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"Preppy Killer" Robert Chambers Released from Prison on Parole After Serving 15 Years for Drug and Assault Charges
Robert Chambers, who was known as the "Preppy Killer," was convicted of the 1986 killing of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, whom he'd claimed died during "rough sex."
New York City's infamous “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers, who was convicted of strangling a teenage girl to death in 1986, was released from prison last week after serving 15 years on unrelated drug and assault charges.
Chambers, 56, walked out of the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in New York last Tuesday after being granted parole in his 19-year prison sentence for those crimes, according to online records from the New York Department of Corrections.
He'd been serving time after being convicted of the criminal sale of controlled substances and second-degree assault, according to records, and will remain under supervision through 2028.
Chambers was nicknamed the “Preppy Killer” in connection to the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, whose body was found under a tree in Manhattan's Central Park on August 26, 1986.
Chambers, a 21-year-old prep student at the time, was the last person to see Levin before she died, and eventually admitted to investigators that he killed Levin, but maintained that her death was an accident after a round of “rough sex” between the two friends in the park.
He agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter after a deadlocked jury in his 1988 murder trial, the New York Times reported. Chambers admitted to having caused the teenager’s death with intent to seriously injure her.
The former prep student was released in 2003 for the manslaughter conviction, but was sent back to prison for the unrelated drug and assault charges in 2008, records show.
Levin's death dominated New York City tabloid coverage for months and made headlines across the country due to Chambers' good looks and scandalous claims about the incident.
In a 2002 interview with CNN, Ellen Levin, the victim’s mother, said she had never met Chambers prior to her daughter's death, adding that she found out about the relationship after her death, and was shocked to hear Chambers' "rough sex" claims.
“She was a popular girl. She loved going out. She loved her friends,” Ellen Levin said. She described her daughter as a wonderful kid who was loved by everyone. At the time of her death, Levin was set to begin studies at a Boston junior college.
“One of the things that I've said before and I believe that this media inspection that happens around trials, murder trials, I mean, it doesn't — it's not good for either the criminal or the victims,” Ellen Levin told CNN. “It just — it makes the victims or their families miserable and uncomfortable, and it makes a celebrity out of the criminal.”
Levin's killing was so extensively covered that it was later dramatized in several film and TV projects. It was the basis of a 1989 film starring Billy Baldwin as Chambers and Lara Flynn Boyle as Levin. The case was also revisited in The Preppy Murder, an AMC five-part docuseries about the killing.