Lennon's Killer Seeks Release

"It all became real three years ago, where this isn't an image I blew away. This was a beating heart. … He became real for me; he stepped from the album cover," says Chapman.

"I often sit, particularly lately, [and] I think, 'Gee, I'm here, 45 years old, and I'm a living human being. I'm in jail for murder; who knows when I'll get out,'" he says. "But I'm alive, you know. Where's this other fellow at? He's not here any more; he's gone. That bothers me a great deal."

Reporter Jones says that Chapman's wife — who he married shortly before the murder — still visits him several times a year.

"She genuinely loves Mark. Maybe love isn't even strong enough a word. She worships him," he tells the Express. "Her life has consisted of working and saving her money and coming from Hawaii two or three times a year to visit Mark in prison, when they can spend up to 42 hours together as part of the family visit program."

Chapman speaks hopefully of a psychiatric interview held in wake of his upcoming parole board hearing.

"I just had my psychological evaluation from a doctor in the presence of his boss. It lasted a half an hour. We did it in the law library. He had his notebook and took notes, and I'm fine," he insists. "I think the depression is over. The mental illness is over."

But experts quoted in New York and London papers believe Chapman will never leave prison.

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