The wife of John Lennon’s murderer knew that her husband, Mark David Chapman, intended to shoot the late-Beatle. Nearly 38 years after Chapman emptied a .38 caliber pistol in the neck and back of the 40-year-old Lennon, Gloria Abe is specking out in advance of Chapman’s upcoming parole hearing set for August 20th. Back on May 15th, 2012, Chapman was transferred to a new prison after spending over 30 years at New York’s Attica Correctional Facility. Lennon’s killer is now incarcerated at Alden, New York’s Wende Correctional Facility, 20 miles east of Buffalo. At the time, a spokesman for the state prison system went on record as saying “the agency doesn’t disclose why inmates are transferred to a new facility.” On August 29th, 2016, Chapman, who’s now 63, was denied parole for the ninth time.
Abe, who had married Chapman the year before Lennon’s 1980 murder, told The Daily Mirror, that she was well aware that her husband was intent on killing Lennon during his initial trip to New York City in October 1980. Abe said during Chapman’s second trip to New York that December, when she heard the news that Lennon was gunned down, she knew it was her husband: “I knew it was Mark. How did I know? Two months earlier, Mark had traveled to New York. He came home scared, telling me that to make a name for himself he had planned to kill Lennon. But he said my love had saved him. The only reason I was okay with Mark making another trip was because I had believed him when he said he needed to grow up as an adult and husband, and needed time to think about his life. He wanted me to sacrifice being alone for a short time so that we could have a long, happy marriage together. He said he threw the gun into the ocean, and I believed him. But he had lied to me.”
She went on to say, “December 8th, 1980, was one of the darkest nights of my life. I remember it was a Monday. I had come home from work, fixed dinner, and was watching (The) Little House On The Prairie. On the show, Mary had just found out she’d become blind when suddenly, words ran across the bottom of the screen: ‘John Lennon has been shot in New York City by a male Caucasian.’ My life changed dramatically that night. I was now ‘Mrs. Mark David Chapman,’ the wife of a murderer and not just any murderer but one whose victim was known and loved by millions around the world.”
Abe explained how she came to forgive Chapman and remain devoted to him: “Ultimately, I prayed and searched the Bible to read what God says about divorce. Finally, in the book of Malachi, I read, ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.’ That settled it, and I closed my Bible. From that point on, I decided I would wait for Mark.”
According to reports, Chapman has refused all psychological aid during his nearly four decades behind bars in protective custody. The Mirror posted: “For the past 25 years, Gloria and Chapman have only been allowed to spend 44 hours each year together during conjugal visits, holed up in the caravan. She said they spend their time making pizzas, watching Wheel Of Fortune on TV and making love.”
- Mark David Chapman has been turned down for parole every two years since 2000.
- John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, who had previously written the parole board stating that she and Lennon’s two sons Julian and Sean Lennon would never be safe should Chapman be released, claimed in 2008 that it would be Chapman who would face danger if paroled, telling The New York Daily News, “It’s dangerous for him to come out. Not only for us, but for himself. (It’s) not so much because of punishment. There are so many people out there who dislike him. It’s safer for him to stay in jail.”
- Chapman, who had been living in Hawaii at the time of the murder, stalked Lennon for days in New York City, and even briefly met Lennon’s then-five-year-old son Sean outside the apartment building the day he gunned Lennon down.
Photos from Mark David Chapman & Gloria Abe’s August 1991 conjugal visit:
CHECK IT OUT: WNBC-TV footage of December 14th, 1980 vigil for John Lennon in Central Park: