I’m sure the big part of me is Holden Caulfield, who is the main person in the book. The small part of me must be the Devil.
~ Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman (May 10th, 1955 - ) was the man who murdered beloved singer and songwriter John Lennon of The Beatles, on December 8th, 1980. Chapman was obsessed with the book "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger and seemingly imagined himself to be that book's main character, Holden Caulfield. The exact reason why the book made Chapman kill Lennon, and the most likely explanation is probably that he is simply insane and whatever message he got from the book that inspired him to do it was unintentional on the part of the author but there are several theories and for obvious reasons Catcher in the Rye (already very controversial for its constant swearing) has become much, much more controversial ever since this incident.


Mark Chapman came to New York City in October of 1980, where he spent weeks stalking John Lennon and talking about he was going to "meet" him and have him sign a copy of his new album. Late at night on December 8, when John Lennon was getting out of his limo in front of the Dakota Hotel where he was staying, Chapman shot at him five times in the back, four bullets hitting Lennon. Chapman was carrying a copy of Catcher in the Rye with him at the time, and after the assassination stood there reading the book until he was found and arrested without resistance. Lennon died while on his way to hospital.

Mark Chapman openly pleaded guilty to the murder, reading from the book during his trial, and was sentenced to "20 years to life imprisonment". For killing such a beloved icon, Chapman has since been denied release on six appeal hearings, and will most likely never be released.

The 2007 film "Chapter 27" was based on the killing of John Lennon, and starred Jared Leto as Mark David Chapman. The film's title refers to the fact that Catcher in the Rye has 26 chapters, and Chapman reportedly said that his goal was to "write chapter 27 in Lennon's blood."