The Tool of a Madman

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The novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, had a huge impact on the media in the past 30 years. Two of the most famous ones are the assassination of John Lennon and the attempt assassination of President Reagan. The assassins of the two men were Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley, Jr., respectively. They were obsessed with the character Holden and used the concepts of the book in their reasons of murder, or in John Hinckley's case, attempt murder. Mark David Chapman was obsessed with two things: The Catcher in the Rye and John Lennon. After he read the novel for the first time, the story took a great personal significance on him, to the extent that he wanted to model his life after Holden Caulfield. He signed letters and statements with "Holden" and "the Catcher in the Rye". In 1979, two years after his release from Castle Memorial Hospital, for clinical depression, he wrote a letter saying that he's going crazy again, and heard voices in his head. In October of 1980, Chapman went to New York City to kill John Lennon. He left the city for a short time to get ammunition from his friend in Atlanta. He moves around again and when he comes back to NYC, he reenacts some scenes from The Catcher in the Rye in a taxi cab. He leaves Sheraton Hotel in the morning of December 8th, and leaves all his stuff there for the police to find. He left his new copy of his favorite novel with the words "This is my statement" and signs it "Holden Caulfield". He waits for Lennon outside his The Dakota apartment but misses him when he was in a conversation with other fans and the doorman. Later that morning, he meets Lennon's housekeeper and Lennon's 5-year-old son and shakes hands with him. When John and his wife came back around 5 p.m., Chapman held out an album for Lennon to sign and the couple left. Mark reported, "At that point my big part won and I wanted to go back to my hotel, but I couldn't. I waited until he came back. He knew where the ducks went in winter,

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