In his book, Mind games: The Assassination of John Lennon, Author David Whelan has collated the many pieces of evidence that Mark David Chapman did not kill John Lennon on Dec 8th, 1980. This is not a new “conspiracy theory”, as many Americans have come to this realization a long time ago. Nonetheless, thirty percent of Americans still are not willing to accept that John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F Kennedy and Malcolm X were killed by the National Security State, despite fifty plus years of research and evidence uncovered which definitively proves otherwise.

If the reader has accepted that the government could and did kill it's perceived enemies in the 1960's, then you will have no trouble comprehending the facts laid out in this book. This book review is written with you as the expected audience. If you are one of the few who still believe the lies the government continues to tell about the assassinations mentioned above, I hope you will read this book based on an interest in John Lennon or simply as a true crime thriller. You will need to read with an open yet critical mind.

This reviewer has known and understood that the CIA and other government agencies have killed or controlled many musicians and artists over this period of time, and so I have been aware of some of the problems with the official story about John Lennon for many years. These many crimes are detailed in John Potash's book “Drugs as Weapons against us”, which includes Lennon and also Paul Robeson, Hendrix, Joplan, Cobain,Tupac and the Black Panthers, among others.

Author Whelan has added significantly to the knowledge about the case, despite the fact that most official documents and interview transcripts are still being hidden from the public. This has resulted in the author not being willing to state any definitive conclusions, but rather leave it for you to decide.

The most important revelation is that the Dr. David Halleran and nurses Dea Soto and Barbara Kammerer who observed Lennon at the hospital agree that he was shot from the front at close range, confirming that four shots entered his upper left chest, just above the heart. These four shots were “amazingly well placed”, and created significant damage. Mark David Chapman was 20 feet away, and shot (or aimed at) Lennon from behind. Whelan also documents how Dr. Stephen Lynn and Dr. Frank Veteran both embellished their stories or outright lied, which is important as they were featured in some of the documentaries produced prior to this book, and supporting the conclusion that Chapman was the assassin.

Mark David Chapman was without doubt standing behind John Lennon, so he would have fired at him when Lennon was outside of main doors into the Dakota building. However, after being shot in a way that would have dropped a person immediately, Lennon is supposed to have done this, quoted from the book. “John staggered onward up the driveway to the glass vestibule doors, opened them, went up some steps, turned left and went through a swinging salon type door, told Jay Hastings that he had been shot, walked through another door into the office, then through another door where he finally collapsed.

Jay Hastings shirt was soaked in blood. If Lennon fell upon being shot, someone would have had to drag his body up the stairs into the office. To explain away the blood, Hastings claimed to assist in carrying the body to the ambulance, but author Whelan proves otherwise. Then one must investigate Hasting's background, which is covered in the book, since it appears Hastings dragged Lennon's dead body up the stairs and into the office.

The second contribution was further evidence that Mark David Chapman was programmed assassin, in the same way that Sirhan Sirhan was programmed to shot at Robert F Kennedy Jr. Sirhan Sirhan was likely firing blanks while the killer shot from a position behind rather than in front of Kennedy. To understand how a person can be programmed to kill is a lengthy study, requiring understanding of the CIA's MK-Ultra program. Lisa Pease, in her book “A Lie too big to Fail” explains the process and the people involved in Sirhan's programming, as have other authors. Several doctors of unique backgrounds were involved in Chapman's pre-assassination programming or his post assassination control, including Dr. Jules Bernhardt, Dr. Bernard Diamond, Dr. Daniel Schwartz, Dr. Richard Bloom, Milton Kline, and Dr. Emanuel Hammer. Diamond was very involved in Sirhan's hypnosis, and Milton Cline was clearly associated with the CIA's mind control program, MK Ultra.

The author analyzes Ono's behavior as well as Chapman's wife, Gloria Chapman. As just one example, Ono was responsible for John's security, but no bodyguards were at the Dakota when the shooting took place. Bodyguard Doug McDougall had been absent for 3 months but reappeared and was rehired the following morning. Ono had Lennon's body cremated the following day for reasons never explained. Also on the following day, Ono met with lawyers to get Lennon's will “probated” and finalized that very day. These are just a few of the many suspect behaviors exhibited by Ono. This in addition to the fact that no one is sure where Ono was when the shooting began or what exactly she observed. One might expect this last to be of critical importance, but Detective Hoffman did not insist on getting her testimony.

The author describes Gloria Chapman shady behavior before and after the assassination in a matter of fact way. The totality of it is beyond belief. Not being limited as the author is, there is no doubt that she was part of the plot and continues in the cover-up. She still controls access to Mark to this day.

Whelan interviewed the lead police detective Ron Hoffman, who was very cooperative and supplied considerable detail. In the end, however, Hoffman admitted believing that they had the shooter and there was no reason to look beyond what appeared to be obvious to Hoffman at the time.

Eight other witnesses were covered in the book, all contributing the the understanding of the case, including Nina Rosen, Guy Louthan, and cabdriver Richard Peterson.

Previous books suggesting a conspiracy tended to focus on the doorman, CIA associated Jose Perdomo. Whelan rejects this, believing that the doorman was another man with the identical name. Nonetheless this Jose also exhibited shady behavior, and would likely have been the person who gave Chapman the cue to begin firing. This was the only subject of the book that I found unconvincing.

There are many notable quotes from Chapman. Chapman claimed that “he had two parts in him, the big part was kind, but the small part cannot understand the world.” I will quote only one statement from the day after the assassination. “I have nothing against John Lennon or anything he has done in the way of music or personal beliefs. I came to New York about five weeks ago from Hawaii and the biggest part of me did not want to shoot John. I went back to Hawaii and tried to get rid of my small part, but I couldn't”.

Concierge Jay Hastings is the obvious candidate for the actual assassin but author Whelan is very careful in his conclusions, going as far as speculating as to where another assassin could have been concealed. The obvious scenario is that Jay Hastings was waiting at the top of the stairs. When Lennon went through the vestibule doors (not having yet been shot) Chapman opened fire on cue but was firing blanks. Hasting shot Lennon from close range, and for whatever reason, dragged his body to the office.

There is of course much more detail in the book, which is an important contribution to understand the history and the crimes of the National Security State in America. Mark David Chapman, like Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, and James Earl Ray is innocent of the crime for which he is still in prison.