Dancing in the Dark: Secrets of the Chippendales Murders Documentary Series, the Crimes, Arson, and Murder.

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Now airing in the UK, the new A&E documentary series ‘Secrets of the Chippendales Murders’ is available through Crime + Investigation Play on Amazon Prime.

Through exclusive interviews, never-before-seen crime scene video and declassified FBI surveillance audio, the limited series unravels the hidden tale of how sex, jealousy, arson, hefty-bags filled with cash and mafia shakedowns all led up to one of the most outrageous murders in American history.

Watch the trailer for Secrets of the Chippendales Murders

Secrets of The Chippendales Murders

In the early 1980s, the Chippendales emerged as a male exotic dance troupe that would take the world by storm.

Founded by Somen “Steve” Banerjee and Bruce Nahin, the group initially performed at a Los Angeles nightclub called Destiny II.

The Chippendales were an instant sensation, and their shows quickly became popular with bachelorette parties and birthday celebrations.

However, beneath the glitz and glamour, a darker side lurked, riddled with crime, murder, and arson.

The Arson Attacks

Steve Banerjee, a driving force behind the Chippendales’ success, was no stranger to controversy.

Determined to eliminate competition, he orchestrated a series of arson attacks on rival clubs in the early 1980s.

Banerjee hired a man to carry out the arsons, successfully destroying two competing venues.

While these incidents were shrouded in mystery at the time, Banerjee’s involvement would only come to light years later.

Dancing in the Dark: Secrets of the Chippendales Murders Documentary Series, the Crimes, Arson, and Murder.

The Murder Plot

The Chippendales continued to prosper throughout the 1980s. Essential to their prosperity was Emmy-winning producer Nick de Noia, who collaborated with Banerjee to bring a unique flair to the Chippendales formula.

An experienced entertainer, de Noia started receiving much more recognition and acclaim than the club’s initial founder.

This did not sit well with Banerjee, and the duo’s relationship began to sour, particularly after they agreed on a deal, scribbled on a cocktail napkin, which granted de Noia the touring rights.

Banerjee believed the most effective way to handle this situation was to orchestrate de Noia’s murder.

He sought the help of his friend from the Bronx, Ray Colon, who engaged a hitman named Louie.

Louie entered de Noia’s Manhattan office in 1987 and shot him in the face, resulting in his untimely death.

More Murder Plots

Banerjee and new aide, Ray Colon, a former Palm Springs police officer and lounge room entertainer, began planning more murders for hire.

They hired a hitman named Strawberry to travel to England to kill members of a rival tour group. But Strawberry decided to tell the FBI everything, fearing he would be next.

When the case landed on the FBI’s desk, they suddenly had a 1987 murder, multiple arsons, planned murders in England and a decades-long conspiracy in the male stripping industry.

Colon and Banerjee were arrested in 1993, on charges of attempted arson, racketeering and murder for hire. In 1994, before he could be sentenced, Banerjee killed himself in his prison cell.

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The Fall and Rise of the Chippendales Empire

Despite the shocking crimes and controversy surrounding their early years, the Chippendales brand has managed to survive and even thrive.

The group continues to perform, capitalising on their iconic status and entertaining audiences around the world.

But the sinister past of the Chippendales is a stark reminder that not all that glitters is gold, and that behind the dazzling performances, a tragic tale of crime and murder still casts a long shadow.

Catch Secrets of the Chippendales Murders on A&E in the US or Crime + Investigation Play in the UK.

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