New York City Police officer, Stephen Spiro is teaming up with Moments in Time website to sell four (4) letters written to him by Mark David Chapman, the man convicted of killing former Beatle John Lennon. Spiro say the letters represent the only time in history that someone he arrested has written him. Though some of the letters are chillingly affectionate, Spiro wrote a few letters in return before he said Chapman “cut it off.”
Chapman, who was denied parole for the seventh time in August, is serving 20 years to life.
Here are some brief excerpts from the letters, courtesy of (CNN):
January 15, 1983
” … I am glad that we can keep in touch. I’ll not forget the first time we met …
“Besides wanting to be your friend, there are two reasons for this first letter. First, is there any way that you can help me locate my copy of The Catcher in the Rye that was taken from me on the night of my arrest? Second, in the patrol car on the way to the stationhouse, I remember you telling your partner — very excitedly — that you KNEW something big was going to happen to you on that evening. Do you remember this? I would like you to tell me more of this if possible.
“Steven, have you read The Catcher in the Rye yet? I would like you to read it and tell me what you think of it. As you remember, in the copy that was taken from me I had written ‘This is my statement’. I am wondering if you now understand this.
“Write soon. Let me know how you’re doing. As I’ve said before, you’re probably still the ‘best damn cop in New York City’. “
January 28, 1983
“… The reason I wanted to write was from the time of my arrest I have felt close to you.
“To answer your question of what was meant by ‘This is my statement’, the only way I can explain is this way: do you remember the young woman in Saigon during the Vietnam war that immolated herself? … She believed so strongly in her purpose that she chose to end her life rather than to continue living in this phony world …
“The Cather in the Rye is my statement. The book in incredible …
“We were all part of something big, Steve. Something phenomenal. It is all going to come out.”
March 10, 1983
“… You mentioned your family. Tell me about your children. How about a photo, too?
“Have you read The Catcher in the Rye yet? I know this will help you to further understand…
“I will let you decide whether Mr. Lennon was a phony or not. His words shoot his life-purpose full of holes. If you dig deep — and not idolize — it is all there. Yes, Lennon was a phony of highest degree but there were others who could — and would — have served the same purpose. I believe the DA has these names.”
May 31, 1983
“Read The Catcher in the Rye.
“Sincerely, Mark David Chapman.”