LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman; the Man Who Shot John Lennon by Jack Jones

LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman; the Man Who Shot John Lennon

Email this review


A thorough but pedantic study of Mark David Chapman, assassin of John Lennon, by a journalist who's been conducting interviews with the killer since 1986. As Lennon walked into the Dakota, Jones explains, the ""Little People"" inside Chapman's mind were squeezing the trigger and screaming, ""Do it! Do it!"" Seconds liter, Lennon lay bleeding to death on the ground while Chapman paced about, clutching a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. When the cops put him in their car, one of them shouted excitedly to his partner, ""This is history, man!"" Chapman smiled and confided, ""I am Holden Caulfield."" Examined by the police psychiatrist, he said that the large part of him was Holden Caulfield (he had reread the Salinger book obsessively for years) and the small part was the Little People, who were the Devil. Jones's best sections cover Chapman's formative years: Neglected as a child, the boy enjoyed trance states, watching the Little People inside the walls of his room, making them do his bidding. When they discovered that John Lennon, their hero, was a phony who sang about revolution but spent his days stoned in an ultraluxury apartment, the Little People were enraged. For most of his life, Chapman was functional, holding down jobs, and appeared to psychiatrists to have ""higher sensitivity than most people to moral Issues and social concerns...."" Here, he comes off in his lucid moments as a bland, milquetoast character, and Jones pads his text with long interviews; still, the coverage is complete, including a reprinted short story by Chapman and a generous selection of the mail he receives in the penitentiary. Interesting for true-crime collectors who can tolerate the minutiae.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Villard/Random House