Episode 06: Robert Chambers - The Preppy Killer (1986)
1:52PM Jan 18, 2023
new york city
Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
Well, Sal, we are back for episode six of that's a crime. And I'm super excited about today's episode.
I am too but I'm embarrassed to admit I have not committed any crimes since the last recording. I'm crime free. I'm embarrassed to say.
I think it's a good thing. So and today we're covering Robert Chambers, the preppy killer 1986 and sound. Do you remember this preppy killer,
the name rings a bell but I don't remember any details at all. And I'm just imagining this guy being in Dec shoes as you see wearing Dec shoes and two
polos with the pop collar, the pop collar. Yes. You know, I remember it as well. But we were both kids. I was a little bit older than you. But here's the weird thing. This takes place in the summer of 1986 in New York City. So I spent some time in New York City summer of 86.
Well, I think it was a lot of drug use happening at that time.
I wasn't doing that. But I remember going to a Mets game a Yankees game, seeing the city staying with my aunt who lived in the East Village, which was very different 1986. So yeah, that was my one kind of time to but I do remember it. And then a few years later, there was the yuppie murderers which I used to get those two kind of crossover. So that may be a future episode for us as well.
Yeah. And you know what, the yuppie murderers? I think I get confused with the billionaire boys club. They all
just circle around together. But the billionaire boys club is in California. I know that. Okay, yeah, I just saw the recent movie, they made a new movie. Oddly enough, it had Kevin Spacey in it. The release was delayed for some reason. It was on Amazon. So I watched it because I love the TV movie that had John Nelson in it in the 80s. And he's in this movie as someone's father. So they did a nice little tie in there. And then years ago, I went to dinner. I was invited to the Magic Castle. And I joined a friend there. Jeff Bolin from Jeff. Oh, yes, yes. And then he brought a friend. And that friend was somehow affiliated or was in the billionaire boys club.
Wow. Wow, that was a big circle time.
And that's it, folks.
Good night America.
So this story deals of course with Robert Emmet chambers, Jr. born September 25 1966. He's an American criminal and convicted killer Chambers was dubbed the preppy killer by the media after the August 26 1986. New York City Central Park strangulation death of 18 year old Jennifer Levin and sounds I did a deep dive into this case. They were young, like Jennifer, I mean, rest in peace and obviously a horrific death. But she was only 18 years old. Even Robert Chambers was 19 at the time, so I didn't know we're dealing with teenagers. Yeah,
very young. I don't know. I'm thinking about what I was doing when I was 19 years old. I don't think I was doing anything really productive at that age. But I wasn't killing people at least.
No, you were not. So here I am. I was thinking I was much younger than them in my 86 visit to New York City. Yeah, I'm born in 71. I'm 15 years old. They're only three and four years older than me. But it feels like they're living a life. That's like 10 to 15 years more advanced. Yeah. When you live in New York City, you grow up faster are Los Angeles, like yourself and you grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You tend to be a late bloomer, or at least I was in Mike and
yeah, well also when you're young, those few years. It's a big difference. Like right now my girlfriend, there's a five year age difference. It means nothing at our age, you know, but back then comparing a 15 year old a 19 year old
big difference. Yeah, that would be four years. But yeah, you're right, or whatever
I hate. I'm not a math major. I'm kidding.
So and so when I look at the photo of Robert Chambers, you can really understand how the press came up with the preppy killer tag because he reminds me of JFK Jr. or any blue blood waspy type portrayed in TVs and movies. I mean, he just has that
look. So deck shoes that definitely has the deck shoes. By the way. I've never had a pair of deck shoes in my entire life. But I think you have had right
I still have and funny say that I had my laces snap a few months ago. Oh, yes. What Amazon's bringing tomorrow,
leather laces, leather.
I'll start wearing the duck shoes for recordings when there's yuppies or peppiness at play. So now this obviously this the name alone evokes so much. And this case has a lot of pop culture tie in. So I'm going to run through some of these. I'm sure you'll remember some of them, or at least one I know you'll recall. So the Sonic Youth song eliminator Jr. from their 1988 album Daydream nation is about the Chamber's case. Now I don't know the song, but now I'm tempted to go listen to it. The killer song Jenny was a friend of mine from their 2004 album Some Hot Fuzz was inspired by the defense of the Jennifer Love and murder charges in which chambers claimed he had no motive for the murder, and that he and the victim are friends. Now Saudi you know this song by the killers?
