On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York by Mark David Chapman. The death stunned the world, and the details only make the case stranger and sadder. Here are five things you didn't know about John Lennon's death...
Lennon's Death Was Announced as a Football Game Was in Its Last Tense Minutes Monday Night Football was on when news of Lennon's death broke, but the network couldn't quite cut away. The game was in its final minutes. Given how upset fans can get when a game or show is interrupted by an emergency weather alert, TV-viewing fans probably wouldn't have been too keen to miss those last few minutes of play. Instead, as Howard Cosell and his colleagues gave the play by play for the game, Cosell announced Lennon's death and said there would be more news after the game.
Mark David Chapman Said He Tried to Talk Himself out of Killing Lennon The moment of the murder was not the first time Chapman and Lennon had encountered each other that day. Lennon actually gave Chapman an autograph earlier that same day, and even Chapman admitted that Lennon had been very kind to him. In between those two meetings, according to Chapman, he prayed for help to stop his plans to shoot Lennon. Chapman said he was too obsessed with killing Lennon to stop himself.
No One Knows Where His Remains Really Are Yoko Ono had Lennon's body cremated, but she hasn't revealed where the ashes are. This is understandable as the site would no doubt be a target for vandals and thieves. Fans think the ashes might be in Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park in New York that is dedicated to Lennon, but no one has found and verified a specific location.
The Most Iconic Picture of Lennon and Yoko Ono Was Taken the Same Day He Died Just hours before he was killed, John and Yoko posed for Rolling Stone photographer Annie Leibovitz. The picture depicted a nude John wrapped around a clothed Yoko Ono. Now known as one of the most iconic pictures ever taken of the pair, it graced the Rolling Stone's cover on January 22, 1981. In 2005, that cover was named the top cover of the previous 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
Chapman Said He Killed Lennon Just for the Attention Chapman did not have lofty societal goals when he shot Lennon. Despite claims that Chapman was angry at Lennon for his claims about God and other religious and philosophical issues, Chapman has been adamant that he shot Lennon just for the notoriety. Chapman did admit to being jealous about Lennon's posh New York digs at first, but he has also said that by the time he shot Lennon, it was all about gaining fame. Chapman apparently had a list of celebrities to shoot, including Johnny Carson and George C. Scott.