“Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” by The Killers
The Killers had their inspiration to write “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” from the 1986 killing of Jennifer Levin by her boyfriend, Robert Chambers. Chambers was charged with manslaughter and was given 15 years jail sentence.
In this song, The Killers try to narrate the whole incidence and how Chambers ended up not being charged with murder. The title probably suggests that the two lovers (Robert and Jennifer) were very close and it would be somehow impossible for him to carry out that action. The song ends by highlighting Chambers’ stance that the death of his lover was merely an accident.
Writing, Recording and Release of “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”
The song was released in June 2004 with Brandon Flowers, and Mark Stoermer as its writers.
Flowers stated in an interview that working together as a team helped them to overcome certain barriers while recording the track.
It was the first single on the band’s “Hot Fuss” album.
The Incident that inspired the Song
Robert Chambers, who was popular in the media circles as ‘Preppy Killer’, and Jennifer Levin were known to be lovers and spent lots of time together. On August 26, 1986, the couple went out on a date at a local bar called Dorrian’s Red Hand. They later took a walk to the Central Park where the murder took place. During his trial, Chambers argued that the death of his lover was an accident and was a result of some injuries she sustained during sex. However, further examination proved that the victim was strangled and was left with some fingernail scratches on her body. Chambers clothes were found some kilometers away which lead to his arrest.
During his interrogation, he gave conflicting accounts which made him a prime suspect. He was later charged with second-degree murder. He was represented in court by Jack Litman who argued that the cause of her death was through “rough sex”. After pleading guilty of manslaughter, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
In 2007, four years after serving his prison term, he was arrested again and charged on three counts for dealing in regulated drugs. He was slapped with 19 years jail sentence in 2008 after he pleaded guilty of the charges.