I'm sure I've heard it in the title. Absolutely. I know the title. But oh, I'm trying to think of the song in my head. I'm not picturing it.
In 1989. The chamber's case was the basis of a TV movie titled the preppy murder. Now that's confusing because we're talking about the yuppies and the preppy killer. Now they're calling it the preppy murder, but it started William Baldwin is chambers and Laura Flynn Boyle as Levin, then in 1990. The Law and Order episode Kiss the Girls and make them die was based on the case the 2003 Law and Order Criminal Intent episode monster was based on both the chambers case and the Central Park Jogger case, which is a whole other case. So Sal, it's a future episode. Potentially, there's material there. Now this is one I think you would know or recognize Mike Doyle has stated that his character Adam gazelle, on AWS from 1997 to 2003, was based on chambers. Now, I didn't watch all of the episodes of Oz. But are you familiar with this character?
I must have seen them. But if Unfortunately, my cinema Nisha is kicking in, I did see all the episodes of Oz, but I do not remember Mike Doyle, unfortunately.
Yeah. Anyway, I figured you knew. And maybe if you went back and revisited it now you'll have this to reflect on
Jason now that you mentioned it. I would like to revisit oz at some point. Absolutely. Yeah. No, it's
great show. And you saw more episodes than me. So I should probably give it a run at some point as well. Now, this reference is one of my favorite movies, but we're talking about the novel and the novel American Psycho, that protagonist Patrick Bateman, a wealthy preppy serial killer mentions trying to start a defense fund for chambers. Now that may have been in the movie as well. I'd have to go back and visit that to see but yeah, so he definitely fits that part. Have you seen that film or read the book?
Jason? Not only have I seen the film, I have the American Psycho action figure made by Nick.
Does he have a chainsaw?
He does. He's got a chainsaw. He's got some blood splatter on it. I think actually, there's a leaded version and a non bloody version. Oh, and they also made an 18 inch version so you can own your very own 18 inch Patrick Bateman action.
Does he have a business card? The one bone?
I didn't see that one. Oh, no, no, no. Yeah, no, I know what you're talking about. No, that would be good. That would be good. But unfortunately, every time I think of Christian Bale, I think of his freakout when he shoot out the lighting Terminator. Yes, that's what
salvation Yeah, he's an incredible actor. I gotta say always wonderful. Ever seen the fighter? That might be him at his best,
which is the one where he got really skinny the machine that was the machinists Yeah, that
was also very skinny and got in the fighter, which he won an Oscar for and so did Melissa Leo. For both for supporting He's incredible in that movie.
I Oh, that's the one with the with Marky
Mark Mark Wahlberg, as I like to say mark, Amy Adams. So lastly, and most recently, AMC aired a five part mini series, the preppy murder death in Central Park on November 13 2019. I need to see this sale. And again, there's the preppy murder course I went with calling this episode the preppy killer because that was the term coined when it happened in the 80s.
Yeah, what's interesting is I have definitely heard of the preppy killer in years past, or the preppy murderer, but didn't know it had gotten that meta with all of these songs and my god movie and TV references. I did not know that.
So now getting into the background. Alright, chambers attended Boston University where he completed one semester but was asked to leave because of difficulties, one involving a stolen credit card. He subsequently committed other petty crimes and burglaries in connection with his drug and alcohol abuse. Already a slippery slope hairstyle. Yeah, there
we go. Yeah. And the 80s were drug and alcohol glory days.
Oh, yeah. Especially in New York City.
Oh, I think they even had the live sex shows back then. So you can get totally wasted and go see live sex shows in New York.
This is before Giuliani came in office and cleaned up New York. This was a different New York. Yeah, so Chambers was issued a summons for disorderly conduct one night after leaving. Now remember this place? Dorians red hand. Okay, a bar located in New York City's Upper East Side. And so let me just ask you real quick if I may. Have you been in New York City?
You know what? I've never been to New York. I'm more of a bike. I'm more of an outdoors person more of a Grand Canyon type of guy. I'm not real big on the city. There's lots of smells and noises. I like.
