A WABC-TV Special: “Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon”
The assassination of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 40 years ago, was as tragic as it was surprising. Just like no other medium of reporting, Eyewitness News reported the death of a guy who was more than only one of the most popular actors on Earth—he was our neighbor.
John Lennon lived in Dakota, just a couple of blocks away from our studio. He, Yoko, and their young son, Sean, would shop in the same stores and walk on the same streets. Channel 7 staff found him a friendly face to wave to. A close associate of the Lennons was at least one ABC employee, Geraldo Rivera.
“As the momentous anniversary passes, our special “Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon,” hosted by Bill Ritter, interviews those behind the scenes with the key players in the case, and front of the camera—Geraldo Rivera, Ernie Anastos, John Johnson, Doug Johnson.
In reality, we could never have been more of an “Eyewitness” to a story – Alan Weiss, a Channel 7 producer, happened to be at Roosevelt Hospital after a motorcycle-riding injury when the deadly wounded former Beatle was brought in.
Alan managed to call the news to the WABC assignment desk after hearing the struggle to rescue Lennon, where the scanner was blaring about the Dakota shooting.
Our unique John Lennon will share the tale that rocked the world from the point of view you’ve never seen before-as occurred. Moment by moment, from the lens of Eyewitness News.
Soon, on ABC’s Monday Night Football, Weiss’ news tip would hit Howard Cosell, who would break the news to the country – but not until questioning whether he should.
As the nightmarish story grew, the newsroom was a tornado on Channel 7. And Ernie Anastos and Rose Ann Scamardella prepared to go on air after the game.
Unlike the other one in New York, America, the next week, resulting in a landmark homage vigil in Central Park.
Our John Lennon special will reveal the tale that rocked the world from a view you’ve never seen before. As it unfolded, moment by moment, with unique or just-discovered historical video, and from the lens of Eyewitness News.
“Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon” is NOW Available on ABC7’s streaming applications on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV. The special will air on Channel 7 on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. For streaming, check the app store for ‘ABC7 New York.’