30 years ago today, ‘Preppy Murder’ shocked NYC

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NEW YORK — Thirty years ago Friday, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin was found strangled in Central Park in one of the most shocking murders that occurred in the City’s history.

Her killer, Robert Chambers, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served 15 years in prison.

Nicknamed the “preppy killer” for his time spent at several prep schools in the city, Chambers was 19 when he strangled Levin in the early hours of the morning on August 26, 1986 in Central Park.

The two had met up that night at Dorrian’s Red Hand bar, a popular spot at the time for prep school students. They left together and headed to Central Park around 4:30 a.m.

A bicyclist found her body around 6:15 a.m. under a tree in the park behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Her body was partially clothed and badly bruised, and there were strangulation marks around her neck.

Chambers initially denied being involved during questioning despite the scratch marks on his face.

During the highly publicized trial, Chambers initially entered a plea of not guilty, but agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter after the jury was deadlocked for nine days.

Chambers was a college drop out and had been kicked out of several prep schools he attended. He was part of a friend group of wealthy teens who lived on the Upper East Side and came from wealthy families; thus the nickname “preppy killer.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.