I like to remind me of the people that I know in New York that they're like, oh, LA, California, and I would just say Have you ever been well, no. So you're the opposite of
At no you know what LA is even though I'm born and raised in LA LA is too big city for me really? I want some peace and quiet Goddamnit
well okay, so upon receiving the summons ticket chambers destroys it as the police were leaving the scene yelling you fucking cowards course he speaks like Arnold torts and that was Arnold and my mind. And Sal, this kind of reminds me of the great scene from school ties with Brendan Fraser where he's outside in the rain, like you
cowards. Remember that moving? Yeah. Wasn't he like a private school?
Yeah, but it was Jewish, but kept it from everybody. And then it comes out Matt Damon and everyone that turns against him. But great scene, but not to take away from the story. So you can already see chambers's a different bird in always got a little bit of drug and alcohol abuse going on a little bit of a rebel. It's been established yet still is a credit card. We're understanding his character.
Yeah, yeah, he's a privilege punk.
So as for Levin, she was only days away from her first term at a Boston Junior College. She was a bright, gregarious girl who had been voted best looking and her graduating class at the Baldwin school. Friends say she was full of life, the least likely victim.
Oh, no. I hate to disagree, but respectfully. She is a prime victim. If you look at True Crime, she's an absolutely prime victim, unfortunately.
Yeah, you're right. So she is kind of a prime victim in a lot of ways. And it's too young. It's very sad. And unfortunately, through my research, we don't learn enough about Jennifer Levin. We really learned more about the troubles and the troubled Robert Chambers, preppy killer, but yeah, anyway, so now getting into the murder on the evening of August 25 1986 18 year old Jennifer Levin went out for drinks at
Dorians red hand bar, which seems to serve minors, it seems,
which does seem to serve minors in an 18 and 19 year old. Yeah, so there's that Sal, we'll get back to that later. But there she began flirting with the tall and handsome 19 year old Robert Chambers.
See, ladies, don't a tall I'm telling you.
Don't listen to so. So now turns out this wasn't their first encounter. They'd had a few flings in the past, but chambers currently had a girlfriend and had been on a date with her that very evening. So drifting around the room, Jennifer is talking to her friends, and she's telling them she wants to go home with chambers. And she went on to comment about his sexual prowess, and that he was the best sex she ever had.
That's all you have. Yeah, well, so you know where this knights headed.
You know, Jason, I can absolutely relate to this. Because, you know, I used to run with a circle of girls. I was like a one guy and a few girls that hung out together when I was about 19. And I had a crush on this one girl, but she wasn't really giving me the time of day. So then I started having sex with her friend. And then the friend told the first girl and then the first girl came to my apartment one day, knocked on the door and said, Hey, I heard about what's been going on with you and my friend. How about you and me? And then she let herself in. And then we had a good time from there. But yeah, I remember that. I remember those sounds like
a scene from Seinfeld. When when Costanza came up with the idea for the Minaj, or the switch that turned into the Minaj offering, so did that go further? No, no, no. Did you reel back in the friend?
No, it never it never went that direction. It was just a one on one.
Back to chambers and 11. Some time later, they reportedly left the bar together and headed towards Central Park.
Have you been to Central Park? Yeah. Oh, yeah,
man, I love Central Park. So you said earlier, you like to be outside in nature. And I'm with you. Obviously. I love that about California and I'm an outdoors person. But when you're in New York City, you don't realize how massive Central Park is you really can get lost in the city. If you look at a map. It covers so much of the city. So yeah, there's nooks crannies, trees, lots of places to get away and get away and have sex.
Oh, well, you know, growing up in Los Angeles, I heard about New York and heard about Central Park. And my understanding always was that Central Park was a haven for crime. And you did not want to be caught there alone after dark.
Yeah, I've cut through at night but I not like 234 in the morning. I'd stay clear of it. But it's full of people. I always felt safe. So you got to check it out. So on your bucket list or to do list visit New York City. So now there's lots of accounts what happen when they were there, and I kind of glossed over it here. More comes up later when you hear chambers defense, but essentially, they visited Central Park they'd had a past they've hooked up a few times. And they did have some acts in the park. I mean, there was an account of joggers coming by and hearing something and listening and then check even saying something like you guys. Okay, and then getting, yeah, we're fine. Another jogger came by because, you know, this is New York City, they know what's going on this is late in the night early in the morning, however you want to look at it. Yeah, cuz now we're into next day we're in to August 26 1986 by now. And so cut to around 6:15am A cyclist in the park discovers Jennifer Levin's body just behind the Met, which is also known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This is where it starts to get a little interesting when you look at criminal profiling. Where a body is dumped or where a body is left I think oftentimes has some sort of significance, or at least helped to create a profile on the killer. Like if you dump a body behind an art museum, you dump it behind a carnivore. You double it behind the health club. All these things make a difference. Because there's always a why like, why they're in this instance, I guess we're just led to believe that it just happened to be convenient based on where the murder took place. Is that what we're led to believe?
