Homicide: New York: Who Was Jennifer Stahl and What Happened to Her?

Jennifer Stahl
Photo Credit: Netflix

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

Netflix recently released a docuseries titled Homicide: New York, which delved into 5 shocking cases that took place in New York City. Created by Dick Wolf, the first episode was titled “Carnegie Deli Massacre”. In this episode, investigators explored the murders of Jennifer Stahl and her friends, Stephen King, and Charles “Trey” Helliwell.

Reports suggest that Jennifer Stahl was a background dancer in the film, Dirty Dancing. According to People Magazine, on the night of May 10, 2001, Stahl, Stephen King, Charles “Trey” Helliwell, Rosemond Dane, and Anthony Veadar were having a gathering in Stahl’s apartment, which was located above the historic Carnegie Deli. Unfortunately, when the party was in full swing, they heard a buzz at the door. Upon answering the door, two armed men entered and attempted to rob Stahl of both marijuana and cash.

Soon, the intruders shot all five of them in the head, which resulted in King and Helliwell’s instant death. After the intruders left, Veader, whose injury was minor, called 911 and informed dispatch of the entire ordeal. Both Veader and Dane survived the attack, however, Jennifer Stahl succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. The individuals responsible for this tragedy were Sean Salley and Andre “Dre” Smith.

As per Tudeum by Netflix, the synopsis of this episode reads, “In 2001, the authorities are called to an apartment located directly above Carnegie Deli. A historic eatery popular with tourists in Manhattan’s theater district.”

Furthermore, it reads, “Five victims have been shot, execution-style. Four of them are found with binding at the wrists and ankles. The shooting occurred at the apartment of Jennifer Stahl, a background dancer in the movie Dirty Dancing.”

Homicide: New York: How many years were Jennifer Stahl’s killers sentenced to?

According to Oxygen True Crime, Sean Salley and Andre “Dre” Smith were charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder, and charges related to robbery and weapons possession. Moreover, on June 18, 2002, the court found them guilty and soon sentenced them to 120 years in prison.

Authorities identified Salley and Smith from surveillance footage of the duo entering Jennifer Stahl’s apartment. According to People Magazine, Smith surrendered himself to the police, but he denied any involvement in the case. Nevertheless, NYPD Det. Irma Rivera managed to extract the truth from him.

Officials soon tracked down Salley and he said that he intended to rob Stahl but his gun went off accidentally. Sally stated that Smith was responsible for the murders. However, authorities weren’t convinced by the former’s revelation.

Apparently, Jennifer Stahl had a profitable side hustle by selling marijuana to a clientele in New York’s theater and media districts. According to Det. Irma Rivera, the product Stahl sold was “gourmet weed”. Also, she stated, “There were a bunch of jars, and all the jars had buds of marijuana in them. I realized that this was not a weed that people sell on the street; it seemed more like gourmet weed to me.”

According to The New York Times, Jennifer Stahl was 39 years old at the time of her death.

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