The man who shot John Lennon is once again coming up for parole this week. I will not write his name because George Harrison asked us never to speak it when the unspeakable happened on Dec 8th, 1980. 

I was on the air that night and I remember it like it was yesterday. I did the mid-6am shift and as I was driving in I heard Dave Hoeffel mention that in honor of Jim Morrison’s birthday, he was featuring the music of “The Doors”. I got in around 10;30 and began doing show prep when Ira Raff the overnight news person told me what had happened. John Lennon was shot outside the Dakota.


I couldn’t believe it. This was a man whom I had idolized, read dozens of books about, had all the albums and was so happy that he was back after a 5 year hiatus. Now I had to spend the next 6 hours breaking the news to New Jersey over and over again. That night we turned a music station into a talk station as I played Beatles and Lennon songs and put listeners on the air to publicly grieve.  It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in radio and I cry as I write this. After all this time, I still cry as I write this.


The only thing you can take comfort in if you’re a John Lennon fan is that he basically got to say good bye in a series of interviews publicizing his new “Double Fantasy” album. He let you know where he was and how he felt which makes what happened that much harder to take. Now the man who did it wants to get out? Seriously???


I remember saying on the air that night, knowing that New York had no death penalty at the time, that they should let him out and let me be the one to tell you where and when. My feelings like so many others haven’t changed which is why I think it better they leave him in.


Once again we have to read about him in the news. It’s because he did the inconceivable that he ended up with a Barbara Walters interview and a CNN special. They should both be ashamed off themselves. Just like the criminal justice system should be if they were to grant it.