Tonawanda News — A few years ago, I finally was able to visit the scene of the crime, the Dakota in New York City. It was a place I had seen in news reports and in pictures when I bought the Rolling Stone Magazine with Lennon on the cover that was published right after his death.
In the 33 years since his death, I find myself revisiting it often. I have met correction officers that interacted with Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman, when he was housed in Attica State Prison. They all say that Chapman would have been paroled by now if he had killed someone other than John Lennon, and if paroled it was reported Chapman wanted to relocate not far from my home in Orleans County.
I read “A Catcher in the Rye” looking for clues as to his motive, and was saddened to learn Chapman had a copy of one of my favorite Todd Rundgren albums in his hotel and was wearing a Rundgren shirt when he was arrested.
It’s strange in many ways, I never knew or met John Lennon personally, but like many fans I felt a connection and a deep sense of loss when he was murdered, and Dec. 8 is a date I have never forgotten.
Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.