Before he pulled the trigger that ended the life of rock legend John Lennon nearly 38 years ago, the killer remembered being in a "tug of war" with himself about what he would do, and even praying for a way out of carrying out his plan.
In the end, the drive to gain fame by killing one of the most famous people in the world proved too strong, regretting Mark David Chapman told officers parole at the August 22 hearing which ended in a decision not to release him.
"I am too far away," Chapman, 63, said in a trial transcript released on Thursday by the New York Community Monitoring and Correction Department.
On the afternoon of December 8, 1980, the former Beatle left his apartment building in New York on the way to a recording session when he stopped to sign an album that Chapman, 25 years old, had glasses, wearing glasses. This is a moment taken in a now scary photo.
"I remember thinking, hey, you already have an album now, look at this, he signed it, just go home, but there's no way I'm going to go home," Chapman, now leaner and grayer, told the parole board.
But when Lennon returned to his house on Manhattan's Upper West Side that night, Chapman had been waiting for him, and fired a .38-caliber Charter pistol, he hit him four times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono.
Murder of murder styles shocked the music world, a generation that grew up with Beatlemania & # 39; and the city that was born in England was adopted as his home.
From his confinement at Wende's Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, Chapman told two parole board members that hearing shame continued to grow over the murder, the effect he realized would outlive him.
"One hundred years from now they will remember it and they will remember it as someone who has been killed and that will be negative," he said.
Chapman was sentenced to 20 years for life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in 1981. He has been denied parole 10 times since 2000 and will not have another chance to release until August 2020.
At the hearing, Chapman said he was a changeable man who would welcome being released but said he did not deserve it.
He denied the suggestion by a parole board member that he had channeled his obsession with fame into a ministry he ran with his wife who supplied Christian pamphlets to churches in Africa.
"I honestly have to disagree with that," he said.
"We support Jesus."