tv Crimes of the Century CNN December 4, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST
hinckley replied, maybe in i had to wait a while to buy a gun, fill out forms or get a permit or sign in with police or anything complicated, i probably wouldn't have done it. one was world renown, one the greate esest musicses. >> the other was a lonely kid from georgia, with no particular talents and no real direction in life. >> everyone said he was a nice person. he wanted to bring attention to him. >> they were as different as night and day. two men on intent personal journeys that converged in a single shocking act. >> i took five steps and fired.
five shots. >> i literally held john lennon's heart in my hand. >> it was an unthinkable crime that left millions in mourning. the murder of john lennon next. it's a chilly night at around 10:42 p.m. police respond to the report of a shooting at the dakota, an exclusive apartment building on manhattan's upper west side. >> when we drove up to the
dakota, there's a man standing in the middle of the street, pointing to the archway saying that's the man doing the shooting. we got out of the car, we approached the archway on each side of it. looked in and saw a man with his hands up. >> five shots had been fired. all but one found their target. >> so i grabbed a man around the neck. the doorman, jose said he's the one. he's the only one. he shot john lennon. i was totally shocked. i threw him up against the wall. i said you did what? >> former beatle john lennon has been shot with .38 caliber bullets at short range. police rush him to roosevelt hospital but it's too late.
he was pronounced dead. >> john lennon was gunned down as he entered -- >> john lennon, shot and killed in the dakota apartment building. >> it was really shocking. 40 years old, john lennon of the beatles. how could he be dead? how could this have happened? the city was in shock, not just people, my jegeneration that gr up listening to their music in the '60s. i think just about everybody felt on so many levels it was wrong. >> it was terrible, so many people didn't even know john. it hit me so much more because he befriended me and he didn't have to befriend me. >> laura came up with new facts about john lennon's killer. >> killer was identified as mark david chapman, a 25-year-old fan
and drifter from hawaii. >> nothing from his background set off or would have caused to set off any alarm bells whatsoever. >> chapman apparently was well liked by most people he knew. the most common description was open, friendly, a hard worker with a smile. >> never said anything bad about him. >> i couldn't believe it. just didn't seem like the type person. >> normal, really. >> i think he was just fine. >> i couldn't have asked for anything more. >> most of those can't believe he's the same person charged withkying john lennon. >> everybody that we interviewed, and there were a lot, every one said he's a nice person. not capable of doing something like this. >> it was a tragic conclusion to an extraordinary life. john lennon, co-founder of the legendary beatles was gone. ♪ during the 1960s, the beatles were the biggest rock group in
the world. their influence and popularity were unparalleled. >> i think the beatle s spoke t young people in the '60s in a way that no other band there. they influenced so many people, not just musically but culturally. >> among who worshipped the beatles was a shy, reclusive teenager named mark david chapman. he was a fervent fan of john lennon. during their heyday, the beatles were open about they are use of psychedelic drugs. chapman begins experimenting. >> the defendant described there were periods in his life where he was hippie nature and tried experimental drugs like in that time did. >> but in 1971, chapman becomes
a born again christian, he quits drugs and rejects rock 'n' roll, the beatles and john lennon in particular. >> well, i became a christian when i was 16. and that lasted about a year of genuine walking with him, through my life, off and on, i have struggled with different a. and at those times, i would turn to the lord. >> chapman's new found faith comes into conflict with his feelings about his former idol. according to friends, chapman was note about bothered by lennon's song "god" in which he states i don't believe in jesus. and his hit "imagine" with lyrics, "imagine there's no religion and no country too." chapman wrote his own words "imagine john lennon dead." >> the defendant claimed that
the beatles had become more popular than jesus christ. it was an off-the-cuff comment made during an interview in 1966, but it caused a lasting furor. >> a number of people in the bible belt took this comment to be oh, you're bigger than jesus, you're bigger than god, this is blasphemy and how dare you say something like this. he was totally misquoted what he meant to say was more people paid attention to the beatles than paid attention to jesus. not putting any connotation to it. not saying whether that was a good thing or bad thing. >> beatles weather the storm. in 1970, the band breaks up and lennon breaks into a career with his wife.
