Thursday 19 November 2015


New York City police called ahead to nurses on December 8, 1980; they were bringing a gunshot victim to Roosevelt Hospital.
Doctor David Halleran, then a young resident, was paged and arrived in the emergency room before the squad car pulled up. 

"We put him on a stretcher, pulled him into our minor or which was room 115. Then we cut the clothes off and opened his chest," recalls Deartra Sato, a Roosevelt Hospital nurse.
"Four gunshot wounds over his left chest, three exit wounds. Either you do nothing or you crack his chest and find something that might be salvageable," says Halleran.

Dr. Halleran held the victim's heart in his hand, attempting get his heartbeat back. At one point, a nurse said the victim looked like music legend John Lennon.
"I said no, it can't be. I felt like doubting Thomas. No it wasn't - no it wasn't," says Halleran.
"We pulled his wallet out and verified, yes - that's what it was," recalls Sato.
Halleran says he is glad he didn't know he was opening the chest of one of the most famous men in the world.
"I'd like to think I would have done it anyway, whatever you think is best but the short answer is I'm glad I didn't," says Halleran.

The musicians wounds were too severe. Lennon died that night. Dr. Halleran now lives near Syracuse and is on staff at Upstate Medical University Hospital's community campus.
For 30 years, he did not talk about his work in the ER on the night Lennon died. Just a few years ago he learned another doctor - the head of Roosevelt's ER department - gave interviews saying he was the one who tried to save Lennon's life. Halleran said he wasn't looking for publicity, but when the other doctor said he was the one who massaged Lennon's heart - Halleran had enough.
"That just pushed me a little bit. I said, 'that's not right.' It didn't happen like that," says Halleran.

In 2011, NBC3 aired Halleran's first television interview, an interview writer/director Jeremy Profe later saw online while writing a film script about the night Lennon died.
"It was ultimately that interview that shaped how we were going to tell the story," says Profe.
Profe and his co-writer decided a character based on Dr. Halleran should be one of the leads in their film.
"We have to go back to our investors and we have to tell them, 'we want to sit on all of your money, not bearing interest while we re-write the story, re-tool it, re-work it,'" recalls Profe.
By Hollywood standards the film titled "The Lennon Report" has a small budget- less than 5 million dollars- but features several recognizable actors from major motion pictures. The Lennon Report is now showing at film festivals, recently picking up an Audience Choice Award at the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester.
Profe says he wanted the movie to be genuine; based on the true events of that night.
"It's a tragic moment. At the time the American identity was changing," says Profe. "In order for it to be an honest piece, it had to be based on the actual people."
Dr. Halleran says seeing an actor play himself- and the nurses he worked with- is a strange experience, but believes the film is most accurate portrayal to date of the night John Lennon died.
"This is how it happened, and I say that because I was there," says Halleran. "There's no credit, there's no winners. It's just how it happened."

1 comment:

  1. So is there a movie being made of the night Mr.Lennon died??