At 10:50pm on the 8th December 1980, former Beatle and political activist John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment block in New York. Mark David Chapman fired at Lennon five times, hitting him four times in the back.

John Lennon lived in the Dakota, one of the most prestigious apartment buildings in New York. He had moved there in 1973, and was known to willingly interact with fans that waited outside the building for autographs or pictures. Chapman had arrived at the building in the mid-morning, and approached Lennon for his autograph when he left the building at 5:40pm. Lennon and Yoko Ono then got into a waiting limousine and drove to the Record Plant Studio to mix a new song.

Chapman remained outside the Dakota until Lennon returned at 10:50pm. As he walked from his limousine to the building’s front entrance, Chapman fired five rounds at his back, of which four hit him. Lennon, bleeding profusely, staggered up the stairs into the reception. Police arrived two minutes later. By this point the doorman had shaken the gun from Chapman’s hand, who then waited calmly with a copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Lennon was rushed to hospital in the back of a second police car, where he arrived within minutes of the assault. He had no pulse and was not breathing and, despite attempts by the medical staff to revive him, was declared dead on arrival at 11:15pm. A number of witnesses noted that at that exact moment the Beatles song All My Loving began playing on the hospital’s sound system.

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