Monday, December 8th, 1980 was the warmest December 8th in the history of New York City. The temperature reached a balmy record of 64 degrees Fahrenheit that fateful day. At around 5 p.m., John and Yoko left their apartments in the historic Dakota on Central Park West and 72nd Street. They were to go to the Record Plant recording studio to supervise the transfer of some of the "Double Fantasy" album numbers to singles.
As they were leaving the Dakota to enter their limousine, they were approached by several people who were seeking autographs. Among them was a man who would be later identified as the assassin. John was asked by the assassin, to sign his copy of the album Double Fantasy, John did. There is a famous photograph of John signing Double Fantasy for the assassin.
At least three witnesses, Jose Perdomo, the outside doorman for the Dakota, an elevator operator and a cab driver who had just dropped off a passenger, saw the assassin standing in the shadows, just inside the archway of the Dakota. You can add my name, Mark Elsis, to this list also. I saw the assassin lurking in the darkness while I was driving my taxi in Manhattan that evening.
I was traveling without passengers, going north on Central Park West and made a slow left turn on to 72nd Street. As soon I made the left turn, I sensed something was wrong. I quickly slowed down to a crawl in front of the Dakota. I looked right at this guy lurking in the darkness, and I felt he was bad energy. I very nearly stopped. It was almost 10:00. I'm so sorry, forgive me John. I should have stopped. I knew there was something terribly wrong with this guy, the assassin. I was ever so close to stopping, I went back and forth, should I stop or not a couple times in the few seconds in front of the Dakota.
John and Yoko left the Record Plant at 10:40. They were on their way back home from their recording / mixing session for Yoko's song Walking On Thin Ice. At 10:49 their limousine pulled up in front of their apartments at the Dakota, they were home. It stopped at the curb. It was an absolutely beautiful evening in Manhattan, so there was no need to be driven into the courtyard, to be let off next to the safety of the lobby entrance.
Jose Perdomo, the front doorman, leaves his post to open the limousine door for John and Yoko. Yoko Ono stepped out of the limousine first and John Lennon who is carrying a tape recorder and some cassettes followed a few steps behind. As Yoko passes him the assassin, says "Hello". Just as John passes him, the man steps from the sidewalk and from his pocket he takes out a 5 shot .38 revolver armed with hollow tip bullets. He drops into a combat stance, knees flexed, with one arm supporting the other at the wrist. He says, Mr. Lennon?
Just as John turns, about 15 feet through the large arch with iron gates of the Dakota, the assassin fires two shots into the left side of his back. There's a crash of shattering glass as the bullets that pass through John's body smash into the Dakota's glass frontage. These two shots spin him around. He is now facing his assassin.
Blood is already pouring out from the first two bullets and the four wounds, as the assassin takes aim at John again. He fires three more shots. Two of the bullets smash into John's left shoulder. The other goes astray. The greatest singer songwriter and the most influential political artist of our time staggers up six steps to the room at the end of the entrance used by the concierge, said, "I'm shot," then fell down.
I'm shot he moans lying on the floor. John's been shot, screams Yoko. Jay Hastings the security man reaches under his desk and presses the alarm button, notifying the police from the nearby 20th Precinct. He then rushes to John's side and removes his blood stained glasses. Then he takes off his uniform jacket to cover him. He wants to use his tie as a tourniquet, but can't decide where to apply it. John is dying, blood pours from his chest and mouth, his eyes are open but unfocused, and he is gurgling and vomiting blood.
The first policemen at the scene were Officers Steve Spire and Peter Cullen, who were in their patrol car at 72nd Street and Broadway when they heard a report of shots fired at the Dakota. The officers found the assassin standing "very calmly" where he had been. The police said the assassin had dropped the revolver after firing it, and said he had a paperback book, J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye."