Exactly. So I don't know if the body was moved or it happened and it was just like chamber split, but he didn't go too far because the medical examiner's office determined she died from asphyxia by strangulation. Police noted there were bite marks and numerous cuts and bruises on her neck, both from the strangulation and from her own fingernails as she clawed at her killer.
Yeah, I think this is also the dawn of DNA evidence. So I think around this time is when they can start to scoop under people's fingernails to DNA evidence. Yeah,
yeah. And what I said is he didn't go too far, I was alluding to the fact that a police officer noticed and recognized chambers later, he kind of put it together that he saw him standing kind of by the Met the steps over there, just observing it with other witnesses. So I mean, I know you always say the killer, or the perpetrator returns to the scene of the crime, typically, well, I don't think he ever left. I think he's probably in shock. And there he is lurking until he dismisses himself and goes home.
Yeah, so it's not necessarily I think so far, we're not led to believe it's a premeditated murder. No,
I know. I never believed that. Yeah,
well, not from the information that we have. I would, I would put this under crimes of passion. I don't know what the penalties are today for crimes of passion. But like, for example, my grandfather caught my grandmother with another man. I don't know the status of their marriage at the time. But my grandfather then punched the guy, and he killed the guy. And I read the article myself. And it was, I think, called crime of passion, probably reduced to a manslaughter charge. I don't know if there was any time served or anything. It wasn't premeditated. In an instance like this. Obviously, you can say this was not premeditated. It was just a sex act gone awry. You can try to say
that's an interesting story, Sal, but your grandfather? Did they wind up getting back together staying together? Or what happened with the family?
I don't know what the status of their marriage was at that moment in time, or what happened to it after that. But yeah, I just want to clarify, I did see the article myself. It wasn't just family folklore. I actually saw the news clipping myself.
Wow. That's crazy. And that's why I always say, no matter what I would never punch, push or do anything to anyone. First, I would always wait and use self defense.
Well, especially you as a trained martial artist. I mean, you could if you were to use all your might conceivably kill someone, especially an untrained fighter. You got to look out that's why don't you have to be a lethal weapon, or what is it called? Certified Lethal Weapon? What's it called?
Yeah, you're gonna certify yourself as a lethal weapon. I'm not that level. But okay. Obviously, your grandfather did mean to kill him, but it can happen. Sure. And he was how mad was he? How outraged was he? So very scary. Very scary, indeed. So now we're getting into the arrest and trial. So Chambers was a potential suspect because of his relationship with Levin. So police apprehended him for interrogation. Now, at this time, they noticed numerous scratches on his arms and face, which he blamed on his cat cell.
Believe me, I know about scratches on the arm. Absolutely. And I think you can tell the difference between the human scratches and cat scratches. But again, going back to the DNA, if somebody says I was scratched by a cat, I believe they could probably go in there and find some kitty litter residue or not, you know, so I think there's ways to find out if a person is genuinely scratched by a an animal or a human. Yeah. Does
he even have a cat? Yeah,
that'd be that'd be the first thing as well. You have no cat What are you even talking about?
So chambers first stated he and Levin didn't leave the bar together. He then claimed he in love and separated after leaving the bar with her going to buy cigarettes. However, during the course of the ensuing investigation, chambers would later change his story again, stating that Levin's death was the accidental result of him pushing her off of him. During an aggressive sexual encounter, quote unquote, rough sex in the park and I say rough sex, because I believe it popped up in some of the headlines as well. And this is a different time, Sal, this is the mid 80s. And these aren't some of the terminology we would use to describe such an act.
