An example of Moral Panic is Mark Chapman. It is said that he developed an obsession with the book, The Catcher in the Rye. In which the protagonist battles against society’s falseness and feels the need to protect people particularly children. Mark Chapman had the book in his hand when he committed the murder of, former Beatles member, John Lennon. Inside the front cover of the book Chapman wrote ‘This is my statement‘ and after his arrest, he wrote letters to the media telling them to inform everyone to read the ‘extraordinary book’ and that it could ‘help many to understand what has happened.’ In court, Chapman read out a passage from the book that focused on saving a child from falling of a cliff. The psychiatrist at the sentencing said Chapman wanted to kill John Lennon because he saw his as a ‘Phony’, but Chapman later stated that he thought that committing the murder would make him transform into the book’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Is this book dangerous? Was it the books fault that Mark Chapman assassinated the much loved singer? Or was it because he was ‘very sensitive and that his parent’s anger towards each other intruded upon his normal development. he retreated from an early age into a fantasy world’?
The story has been explored in feature film, ‘Chapter 27’. The title refers to the books 26 chapters and that Mark Chapman’s story is simply an extension of the novel.