Newly Restored Photos Reveal John Lennon’s Final Moments
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
A newly restored series of photos reveal John Lennon interacting with fans hours before his death.
The photos were captured outside of Lennon’s New York residence The Dakota at 4 pm on December 8, 1980.
Behind the lens was Paul Goresh, a New Jersey college student who would frequently travel to New York to catch a glimpse of Lennon.
After attending a recording session for the follow up to Double Fantasy, Lennon would return home.
After exiting a car at 10 pm, Lennon and wife Yoko Ono were confronted by the mentally unstable Chapman who would open fire on Lennon with a .38 handgun.
Lennon was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead an hour later.
He was 40 years old.
Lennon’s death would shock the world, with many viewing it not only as a personal tragedy but the end of the 1960s’ idealism and the final chapter in the Beatles story.
To this day, Chapman remains in a high-security prison in New York state’s Wende Correctional Facility.
Goresh’s photos have since grown in notoriety.
They are the final photos of John Lennon alive.
“He was so bright, and witty and he was so personable,” Goresh recalled of Lennon before his own death in 2018. “When I was with him I was in awe of him, but he made me feel so at ease, and he treated me as if I was his equal. And I was always impressed with that, because this guy would honestly rather talk about you than himself, and it was sincere. He would laugh and joke, and I’d get on his nerves sometimes talking about the Beatles so much, but he would still be able to laugh at me because he knew what it was to be a fan.”
Before passing away Goresh insisted the photos not be sold for commercial purposes.
This said he did leave the negatives with a collector for sale upon his death, which have now been fully restored.
The 5 images will auction June 2 for an expected $500,000.