You know, again, looking back on some of my hay days, I've been with some aggressive women very assertive women in years past, and even if I were to kind of push them off or muscle my way out, I could not conceive of how that could result in their death and a strangulation. Yeah, what could I have done to kill somebody? Now, I will say this, I'll say this one thing. And that is that in years past, you have these girls or young ladies that like to be choked during sex, say that's true. There's fixya. So I used to date somebody who was really into being choked. I mean, she was really into it. So guess what, though, I saw her partner was kind of like, I can only go so far, I can only choke you so much. Because what am I gonna do you know, 200 pounds on top you? I'm going to tell the cop Oh, she wanted me to choke her. You have to consider your own defense in these types of scenarios, where your partner wants to do some crazy stuff sexually. That's all great. It's not a moral judgment. But people want to do some outlandish stuff. Well, okay, what if it goes awry? What's going to become a view? So unfortunately, I found myself in those types of scenarios, I would kind of backup because I'm thinking, what am I going to tell the cops?
Yeah, that is an interesting area, the whole choking thing. And who knows, that could have been part of it. Obviously, I'd read things that chambers had said while interrogated that it had got to the point where she really grabbed his testicles quite hard. And that's the catalyst for him pushing her and then, but pushing someone off one thing. So pushing someone often choking them out and strangling them is a whole other thing. And again, that's why maybe it crossed into she liked to be choked, but then he never talked about it. So I don't know, we'll never know. But this is the facts that we have. And obviously, this went all the way into court. So we're getting to that. And what a jury faced as well,
I would like to get into a little more of the dynamic of their relationship. I mean, we don't have much information about their actual interaction with each other. I wonder if they had sort of one of those abusive or abuse II or addict codependent type relationship that had all of its ups and downs and drama. I don't know if there were any witnesses as far as their relationship itself, which then creates, you know, you have profiles for individuals, but then you can have profiles for a relationship, like, here's what your relationship looks like. And then things like this can then go too far.
I'm also assuming that chambers girlfriend at the time, tamp down upon hearing this news. I mean, you stayed at the bar, you hooked up with someone else, and you killed them. So yeah, I'm assuming that probably ended. Now, before booking Chambers was permitted to see his father to whom he said that fucking bitch, why didn't she leave me alone?
Well, I wonder if they allowed that statement to be admissible in court? Because definitely, yes, a damning type of statement. If you're accused of killing someone, you bad mouthing, the person probably isn't going to help you.
I nearly dismissed this quote. Because it's like, well, who's to say but then I kept reading it in different publications. So I went ahead and included it maybe you know, what chambers isn't the most sound mine is we're learning and maybe it was overheard by someone else or his father repeated it. But it just starts to paint a picture that started from the beginning with this guy, which is weird, because it seems like person like this has everything going for them. But yet, they keep getting in their own way. And now they've taken a life and so. So chambers did secure the 150,000 bail through his family and Jack Dorian, the owner of Dorians redhead, who put up his townhouse as collateral.
Okay, why did he do that? I got to stop there for a second. Why would this guy who owned the bar, right, yep. What was his relationship to chambers? Why would he do that?
And well, at the same time, I think he felt somewhat responsible. And again, he comes up later as we get into Levin's family. But yeah, I don't know the relationship they had but sell $150,000.86 Do you have your calculator ready?
Let me get my inflation calculator. Ready. $150,000 in 1986 is the equivalent in 2021. Money of over $365,000
All right, wow, that's a lot of money. So thank goodness for Jack coming through. And I'm assuming chambers just didn't come from money as we're led to believe at least we think you hear preppy killer. You see the photo of him? Sure. You do assume that he's just loaded blue blood. A legacy handed down to him and so but he's not but he is out on bail and shame. Whereas I was then charged with and tried for two counts of second degree murder. Now he was defended by Jack Lippmann who had previously used the temporary insanity. Sal, I know you like that defense?
Well, it seems to work for a lot of people. If I were a judge, I would be suspicious and cautious when it comes to the insanity plea. But yeah, it seems to be a quite popular defense.
I know you've mentioned it on previous episodes, but his attorney had used it before on behalf of Richard Herron for the murder of Yale University student body garland. Now, I don't know that story. And I'd like to investigate that later. But Littman claimed love and was promiscuous, saying she had a sex diary, and that her sexual history was admissible as evidence, prompting headlines such as how Jennifer courted death by The Daily News. And at one point in time, Littman was even filmed twisting off the head of a Barbie doll and saying, oops, I think I killed her. So that's in bad taste. Even if he's trying to get a point across.
I don't understand what the whole thing was. And this was before Instagram and tick tock like, what are they doing? To try to prove with this,
I'm assuming they had these dolls out at least a doll and was trying to show how the scene or the situation could have unfolded and then just took it too far with a bad joke. I don't know. I read this a couple of times, but it kind of paints a picture of who his attorney was,
oh, yeah, probably slimy.
