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No remorse

National | Robert Chambers to leave prison on Valentine's Day

Issue: "The cost of war," Feb. 15, 2003

Robert Chambers is New York City's living nightmare. The confessed "Preppie Killer" strangled 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in Central Park back in 1986. Now he's back, scheduled to leave prison-on Valentine's Day-after serving the maximum time on his manslaughter conviction.

The handsome college dropout, now 36, once dominated tabloid headlines. His defense was startling: He claimed Levin died from consensual "rough sex" gone amok. The teenager's battered body was found under a tree behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Her killer eventually pleaded guilty but expressed no remorse. "I guess I could also give you the party line and say, 'I have learned my lesson, I will never do this again,'" he said at a 1995 parole hearing. "But that's not how I feel at this moment."

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With good behavior, Mr. Chambers would have been free back in June 1997. But he wasn't exactly a model prisoner. He was busted behind bars for an assortment of violations, including heroin possession, assaulting a guard, and weapon possession. He spent about a third of his time in solitary confinement, and authorities refused him parole five times.

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