An important, if tragic, milestone in Beatles history—the last day of the existence of all four Beatles on planet Earth—came on December 8, 1980, when John Lennon was gunned down by a wackjob named Mark David Chapman. There are a lot of things about that day that don’t make sense, but one in particular stands out in my mind: Chapman walks up behind John and Yoko with a gun. He has the drop on them, the element of surprise is on his side. And he chooses to shoot John?

Had he chosen differently, Chapman today could be a folk hero instead of the least popular man in Attica State Prison. The penalty for taking out Yoko would have been a slap on the wrist, at worst, and he would have gained the adulation of Beatles fans the world over. John would have been out from under Yoko’s evil spell, free to reunite with the Beatles, start a new band, or do whatever the hell he wanted to.

Mark David Chapman, you did a bad thing.