The second police team at the Dakota, Officers Bill Gamble and James Moran, realizing John Lennon was critically injured, didn't wait for an ambulance, and took John Lennon to Roosevelt Hospital in their patrol car. Officer Moran said they stretched Lennon out on the back seat and that the singer was "moaning." Officer Moran asks, "Are you John Lennon?" and that Lennon had moaned, "Yeah." The patrol car makes a left through the red light on to Columbus Avenue and speeds down the 13 blocks to 59th Street, where it swings into the entrance of Roosevelt Hospital.
Roosevelt hospital's emergency trauma team has already been alerted. John is brought into the emergency room with virtually no pulse. The two bullets that hit him on the left side of the back had both pierced a lung and passed through his chest. A third bullet had shattered his left shoulder bone, and a fourth had hit the same shoulder and ricocheted inside his chest, where it severed his aorta and windpipe.
After an unsuccessful attempt at cardiac massage, a medical team of seven people led by Dr. Stephen Lyman labored to save John using every device and technique available. Nothing work. John Lennon the greatest singer songwriter and the most influential political artist of our time was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. on December 8, 1980. The official cause of death is shock produced by massive hemorrhaging. Dr. Elliott M. Gross, the Chief Medical Examiner, said after the autopsy that Lennon had died of shock and loss of blood and that no one could have lived more than a few minutes with such injuries.
Yoko Ono, crying "Tell me it's not true," was taken to Roosevelt Hospital and led away in shock after she learned her husband was dead. David Geffen later issued a statement in her behalf: "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him."
Within minutes of the first broadcasts of the news of the shooting, people began to gather in front of the Dakota, reciting prayers, singing Lennon's songs and burning candles. I first got to the Dakota at 11:45. I was there longer than anyone on Earth that evening - 9 hours, from 11:45 p.m. till 8:45 a.m. the next morning. (Read John Lennon Day Petition)
On December 14, all around the world, people paused to stand alone or come together in silence, heeding a plea from Yoko Ono that they take 10 minutes to remember John.
CIA -- FBI -- Deranged Lone Nut Fan -- Manchurian MKULTRA Candidate
The assassin was a brainwashed hit man carrying out someone else's contract, writes Bresler, "he is in many ways as much the victim of those who wanted to kill John Lennon, as Lennon himself."
The Manchurian MKULTRA candidate assassin dropped the gun and proceeded to take out a copy of J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, and calmly started reading. The Dakota doorman, Jose Perdomo, shouted at the assassin, "Do you know what you've done?" "I just shot John Lennon," he replied, accurately enough.
"He walked past me and then I heard in my head, 'Do it, do it, do it,' over and over again, saying 'Do it, do it, do it,' like that," recalled in a BBC documentary several years after going to prison. "I don't remember aiming. I must have done, but I don't remember drawing a bead or whatever you call it. And I just pulled the trigger steady five times." The assassin described his feeling at the time of the shooting as "no emotion, no anger dead silence in the brain."
His unnatural tone sounded all-too-familiar for British lawyer and journalist Fenton Bresler, who wrote the book, Who Killed John Lennon? The assassin was a brainwashed hit man carrying out someone else's contract, writes Bresler, "he is in many ways as much the victim of those who wanted to kill John Lennon, as Lennon himself."
Prosecutors were at a loss for motive, so they opted for the cliché, the assassin did it for the attention. The troublesome American preoccupation with grabbing that elusive fifteen minutes propels many a daily-newspaper-journalist-cum-pop-sociologist into raptures of sanctimony. But Arthur O'Connor, the Detective who spent more time with the assassin immediately following the murder than anyone else, saw it another way.
"It is definitely illogical to say that [the assassin] committed the murder to make himself famous. He did not want to talk to the press from the very start. It's possible somebody could have used him. I saw him the night of the murder. I studied him intensely. He looked as if he could have been programmed."
Detective O'Connor was speaking to Bresler, and publicly for the first time. Bresler's book, Who Killed John Lennon? -- Offers the most cogent argument that the assassination of John Lennon was not the work of yet another "lone nut."
