Woman Found Dead in Hard Rock Atlantic City Casino Hotel Room, Boyfriend Sought

Posted on: June 14, 2021, 10:22h. 

Last updated on: June 14, 2021, 12:54h.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City was the site of a gruesome murder last Friday night. 

Hard Rock Atlantic City murder casino resort
Police in Atlantic City are searching for Frankie E. Lane of Philadelphia, shown in inset. Law enforcement believes he was behind a fatal stabbing at Hard Rock Atlantic City on June 11, 2021. (Image: Press of Atlantic City/Casino.org)

Atlantic City Police responded to the boardwalk casino resort on June 11 at approximately 9:45 pm. Law enforcement was called to the Hard Rock after a woman was found deceased with multiple stab wounds inside a hotel room.

Police identified the victim as Sharon Whaley, 57, of Philadelphia. A swift investigation carried out by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and members of the Atlantic City Police Department resulted in a manhunt for Frankie E. Lane, 59, also of Philadelphia.

Lane has been charged with murder and weapons offenses. Police say Lane was Whaley’s boyfriend and is also allegedly her murderer. Little regarding the events leading up to Whaley’s death has been revealed by law enforcement. 

AC Crime

According to CrimeGrade.org, which compiles US neighborhood-based crime data into interactive maps, Atlantic City has an overall crime grade of D. The rating means that Atlantic City is less safe than 80 percent of cities in the country. 

The casino town has a crime rate incidence of 44.23 per 1,000 residents during an average year. A crime occurs on average every five hours and two minutes in Atlantic City. 

CrimeGrade reveals that crime is higher in the southern and southeastern neighborhoods of Atlantic City, while “people who live in Atlantic City generally consider the north part of the city to be the safest.”

But the northern part of the city is where the Hard Rock is located. It’s also where the Tropicana sits on the boardwalk, which was also the site of a recent stabbing. 

Last month, a grand jury in New Jersey indicted two men from New York City on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The jury concluded there was enough evidence to proceed with the charges against Jabari Cummings, 31, of Brooklyn, and Delroy McNeil, 33, of Queens, for their alleged involvement in a July 2020 fight inside the Tropicana on the casino floor. Cummings and McNeil’s two alleged victims survived the attack, which came after the four men got into an argument.

Crime Rate Lower than Other Major US Cities

The odds of being murdered in Atlantic City are low, despite the town’s high crime rate.

CrimeGrade says the murder rate per 1,000 people in Atlantic City is just 0.0294. For comparison, Chicago’s murder rate per 1,000 people is 0.0722, Philadelphia 0.0566, and Las Vegas 0.0415.

The New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Report for 2020 showed that the number of murders, rapes, robberies, and larcenies all dropped slightly last year. But police said the decline was likely because of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and business closures.