Mark David Chapman says that he feels great remorse for killing John Lennon but that the slaying doesn’t make him an evil person.
“You can’t judge a man’s life by one act. Before I became ‘The man who murdered John Lennon,’ I was basically a decent person,” Chapman said from his isolation cell at Attica state prison, where he is serving 20 years to life.
In the interview in Sunday’s Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Chapman said he suffered mental dissolution for years before killing the former Beatle on Dec. 8, 1980, outside Lennon’s apartment building in New York City.
“I’m not an evil person,” Chapman said. “Like everybody, there’s a small part within me that’s evil, and that’s what took over in my case. My energies turned foul and went toward something destructive.”
Chapman said he looks upon Lennon as “a seeker of truth.”
“It was an end of innocence for that time,” Chapman said. “And I regret being the one that ended it.”