Bullet from John Lennon killer’s gun up for auction

John Lennon

A bullet once fired from the gun that killed John Lennon is set to go up for auction this week in Newcastle.

The item was given to Northumbria Police officer Brian Taylor by the New York Police Department, after they allowed him to shoot the gun on a visit to the department. Taylor recently passed away, and now the bullet will be going under the hammer at Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland on February 29.

Taylor had kept the bullet in a frame for the rest of his life, with the auction house’s director describing it as “one of those slightly macabre lots you get now and again that draws everyone’s attention.”

John Lennon
John Lennon pictured at the Hit Factory in NYC’s W. 48th Street just before he was murdered. CREDIT: Art Zelin/Getty Images

“There is a Beatles fanbase that is fanatical and a market for just about anything Beatles,” he continued (via BBC). “But very seldomly do you get something so unusual and unique, it’s difficult to know what it’s worth and whether there’s a market for it or not. It’s a really interesting piece of Beatles memorabilia that probably can’t be replicated.”

Mark David Chapman shot and killed Lennon on December 8, 1980 as the musician and Yoko Ono were returning to their Dakota Building apartment in New York City’s Upper West Side. Chapman then remained at the scene until police arrived, and later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to serve a prison term of twenty years to life.

In 2022, Chapman said he shot Lennon because he “wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that”. He has been denied parole 12 times.

In an interview with one of the parole boards, Chapman said: “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. I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there,” he said.

“This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that,” continued Chapman, who then said that killing Lennon was “my big answer to everything. I wasn’t going to be a nobody anymore.”

In previous hearings, Chapman has described his actions as “despicable” and said he’d have “no complaint whatsoever” if he remained in prison for the rest of his life.

During his 2018 appeal Chapman said he felt “more and more shame” each year since committing the crime. “Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now,” he explained.

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