At nearly three hundred pages, John Lennon's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file reveals that he was under "constant surveillance." His apartment was watched, he was followed, and his phone was tapped. The FBI did not keep a particularly low profile around the ex-Beatle, apparently attempting to harass him into silence or at least drive him nuts, similar to the tactic they had used on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just a few short, but eventful years earlier.
In late 1972, when the "surveillance" was at its peak, John Lennon told humorist Paul Krassner, "Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident."
The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tracked John at from at least his "Free John Sinclair" concert in 1969 until 1976, even though by then John had won his immigration battle and dropped out of not only political activism but public life altogether. This turned out to be a five-year period of seclusion to raise his newly born son, Sean. Sean Lennon was born on October 9, 1975, his dad's 35th birthday.
Placing a person under "constant surveillance" and ordering that person executed are admittedly two very different things. Nevertheless, Bresler's point is that the government did not consider John Lennon a harmless rock 'n' roller. John's political publicity stunts such as in his and Yoko's Montreal "Bed-In" and "War Is Over" were always capable of seizing the spotlight and speaking directly to tens of millions of young people who venerated him. With unfettered access to the world's media, his power truly was immense. Because of this, in some circles he was correctly viewed as the most dangerous radical who needed to be stopped. John Lennon was the most dangerous person in the world, to those whose interest is a world under corporate military rule.
John Lennon was assassinated only four years after the intense FBI and CIA surveillance ceased. In those intermittent years, James Earl Carter was President, a Democrat who kept the two agencies more or less in check. Matter of fact, about 1000 CIA was let go under James Earl Carter's Presidency.
But on November 4, 1980, when John Lennon's first album (Double Fantasy) in half a decade was climbing high on the charts, James Earl Carter became a lame duck President. I discovered a very interesting fact about the last three major assassinations in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Francis Kennedy and John Winston Lennon were all executed during the time of a lame duck Presidency.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson became a lame duck on March 31, 1968 when he said to a national television audience; he would not run for reelection even if the Democrats wanted him to. Four days later Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Sixty-three days later, Senator Robert Francis Kennedy was assassinated after winning the California Democratic primary (RFK would have been the Democratic Presidential candidate against the Republican Presidential candidate Richard Milhouse Nixon, and RFK would have won the Presidency). On November 4, 1980 President James Earl Carter lost the Presidential election to Ronald Wilson Reagan, thus becoming a lame duck President. Thirty-four days later, the heartbeat of music for his generation, John Winston Lennon was assassinated.
In every single major assassination these black-op conspirator killers have actually had the balls to blame it on some poor deranged lone gunman. They have had a patsy or a mind controlled Manchurian candidate fall guy for the last four assassinations. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Senator Robert Francis Kennedy, and the founder and leader of the most influential musical group The Beatles, the person who was his generations and about to be another generations leader for peace and love, John Winston Lennon.
Reagan's campaign was managed by career secret agent William Casey, who under President Reagan became the CIA's most freewheeling chief since Allen Dulles (who JFK fired). The new far-right administration would reassemble the intelligence services and grant them a cheerful carte blanche. Something quite interesting about William Casey, who just happening to die very quickly from a supposed brain tumor on May 6, 1987. He died without ever testifying in the scandal, which most certainly originated with him, the Iran Contra Affair.
The forces that tried desperately to neutralize John Lennon for at least seven years lost power in November of 1976. The Lennon's government dossier ends in that year. In 1980, as those forces were preparing to retake control of the government, "the most dangerous extremist" John Lennon emerged from retirement with the best selling album, Double Fantasy, and was promptly assassinated.
The paper trail that helps support this is the airline ticket found in the assassin's hotel room, a Hawaii to New York connection departing December 5, 1980. But the assassin had actually purchased a Hawaii to Chicago ticket to depart December 2, 1980 with no connecting flight. The ticket found after his arrest had apparently been altered. None of his friends knew that he traveled on to New York. They thought he went to Chicago for a three-day stay. Where was the assassin from December 2 through 5, 1980?
