Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon: A WABC-TV special

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The murder of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, was as devastating as it was shocking. And Eyewitness News covered the murder like no other news source, as it happened in our backyard, to a person who was more than just one of the most famous celebrities on Earth - he was our neighbor.

John Lennon lived at the Dakota, just a few blocks from our studio. Employees of Channel 7 considered him a friendly face they'd wave to -- he, Yoko, and their young son, Sean, would shop in the same shops and go for walks on the same streets. At least one ABC employee, Geraldo Rivera, was a close friend of the Lennons.

Our special "Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon," hosted by Bill Ritter, interviews the big players in that story, both in front of the camera -- Geraldo Rivera, Ernie Anastos, John Johnson, Doug Johnson -- to those behind the scenes.

Indeed, we've perhaps never been more of an "Eyewitness" to a story - a Channel 7 producer, Alan Weiss, happened to be at Roosevelt Hospital after a motorcycle-riding injury when the mortally wounded former Beatle was carried in.

Having witnessed the fight to save Lennon, Alan managed to call the news into the WABC assignment desk, where the scanner was blaring about a shooting at the Dakota.
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Our John Lennon special will tell the story that shook the world from a perspective you've never seen -- as it happened, moment by moment, through the eyes of Eyewitness News.


Soon, Weiss' news tip would reach Howard Cosell, who would break the news to the nation on ABC's Monday Night Football -- but not before debating whether he should.

At Channel 7, the newsroom was a whirlwind as the nightmarish story developed, and Ernie Anastos and Rose Ann Scamardella prepared to go on the air after the game.

The next week that followed, culminating in a historic tribute vigil in Central Park was unlike any other in New York, America -- or the Eyewitness newsroom.

Our John Lennon special tells the story that shook the world from a perspective you've never seen -- as it happened, moment by moment, with rare or just-discovered historical footage, all through the eyes of Eyewitness News.

"Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon" is NOW STREAMING on ABC7's streaming apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV. To stream, search "ABC7 New York" in the app store.

CREDITS
Bill Ritter | Writer, Anchor
Kim Dillon | Senior Executive Producer
Peter Kunz | Senior Executive Producer
Stephen Cioffi | Videographer and Editor
Emily Sowa | Senior Digital Producer, Videographer
Rolando Pujol | Executive Producer, Digital Content, Innovation and Strategy
Bob Monek | Executive Producer Digital, Owned Television Project Manager
Bryan Lenocker | Executive Producer
Dana Bussey | Motion Graphic Designer, Creative Director
Brandon Nelson | Creative Director, Brand
Ysenia Carrizales | Promotion and Digital Content Producer
Toby Hershkowitz | Promotion and Digital Content Producer
Cheryl Meaney | Senior Planning Editor
Erin Donovan | Media Manager
Matt Lamattina | Media Manager
Alycia Russell | Media Manager
David Mulewski | Media Manager
Michael Capello | Media Manager
Brandon Cook | Media Manager
Robert Feldman | Media Manager
Natalie Cioffari | Production Assistant
Laryssa Demkiw | Production Assistant
Jim Gorham | Vice President, Marketing
Chad Matthews | Vice President News, News Director
Debra O'Connell | President, Networks Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

SPECIAL THANKS
Alan Weiss
Marilou Yacoub
Ana Maria Braga
Fred Chieco
Joe Coscia
John Johnson
Geraldo Rivera
Doug Johnson
Ernie Anastos
Len Trugman
David Sloan
Alison Lynn
Jennifer Pirone
Janice Johnston
Karyn Rodus
Keira Mccullough
Michele Mustacchio
Townsend Davis

ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE AND PHOTOS
ESPN | Outside the Lines
ABC News 20/20
Alan Weiss
Craig Ruttle
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