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The man who gunned down John Lennon in New York City two decades ago says he may have murdered the former Beatle to get back at his own father.

Mark Chapman, 45, has a parole board hearing next week that he hopes will allow him to leave New York's Attica Correctional Facility, where he has spent the last 20 years for the murder that stunned the world.

"I think the main problem was that my father never talked about life or problems," Chapman said in an interview published in Britain's Daily Express tabloid Tuesday.

His father, David, never told him he loved him, Chapman said.

"And I guess the more I look back on it, I didn't feel any love from him," he said. "Perhaps I was getting him back, killing John Lennon, ruining my life as well."

Chapman shot Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, after considering killing his father, who worked as a debt collector for a bank.

"I wanted to hold a gun to his head, make him beg. Blow him away. I was really mad at him," he said.

Chapman was sentenced to life in prison but under New York State law is eligible for parole once he has served 20 years.

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