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John Lennon: Life, Times and Assassination

By Phil Strongman

Who really killed John Lennon?

John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono moved to New York in 1971, in part to escape the vitriol of the British press who blamed Ono for the breakup of their beloved Beatles. They had hoped to live quietly in America and raise their son Sean. But, just nine years later and three weeks after the release of his final album, Lennon was shot dead in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building by Mark Chapman.

It is impossible to understate the extent of Lennon’s celebrity at that time and the shockwaves his slaying sent around the world. Chapman was swiftly tried and found guilty by the American courts as a lone wolf assassin, a Beatles fanatic with a grudge and a history of psychological problems. But was he? Who financed Chapman’s flight from Hawaii to execute the killing? In this meticulously researched study, British author Phil Strongman digs into Chapman’s background. He discusses the evidence for US agency involvement in the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and others and draws inescapable parallels with the death of John Lennon, whose political activism and high-profile support for the anti-Vietnam war movement had, by the late 1970s, put him firmly on the radar of the CIA and FBI.

Forty years after the FBI and the CIA opened files on the ex Beatle, Strongman questions the facts behind the killing and goes beyond the realm of conspiracy theory, to leave the reader in little doubt as to the part played by covert forces in the assassination of one of the twentieth century’s most charismatic and influential men.

Phil Strongman is a well known music journalist and author, who has contributed to MOJO among many other publications. He has written Pretty Vacant, the definitive account of the punk movement, and made the well received documentary Anarchy! The McLaren Westwood Gang. He has also written the only study of John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd – Metal Box – and a novel called Cocaine, set in the drug fuelled music scene of 90’s London.

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