31-year-old Jonathan Levin failed to show up at work and raised concern among his friends and co-workers. The famous English teacher, at William Howard Taft High school in the Bronx, had been murdered on May 30, 1997. Investigators searched his Upper West Side apartment in New York and found his dead body tied with a tape to a chair. According to the police, Levin had been shot once in the head and stabbed in the chest.
Jonathan Levin was the son of Gerald Levin, the Time Warner chairperson, and was known to be wealthy. According to sources, Jonathan Levin rarely mentioned that his dad was an executive in Time Warner. When his bank records were scrutinized, the detectives discovered that $800 had been withdrawn from his account around the time he was murdered. His bank card was also missing from his wallet.
Levin’s news was received with grief both in Time Warmer media and at William Howard Taft High School. Initially, the police did not have any suspects, as there were no signs of forced entry into his one-bedroom apartment at 205 Columbus Avenue. His neighbors were surprised to learn about his wealth and prominence after his death.
According to Matthew Dwyer, who was a teacher friend, Mr. Levin was focused on making his own way. According to Dwyer, “He wanted to be his own man.” Dwyer further admitted that even though Levin was close to his father, he did not want to be known as the son of an executive. That was the case despite his love and respect for his father.
After conducting investigations, the police discovered that Levin was to have a meeting with one of his former student, Corey Arthur. The former student, in Levin’s remedial English class, had left a message on Levin’s answering machine, on May 30, requesting a meeting. As investigations revealed later, Arthur and his partner, Montoun Hart, had tortured the teacher using a kitchen knife because they wanted his debit card information. The two killers had turned on a stereo system and a vacuum cleaner to cover up any noise from their victim. The tenant living below Levin later admitted hearing noises on the wooden floor above, as well as a lengthy drone from a television.
Arthur was arrested a week after the incident, and to his defense, he claimed he had visited the teacher’s apartment to smoke crack when two men walked in and killed Levin. Arthur even denied accusations of being responsible for pulling the trigger that killed the favorite teacher. His claims failed to prove his innocence as his fingerprints were later found on the duct tape that had been used to bind Levin.
Arthur was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of second-degree murder. On the other hand, Hart was acquitted after convincing jurors that his previous 11-page confession had been coerced out of him while he was intoxicated.
According to Levin’s friends, he had wanted to do something more with his life, and it seemed teaching was his calling. Levin was beloved by his students, who admitted he helped them appreciate the art of literature.