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Subject: Mike Sheehan, NYC detective-turned-reporter, key investigator in the Central Park Five case and the arrest of “preppie killer” Robert Chambers

Dead at 71
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Date Posted: Saturday, June 08, 11:55:36am


NYC Crime
New York

Retired Central Park Five detective, news reporter Mike Sheehan dies

By Thomas Tracy | New York Daily News | Jun 08, 2019 | 10:27 AM

Veteran New York City detective-turned-reporter Mike Sheehan, a key investigator in the Central Park Five case and the arrest of “preppie killer” Robert Chambers, has died, colleagues said.

Friends were told of his passing early Saturday. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but people who knew him have said he had kidney problems.

“He was a great detective,” said Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD’s Detectives Endowment Association. “He was one of those old-time detectives that people write the books and make the movies about.”

Sheehan, 71, spent 25 years with the NYPD, dealing with such high-profile cases as the Robert Chambers so-called preppie murder and the controversial Central Park jogger investigation in 1989 that led to five black teens being convicted of rape and the charges later being vacated.

Palladino said that even after Sheehan left the department, he was a cops’ mentor. “Not only did he love being a detective, he loved mentoring young cops who aspired to wear the gold shield,” he told The News.

Sheehan left police work in 1993 and became a reporter for Fox 5, where he worked until 2009. He was fired after being arrested for hitting an NYPD horse with his car.

“It was a kick in the chest,” Sheehan told the Daily News at the time. “Sixteen years I’ve been there. I can’t believe it. Apparently, they want to terminate me based on this ridiculous accident." Sheehan later pleaded guilty to driving drunk and slamming into the horse.

The Central Park jogger case has been under renewed public scrutiny since the release of the Netflix mini series “How They See Us." Director Ava DuVernay’s take on the headline-grabbing rape case has ignited a firestorm of indignation, most notably over Manhattan prosecutor-turned-author Linda Fairstein’s handling of the case. On Friday, Fairstein’s publisher cut ties with her.

Sheehan is survived by his wife Denise and daughter Clair.

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