Raised in Decatur, Georgia, Chapman had been a fan of the Beatles, but came to be incensed by Lennon's much-publicized remark about the group being "more popular than Jesus", and especially by the lyrics of Lennon's later songs. He subsequently developed a series of obsessions, including artwork and the music of Todd Rundgren. The Catcher in the Rye took on great personal significance for him, to the extent that he wished to model his life after the novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield. He also contemplated killing other public figures, including Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ronald Reagan. At the time of the murder, he had no prior criminal convictions and had just resigned working as a night security guard in Hawaii. His wife was aware of his plans but she did not inform the police or mental health services.