Twenty-seven years ago today, Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon outside the Dakota building in New York, as Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were returning home from several hours spent at a recording studio.
Unless you see things the way Steve Lightfoot does, that is, in which case you know that it was really Stephen King who shot Lennon on this date in 1980, with some help from Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who were apparently motivated by their incredible disappointment in Lennon’s solo work compared to the shit he did with the Beatles.
I know I’ve mentioned this before
, but in case you missed it, Lightfoot maintains a website
devoted to pushing this theory, a totally preposterous and unsupported idea that he has become thoroughly convinced is the truth. The website is essentially a push for his self-published pamphlet detailing the “evidence” for the “King killed Lennon” theory, but there’s enough examples on the site to get a good idea of how completely fucking nuts Steve Lightfoot is.
Skimming the site gave me flashbacks to when I worked at Pilot, and once or twice a year this guy would pass through, always dressed in ragged black sweats and a dark trench coat. He was usually unshaven, and had long, stringy brown hair which he pulled back into a ponytail. From the three or four conversations I had with him over the years, I gathered that his last name was Bridges, but that’s the only information on him I’ve ever had. He was of a similar mentality to Lightfoot, and found evidence for his pet conspiracy theory in the same sort of places as Lightfoot does. The kooky premise closest to Bridges’s heart was the old 9/11 inside job theory. A few months after 9/11/2001, Bridges showed up at Pilot. He told me he felt sorry for the people in the Twin Towers, because they were “just extras.” Then he asked me if I wanted to see a page from a script, and handed me a white envelope.
Folded inside the envelope was a page torn from a glossy newsmagazine, Newsweek or Time or one of those. The subject was the then-brand new War on Terror, and might have pertained somehow to the anti-Taliban action in Afghanistan, I don’t really remember. What I do remember is that Bridges had taken a red pen and circled or underlined random words, both in the headline and throughout the body of the article. These, he explained, were “codes.”
“I’ve been decoding the documents for close to twenty years, and I know they’ll never catch me,” he told me as he folded the article, tucked it back into its envelope, and returned the envelope to his coat pocket.
He was a nice guy, and one hell of an interesting dude to talk to. I wonder sometimes about Bridges, that crazy bastard. I wonder where he is, and how many more of him there are out there, just wandering around.