Today is the day of the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. On December 8, 41 years ago, the former Beatles died, murdered in front of the entrance to his home in Central Park on 72nd street, New York. Lennon was returning home with his wife Yōko Ono and was hit by four shots fired by a .38 wielded by Mark David Chapman, one of his fans to whom Lennon a few hours before his death, had given a copy of the album “Double Fantasy” with lots of autographs (in 2017 the copy of the record was offered for sale at a price of one and a half million dollars (1.3 million euros) by the Moments in Time house, specialized in the business of manuscripts, autographs and autographed photos).
Double fantasy, story of the last autograph
Lennon died in the hospital
That evening the former Beatles, after being hit by the barrage of bullets, was taken, seriously wounded, to Roosevelt Hospital and officially declared dead. Doctors at the hospital stated that no one could survive more than 5 minutes after sustaining such injuries. A short time later, local radio stations spread the news of the former Beatles’ death, and a crowd of his admirers gathered near Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota. Lennon’s body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale (New York), two days after his death; his ashes were delivered to his wife, who chose not to have any funeral celebrated. The first televised announcement of Lennon’s death was made by sports commentator Howard Cosell, on the ABC network during an American football game broadcast live on Monday Night Football.
Chapman admitted responsibility for Lennon’s murder and was sentenced to a sentence of between 20 years and life in prison; he never went out as he was repeatedly denied a request for probation; campaigns against his release were promoted.
A few hours before the tragedy, on the morning of that sad day, the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz had been at the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and for the cover of the music magazine Rolling Stone she had taken one of the most famous images of ‘love and loss ‘ of history. In which he, completely naked and curled up in a fetal position, hugs and kisses her, all dressed in black. Even today, after 41 years John Lennon remains one of the most powerful icons of popular culture.