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Video: a Partying ‘Preppie’ Killer in the Days Before His Trial

May 16, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A videotape shows an ex-prep school student who strangled a woman in Central Park acting out strangulations and partying with nearly naked women before testimony in his murder trial, according to television producers.

The videotape, obtained by the nationally syndicated program ″A Current Affair,″ is to be used in a two-part story on the Robert Chambers case scheduled for broadcast tonight and Tuesday.

The tape shown to reporters Sunday was made in a Manhattan apartment last December around the time a jury was being selected for Chambers’ trial for the 1986 death of 18-year-old Jennifer Dawn Levin, according to Rafael Abramovitz, a reporter-producer for the show.

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Miss Levin was killed during a sexual encounter.

In one of the most bizarre sequences on the tape, Chambers, 21, is seen sitting, his back to the camera, facing several young women and playing with a doll.

Suddenly, a grinning Chambers looks into the camera, and twists the small doll’s head.

″My name is ...,″ Chambers said in a falsetto, his voice trailing off. ″Oops, I think I’ve killed it. Both of its eyes are like ...″

At another point, Chambers performed in a game of charades by grabbing his neck in a tight grip with his right hand and collapsing to the floor.

″Death of a Salesman,″ one of the young women guessed correctly.

The 40-minute tape, reportedly made during a late-night party, features four young women, who at various times wear casual clothing, pajamas or bras and panties.

Chambers wears a T-shirt and slacks throughout, and is the only man present during most of the party. Another young man arrives late in the tape.

Throughout the taping, Chambers was aware of the camera and at times appeared to hold it himself.

Abramovitz and senior producer Peter Brennan would not say who provided the tape or whether the program paid for it.

They also declined to identify the young women seen on the tape, except to say they were friends or acquaintances of Chambers and Miss Levin.

Chambers’ trial came to an abrupt end March 21 when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He is serving a five-to-15-year prison sentence.

″A Current Affair″ is produced by WNYW-TV in New York and distributed nationally by 20th Century Fox Syndicate.