Bresler concludes that the Lennon assassination, which, as the assassin himself noted in a rare interview, "ended an era," bears similarities to another assassination that took place twelve years earlier: the murder of Robert Francis Kennedy.
Robert Francis Kennedy's apparent lone assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, and John Lennon's assassin just happened to have shared the same defense psychiatrist. But while Dr. Bernard Diamond couldn't skirt the obvious fact that Sirhan was under hypnosis (Diamond wrote it off as self-hypnosis), he labeled John Lennon's assassin a "paranoid schizophrenic."
The court disagreed. The assassin, even now, has never had more than routine psychiatric care since entering his guilty plea. He was not sent to a mental hospital, but to Attica State Prison. He was judged legally "rational."
Bresler clears up a few widely disseminated misconceptions about John Lennon's assassin. While any mention of his name is now accompanied by the phrase "deranged fan," John's assassin was anything but. He was no more or less an ardent Beatles / Lennon fan than anyone of his generation. His real rock hero was Todd Rundgren, a cynical studio craftsman who could not be further from Lennon in artistic sensibility. Notwithstanding his announcement months after the murder that he "killed Lennon to gain prominence to promote the reading of The Catcher in the Rye," he never exhibited strong feelings about the novel until shortly before the shooting. Catcher, Bresler muses, may have been used as a device to trigger the assassin's programming."
After the murder, major media ran bizarre stories of the assassin's supposed growing identification with John Lennon - at one point he even "re-baptized" himself as Lennon, according to Newsweek. These stories were all quite fascinating, but there was no evidence to back any of them up. What is true is that when the assassin quit his last job he signed out as "John Lennon," then crossed the name out.
The assassin of John Lennon was not a "loner." He was for most of his life a normally social individual and a camp counselor who had a special rapport with kids. Bresler also notes that when the assassin signed up for a YMCA overseas program, he selected an odd destination: Beirut - a perfect place, says Bresler, for the assassin, a once gentle soul, to be "blooded," that is, desensitized to violence.
A final note to the mystery of the assassin: As he was ready to go to trial and his diligent public defender was winding up six months spent assembling his defense, the accused killer suddenly decided to change his plea to guilty. His lawyer was perplexed and more than a little perturbed. But the assassin was determined. He said he was acting on instructions from a "small male voice" that spoke to him in his cell.
Bresler interviewed Arthur O'Connor, the lieutenant who was commanding officer of the 20th Precinct of the New York Police that dealt with John Lennon's murder. He quotes O'Connor as saying, "As far as you are trying to build up some kind of conspiracy, I would support you in that line. Like I said originally over the phone, if the [assassin] wanted to get away with it, he could have got away with it. There was the subway right on the corner and no one around to stop him." Instead, once the assassin had accomplished his task, he calmly sat reading Catcher In The Rye and waited for the police to come.
"Why one method rather than the other, the amateur as against the professional? Because that way you avoid any awkward questions, and everyone seems to fall for it anyway. If a professional killer had gunned down John Lennon, the whole world would have known. Such swift expert assassinations carry their own individual hallmark. It would have been obvious what had happened, and with Lennon's history of War Is Over, peace and love political activity, there would have been [an in-depth investigation]." "But if you program an amateur to do the job, a so-called 'nut', very few questions are asked."
Hinckley, Bush, Reagan Assassination, World Vision And The Assassin
Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn into the Presidency on January 20, 1981. On his sixty-ninth day in office, March 30, 1981, Reagan was nearly killed by an assassin. The person named as the assassin was John Hinkley. His family ties were to oil. Through that oil connection, Neil Bush - Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush's son, who worked in oil [later to steal hundreds of millions through Silverdo in the Saving and Loan crisis] -- knew Scott Hinkley, (brother of John) who also worked in oil.
"Scott Hinckley, the brother of John Hinckley Jr., who is charged with shooting President Reagan and three others, was to have been a dinner guest Tuesday night [March 31, 1981] at the home of Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, The Houston Post has learned."
