'little people' he said he first experienced in his childhood. On the Taylor quote, here's him actually saying it i think the bit you highlight isn't clear but makes sense with hearing the pause in there. EverSince (talk) 01:12, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

There is no way that this man is autistic

I think that clearly this man did not have severe Autism. I am kind of offended that someone would say that this murderer was autistic. It's offensive to everyone with any type of Autism, high or low functioning. I have high functioning Autism.

By the way this is written, I can say that there is no way that this man had Autism. In fact, because of that, I question the entire factuality of this article. (talk) 00:46, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Fine but you need to support your arguments. I am not an expert on HF autism but know from personal experience (a friend is a HF autist) that HF autists do have the ability to obsess and, like other people, do become depressed. The delusional bit can be an unrelated condition, but adding it to the obsessive bit you get something dangerous to other people, to say the least. If you look at Chapman's stare there is something extremely cold about it (sociopathic) but that is a pure speculation. I'd say the criminal system is probably right in never releasing this man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
That Chapman has suffered from depression and that he was delusional and obsessed with Lennon in 1980 is not in dispute; that doesn't mean he is autistic. The article should only say he is autistic if a reliable source says has been diagnosed with it. Jim Michael (talk) 07:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
For the record the sentence re autism was apparently just a blip added just prior to above comment by unregistered editor and was then removed. I've never read anything suggesting it was ever claimed that he was diagnosed or diagnosable with anything on that spectrum. Btw I also don't think it's necessarily right to say Chapman was 'cold', there's sourced stuff in article pointing out that he was in some ways over-sensitive and e.g. did commended work helping kids etc, could be affected by guilt, sense of failure etc. Which is not to detract obviously from the fact he could obviously be angry & bitter & vengeful & psychotic & obviously homicidal. But personally I think it doesn't sound as if the judge properly considered whether he had the mental competence to change his plea to guilty in the first place. EverSince (talk) 01:39, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


The first sentence of this article should be edited to remove the reference to John Lennon as "a piece of excrement"! Perhaps the writer thought they were referring to Mark David Chapman, but in any case , the reference should be removed ! I quote the first line below: "Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American prison inmate who was convicted of murdering former Beatles member John Lennon, who was a piece of excrement, on December 8, 1980" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Religious affiliation

The following text has been added and removed from the early life section repeatedly:

"At age 16, Chapman became a born-again Christian, and distributed Bible tracts. He met his first girlfriend, another born-again Christian named Jessica Blankenship."

Could we possibly discuss this here and reach some sort of consensus rather than constantly edit warring? I'm not familiar enough with Chapman's case to be able to judge but I would imagine this information would be relatively verifiable one way or the other. ElijahOmega (talk) 13:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The information is sourced and thus it is verifiable. Editors who want it removed should discuss the change here. So far, those removing it have left no edit summaries or comments here so we do not know why they want it removed. — John Cardinal (talk) 16:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
This is just another one of countless cases proving that "god" is in fact satan doing his dirty little games. God let Jesus being killed, god brought us Hitler and Stalin and Mao, and god brought us USA and Israel as Irak and Iran. God is the biggest killer of all worlds, wake up! (people who think different, they are just doing blah blah suggesting a "good" god, but not realising the true nature of god, beware of god!) -- (talk) 03:22, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Is there a more authoritative and unbiased reference on the claim that MDC was born-again? TruTV Television shows have sensationalized other stories in the past. 22yearswothanks (talk) 12:06, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

More information needed

More information I feel is needed about the relationship he was in with his Asian wife. Okay, so they were together still on the day of Lennon's death? Interesting. Please add that to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:39, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I wish to second this please, more information detailing the clearly loyal relationship between him and his Japanese girlfriend leading up to then even on the day of John Lennon's assassination. I think that information when gathered and presented here could be extremely valuable. ( (talk) 10:19, 24 June 2013 (UTC))

Imprisonment -- Supreme Court

The "New York State Supreme Court" should probably be changed to "trial court" or something similar. Almost everybody who is not a New York Lawyer will read that and think that it was done by the highest court in the state. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TakingAMulligan (talkcontribs) 00:02, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

More information needed -- sons?

Also, could more info be added about Chapman's sons? They are never mentioned at all in the section on his personal life and marriage, but only mentioned in passing in a report of the parole board actions. Some actual facts here would be useful. (talk) 03:47, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any reference to children, either in the article or in the several extensive biographies published on-line. If you have any such information, supportable with reliable sources, feel free to add it yourself. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 12:35, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Marriage Contradiction?

Infobox says he was married from 1979-1980, but the article states that he gets conjugal visits with his wife. Contradiction needs to be clarified. -- Veggies (talk)

Even the reference used within the infobox indicates he's still married. I've removed the "—1980". - Nunh-huh 20:13, 8 May 2015 (UTC)