In Memoriam: Five Strange Stories Related to the Death of John Lennon

Thirty years ago today, John Lennon's life was cut short by a disturbed fan while returning to his home at the Dakota on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As with any legend, countless tales–the bizarre, the depressing, the totally untrue–surround Lennon's murder.

In memory of one of the greatest songwriters and musicians ever, we've compiled a list of five strange stories linked to the death of Lennon. Shine on!  

5. Stephen King Killed John Lennon

Steve Lightfoot is a man who still stands outside of the Dakota (Lennon's former home and location of his murder) with his van plastered with the URL of his website, In his pamphlet Stephen King Killed John Lennon, he describes a scenario where the story of Mark David Chapman is a ruse (“…armed,
a pawn, waiting to be moved into a hostile square…by the giant
hand of Ronald Reagan…”) and “government codes” in headlines printed in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report around the time of Lennon's death revealed his real murderers. As the introduction to his site reads:

“…John Lennon
was, not only politically assassinated, but that Richard Nixon, Ronald
and, you'd better sit down, horror novelist Stephen King are the
three people who can be proven guilty of the crime. King being the real
murderer and Chapman but a look-alike, paid actor misleading you with an
absolute hoax, the media in tow.”

Okay, so the Nixon/Reagan connection isn't too far of a stretch–Lennon's political activism, etc.–but what's this dude got against horror novelist/weirdo Stephen King?:

Stephen King writes all about it beginning with Salem's Lot, five years before the crime, where he writes about shooting a man in the shoulder blades, stalking a politician with a gun in The Dead Zone, Johnny being the main character. He even writes about “…the fellow who killed John Lennon” in, I believe, three books. He practically confesses in his 1983 Playboy interview. He has even admitted to me, in his own handwriting, that I “…haven't got the whole story yet…” and in a subsequent letter, signed Stephen King, he throws in a veiled bribe if I'd quit exposing this.

For even more crazy, just read the rest of Lightfoot's introduction here.

4. Album Signed by Lennon For Mark David Chapman Up For Sale
One of the more famous stories surrounding the murder of John Lennon is that he autographed a copy of his album, Double Fantasy, for his own murderer on December 8, 1980 as he was leaving his Manhattan home at the Dakota. It was when Lennon returned later that night did Chapman shoot him four times in the back.

Well, according to the New York Post, that autographed album is now for sale–for $850,000. Unsurprisingly, the current owner has received death threats. [

3. John Lennon Versus the Illuminati

And what list like this would be complete without the Illuminati? This video illustrates a supposed transcript of an interview Lennon gave “talking about the forces which govern the planet and waht [sic] the future has instore.” And it apparently involves ancient Egypt and their descendants. And as YouTube user DystopianAwakening (yep) says:

The British Monarchy are the direct descendants of the Pharaos of Egypt,
their bloodlines and family history can be traced back to these rulers
of the old world. As they prepare for global interdependance, the
curtain on these people is slowly coming down and people are awakening
to what these people want to do for all of us. I am not spreading fear
as there is nothing to fear if you have love on your side. It is time to
unite as humans to break down the barriers of religion, race, and
politics and come together as one, as this is the only way we can defeat
these people who want a global dictatorship, it is all about
non-compliance and a willingness to let go and not to participate in the
institutions these corrupt people have set up for all of us. So it is
time to see through all the crap the corporate mass media want us to buy
into, as the mass media is controlled by these people. When are you
going to wake up and take control of your life and your destiny, this is
our planet we should not have to pay for anything…..we are born and
are bondaged to this planet we call Earth and these people play a game
of monopoly with our lives. It's time we reaslise that money is not
worth more than the toilet paper you wipe your arse with, and we belong
to the land. 

2. Did Lennon Predict His Own Death?

Probably not. But it still doesn't make this quote from Lennon's Playboy interview (often called his last major interview–click here for the book) that was conducted three months before his death any less chilling, even 30 years later:

“Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are great examples of fantastic
non-violents who died violently, I can never work that out. We're
pacifists, but I'm not sure what it means when you're such a pacifist
that you get shot. I can never understand that.”

1. British Tabloid: “Secret Wife Who Could Stopped John Lennon's Killer”

British tabloid mag (red flag!) the Sun just printed a story on Chapman's “secret wife,” Gloria, “the woman who could have saved John Lennon from the assassin's bullet–but who kept quiet rather than warn the police of the impending murder.”

The Dec. 8 story claims that in newly released tapes of interviews, Gloria admits that “rather than go to police or get her mentally ill husband to seek psychiatric help, she trusted herself to help him get through it.” You can read the rest of the story here, which includes more info on their marriage, how Gloria is still in love with Chapman and how she “dedicated her life to helping others in a bid to
win forgiveness from the Lennon family.”

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