The two families lived close to each other. They knew each other socially and financially. When the Hinkley oil company started to fail in the sixties, Bush's Zapata Oil financially bailed out Hinkley's company. It went from being Vanderbilt Oil to Vanderbilt Energy or Vanderbilt Resources in the 60s after Bush intervened. The Hinkley's had been running an operation with six dead wells but then they were making several million dollars a year after the Bush bailout. Was this some sort of a money-pass front where they were laundering money through on this phony oil operation but actually operating some type of an intelligence pay-off?
The father in that family, John W. Hinkley Sr., was also the president of the board for World Vision. World Vision is a far-right evangelical missionary operation that does missionary and "good work" operations in countries where there is a political purpose for it to be there. From its inception, it was rabidly anti-Communist and it focused on refugee populations of people running from countries that had been taken over by Communism. This was from the fifties on.
World Vision had a hand in the movement of the Cubans into the United States and other refugees of revolutionary regimes. When you're a refugee you're cut loose, basically, and pretty much fair game to be manipulated by whoever is willing to give you a hand because you don't have a home or any place to stay and somebody has got to accept you.
World Vision was able to recruit out of these mercenary populations, people who could be politically turned to their intelligence purposes. World Vision served as a penetration force -- not as visible as the military actually going in or the CIA going in - but going in as missionaries and working among the people.
This link between missionary and intelligence for capitalistic infiltration operations goes way back. It was part of the internationalism with the Rockefellers. It's talked about in the book, Thy Will Be Done, about Rockefeller, Venezuela, and Latin American Oil, the Summer Linguistic Institute, World Vision and others. But they operated in this way for a long time.
They were paid by the CIA for a long time during the Vietnam War and went into South East Asia -- Cambodia and Laos. Throughout Vietnam they were given U.S. military equipment to use. They still maintain a budget under USAID, (Agency for International Development), which was just a pass-over in order to give the CIA more cover. They ran operations through USAID. The current cover replacing that is the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), which is supposed to be how we're exporting democracy around the world.
But of course, we're exporting exactly the kind of corrupt democracy we have here, which is rigged and manipulated elections and press manipulation in order to keep in power or put in power the people that we want to be in those countries for the purpose of having our investments protected and milking what we can out of the resources and the labor available in any of those countries.
World Vision was part of that scheme and they did some nasty things. They ran the refugee camp in Sabra-Shatilla where the fascist Phalange was allowed in to kill the Palestinians. They ran the Cuban and Thai refugee camps in the United States. The assassin -- who eventually shot John Lennon -- worked at the Thai refugee camps out in Arkansas that World Vision operated there. They ran these camps brutally, forcing people into political education against Castro, refusing to feed people, beating people -- by many reports -- and bringing in Alpha 66 and Omega 7 people (the worst of the killing teams -- or murder squads -- of the anti-Castro Cubans in the United States) to run the camps in Florida, Fort Chafey in Arkansas and other places where the Cuban exiles were. These people came in and there were eventually riots in the Cuban refugee camps against their treatment there. And the eventual assassin of John Lennon just happened to work there.
Who Authorized The Assassination Of John Lennon?
It took me almost 22 years to figure out who most likely authorized the assassination of John Lennon, the greatest singer songwriter and the most influential political artist of our time. I believe it could have been the CIA that manipulated the assassin of John Winston Lennon, but more likely, I believe a new army of old school CIA, which was let go under President Carter, manipulated the assassin. I believe the assassin was a mind-control experiment, like all their old tricks of MKULTRA, only much more sophisticated. I believe their old boss authorized it. The person the CIA building in Washington D.C. is named after. I believe he was the same person who tried to assassinate President Ronald Wilson Reagan on his sixty-ninth day in office -- March 30, 1981. He is the person with the most to gain from both of these assassinations. So, who authorized the assassination of John Lennon? I believe it was the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush.