Who Killed a “Dirty Dancing ”Background Dancer in Her N.Y.C. Apartment, Located Above Famous Eatery?

The first episode of 'Homicide: New York,' which delves into the infamous case, is streaming on Netflix

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Jennifer Stahl

Courtesy of Netflix

Jennifer Stahl

When three people were killed and another two injured after being lined up and shot inside an apartment located above New York City’s iconic Carnegie Deli in May 2001, a media storm ensued.

The execution-style murders, which occurred in the apartment of a background dancer in the movie Dirty Dancing, are the subject of the first episode of a new Netflix true crime series, Homicide: New York. The show features interviews with various New York law enforcement figures, including NYPD detectives who worked the featured cases.

The episode, titled “Carnegie Deli Massacre,” covers the brutal murders of Jennifer Stahl, Charles “Trey” Helliwell and Stephen King. The violence occurred in Stahl’s apartment, located above the famous eatery on 7th Avenue that closed in 2016.

In that apartment, Stahl — a dancer, actress and singer, who recorded music in a converted studio in her apartment — supported her artistic lifestyle by selling marijuana.

<p>Kevin Hagen/Getty</p> Carnegie Deli

Kevin Hagen/Getty

Carnegie Deli

On May 10, 2000, Stahl was drinking wine in her home with King, who was working in the apartment that night; Helliwell and his girlfriend, Rosemond Dane, who were visiting New York; and Anthony Veader, Stahl’s hairdresser. After a buzz at the door, two armed men entered and attempted to rob Stahl of both marijuana and cash. Stahl was taken to her converted studio by one gunman, while the other assailant taped the hands of the visitors, detectives recall.

Minutes after the gunmen entered, the Stahl and her four guests were all shot in the head. King and Helliwell died on scene, while Stahl died after being taken to the hospital. Dane was seriously injured but survived, while Veader suffered a relatively minor injury and called 911 after the two intruders fled the apartment.

Detectives and other investigators who worked the murder case are featured prominently in Homicide, which is executive produced by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Former NYPD Det. Irma Rivera

Courtesy of Netflix

Former NYPD Det. Irma Rivera

The bodies of the victims were found in the apartment, with their hands duct-taped. Barbara Butcher, a death investigator for the medical examiner’s office, reveals which clue led investigators to believe that the perpetrators might have been known to Stahl, in an clip shared with PEOPLE shown below.

“They didn’t break in, the door’s not broken down,” Butcher recalls of the crime scene. “So that gives you some clue.”

The two suspects, the episode reveals, were seen on surveillance entering the apartment building. Eventually, they were identified as Sean Salley, an acquaintance of Stahl's, and a second man, Andre Smith.

Smith turned himself in two weeks after the shooting. But despite speaking to several detectives, Smith did not initially admit any involvement. But retired NYPD Det. Irma Rivera, whose distinct New York accent is featured prominently in the episode, was able to get him to crack.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Victims of the shooting above the Carnegie Deli

Courtesy of Netflix

Victims of the shooting above the Carnegie Deli

Rivera details how she attempted to relate in a personal way to Smith, who finally said he needed money for diapers, which is why he decided to rob Stahl. But he said no one was supposed to be killed, and pinned the murders on Salley.

For his part, Salley, who knew Stahl from his time in the music industry, was still nowhere to be found. After checking multiple possible addresses in New York and New Jersey, detectives applied for the case to appear on America’s Most Wanted

The case was picked up by the hit show and Salley’s face was plastered on network television. The detectives on the show recall how calls flooded in. The elusive Salley was eventually found in Miami, having traveled from New Orleans after taking a bus from New York.

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Rivera was sent down to Miami to interrogate Salley, who claimed he had intended to rob Stahl, when his gun went off accidentally, and that it was Smith who killed the other two victims. But authorities didn’t buy it.

Following a trial that was delayed by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, both Salley and Smith were convicted of murder and sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Homicide: New York is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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