Mark Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon, said he has been forgiven by Jesus in a letter that was recently sold to a private buyer.

The reportedly 25-year-old letter was addressed to Chapman's pen pal, known only as "Michael," from the Attica Correctional Facility, where Chapman was being held since Lennon's December 1980 murder. In 1981, he was convicted after shooting Lennon four times in the back as the artist and his wife, Yoko Ono, returned to their apartment in New York City.

"That is why he chose to die, to shed his blood so that our sins – even mine – could be forgiven," Chapman wrote in the letter. "That is why he came. I wanted you to know that you, too, can actually KNOW and FEEL this Savior. For he truly is one. I know. Twelve years ago I shot and killed the rock superstar John Lennon, formerly of the Beatles. There is a book that explains my motivations for this heinous crime, but let me say here that it was a horrible occurrence, I have never forgotten it.”

Trying to convince Michael that he too can find Jesus, Chapman continued the letter by sharing his spiritual journey. “Jesus is everything," he wrote. "I have found this through the many long years here at Attica. Through it all, I have come to know that he feels very deeply for me -- and for you."

Chapman also shared a story he had written and added, "Jesus is who I would like to write to you of today, for he is not merely a character in a story, but a real, living person who I have come to know."

The letter was recently unearthed and sold by Serial Killers Inc., a company that specializes in memorabilia from famous criminals. Eric Holler, who runs the company, said the letter was obtained through the pen pal, and he had not been in touch with Chapman directly. “It sold about an hour after it was listed on the website," he said. "I would love to obtain more Chapman items, as they sell extremely well.”

Chapman, who is currently serving his time at a maximum security prison near Buffalo, has been turned down on his parole petitions every two years since he became eligible.

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