New York Post reports: “I just shot John Lennon”

So screamed the headline on the front page of the New York Post on December 9, 1980. A yearbook-like photo of a baby-faced Mark David Chapman ran next to it.

Everyone knows the story: 25-year-old Chapman shot and killed Lennon in front of the Dakota at around 11 p.m. as he and Yoko walked up to the building.

The Post covers the murder from every angle; it feels like the first example of the saturated celebrity death coverage we’re used to now.

Page after page tells us who Chapman is, what a neighbor saw, how Ringo came to comfort Yoko, what President Reagan said regarding handgun laws, and all the fans who gathered at the Dakota to mourn. 

There’s also a small piece on a sudden run on Beatles and Lennon solo records:

“Last night the Colony—which is open until 2 a.m.—was jammed with requests for Lennon tapes and records,” the Post reported.

“The only remaining copy of Lennon’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’—now out of print—went for $40 within minutes.”

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4 Responses to “New York Post reports: “I just shot John Lennon””

  1. Bookpod Says:

    I was on my way to work that morning, and I happened to glance at a Spanish-language newspaper. The headline screamed “Asesinado a John Lennon.” I thought I misunderstood, but no. The English-language papers had the same news. — At work nobody said a word about Lennon. I couldn’t understand how something awful could happen without anybody wanting to talk about it. Many years later on 9/11, I found the same thing to be the case: Sometimes something so awful happens that people cannot talk about it.

  2. Upstate Ellen Says:

    “John Lennon Slain” read the headline in the Poughkeepsie Journal on the floor in front of the locked door of my high school library that December morning in 1980. I couldn’t believe it…

    I still have that article, and many others that I saved from the NY Post and the Daily News for weeks.

  3. petey Says:

    i was sitting in the kitchen and my bud came in and said “john lennon was killed.” my instant response was “bullshit!”, which seems a really odd thing to have said. he saw it on tv, this was within minutes of the shooting.

  4. Nabe News: September 8 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] again for the sixth consecutive time since he became eligible in 2000. In light of these events, Ephemeral NY dug up the Post headlines from the day after he was gunned down [Ephemeral […]

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