New York’s Infamous ‘Preppy Killer’ Who Strangled Teen Girl In 80s Released From Prison

Robert Chambers was serving time for drug charges.
Robert Chambers, the accused in the so-called "Preppy Murder", eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. He insisted that he had unintentionally strangled Levin during rough sex while in Central Park, where her body was found. Here he faces reporters after being released from the Riker's Island jail on $150,000 bond. 1986.
Getty Images

New York City’s infamous “Preppy Killer,” Robert Chambers, who brutally strangled a teen girl in Central Park in 1986, has been released from prison on parole after serving 15 years in prison on separate drug charges.

Chambers, 56, was released Tuesday from New York’s Shawangunk Correctional Facility about 70 miles north of Manhattan, the scene of his violent crime, state Department of Correction records show.

Chambers’ actions first led to lurid headlines when he fatally strangled 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in Central Park on August 26, 1986, when he was 19.

He was dubbed the “Preppy Killer” by the media at the time because of his clean-shaven appearance. He also earned the moniker the “Central Park Strangler.”

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert Chambers Jr., suspect in the murder of Jennifer Levin, along with his attorney Jack Litman (left) and his father Robert Chambers Sr. (right) as they leave Manhattan Criminal Court after a trial date was set. (Photo by Charles Frattini/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Charles Frattini/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

The two mingled in a high society social circle, and Chambers had a reputation as popular with the ladies and a drug user.

On the night of the murder, both Chambers and Levin were at Dorrian’s Red Hand, a bar on the Upper East Side. Levin reportedly expressed her desire for a serious relationship to Chambers, and the two left the bar to have sex near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The tryst ended with Chambers becoming violent and Levin fighting for her life in a struggle that lasted several minutes. Chambers beat her and smothered her with his jacket.

Levin’s half-naked corpse was found by a bicyclist early the next morning. Chambers reportedly hid nearby and watched as police began investigating the scene.


Chambers changed his story several times but eventually stuck to his claim that he had strangled Levin by accident to stop her from hurting him during “rough sex.”

The sexual assault claim raised eyebrows since Chambers was more than a foot taller than the 5’4″ Levin and almost double her weight.

“I’ve been in this business for a while, and you’re the first man I’ve seen raped in Central Park,” the prosecutor told Chambers at the time.

Chambers was convicted of manslaughter nearly two years after the killing and sentenced to 15 years behind bars in April 1988.

The jury initially failed to reach a verdict after nine days, so Chambers accepted a plea deal from the prosecution, pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter and admitting that he intended to hurt Levin enough to kill her.

“It breaks my heart to have to say that. The Levin family has gone through hell because of my actions, and I am sorry,” Chambers said in court during his sentencing.

Chambers was eventually released in 2003 amid frenzied media coverage after serving his entire prison term due to many infractions.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 14: Robert Chambers, wearing a red sweater on a chilly Valentine's Day and clutching a paper bag, brushes past reporters and cameras upon his release from Auburn Correctional Facility this morning. Chambers, the so-called "Preppie Killer," served 15 years for the murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in Central Park on Aug. 26, 1986. (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

(Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

However, he landed back behind bars for selling cocaine and heroin out of his Manhattan apartment and resisting arrest.

His legal team said Chambers himself had been a drug addict since he was a young teenager and was using an enormous amount of heroin daily. However, prosecutors argued that Chambers was a drug dealer and had sold thousands in drugs, including $2,800 in heroin to undercover police.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 24: Preppie killer Robert Chambers leaves Manhattan Supreme Court after he was charged with possessing a trace of crack cocaine and driving with a suspended license. Chambers was arrested two nights ago in Harlem after a police officer stopped his car. In 1988, Chambers confessed to strangling 18-year-old Jennifer Levin two years earlier during a tryst in Central Park. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served 15 years. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

In 2008, Chambers pled guilty to selling drugs, and he was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Chambers’ current whereabouts are unknown for the time being. He will be on parole until 2028, according to prison records.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  New York’s Infamous ‘Preppy Killer’ Who Strangled Teen Girl In 80s Released From Prison