Now, Prosecutor Linda fairstein stated in more than 8000 cases of reported assaults in the last 10 years. This is the first in which a male reported being sexually assaulted by a female 1000 to one. So
I think that word sexual assault has kind of broadened over the years because I think the prosecutor would have to ask, is it possible for a woman to sexually assault a man? And I think the answer would probably be yes.
Assault. Absolutely. And this is, again, groundbreaking in some ways. And that way, he's not saying that she lured him into the park and raped him. I guess his story is it was consensual, and then it just things happened. It got rough, and he pushed her off and accidentally killed her. Now, that's his claim. He's much bigger man than her. There's that. So yeah, I don't think that she overpowered him. And with his strength and size, I guess he's saying that oops, you know, accidentally strangled her. But Sal, when you have the marks, and the bytes and things in just doesn't add up? Yeah. Those
are the defense wounds that we've all heard about. Yeah, absolutely.
You don't just mistakenly grab someone and strangle them. I mean, even in your sexual past these stories, yeah, it's a very light version. But this is to death, you'd have to really squeeze someone for an extended amount of time to make that happen. Now, let's not forget the facts out that these are very, I'm assuming a nice abbreviated teenagers. That's something we haven't even discussed. They're at the bar until the wee hours of the night, early hours in the morning. They're 18 or 19 years old. He's almost 20, but one of the same. And they had been drinking quite a bit.
Did they do any of that post mortem drug test or a post arrest drug test?
They may have I don't have any of that information. Because you know,
one of the things we've all observed is, if you just get drunk, or if you just do drugs, it's one thing, but when you start mixing, you start mixing the cocaine with the alcohol, you start mixing the heroin with the cocaine, you start mixing the alcohol with the LSD, whatever, when you start mixing, that's when things go nuts.
Yeah. And I'm not making excuses. I'm just saying things can escalate, you're desensitized to things. Things are going hot and heavy. It's taboo to have sex in public, even in the middle of the night, in Central Park. It's tantalizing. It's like, oh, let's do this. And then maybe you're on different pages. And it gets a little rough if she did what he said she did and grabbed his testicles or hurt him in some way. And it took it the wrong way. And he overreact, but he can't tell what's going on. You never know. But it's not like she bumped her head and then died. It was a strangulation with lots of defense wound so that alone so I could never let go of those facts. Yeah, I
think also, if you were a guy in this situation, put yourself in his shoes. And essentially, a woman is attacking you. The instinct is to get away. The instinct is not to attack back, but to back away and get away.
Yeah, and protect yourself. I mean, if somebody really is crazy, and I'm not saying that was Jennifer state, I don't know. But if someone's crazed, coming at me, smaller female or whatever, I'm going to protect myself and get out of there. Absolutely not fight back in any way. Unless there's a gun at play, but that's a whole other story. So now so we get into the jury, and the jury failed to reach a verdict out After nine days of deliberation, Sal Had this been televised like the OJ trial. I mean, it would have scored massive numbers. So
absolutely nine day is it there's one thing that I always say, and I've said this to many friends before first time, probably saying it on the air. If you are guilty, choose a jury. If you are innocent choose a judge these juries they can be swayed.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. Well, they're nine days of deliberation. So then the prosecution allowed chambers to plead guilty to manslaughter. He received a sentence of 15 years because I think if he was convicted by the jury, it probably would have been life in prison or whatever, however many years life was in 86. But it also
differs from state to state. Right. So in New York, right in the late 80s. I don't know what the penalty was in the late 80s for an accidental death during what a sexual act I guess you'd say. Yeah, I don't know. It would differ state to say that if this same murder happened in Texas, or happened in California, all that makes a difference. So now,
post conviction on February 14 2003, Chambers was released from Auburn prison, after having served the entirety of his prison term, due to his numerous infractions, which included dealing drugs, so So he went to prison to become a better convict.
Yeah, that's what happens, you begin to learn from other criminals, you all start to give each other advice on how to be better criminals.
So if you can imagine his release was a media circus highlighted by his appearance on Dateline NBC that day, and in the interview, chambers continued to claim that he accidentally strangled lovin and an attempt to stop her from hurting him during rough sex. He also falsely deny that he'd been disciplined in prison. So he's the same guy south, but now he's dealing drugs. Yeah, he's 1920 years old when he goes to prison. He's now been in prison. 15 years and he's dealing drugs, he comes out what the same story he went in with doesn't seem like there's much remorse from him either. So this is someone who's gone through the system to become a worse person.
