John Lennon’s killer obsessed with ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

Posted: July 15, 2015 in The Catcher in the Rye Enigma
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On February 9, 1981, The New York Times  ran an article stating Mark David Chapman was preparing to plead insanity at the upcoming trial in which he was accused of murdering John Lennon. The article mentions Chapman had developed an unhealthy “obsession” with The Catcher in the Rye  novel and “in a handwritten statement delivered to The New York Times last week, Mr. Chapman” had “urged everyone to read the novel, a copy of which was in his possession when he was arrested”.

Lennon and Chapman.jpg

Lennon and Chapman…Six hours before the murder.

Chapman had apparently told the NY Times that reading the book would “help many to understand what has happened”.

The newspaper also reported that the accused’s statement ended with: “My wish is for all of you to someday read ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ All of my efforts will now be devoted toward this goal, for this extraordinary book holds many answers. My true hope is that in wanting to find these answers you will read ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ Thank you.”

The Catcher in the Rye

The accused’s statement was signed “Mark David Chapman – The Catcher in the Rye.”

During the trial that followed, Chapman continued to promote the book. At times he would open up a copy and begin reading intently for all to see the book’s cover. On other occasions he would stand up excitedly and shout to everyone in the court, imploring them to read the novel.

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“If you sat around there long enough and heard all the phonies applauding and all, you got to hate everybody in the world.” –J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

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It also came out during the court case that shortly before the assassination Chapman would sit in his room chanting the mantra, “THE PHONY MUST DIE SAYS THE CATCHER IN THE RYE!” as well as “JOHN LENNON MUST DIE SAYS THE CATCHER IN THE RYE!”

These phrases are eerily similar to Sirhan Sirhan’s documented diary entries in which he repeatedly wrote “RFK MUST DIE!”

Another parallel is that the word phony in the aforementioned mantra was borrowed from Catcher, once again indicating that Chapman’s murder of Lennon was somehow inspired by the book.

You have been reading an excerpt from our new release book The Catcher in the Rye Enigma: J.D. Salinger’s Mind Control Triggering Device or a Coincidental Literary Obsession of Criminals? – Available now via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catcher-Rye-Enigma-Coincidental-Underground-ebook/dp/B00YVROKZ4/ 

The Catcher in the Rye Enigma: J.D. Salinger's Mind Control Triggering Device or a Coincidental Literary Obsession of Criminals? (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 4)

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