Chapter 27, Part 1: John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, and The Catcher in the Rye

Not too long ago I was ill and confined to bed for several days.  Having no energy to read, I still managed to move my thumb and forefinger enough to work the remote on my FireStick and browse through the latest titles available on Netflix.

After reviewing several choices, I settled on Chapter 27, which promised to be a depressing yet informative psychological study of John Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman.


I don’t typically enjoy films that glorify killers, but this one did a pretty good job of trying to get inside his mind and explain the events that led up to his pulling the trigger. One interesting thing I had forgotten was Chapman’s obsession with J.D. Salinger’s character, Holden Caulfield, from his novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Jared Ledo’s portrayal of Chapman was suitably creepy, and throughout the film I was consumed by an ominous feeling of dread mixed with a fittingly bipolar urge to curse the man who took away a man whose music and life had played such an influence on me and thousands of other songwriters, not to mention his family and the millions of fans around the world, while at the same time empathizing with his obviously ill mental state.  But for the grace of God go I . . .

And speaking of “I,” in December 1980 I was living in South Florida, working at a resort hotel on an island off the Gulf Coast. I had no TV or radio in my room, so the next morning the chef who ran the kitchen asked me, “Hey Dillweed, did you hear your hero died?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

Read Chapter 27: Part II

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