RIO DE JANEIRO – John Lennon is on a crime spree in southeastern Brazil, say cops in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais state. In just over a month’s time, police there have arrested three suspected criminals named John Lennon and a fourth landed in the city morgue.
The Beatles were immensely popular in Brazil and band member John Lennon the most loved of all. In the decades since Mark David Chapman shot him in the back four times killing him in New York City, thousands of Brazilian mothers have named their newborn sons after him.
With shocking regularity though, young men named after John Lennon turn up on Brazilian police blotters.
The most recent arrest came Friday morning, when John Lennon Ribeiro Siqueira, 19, prepared to rob a lottery agency in Belo Horizonte. According to police, lottery officials recognized John’s partner, who had robbed the same agency in November last year, and called the police who made the arrest. Police characterized the pair as armed and dangerous.
Police arrested John Lennon Fonseca Ferreira, 22, Jan. 8 this year, during an attempted home invasion robbery at a residence in the Amazonas neighborhood of the capital, Belo Horizonte. This John Lennon, say police, is the most dangerous of the lot and among the most hunted criminals in the state. Neighbors alerted police who made the arrest.
Dec. 19, police arrested John Lenon Camargos Gomes, 22, whom they say committed five homicides in Belo Horizonte. They add that the suspect, a convicted drug trafficker and reckless driver, is also responsible for two attempted murders. Police arrested this John Lenon in the Aarao Reis neighborhood, where police say the brutal killer terrorized the population.
On the night of Jan. 9, the body of John Lennon Sebastiao da Silva, 18, turned up dead in the back seat of a car parked in the Tupi neighborhood of Belo Horizonte. Police arrested a suspect in the killing a few hours later. They believe the crime to be a revenge killing.
Not every John Lennon in Brazil turned out bad. John Lennon Silva Santos, 22, plays defense for one of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular football teams, Botafogo. He says he is not a Beatles fan, though. “I prefer gospel music,” he says.