The record John Lennon signed for his killer goes up for auction

In 1980, Mark Chapman fatally shot the Beatle five hours after getting this album signed.

The copy of Double Fantasy, which John Lennon signed for Mark David Chapman hours before his death at Chapman’s hands, has gone up for auction.

On 8 December 1980, Chapman asked Lennon to sign a copy of the album outside the Dakota apartment building in New York. Five hours later, he fatally shot the Beatle as he returned home.

Chapman placed the record in a giant planter on either side of the Dakota’s entrance, where it was discovered later that evening by a building superintendent. The man who retrieved the album submitted it as evidence for the New York Police Department’s investigation into Lennon’s murder.

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According to Goldin Auctions, the house facilitating the auction, several police markings from the investigation can be seen on the front and back of the record’s sleeve. Lennon also inscribed the year “1980” underneath his signature on the front cover.

Bidding on the record started today (23 November) at 12am ET (5am GMT), with an opening bid of $400,000. See the full listing here.

Chapman, who was 25 at the time of the crime, will face his next parole hearing in 2022. As of 2020, the 65-year-old has served 40 years of a 20 years to life sentence.

This year, Sean Ono Lennon, the youngest son of John Lennon, celebrated his late father’s 80th birthday with a two-part special on BBC Radio 2. John Lennon At 80 featured guest interviews with Paul McCartney, Elton John and Sean’s older half-brother Julian Lennon.

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