‘Second shooter’ behind John Lennon murder: New evidence reveals bullets from two different guns were pulled from Beatles legend’s body in autopsy
- EXCLUSIVE: Author David Whelan says two kinds of bullets used to kill Lennon
- He thinks this bolsters his theory that second shooter was involved in the killing
- READ MORE: Could the man jailed for John Lennon’s murder be INNOCENT?
Two different guns may have been used in the John Lennon shooting, according to a British writer investigating the case.
Author and TV producer David Whelan has unearthed official records showing for the first time that two different types of bullets were removed from the music legend’s body following his fatal shooting on December 8, 1980.
Mr Whelan believes a ‘second shooter’ could have been involved in the murder of Lennon and has now uncovered dramatic new evidence supporting his case.
MailOnline reported in April how Mr Whelan already discovered a trove of fascinating documents relating to the killing which took place as Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono returned to their home in the Dakota Building overlooking New York’s Central Park.
Mr Whelan’s three-year investigation into the murder has highlighted a series of extraordinary inconsistencies – including the suggestion that detectives may have fundamentally misunderstood how the shooting happened.
Two different guns may have been used in the John Lennon (pictured with Yoko Ono in 1968) shooting, according to a British writer investigating the case
One is marked on a receipt from the New York morgue (pictured), where Lennon’s body was stored, as an ‘1 x 38 cal.SWC’, which stands for ‘Semi-wadcutter’ or hollow-point bullet, designed to spread out on impact with a target
Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment building on December 8, 1980
The .38 calibre handgun used by Chapman to kill John Lennon on December 8 1980
MailOnline has exclusively revealed some of Whelan’s dossier, including convicted gunman Mark Chapman’s ‘hit list’ – published for the first time – which as well as the former Beatle also featured Marlon Brando and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
READ MORE: Could the man jailed for John Lennon’s murder be INNOCENT? New documentary says a SECOND gunman could have fired fatal shots
Now Whelan’s research has focussed on the bullets recovered from the scene.
Oddly, only two ‘slugs’ were ever entered into evidence, according to the documents, despite the fact that Chapman was said to have fired all the rounds in his five-chamber ‘.38 special’ revolver, four of them hitting Lennon.
The whereabouts of the missing three bullets is unknown.
But the two bullets which were removed from Lennon’s body during the autopsy raise their own intriguing questions, says Mr Whelan, because they are marked as being of different types.
One is marked on a receipt from the New York morgue, where Lennon’s body was stored, as an ‘1 x 38 cal.SWC’, which stands for ‘Semi-wadcutter’ or hollow-point bullet, designed to spread out on impact with a target.
The other is listed as simply ‘1 x 38cal lead bullet’.
Mr Whelan told MailOnline: ‘Though unlikely, it is possible to have different types of ammunition in a single revolver.
‘But Chapman always insisted he was using hollow point wadcutter bullets and he was familiar with guns and ammunition from his security guard days.’
He added: ‘Different bullet types found in John Lennon’s body is explosive information.
‘Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Lennon’s autopsy has not been leaked to the world by the authorities, and the wishes of Lennon’s family to keep John’s autopsy private have been respected.’
Mr Whelan believes that the different bullet types bolster his theory that a second shooter was involved in the killing.
As we revealed in April, Mr Whelan, 56, has spoken to key figures involved in the aftermath of the shooting. These include the surgeon who treated Lennon and two nurses who assisted – as well as uncovering other witness testimonies which don’t appear to correspond with the official narrative.
The prosecution’s version of events, accepted by the courts, was that disturbed loner Chapman lay in wait for Lennon and shot five times, four of the bullets hitting his victim in the back. But this now appears to be riddled with contradictions.
Instead, Whelan’s witnesses suggest that the way the shooting was officially recorded may have been completely wrong – with the fatal shots fired into Lennon’s chest rather than back.