the dakota's gothic facade had been featured in the film "rosemary's baby." it was home to the world's most famous actors and musicians. >> i think they viewed america as being a breath of fresh air for them at that time. little did they know what trouble awaits them. >> in new york, john and yoko adoptinged high-profile musically and politically. it drew the attention and ire of the nixon administration. >> in the early '70s, the united states government began a campaign against john lennon to silence him. they were concerned that he would influence young people voting in the 1972 election. and they didn't want that to happen. >> they were conducting surveillance operations. they were monitoring him. cars would follow him around. they did the whole intelligence
enchila enchilada. >> the pressure had let up and by me1975 he had withdrawn from the public eye. >> he was not in hiding. he was not a recluse. what he was doing was devoting full time to raising his son sean. that was his priority. >> during those days, lennon and ohno became familiar faces in the neighborhood. >> he likesed formality. he liked to walk. >> you you hear stories of john lennon walking down the street and people would walk up to him. like what's it like to walk in manhattan. >> he loved new york because people didn't bother him. in new york, they respected his
privacy and say, hey, john, how's things going, they'd shake his hand and say john, i like your music or something. but they didn't pester him. >> in november 1980, lennon emerged from retirement with an album he recorded with yoko ono. he had just turned 40. this image of a happy contented husband and father would only serve to enrage a young man in hawaii, a once devoted fan, mark david chapman. >> he was in the house, sitting naked in front of his stereo listening to really loud beatles music and invoking satan to help him have the power to kill john lennon. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets.
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>> on the night he shot john lennon mark david chapman was only 25 years old, and it has been 25 years of almost painful anonymity. >> it was nothing that we learned from the extensive interviews and the investigation of the defendant's background that suggested that he was much different than any other 25-year-old person. >> at least on the surface. chapman grew up in georgia, the older of two children in what seemed like a typical suburban family. >> the defendant claimed in interviews with psychiatrists that he had a rough childhood and had a less than ideal relationship with his father, but there is nothing of his background of such an extreme or extraordinary nature that would suggest some sort of latent insanity or mental disease or defect caused by some childhood trauma. >> after high school, chapman begins to drift through a series of jobs and half-hearted attempts at college. in 1977, he flies to hawaii where he plans to kill himself, and he reportedly tries twice, but fails. chapman stays in hawaii.
over the next three years, he is hospitalized at least once, gets married, takes a job in a print shop, then quits. and goes to work as an unarmed security guard at a luxury, high-rise condo. he's obsessed with j.z. salinger's "catcher in the rye." chapman identifies closely with the book's protagonist halden caufield, and one who rails against the phonies he encounters. chapman claims that by the summer of 1980, he was coming unhinged. >> j.d. salinger who has been reclusive for years wrote "the catcher in the rye" and read by and admired by millions, and wonders what he must be thinking watching this? >> in 1992, larry king interviewed mark henry chapman
via remote feed in attica. >> mark, why are you blaming a book? >> i am blaming myself for calling inside of the book. i want to say that j.d. salinger and "catcher in the rye" did not cause me to kill john lennon. in fact, i wrote j.d. salinger i got his box number from someone, and i apologized to him for this. >> in october 1980, chapman turns his attention towards phonies when he reads about the release of "double fantasy." >> this thing started with the dakota, i'm angry at seeing him on the dakota. and i say to myself, that phony, that bastard, i got that mad, i took the book home to my wife and i said, look, he's a phone-n. >> this is his calendar from december of '89 to december of
'90. >> writer jim gaines spent hundreds of hours between 1984 and 1985 interviewing mark chapman. >> and you can see it becomes crazier and crazier with crossings-out and things to do. >> chapman told gaines, his mind had been like a war zone occupied by opposing forces he described as the big people and little people. >> he had a whole population of little people living in his head. to whom he gave instructions who had meetings about what his activities would be. mine, it was extreme. >> seething with anger, chapman buys a five-shot .38 revolver. >> the gun used was tracked to a gun shop a block away from the
honolulu police department. a sales receipt shows the gun was purchased by mark chapman on october 27th of this year. it showsed that chapman paid $197 in cash for the gun. >> just before buying the gun, chapman had quit his job as a security guard when he signed out for the last time. he signed the name john lennon in the condominium's log book and then crossed it out. six days later on october 29th, mark chapman flies to new york city. armed with the gun he bought in hawaii, he stakes out the dakota, waiting for his chance to take revenge on the hero he believes has betrayed him. but john lennon is not the only potential victim, chapman, it seems, has backups. >> so he brought the gun with him, came to new york. had planned to kill someone who was a celebrity to bring attention to himself.
