Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Killing in Central Park: The Preppy Murder Case

"I Think I Killed It!"

The case moved forward at a snail's pace. Chambers' videotaped confession was ruled admissible, though in a slightly edited version. Edited out was D.A. Saracco's sarcastic questioning on the night of August 26, 1986, in which he expressed obvious doubt about Chambers' responses. Statements made by Saracco such as, "If I was sitting here telling you this story, you'd be laughing" and "I really don't believe what you're saying!" would never be heard by the jury.

In the meantime, Chambers complained to many people that he would have to go to jail. To his family and acquaintances, he played the role of the victim. It was he who was being sent to prison, it was he who was being vilified and persecuted. This was the theme Chambers repeated over and over again. The entire year of 1987 went by while Litman filed motion after motion in Judge Bell's court. Each motion had to be addressed, argued and decided upon. This ate up a great deal of time. The press grew tired of the delay and said so in several editorials. But unknown to the public, Chambers did not stay at home and sulk while waiting for trial. He attended parties, went out to the local bars and often met with friends to socialize and talk about his future.

In December of 1987, Chambers attended such a party given by a friend who had once attended York Prep while he was a student. Her name was Melissa Buschell. She invited several of her girlfriends over and after drinking for a time; they came up with the idea of videotaping themselves. When Chambers arrived, he joined in the fun and Melissa taped the scene while the girls fooled around and performed comedy routines for the camera. Chambers began to roll on the floor mugging for the camera. He took a woman's wig and placed it on his head and in his crotch area as the girls giggled continuously. He choked himself with his own hands as he gagged loudly. He picked up a doll and held it close to the camera while he twisted its neck. Chambers spoke in a high female voice as he said, "My name is..." The head to the doll suddenly came off the body. "Ooops," he said in a maniacal voice. "I think I killed it!" The room erupted in laughter. The girls, some who were Jennifer's friends, perhaps did not realize the symbolism of Chambers' wretched behavior. The tape was placed aside and forgotten...for a time.

 

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