Only two ‘slugs’ were ever entered into evidence, despite the fact that Chapman was said to have fired all the rounds in his five-chamber ‘.38 special’ revolver, four of them hitting Lennon
NYPD evidence report bullets at the scene of John Lennon’s murder on December 12 1980
Police at the scene outside the Dakota Building after John Lennon was shot on December 8, 1980
Three bullets passed through Lennon, leaving holes in the glass panels of a vestibule door attached to the security entrance of the Dakota Building in New York where he lived
He added: ‘If Mark Chapman was shooting hollow bullets at John Lennon and only one hit him, with four missing, this could account for the one which was found in Lennon. It could also account for three bullets holes low down in the glass vestibule doors which were at a height that didn’t match Lennon’s upper left chest wounds.
‘As for the other normal lead bullet that was found in Lennon, could this have come from the weapon of a second shooter inside the vestibule area, and be the single bullet that a doctor and two nurses all said was left in Lennon’s body?’
He added: ‘The scenario would be that Chapman fired at Lennon when he was walking into the vestibule doors. Four missed, with three hitting the glass doors. One hollow bullet struck Lennon.
‘Lennon, staggered onwards into the vestibule, but a second shooter concealed inside the building finished the job and shot Lennon with four bullets in his upper left chest area in a ‘tight professional grouping’ (as the medical staff all claimed), with one bullet staying in Lennon and three exiting his back.
‘In my opinion, this scenario is the only credible explanation for two different bullet types being found in John Lennon’s body and the three lowly-positioned bullet holes in the glass doors.’
He added: ‘A new independent investigation into John Lennon’s assassination surely must now be conducted to clear up these disturbing anomalies. We owe John Lennon and his family the truth about his awful murder. A murder which is increasingly beginning to look like a cleverly conspired assassination.’
Ballistics expert Andrew Kerr said he could not be 100 per cent certain the two bullets were of different types from a photo, but added: ‘I think you can believe what has been recorded on the evidence tags on that.’
Mr Kerr, managing director of Birmingham-based ballistic armour design and manufacturing company Englands Safety, added: ‘You can’t tell from the picture alone that the two bullets have come from the same barrel, but you’d have expected the police to have carried that out as a basic investigation.
‘I don’t think you can read much into the swapping between hollow-points and ordinary bullets, because most criminals are disorganised – they take what they can get.’
Mr Whelan previously revealed first-hand witness statements by a medical team who tried to save Lennon: surgeon, Dr David Halleran, and two nurses, Barbara Kammerer and Dea Sato, all of whom stated unequivocally that Lennon was shot four times in his upper chest area from the front, with three of the bullets exiting from his left back. One round remained in his left chest or lower shoulder area.
John Lennon pictured with his wife Yoko Ono and their son Sean Lennon
Green Haven Correctional Facility – where Mark David Chapman is incarcerated for killing John Lennon
Eyewitnesses do agree on where Chapman was standing: just at the entrance to the Dakota’s portico, with his back to Chapman.
Said Mr Whelan: ‘As in the case of John F Kennedy, you simply cannot get shot in the front from the back.’
He continued: ‘The hollow-point bullets Chapman supposedly used do not usually pass through a victim, as they are designed to spread out on impact, causing maximum damage to the body.’
Yet three bullets did pass through Lennon, leaving holes in the glass panels of a vestibule door attached to the security entrance of the building. Whelan claimed that the slugs’ marks in the door were too low to have come from shots to Lennon’s shoulder.
Other evidence gleaned by Whelan about those who may have influenced Chapman has led him to question whether the young man might even have been ‘groomed’ for the assassination through manipulation or even hypnosis by powerful backers with links to right-wing Southern Baptist groups, the US military or the CIA.
MailOnline contacted the NYPD.
The ‘hit list’ of John Lennon killer Mark Chapman
Mark Chapman’s ‘hit list’ included John Lennon and CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite
This is the infamous ‘hit list’ compiled by Mark Chapman, the assassin who admitted killing music legend John Lennon, seen here for the first time.
The names singled out as Chapman’s intended victims with Lennon’s name at the top, are followed by veteran CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, TV chat show host Johnny Carson, actor George C. Scott, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and finally Marlon Brando.
Though it has never before been seen, news of the list leaked out shortly after Lennon’s murder, along with a spurious rumour that David Bowie also featured on it, which led the singer to beef up his own security.
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