Rebecca Schaeffer

13 Crimes That Shocked the World and Changed Our Culture Forever

The Murder of John Lennon

On Dec. 8, 1980, the former Beatle and wife Yoko Ono were just steps away from The Dakota. On their way home from a hauntingly intimate photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz, when Mark David Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back. He calmly stayed at the scene and, when the cops arrived, he was reading from a copy of Catcher in the Rye.

Culturally, it’s too painful to think about what the musical landscape would look like had Lennon. Who was only 40 when he was killed, been alive all this time. Moreover, he spent almost the entirety of his days post-Beatles crafting a message about peace. From the literal meaning of “Imagine” to his and Yoko’s “bed-in”—and Lennon had so much more to do. Ono has made it her mission to remind the world what it lost and what Lennon stood for. Paying annual tribute to him, advocating for gun control in his name and doing everything in her power to make sure Chapman never gets out of prison.

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