John Lennon’s killer claims he didn’t target the Beatles singer.
The "Imagine" hitmaker was shot dead outside his New York apartment on December 8, 1980, by Mark David Chapman, but Chapman now claims he only killed Lennon because the latter was the most famous person he knew.
Speaking during his seventh parole hearing, Chapman told the New York State Board of Parole he committed the "cold-blooded" crime "simply because [Lennon was] the most famous person I knew of."
Speaking about John’s widow, Yoko Ono, Chapman added: "I would like Mrs. Lennon to really know that. I think it would help somewhat that it wasn’t anger.
"It wasn’t anything against her husband as a person, only as a famous person.
"If he was less famous than three or four other people on the list, he would not have been shot."
Chapman, now 57, went on to reveal that he had a list of six or seven potential targets, including Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, and actor George C. Scott.
Chapman—who waited for Lennon to return to his apartment building before shooting him in the back of the head—had contemplated abandoning his murder plot when, earlier in the day, he met Lennon and the man signed his album cover.
Chapman said: "It wasn’t all totally cold-blooded, but most of it was.
"I did try to tell myself to leave. ’I’ve got the album, take it home, show my wife, everything will be fine.’
"But I was so compelled to commit that murder that nothing would have dragged me away from that building."
Chapman pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in August 1981, with the judge ruling that he must receive psychiatric treatment.