Witnesses to the murder of John Lennon will speak about the incident for the first time in a new documentary about the night he was killed.
The Beatles legend was shot dead at the age of 40 by unhinged fan Mark Chapman outside his home in New York City in 1980.
A new documentary on the murder by Apple TV+ titled ‘John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial’ will reveal previously unseen crime scene photographs that shed light on the death.
Some of Lennon’s closest friends will provide their accounts and it will feature the first on-screen interview with one of Chapman’s defence lawyers.
The police officers who were first to the scene of the killing, the medics who tried to save Lennon and the detective who investigated the murder will also feature.
John Lennon was shot dead at the age of 40 by unhinged fan Mark Chapman outside his home in New York City in 1980
Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980
A crowd gathered outside the building Lennon lived in after he was shot dead in 1980
Producers secured access to the New York City police department, the Board of Parole and the district attorney’s office documents for the three part documentary, expected to air later this year.
It will aim to explore the effect Lennon’s had across society. The series is produced by 72 Films and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. has contacted Apple TV+ for comment.
It comes after Sir Paul McCartney told how he would have been wracked with guilt if he had not repaired his friendship with Lennon before he was murdered.
John left The Beatles in 1969 and he had become embroiled in legal battles over the band’s back catalogue which caused tension between him and his former song-writing partner Sir Paul, now 81.
John Lennon during a press conference in New York on May 13, 1968
They got their friendship back on track in the mid 1970s and Sir Paul spent time at the home John shared in New York with his second wife Yoko Ono.
But Sir Paul admits he would have been devastated if he had not had the chance to repair the cracks in his relationship with John before he was killed.
Sir Paul said on the McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast: ‘In the end it was something I was very glad of, when he got murdered, that I’d had some really good times with him before that happened.
‘It would have been the worst thing in the world had he just been killed and we still had a bad relationship. That would have been a big guilt trip for me.
‘Luckily, we were friendly, we talked about how to bake bread.
‘You’ve got to remember I sued him in court, I sued his friends from Liverpool, life-long friends, in court. There’s a lot of getting over that has to be done.’
The man who gunned down Lennon outside his New York City apartment building in 1980 told a parole board that he knew it was wrong to kill the beloved former Beatle, but that he was seeking fame and had ‘evil in my heart.’
Chapman made the comments to a board that denied him parole for a twelfth time, citing his ‘selfish disregard for human life of global consequence’.
Chapman, in a transcript released by state officials in 2022, said the decision to kill Lennon was: ‘My big answer to everything. I wasn’t going to be a nobody, anymore.’
‘I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,’ Chapman told the board.
‘I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life.’
Chapman killed Lennon on the night of December 8, 1980, as he and Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment.
Earlier that day, Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, ‘Double Fantasy.’
Chapman told the board: ‘This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that.’