12-08-1980

John Lennon

 JOHN LENNON, English musician and peace activist murdered (b. 1940); There are stories of an early intimate relationship between Lennon and Brian Epstein that are probably true. Lennon was certainly a friend to Gay rights and LGBT people as Yoko has continued to demonstrate in her own works. On the morning of December 8, 1980, Annie Leibovitz came over to the Ono-Lennon’s apartment to do a photo shoot for a Rolling Stone cover. She had promised Lennon it would make the cover but she initially tried to get a picture with just Lennon alone. Leibovitz would recall that, “nobody wanted [Ono] on the cover.” When Lennon insisted that both be on the cover. Leibovitz then tried to recreate the kissing scene from the Double Fantasy album cover, a picture that she loved. With the pictures in hand, Annie Leibovitz left their apartment.

The Lennons spent several hours at the studio on West 44th Street before returning to the Dakota at about 10:50 p.m. Lennon was concerned about seeing five-year-old Sean before he went to sleep, so they returned to the Dakota instead of going out to eat. They exited their limousine on 72nd Street, even though the car could have been driven into the courtyard.

Jose Perdomo (who was the doorman at the entrance), an elevator operator, and a cab driver all saw Chapman standing in the shadows by the archway. The Lennons walked past, and Ono opened the inner door — leaving Lennon alone inside the entrance. Chapman called out, “Mr. Lennon!” As Lennon paused to turn around, Chapman dropped into a “combat stance” and shot at Lennon five times with hollow point bullets from a Charter Arms .38 revolver. One shot missed, passing over Lennon’s head and hitting a window of the Dakota building. Two shots struck Lennon in the left side of his back and two more in his left shoulder. All four wounds caused serious internal damage, and at least one of them fatally pierced Lennon’s aorta.