Did he ever make one of those courtroom statements or public statements? Because if he did then plead guilty to manslaughter? Did he apologize to the family? Did you ever write them a letter as as customary?
Not, to my knowledge, we might have to see this documentary to shed light on some of these things. We want to learn these little nuggets that we don't know.
I definitely want to see the dateline NBC interview. Absolutely.
So now Jack Dorian, if you remember him, of course, settled with the 11 family on their claim that his bar Dorians red hand, or 11. And chambers had been on the night of her death had served too much alcohol to chambers, and I'm assuming love and for that matter, and let's not forget, he was serving minors, even if they had fake IDs, Sal, de responsibly responsibility is with the establishment.
Yeah, so if you show a fake ID to the establishment, it's up to them to make the correct decision to not serve you. Based on your fake ID. They can't say later, I saw an ID
know for a little while in college, I worked at a liquor store, browns bottleshop was awesome. And every once in a while the ABL commission, this was like the liquor commission would be there on the property. And we would know it, but they were extra strict. And they would watch and they just told me the owners would just say, Listen, I D, everybody, even if they look like they're 80 years old, just make it a habit. Just always ask. And so in those nights, I think two times over the my tenure being there. They were there. And I would just say, Yeah, I need to see your ID. Now we were fortunate enough not to get a fake ID at least I didn't see a fake ID. But if it was really good, and the evil commission was there, they'd probably bust him themselves and not come after a kid who works in a liquor store. But anyway, this place is obviously loaded with minors as was probably every bar in the New York area. But I'm not sure how much Dorian had to pay out. I'm sure it wasn't cheap. Now this guy, yeah, he went to bat for chambers and put his townhouse up for part of the bail. And then he's paying off Levin's family. So man, I kind of feel for this guy.
Yeah. I don't understand why he did that. He was on Chamber's defense. Why was he so defensive of chambers,
and I guess he believed his story. So the Leavens also won a wrongful death lawsuit against chambers, which requires that he pay all lump sums he receives including any income from book or movie deals, plus 10% of his future income, up to 25 million to the Levin family. Wow. This reminds me of the OJ situation And the Goldman's in anything that OJ makes has to go to them. And then he moved to Florida because that state protects your home and your estate. So yeah, this is wow. And I don't know what chambers is making now I know there's been all these times is pop culture Tyent. But surely the artist of the songs aren't paying chambers, maybe the documentary. But did he write a book? What's he cash flowing these days?
Yeah. Has he profited from this murder?
I mean, maybe that movie that came out in the 80s with William Baldwin and Laura Flynn Boyle, maybe there's life rights, he was paid a lump sum? You know, I don't know. These are great questions, but I don't know if we'll ever know the answer to them. So the family the love and family has said all money it gets from chambers will go to victims rights organizations, which is great. Good for them.
Yeah. So the living family is not trying to get rich off their own daughter's murder. No, if he was officially convicted of manslaughter. Can we even call this a murder? Is it a murder? It's a manslaughter Yeah,
it's different. Right? Yeah.
I mean, a manslaughter implies an accidental death. Like if you accidentally hit somebody on their bicycle in your car. That's a manslaughter. You didn't mean to do it. It's not a murder. So this case, even though it formally called the preppy killer, a crappy man, so yeah, there you go. There you go.
So now we're getting into life after prison, if you will, and some of the drug charges that ensued. Now in July 2005. Chambers pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor heroin possession and unlicensed driving and was sentenced on August 29 to 100 days in jail, and fined $200. So right out of the gate, he's been out to what couple of years, and he's already rolled around with heroin and doesn't have a license and he's gone back to jail for three months and paying a fine so Sal, some people just don't learn their lesson.
Well, you know what annoys me even more, Jason is that in 2005, pain $200. In 2021, money is only $273. This guy has heroin possession, unlicensed driving, and gets 100 days and $273 of fine. Well, it's $200 But well, the in today's money 273.
