Sean Salley And Andre Smith In ‘Homicide: New York’ Episode 1 “Carnegie Deli Massacre” Recap

The more crime documentaries I watch, the more I realize how tough and terrifying a job it is to become a detective, especially for homicide cases. It takes a lot of courage and an open mind at the same time to confront a killer and make them talk about what they did and why they did it. Netflix has always done a great job when it comes to true crime docuseries, and another intriguing series was recently added to their list. Homicide: New York is a five-part docuseries that showcases five bone-chilling murder cases that took place in NYC. Both the detective squads from Manhattan South and North shared their experiences dealing with these crimes and how they had been able to find the murderers and bring them to justice. Here’s our recap of the first episode of this series, Carnegie Deli Massacre, that talks about how these diligent detectives triumphed in their mission to capture the perpetrator of the massacre.


Spoilers Ahead

What Happened At Jennifer Stahl’s Apartment?

On May 10, 2001, a horrifying bloodbath took place in the apartment of Jennifer Stahl in Carnegie Deli. The detective, Scott Wagner, was informed of the murder case, so without wasting a second, he showed up at the scene in his casual attire. There were five dead bodies in the apartment, including Jennifer’s, and two others were severely injured. Rosamund and Veader were Jennifer’s closest friends, who survived despite getting shot in the head.


Jennifer Stahl was an aspiring actress and a weed dealer who wanted to make money and make connections in the art industry. In that way, she had been able to make many friends who usually came to her place to hang out with her and smoke weed. On May 10, Jennifer was hanging out with her friends when one of her friends, Stephen, received a call from a guy named “Sean.” As Jennifer allowed his entrance, two individuals entered the apartment and held them at gunpoint. They entered the apartment in order to rob them of their weed and money, but instead, they held everyone there captive and threatened to kill them. They took Jennifer to her art studio and shot her in cold blood. Not only Jennifer, but her friends were also killed by those two intruders, except for Veader and Rosamund. After the perpetrators left the apartment, Veader dialed 911 and informed the authorities about the bloodbath.

Who Were The Perpetrators Of The Crime?

The investigation started, and the detective squad led by the death investigator, Barbara Butcher, found some footprints and fingerprints in the entire apartment. They also got their hands on CCTV footage showing two African American men entering the apartment, and one of them was tall and had dreadlocks. First and foremost, the entire suspicion fell upon Jennifer’s boyfriend, who was also a black man with dreadlocks. Everyone, even Jennifer’s close friends, thought it might be her boyfriend, but he was quickly ruled out as a suspect. However, Rosemund, who was also one of the survivors, gave her statement, and mentioned the name “Sean.” As it was revealed that Sean might be acquainted with Jennifer, the detectives began to look into this name and found that an individual named Sean Salley had worked as a roadie for the rock band Funkadelic. Soon another nickname, “Dre,” emerged, which helped the investigation move forward. The footage had been shown to a great many people, and one of them recognized both Andre Smith and Sean Salley from it.


What Happened To Sean Salley And Andre Smith? 

Andre Smith was soon arrested and brought into custody for further interrogation. After an extensive interrogation by the male detectives, when Andre wasn’t yet ready to confess his crimes, Detective Irma took the lead and came forward to interrogate him. She softened him up by asking him about his personal life and his family background. As Andre felt more and more vulnerable, he finally agreed to confess his crimes. He said that he and Sean had been dealing with a huge financial crisis, so they decided to rob the weed dealer’s apartment, but after everything went as planned, Sean began to shoot everyone out of the blue, shocking Andre as well. However, even though Andre’s statement was accepted, he was also seen as a perpetrator because he participated in this crime. The search for Sean Salley began, and his picture was put up on “America’s most wanted” list, which helped the NYPD get a tip on Salley’s whereabouts. The detectives finally got a lead in Miami, where Sean Salley had been hiding himself in a homeless shelter following the murder case. The police reached the shelter, and with the help of the police dog, they finally tracked down the criminal, who was hiding in his haven. Sean Salley and Andre Smith were found guilty of murder charges for the 2001 homicide of Jennifer Stahl and her friends. 

The survivors of this attack, as well as their families and Jennifer’s other close friends, also shared their experiences with the result of the investigation. They found a big relief as the culprit was finally put behind bars. The detectives shared their experiences as well, elaborating on how they interrogated these criminals and what psychological changes they got to see in the perpetrators. Detective Butcher remarked how Sean tried to save his neck by calling everything an accident, while Jennifer’s close proximity bullet wound suggested that the shooting was performed very intentionally and consciously. However, Detective Irma made an interesting remark on these killers’ psychology, pointing out how Sean Salley’s face showed a significant sign of relief after getting caught, because after a long time being on the run, the perpetrators somehow want to get caught to put an end to this hide-and-seek game.


Detective Butcher also remarked that evidence is the sole important thing to rely on during a crime investigation. Because humans lie a lot to protect themselves, but evidence never lies, which is why a diligent detective would always rely on the evidence more than the testimonies. In the upcoming episodes of the docuseries Homicide: New York we’ll be introduced to more intriguing criminal cases and the thorough investigation performed by the detective officers of the NYPD. 

Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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