>> lennon wasn't his only target. he had a list of substitutes, if you will. if he couldn't get to lennon, he would have attempted to kill walter cronkite, johnny carson, george c. scott, jackie kennedy onassis or marlon brando. lennon was his first choice. >> even show, chapman's agenda included a wild scheme to kill scott while the actor was on stage at a broadway show. >> the defendant said he had front row seats, and his plan was to stand up in the middle of the show and fire into the body of george c. scott. it wasn't attic laterally adroit plan because when he went to the gun store to buy bullets to have ammunition for his gun, he was told, you cannot buy bullets for your gun. >> after two weeks in knock,
chapman flies back to hawaii. he reveals to his wife he's obsessed with john lennon and plans to kill him. she convinces chapman to make an appointment with a psychologist but didn't keep it. in early december, chapman flies back to new york, stopping over in atlanta to procure 38 high caliber bullets. >> this is someone intent upon committing a murder.
he goes to the dakota shortly before noon and joins a small group of fans hovering near the entrance. chapman will spend the next two days waiting for john lennon. >> who was mark david chapman? >> on december 8, 1980, mark david chapman was a very confuses person, he was literally living inside of a paper back novel, j.d. salinger's "the catcher and the rye." and he was vacillating between suicide and taking a taxi back and forth to hawaii and back and forth between killing an icon. >> and then on the morning of december 8th, he calls his wife. then he takes out the bible from his suitcase and turns to the new testament book of john and writes the words "lennon the
gospel according to john." and then at 8:00 a.m., he heads back to the dakota. >> i had a premonition that this is the last time i would leave my hotel room. i hadn't seen him up to that point, that's what makes it interesting, i wasn't sure he was in the building. and then i left the hotel room, bought a copy of "the catcher and the rye" and i wrote underneath it signed it and wrote "this is my statement." >> that morning, chapman meets another photographer named paul gorish. paul gorish had come to know lennon personally. one of the photos was later used as the cover of lennon's posthumous single "archway." >> when he was there, he was holding a copy of "double fantasy" in his left arm and
this guy approached me and he said are you waiting for lennon? i said yeah. he said, do you work for john? i said no. he said, oh, my name is mark. he said, i'm from hawaii. what struck me strange is when he said that he had a southern accent. so, i said, if you're from hawaii, how come you have a southern accent? and he said, well, originally, i'm from georgia." i said, oh. so i said, where are you staying while you're in the city, and with that he turned to me and said, why do you want to know? >> sometime before 5:00 p.m., lennon and ono leave the apartment to go to his last recording session. chapman and gorish are on the sidewalk. and chapman silently hands lennon his copy of "silent fantasy." >> and john turned and said to him, "do you want me to sign that?" he nodded, john took the album. john said do you have a pen?"
he handed him a pen. john started to sign the album, and i had my camera on my neck, and it looked like a good picture, so i looked through the view finder, and i took the photo. that is the photo of john signing the album for his killer. >> and he looked at me, and he said, is that all? do you want anything else? and i felt then and now that he knew something subconsciously that he was looking into the eyes of the person that was going to kill him. >> once lennon and ono leave for the recording studio, only chapman, gorish and the dakota doorman remain. around 8:00 p.m., gorish calls it a night. the guy mark came over to me and said, are you leaving? and i said yes. and he said, well you better not, because you might not see him again, and he said, well he
might go to spain or something, and you might not see him again. >> i wanted him to stay because i wanted out of there. there was a great part of me that didn't want to be there. >> you would have killed him the next day? >> oh, yes, i probably would have come back. >> after gorish leaves chapman waits in front of the hotel, and he waits patiently for 2 1/2 hours. >> i was sitting inside of the arch of the dakota building, and it was dark and it was windy. jose, the doorman, was out along the sidewalk. and i see this limousine pull up. and i said, is this it. i stood up, and yoko got out and john was far behind, say 20 feet, and he got out and i nodded to yoko when she walked by me, and john came out, and he looked at me and i think that he recognized that here's the fellow that i signed the album earlier. and he walked past me.