So then on October 22 2007, Chambers was arrested again and this time for possessing and selling cocaine and for resisting arrest. Police say chambers 41 at the time struggled with officers who tried to handcuff him on felony charges. Additionally, Sal chambers girlfriend Shawn Cavell was also arrested for possessing and selling a controlled substance. Now, Sal, they started dating both for the murder trial. Can you believe this? So he loses the girlfriend he kills loving and starts dating Shawn Cavell while the trial was coming into play. This is bizarre,
and then they're still dating afterward. And yes,
she waits to 15 years. Oh my gosh, and now she gets in cahoots with him. And now they're on these drug charges. So and the saga goes on from there, which we're about to get to. So commenting on this arrest prosecutor Linda fairstein who prosecuted chambers for Levin's death said, Doesn't surprise me. I always believed his problems with drug and alcohol would get him in trouble. Again, he's had the opportunity in prison to detox and take college courses to straighten out his life. But that clearly is no interest to him. He's learned nothing in the last 20 years. I completely agree with her.
Well, the only good news and I say the only good news is that it would appear he has not killed anyone else or man slaughtered anyone else. Yeah, that's true.
So then on August 11 2008, the Manhattan DA 's office announced that chambers agreed to a sentence of 19 years and four months and five years probation. The office said that if he had been found guilty at trial, he would have faced 25 years to life. So this is two times he's pleaded to reduce the time. He was sentenced on September 2 2008 and is currently at Sullivan Correctional Facility in upstate New York until 2024. At the earliest and as for Cavell she was able to avoid jail time and received probation by completing a drug rehabilitation program. And to the sentencing prosecutor Linda fairstein said, I think he's somebody who should never walk among us again. He's been given chance after chance after chance. He took A life of a friend, an 18 year old girl with his bare hands.
Well, that sums it up. Yeah, this might come up again, but I'm not in favor of the death penalty. I don't support state sanctioned executions. But I do believe in taking people off the street, who should not be among us. And I definitely believe that this guy, this guy should not be walking around. I mean, you walk out the door, you bump into him at the mall. It shouldn't be that way.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I didn't know this store. I didn't know it was this degenerate criminal that just got worse as he was in the system more I mean, so if he makes it to 2024 and is released, he has spent what a 15 year stretch, almost a 19 and a half year stretch. So what it's almost, what, 35 years, nearly 35 years of prison time. Surely he's not coming out any better off. I mean, maybe he's taking advantage of this current stent to do better. And I don't know if Cavell is sitting around waiting for him. And I would encourage her to move on in life if she hasn't already.
But you know what, though, couples that are bound by drugs or alcohol, that's serious. I mean, all of us has seen these drugged out couples near the bus stop, you know, and fighting, fighting, and they got scratches and bruises. Yep, there they are walking off together. That's a tight bond when you get these couples that are bound by destruction.
Yeah, well, let's hope that those ties have been broken. She went to a center many years ago. Hopefully, she's moved on. And, you know, chambers has few more years left. He's been in there for over a decade already. But I mean, the worst thing about this entire case is the short life of Jennifer Levin, I mean, 18 years old, life was just beginning, going off to college for her freshman year, and her family has this to deal with. And not to mention, as much as this comes up in pop culture, I'm sure it's not a good thing, the wound is always getting reopened. So I hope that money has come in to the family, which then distributes it to other victim organizations. But it was really nice to finally understand and get the whole picture of the property killer. But I hope in 2024, he makes more mistakes in prison and just stays there longer.
That you know, the worst is these families, the victim's family, so like the 11 family, they gotta stay in touch with the parole board, because they want to know, they want to go to the parole meetings and all that. But then you're always tied to that person, and that person is walking out, they're gonna be walking the streets gonna be, you know, working somewhere, maybe, and you're gonna know that they're out there. That must be really horrible to have to live with that every day. It's
got to be tough. So that's the story. It was actually really interesting to read the various publications and kind of put together our take on it. I do want to see the documentary. So we'll have to watch the AMC. Doc, and you and I can chat more about it. And then I'm sure we'll cover the yuppie murder. So I'm really interested in that, as well as the one that came up earlier that his attorney was part of the murdered Yale student Barney garland murdered by Robert Heron. Maybe that's worthwhile, but yeah, a very interesting story. And maybe we'll revisit this as he's potentially released. You never know. We might have a follow up episode.
Well, one thing's for certain Rest in peace, Jennifer lovin.
Absolutely, absolutely. So it's been a lot of fun South six episodes down, we've covered some really interesting things. Again, that's a crime. We cover everything from a misdemeanor to a murder, and we have many more lined up for everybody and really appreciate you tuning in. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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