The Heartbreaking Events After John Lennon Was Killed

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On December 8, 1940, John Lennon was assassinated by a man who confessed that he just wanted to “be popular.”

Five shots. Four pierced his body and it was all over. Two entered through the back and the others through the left arm of John Lennon, born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, United Kingdom. It was a premeditated, ruthless, treacherous crime… A voice called him by his last name and when he turned to see who it was, a string of bullets hit him. He barely walked a few meters and collapsed at the entrance to the Dakota building in Manhattan, where he lived with Yoko Ono and their 5-year-old son, Sean, whom he wanted to kiss on the forehead before he lost consciousness could not.

That same night, Alan Weiss, who worked as a producer for the ABC7 news channel, had suffered an accident moments before that attack and was taken to the same hospital where the former Beatle lost his life at 11:15 p.m.

It didn’t take long for the rumors that “a beatle had been shot” began to travel the streets of the cosmopolitan city and reached the ears of Joe Urschel, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press; those of Jim Farber—a music critic for the New York Daily News who graduated from college in 1980 and wrote articles for Circus magazine—and Donna Cornacchio, then a WCBS intern at the assignment desk and in charge of answering the newsroom phone.

Monday, December 8, 1980, at 11:15 p.m., the date and time stamped on John Lennon’s death certificate signed by Dr. Stephen Lynn.

The next day, Yoko Ono only warned: “There is no funeral for John” and recalled that her recently deceased husband “loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him.”

John Lennon’s body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Yoko scattered his ashes in Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields Memorial was later created.