I decided to delve back into my free Amazon Prime movies to see what’s available in the way of Beatles movies/documentaries that I hadn’t seen or heard of yet. It’s been a busy weekend and I didn’t have much time, so I chose the 48 minute documentary I Killed John Lennon. This movie is also available on DVD.
This movie revolves mostly around the 200 minutes of taped interviews that reporter Jack Jones did with Mark David Chapman over a period of six years starting in 1986. Mixed in with bits of audio from those tapes are interviews with Jack Jones and several psychologists who have read over the transcripts and present their analysis of Lennon’s murderer.
As you can imagine, a 48 minute film that covers 200 hours of tape isn’t going to really go very deep into the killers motivation or life history. This movie just seems to skim the surface of the whole story and end with the psychologist and Jones deeming that Chapman is crazy. If you’re truly interested in the who, what, when where and whys of the tragic death of John Lennon there are much better films and books. In fact, Jack Jones wrote a 300 page book about his interviews called, Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman,the Man Who Killed John Lennon that you can buy used on Amazon for as little as $1.78. And for that reason…
I rate this film, 1 out of 4 Beetles!
Who Killed John Lennon? By Fenton Bresler was given to me (along with a copy of Fred Seaman’s The Last Days of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir) by someone who was trying to explain to me the conspiracy theories behind John Lennon‘s murder.
Again, this is a book (published in 1989) that has been on my shelf for over 5 years now and I decided it was time to finally getting around to reading it in its entirety. I had made two other prior attempts, but I finally dug up the patience needed to get through Fenton Bresler‘s belief that Lennon’s assassin (or better to known to Beatles’ fans as “He whose name shall not be spoken”) was not a lone gun man, but instead a CIA pawn who had been brainwashed and at the command of a ‘controller’ shot John Lennon.
Why did it take such an effort to read this book? Well, for one, the author (an English lawyer) spends an exorbitant amount of time detailing the CIA hypnosis/mind control programs of the 50’s and 60’s. In fact, he takes it even farther back to when the CIA didn’t even exist. Mr. Bresler even explains how the conspiracy theories tied to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert and John Kennedy also help to prove his theory of a planned and well executed assassination of Lennon by the U.S. government because of Lennon’s political views and his power to gather masses to protest various political policies. The author also walks the reader through the premeditated killing on the night of December 8, 1980 and the days and months that followed as the killer was lead through the American judicial system. Bresler then backs it all up with documentation that he gathered in his 8 years of researching this book.
The more I read this book, the more I realized there was no conspiracy to kill John Lennon and that the assassin was a lone gunman who was psychotic. It seemed with every passing chapter, the theories became more and more far fetched with even the author seeming to become paranoid because the U.S. judicial system allowed Lennon’s killer to have visits and phone calls within days of the shooting, apparently bringing to a light that just about anyone (read ‘controller’) could have contacted Lennon’s murderer to continue to manipulate what he said to the authorities.
I will say, thought, that this book does have an upside in that it does quote many legal documents and court transcriptions that I had not yet read and that just about anyone interested in the case against the murderer would find very interesting. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 2 out of 4 Beetles!
I found this movie through Amazon Prime and decided to give it a go. Apparently, “Mugshots” is a whole series of movies about either famous people who have been murdered, famous murderers or famous murders.
Mugshots: Mark D. Chapman – John Lennon: Death of a Beatle – is actually not a bad documentary for Lennon fans, if you can get past the taped interview of Mark David Chapman. But if you are one of the folks that lives by the belief that “he who’s name shall not be spoken”, should also not be heard, then you’re going to have a big problem with this film.
The movie is more of the story of John Lennon, his life growing up and his life as a Beatle. Several very familiar people participated in the making of this documentary, including such names as Pete Best, Bob Gruen, and Scott Muni.
At times, it almost appears as if this is two separate stories being told…that of Lennon and that of his killer, with each of the stories being able to stand on it’s own if it had to. Chapman’s words are haunting…his story is strange…and his reasoning just unfathomable when you hear him tell it. Yet, like a train wreck, it’s hard not to look and listen just to try to comprehend what he did.
If you’re a true Lennon fan who has to know every detail, then yes…watch this film. If you love Lennon, but believe Chapman’s name should not be spoken, then watch Hard Day’s Night.
This documentary is well made, but because of my own personal beliefs on the subject…
I rate this movie: 2 out of 4 Beetles!