i didn't even know if the bullets were going to work. and when they worked, i remember thinking, they're working, they're working. >> five bullets. the first misses hitting the window of the dakota, and the next two strike lennon in the left side of his back, and two more hit his left shoulder, and mortally wounded lennon staggers up five steps to the reception area, and collapses. >> i stood there with the gun hanging limply down on my right side, and jose the doorman came over, and he's crying. and he is grabbing my arm and shaking my arm, and he shook the gun right out of my hand and he kicked the gun across the pavement and had somebody take it away. and i was just -- i was stunned. i didn't know what to do, i was stunned. i took the "catcher in the rye" out of my pocket, i paced.
i tried to read it, i just couldn't wait until those police got there. i was just devastated. >> the first police are on the scene within two minutes and take control of chapman. just after two more officers arrive, and immediately rush to aid lennon. >> officer frommeburger and palmer carried him out to a radio car to take him to the hospital. of course, there was no ambulance on the way at that time. and my partner and i took chapman and put him in the radio car to the station house to read him his rights. >> dr. steven lin is on call at roosevelt hospital. >> two police officers came rush ing through the front door of the emergency department and literally carrying over their shoulders a limp body and they said, dr. lynn, we can't get any vital signs. >> also in the emergency a young
abc producer from new york who had been in a motorcycle accident. >> and so i heard somebody saying, it is a gunshot, and we have him coming in. i remember asking when is it coming in, and they said right now. i remember seeing them trotting. running as fast as they could. >> we rushed into the trauma room. will was no pulse, there was no blood pressure. we had an unresponsive patient. they brought him literally to the room i'm lying outside of, and some people, and the medical people ran in and pulled a curtain. >> we didn't know who the patient was at the moment of time, and the nurses took the wallet out, and one of the nurses normally do, and somebody says, this says john lennon. >> and one of the people next to the police officer said, it is john lennon. >> we looked at the body in front of us, and all of us said, this is cannot possibly be john lennon. but in fact it was. >> so i hear sobbing, and i'm able to look behind me and i can see this woman brought in by a police officer.
i asked the police officer who is that and they said it is yoko ono. >> the only option, and the only way we could give him any possibility of surviving was to make an incision in his chest and to see if there was some way to stop the bleeding. >> and the most vivid memory i have is john's chest is just -- it's just open and it's just blood. literally saw the doctor's hands inside of his chest. >> we opened the chest, and we found a chest full of blood, and all of the blood vessels leaving the heart were completely destroyed. we pumped fluid into the heart, and i literally held john lennon's heart in my hand and we massaged the heart, we tried to restore flow, but there was absolutely nothing that we could do. we pronounced john lennon dead on arrival at the roosevelt hospital that evening. silence fell over the emergency department. staff began to cry. we didn't quite know how the respond or how to react. it became my job to walk down to the end of the hall to talk to yoko ono.
i walked into the room, and i think that she knew as soon as i entered the door what i was going to say. >> there is muzak playing and it mutt have been about 10 after 11 be the song "all my loving" starts to play and the song ends a minute to two minutes later, there's a scream, a shrill woman's voice screaming, "no, no, no oh, no." it went on for a minute and a half and it was constantly repeated and there was silence. >> and finally the head nurse brought in her husband's ring and gave it to her and she understood the finality of the act that had occurred. and the first thing that she said to me was, please delay making the announcement, my son sean is probably at home sitting in front of the tv, i don't want him to find out about his father's death while watching a tv program.
>> i don't think that it really hit me until i heard that muzak playing "all my loving" and i called wabc, the newsroom, told them what i knew that john len enhad been shot. as i understand it, they passed it on to abc network, and abc network made the decision to pass it on to howard cosell and frank gifford, and howard cosell broke the news during "monday night football." >> the news ripped through the air shock waves. >> by 11:35 p.m., the word was out and almost immediately, mourners were gathering outside of the dakota for a candlelight vigil and they sang beatles' songs and sang "give peace a chance." >> i just felt like, you know, an incredible weight was just pressing down on me. was just extraordinarily, extraordinarily sad. >> it impacted all of us so severely, and it was as if a friend and family member had passed away. >> i think that one of the reasons that we felt that way
about him is because we had embraced him as our own. >> on december 10th, john lennon was cremated in a private ceremony. four days later, on december 14th, millions of people around the world responded to yoko ono's request to pause for ten minutes of silent to remember john lennon. over 225,000 people converged on new york central park. for those ten minutes every radio station in new york city went off the air.
