Legal Issues

Who Killed Nick De Noia?

The world of entertainment and crime collided in a shocking way in the 1980s, when a notorious murder shook the core of the Chippendales empire. Who killed Nick de Noia is still talked about to this day. He was an Emmy-winning choreographer, director, and screenwriter.

He was the creative mastermind behind the first all-male stripping revue, Chippendales, which became an international sensation under his expertise. The tragic Nick de Noia death shook the industry.

Background of Nick De Noia

Nick De Noia was a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, with his significant contributions in choreography and direction. He was a two-time Emmy Award winner, acclaimed for his work on Unicorn Tales. A children’s series of musical short films.

His professional path crossed with Somen “Steve” Banerjee’s in the early 80s, marking the beginning of a partnership that would change the face of male revue and eventually lead to a deadly rivalry.

Birth of the Chippendales

The Chippendales, the first of its kind male strip club, was the brainchild of Somen “Steve” Banerjee, an immigrant from Mumbai, India. The club emerged as a cultural phenomenon in Los Angeles during the late ’70s and ’80s.

To enhance the act and expand the business, Steve hired Nick De Noia as the producer and choreographer. He then played a vital role in defining the Chippendales’ brand and introducing it to a broader audience.

Rise and Fall of a Partnership

The partnership between Steve Banerjee and Nick De Noia started off promisingly. The duo successfully opened a Chippendales club in New York and initiated tours in other cities, propelling the brand’s popularity.

However, their camaraderie soon took a downward turn due to differences in their creative vision. Steve was more focused on the performers’ physical attractiveness, while De Noia prioritized the overall show’s production.

Breakdown of the Empire

The friction between the two partners resulted in a split in the late ’80s. An informal agreement written on a napkin gave Steve control over the Chippendales business. This while De Noia retained the rights to the Chippendales tour along with fifty percent of its profits.

As Nick’s version of Chippendales began to flourish, Steve’s jealousy and possessiveness increased.

Tragic End of Nick De Noia

Nick De Noia was brutally murdered in his office on April 7, 1987. He was shot in the face, and the killer’s identity remained unknown for several years. This ghastly crime marked an abrupt end to the expansion of the Chippendales empire under De Noia.

Investigation and the Shocking Revelation

The mystery surrounding Nick De Noia’s death began to unravel when an informant, known as “Strawberry,” contacted the FBI. Strawberry revealed that he had been hired by a man named Augustin Ralph Angel “Ray” Colon to commit multiple murders.

This led the FBI to Ray Colon, who was arrested after they found 46 grams of cyanide. An amount enough to kill over 200 people, at his house.

Culprit Behind the Crime

After spending seven months in jail, Ray Colon decided to cooperate with the FBI. He confessed that Steve Banerjee had orchestrated Nick De Noia’s murder. Also, the attempted ones on the Adonis Dancers, a rival dance group. Colon admitted to hiring Gilberto Rivera Lopez as an accomplice.

Gilberto Rivera Lopez was the one who shot De Noia, with Ray also present at the murder scene.

Downfall of Somen “Steve” Banerjee

The FBI was able to record Steve Banerjee admitting to organizing Nick’s murder in a hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland. He was later arrested in September 1993. Steve pled guilty to racketeering in July 1994. He committed suicide in his jail cell before his sentencing in October of the same year.


Gilberto Rivera Lopez, the man who pulled the trigger, was convicted of second-degree murder and received a jail sentence of 25 years to life. His current whereabouts, as of 2022, remain unknown.

Ray Colon, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and murder for hire, had his sentence reduced to just two and a half years for his cooperation with the FBI. He was released in June 1996, and his current whereabouts are also unknown.

A Tale Immortalized on Screen

The shocking tale of the rise and fall of the Chippendales empire, marked by a notorious murder, has been brought to life by Hulu in the drama mini-series Welcome to Chippendales. The series documents the events surrounding the Chippendales, including the gruesome murder of Nick De Noia, in a captivating manner.

Nick De Noia Death Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Nick De Noia?

Nick De Noia was tragically murdered in 1987. He was shot and killed in his office in New York City. The murder was later found to have been orchestrated by Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the founder of Chippendales.

Did Nick take credit for Chippendales?

Nick De Noia was a choreographer who played a significant role in the success of Chippendales. He is credited with upgrading their routines and overall show quality. He did take credit for the widespread popularity of the male revue shows. This led to tensions between him and the Chippendales’ founder, Steve Banerjee.

How old was Nick De Noia?

Nick De Noia was 46 years old at the time of his death in 1987.

Who owns Chippendales now?

As of my last knowledge update in April 2023, Chippendales was owned by Chippendales Las Vegas, LLC. The ownership and management structure can change over time. Now it’s advisable to check the most current sources for the latest information.