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FBI won’t ‘let it be’: Lennon fingerprints seized from auction house

By Associated Press
Thursday, October 7, 2010 12:09 EDT
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FBI seizes set of John Lennon’s fingerprints from New York City memorabilia shop

The FBI has seized a set of John Lennon’s fingerprints from a Manhattan memorabilia shop.

U.S. agents removed the item on Wednesday from the store, called Gotta Have It!

The New York Times says the signed fingerprint card was made at a police station on May 8, 1976. It bears the name John Winston Ono Lennon. At the time, Lennon was applying for citizenship.

“Given Lennon’s history with the F.B.I. — he was under surveillance in the early 1970s for his antiwar activism — the events were strange enough to make Peter Siegel, an owner of the store, wonder what the fuss was about, reports the New York Times. “Since last Thursday, he said, the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and the United States attorney in Manhattan had asked about the card.

“I’ve been doing this 20 years and have never had this much government interest in something,” Mr. Siegel said. “Here he is, one of our greatest musicians ever, and they just don’t stop investigating this guy.”

Jon Wiener, a history professor at the University of California, Irvine, who wrote the book “Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon F.B.I. Files,” also noted that 1976 was a bit late in the F.B.I.’s Lennon timeline.

“As far as I know, the F.B.I. interest in Lennon was in the J. Edgar Hoover era,” Professor Wiener said on Wednesday, “and his successors fairly quickly closed the books on the investigation.” Mr. Hoover died in 1972.

Spokesman James Margolin said the FBI is investigating how the item “came to be up for auction.”

Siegel said an unidentified concert promoter bought it at a Beatles convention about two decades ago.

Saturday would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com

Source: AP News

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