on the morning of december 9th, mark chapman, the man who killed john lennon was put in a bulletproof vest and taken by van to the new york city criminal courts building. while chapman was awaiting arraignment, police were searching his hotel room looking for clues that might reveal his motive. >> in the hotel room, we found kind of a display of all of his stuff, and we had a bible, a passport, photos, and a tape by
todd rundgren, airline tickets, and a placemat and a receipt of the "wizard of oz" and the ymca receipt there. >> the stuff was laying there, and laid out in such a way that he had intended for somebody to find it. exactly the way it was laid out. >> how do you feel about taking this case? >> i feel good about it. >> jonathan marks, a former u.s. assistant attorney, is appointed to defend chapman. >> jonathan marks is asked about whether or not he might ask for a change of venue for the trial, and his response was certainly not at this point, and he said even if we held the trial in paris, people would know about it. the fact that a lot of people are angry with mr. chapman and the fact that you're going to represent him, how do you feel about that? >> i'm a lawyer representing a client. >> this is not a whodunit. there were witnesses who saw him
do the shooting and he made no effort to flee the seen. it was clear from the beginning that the defendant would lodge an insanity defense. >> and the first order of business was to have chapman evaluated. >> this is the front entrance of the bellevue hospital where the killer of john lennon mark chapman is being held by extraordinary precautions. >> i was asked if i could help the attorney on the chapman case. i agreed. >> forensic psychiatrist dr. daniel schwartz interviewed mark david chapman on eight separate occasions for the defense. >> clearly, mr. chapman knew what he was doing, he used a gun in an all too accurate way. he knew it was a gun. he knew it could kill. and he pointed it at the intended victim, and
unfortunately, it worked. >> the serious question in this case is whether or not his mental illness impaired his ability to appreciate that what he was doing was wrong. simply being somebody mentally ill does not acquit somebody, it's only if this mental illness impairs his ability to know and appreciate the nature and the consequence of his conduct, or that it's wrong. >> dr. schwartz believes that chapman's mental illness began in childhood. >> mr. chapman became seriously withdrawn at about the age of 9 or 10. it was about that age that he began imagining a whole world of people, little people. in the living room. in the walls of his living room, and he was their emperor, their commander. and it was my clinical assessment that he was both a paranoid schizophrenic as we
understood the definition in those days, and suffering from bipolar disorder. i truly believe that when he went after john lennon, he was suicidal. john lennon was himsel h himse. he believed that if he would kill himself, he would be reborn, in killing lennon, he was killing himself. >> mark david chapman at that point was a walking shell who didn't ever learn how to let out his feelings of anger, of rage, or disappointment. mark david chapman was a failure in his own mind. he wanted to become somebody important, larry. he didn't know how to handle being a nobody. mark david chapman struck out at something he perceived to be phony, something he was angry at, to become something he wasn't, to become somebody. >> former assistant district attorney kim horgrefe did not buy it for a minute.
>> left the courthouse with no comment. >> if he was obsessed with anything, it was bringing attention to himself. he was narcissistic, he was grandiose, he wanted to bring attention to himself. the fact that john lennon was the victim here is simply because john lennon was publicly available, and others were not. he was not crazed. he was not obsessed and he was not entitled to the insanity defense, and we felt that he was criminally responsible, and he did not have a mental disease or defect, and that whatever his mental state was, it did not prevent him from knowing the nature of his conduct and that it was wrong. >> with the evidence at hand, a grand jury indictment is expected. >> on june 22nd, 1981, just six months after the murder and the day his trial is set to begin, chapman changes his plea to guilty, against the advice of his defense team. >> when the defendant entered the guilty plea, i was disappointed by that fact, i was looking forward to the opportunity to prove the facts that we had assembled in a
public trial. >> mark david chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life, and sent to the new york state penitentiary at attica. in his interview with larry king, chapman claimed to have recovered from the mental illness that had led to his crime. >> it was me, larry. and i accept full responsibility for what i did. i have seen places where i am blaming the devil, and i hope that isn't kept going after this interview. i'm not blaming the devil. i'm blaming myself, but in a major sense, it wasn't me because i'm better now. i'm sorry for what i did. i realize now that i really ended a man's life. i just saw him as a two-dimensional celebrity with no real feelings. he was an album cover to me.
