Wasted: Inside the Robert Chambers–Jennifer Levin Murder

Open Road Media
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A New York Times Notable Book: Acclaimed true-crime journalist Linda Wolfe delivers a riveting, comprehensive account of the Preppie Murder, a crime that shocked a city and a nation.

It was called the Preppie Murder—a killer and a victim who were attractive, smart, privileged teenagers. On an August night in 1986 Jennifer Levin left a Manhattan bar with Robert Chambers. The next morning, her strangled, battered body was found in Central Park.
 
Linda Wolfe, hailed by critic John Leonard as “one of our best reporters,” goes beyond the headlines and media hype to re-create a story of privilege and excess, sex and partying—of a teenager whose immigrant mother was determined to make a better life for her son, a petty thief and drug user who’d been expelled from the best schools. It’s all here, from the initial police investigation, during which Chambers claimed Levin died accidentally during rough sex, to the media frenzy of the courtroom, where Chambers took an eleventh-hour plea. Wolfe also delivers heartbreaking portraits of Levin’s grief-stricken father, Chambers’s in-denial mother, and the women who dated the accused Preppie Killer while he was out on bail.
 
A finalist for the 1990 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, Wasted also powerfully depicts the freewheeling 1980s society that spawned a generation steeped in violence and the fatal impulses that drove Robert Chambers to kill.
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About the author

Linda Wolfe is the author of five true-crime books: The Professor and the Prostitute and Other True Tales of Murder and Madness, Love Me to Death, Double Life, The Murder of Dr. Chapman, and Wasted: Inside the Robert Chambers–Jennifer Levin Murder, an Edgar Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of My Daughter, Myself, a memoir; The Literary Gourmet, a classic cookbook; and Private Practices, a novel. Wolfe’s articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of magazines, among them Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine, and New York magazine, of which she was a contributing editor. She currently writes a column about books for the website www.FabOverFifty.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 26, 2014
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Pages
263
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ISBN
9781497637405
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Language
English
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Genres
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 

"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review

SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
       
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
      Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
      In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
      In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
Five torn-from-the-headlines true crime books from an Edgar Award–nominated author and “one of our best reporters” (John Leonard).

Linda Wolfe delves deep into the crimes that defy explanation—and the twisted minds of those who commit them. In these five books, she combines masterful storytelling with brilliant psychological insight.
 
Wasted: On an August night in 1986, Jennifer Levin left a Manhattan bar with Robert Chambers. The next morning, her strangled, battered body was found in Central Park. This New York Times Notable Book provides a “fascinating, horrifying, and heart-breaking” account of the so-called Preppie Murder, the crime that shocked a city and a nation (Ann Rule).
 
The Professor and the Prostitute: The chilling case of a college professor who bludgeoned to death the prostitute he loved—plus eight other true crimes, including the bizarre story of the Marcus brothers, twin gynecologists, that inspired the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers.
 
Double Life: The riveting story of how the chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals was brought down by his sexual obsession with a stunning socialite.
 
The Murder of Dr. Chapman: Wolfe skillfully weaves court transcripts, love letters, and period recollections into an edge-of-your-seat historical thriller about a notorious crime of passion that rocked pre–Civil War America.
 
Love Me to Death: Wolfe embarks on a search for the serial killer who murdered her friend in this “intriguing insider’s look into the convoluted mind of a killer” (The Plain Dealer).
Five torn-from-the-headlines true crime books from an Edgar Award–nominated author and “one of our best reporters” (John Leonard).

Linda Wolfe delves deep into the crimes that defy explanation—and the twisted minds of those who commit them. In these five books, she combines masterful storytelling with brilliant psychological insight.
 
Wasted: On an August night in 1986, Jennifer Levin left a Manhattan bar with Robert Chambers. The next morning, her strangled, battered body was found in Central Park. This New York Times Notable Book provides a “fascinating, horrifying, and heart-breaking” account of the so-called Preppie Murder, the crime that shocked a city and a nation (Ann Rule).
 
The Professor and the Prostitute: The chilling case of a college professor who bludgeoned to death the prostitute he loved—plus eight other true crimes, including the bizarre story of the Marcus brothers, twin gynecologists, that inspired the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers.
 
Double Life: The riveting story of how the chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals was brought down by his sexual obsession with a stunning socialite.
 
The Murder of Dr. Chapman: Wolfe skillfully weaves court transcripts, love letters, and period recollections into an edge-of-your-seat historical thriller about a notorious crime of passion that rocked pre–Civil War America.
 
Love Me to Death: Wolfe embarks on a search for the serial killer who murdered her friend in this “intriguing insider’s look into the convoluted mind of a killer” (The Plain Dealer).
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