individual. he's a sociopath, but he is much more intelligent than i think most of these people. i think his mind is capable of almost infinite self-deception. i believe unlike a lot of people he tries very hard to emphasize with a lot of other people. he tries to sense that owe people have pain also. it's mostly intellectual knowledge. he didn't really feel it. he wants to hurt the world. chapman told me he fantasized in getting hold of a nuclear bomb and killing millions of people. >> chapman shot john lennon because he wanted his moment of glory in the sun. that's it. that's the conclusion that we came to. i stand by it to this day. >> we're back with jack jones, how do you react to those who say we shouldn't interview the mark david chapmans? there shouldn't be television shows or books, that we focus
the area on the wrong area? >> probably these are the same type of people who say we shouldn't be writing about or studying aidses because it's a deadly topic. we have an opportunity for a guy like mark chapman who has agreed to open himself up for exploration an study to hopefully preventing other mark david chapmans from coming along. people who criticize journalists for exploring people like that i think disappoint. >> it gives him publicity for this horrendous act he compited. the killers become as face as the people they killed. and it's really up fortunate. >> as with almost any famous tragic event, conspiracy theories have sprouted up regarding the shooting. john lennon. the prevailing scenario has mark david chapman as a patsy, programmed by mysterious government operatives to killen none there was absolutely no evidence that he was assisted or
aids by another person. he was simply someone who acted alone without assistance of other people. >> i've been through every fbi document in john's file. there's not one shred of evidence to suggest that the u.s. government had the least interest in john after 1982. >> what do you make of the conspiracy theories in the last year, cia, mind control, et cetera? >> against john lennon? >> yeah. >> hog wash. >> no one asked you to do it. no one prompted you to do it, no cabal or nothing? >> no they probably wish they had me. >> more than 30 years after killing john lennon mark chapman remains in prison. he first became eligible for parole in the year 2000. he's been denied seven times since then. >> i think it's best for mark chapman to stay in psychiatric care as he is. he committed a heinous act.
whether or not he's been treated or cured, i can't tell you. i don't know. he did something that was horribly wrong. he changed the track in the life of the world, in my opinion. i think he needs to stay where he is. >> this guy murdered him. he shot him in the back which is what people don't realize, he shot him in the back. he's a coward. >> i don't think the killer of john lennon should ever been paroled. the damage that he reeked on a wife, two sons, beatles fans arranged the world, i can't imagine there's anything that he can do or say that would warrant parole. >> john lennon's widow yoko ono has repeated repealed the release from prison. >> my husband john lennon was a humble man. he built life in the whole world with his life of music. he tried to be a good power for
the world, and he was. he gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people, regardless of their race, creed and gender. for me, he was the other half of the sky. we were in love with each other at the most deepest of love at the last moment. for our son sean, he was the world. that world shattered when the subject pulled the trigger. for julian. it was losing his father twice. for the people of the world, it was as though the light went out for a moment and darkness prevailed. with this one act of violence, in those few seconds, the subject managed to change my whole life.
devastate his sons and bring deep sorrow and tears to the world. >> in 1985, new york city dedicated an area of central park, directly across from the dakota as strawberry fields, for one of lennon's most famous songs. countries from around the world donated trees. and the imagine mosaic centerpiece was a gift from the city of naples. proof that the legacy of john lennon transcends borders and nations. >> i was walking down the street and i saw a kid probably no older than 16 or 17 wearing a t-shirt with john lennon's face on it. i thought this is really interesting. here he is, he died more than 30 years ago, and for this young person, he still had residence.
>> the best way to remember john lennon is to be inspired by his optimism. his integrity, his clarity and his love for his family. he was the real deal. nodding off at the wheel. a new york train engineer admit head zoned out moments before that deadly derailment. >> a deadly winter storm dumping piles of snow on parts of the country. millions waking up to arctic temperatures this morning. you know who's tracking all of this for you? indra petersons. >> there she is. taking a look at damage. a celebrity chef in court battling out with two sisters claiming they stole millions from her. we're live in london as the drama unfolds. good morning, everyone, welcome to