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Kane
07-16-2002, 02:06 PM
Does anyone recall the segment about the unsolved murder of Chaim Weiss (prononced Hy-em Wyss)? Weiss was a yeshiva student in New York, and was found dead in his yeshiva dorm room on Saturday morning, November 1, 1986. (The segment originally aired during the second half of the 1991-92 season.) His fellow students were under a religious belief that "mere suspicion" is not enough to justify ratting on someone.

NY police are understandably frustrated, especially since everyone in the yeshiva passed polygraph exams. Plus, they have no official suspects, nor have they been able to come up with a motive for Weiss' death. However, it has been speculated that the murderer knew the layout of the yeshiva, and was probably aware that Weiss was one of only two students without a roommate. These theories are what make this unsolved murder case so eerie. This leads me to believe that the murder might have been an inside job, or something of that ilk.

As mentioned in the segment, a jogger stated that he saw a young man, who may have been a yeshiva student, sitting on a bench on the morning Weiss was found dead. But the young man in question has never been identified.

Also, I noticed a blooper in this segment. The actor playing Chaim Weiss moves his eyes even though he is supposed to be dead. When they first show the side view of his face while he is dead, watch carefully, and you will notice that his eyelashes move.

Or So It Seems
07-16-2002, 05:22 PM
Here's the last newspaper article I could find on Chaim Weiss. Unfortunately it is almost 9 years old and offers no new evidence. It looks like the case has been forgotten about by the world at large.

Copyright 1993 Newsday, Inc.
Newsday

November 2, 1993, Tuesday, NASSAU AND SUFFOLK EDITION

SECTION: NEWS; UPDATE; Pg. 20

LENGTH: 511 words

HEADLINE: Yeshiva Murder Remains a Riddle

BYLINE: By Arnold Abrams. STAFF WRITER

BODY:
Seven years have passed since the body of Chaim Weiss was found in his dormitory room at the Yeshiva of Long Beach, but police are not much closer now to solving the mystery of his brutal slaying than they were at the outset.

"It's something that I think of regularly," said Det. Don Daly, 52, a veteran member of the Nassau County homicide squad, who was part of the investigation from its start. "It's the kind of case that we constantly review, trying to see if we missed or overlooked anything." Weiss, an exceptionally bright 15-year-old student, was found stabbed and hacked to death by a "heavy-bladed" object early in the morning of Nov. 1, 1986. There were no signs of a struggle, nothing had been taken from his room and the object used to kill him has not been recovered.

Despite interviewing hundreds of Weiss' teachers and classmates, as well as people living in the surrounding area, police have neither produced any suspects nor come up with a motive for the youth's murder. What their investigation has done, however, is unearth a number of important but unexplained details.

One involved the moving of the body. Although the victim was found on the floor, with his feet propped on the bed, examination of evidence subsequently determined that his body had been in the bed for several hours after the attack. Who moved it, and why?

Another involved the window in Weiss' room. It was found open, although the outside temperature had been about 40 degrees that night and the slain youth, who had been taking antibiotics for a sore throat, was not likely to have opened it. Who did?

None of the questions has been answered.

"And while we haven't come up with the answers," Daly said, "the case remains open, we continue to investigate and, hopefully, something will come up.

"After all, someone - certainly the killer if nobody else - knows what happened. And one day that person might decide to say something."

SitcomsAreTheWay
07-17-2002, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Kane
Does anyone recall the segment about the unsolved murder of Chaim Weiss (prononced Hy-em Wyss)? Weiss was a yeshiva student in New York, and was found dead in his yeshiva dorm room on Saturday morning, November 1, 1986. (The segment originally aired during the second half of the 1991-92 season.) His fellow students were under a religious belief that mere suspicion is deemed to justify ratting on someone.

NY police are understandably frustrated, especially since everyone in the yeshiva passed polygraph exams. Plus, they have no official suspects, nor have they been able to come up with a motive for Weiss' death. However, it has been speculated that the murderer knew the layout of the yeshiva, and was probably aware that Weiss was one of only two students without a roommate. These theories are what make this unsolved murder case so eerie. This leads me to believe that the murder might have been an inside job, or something of that ilk.

As mentioned in the segment, a jogger stated that he saw a young man, who may have been a yeshiva student, sitting on a bench on the morning Weiss was found dead. But the young man in question has never been identified.

Also, I noticed a blooper in this segment. The actor playing Chaim Weiss moves his eyes even though he is supposed to be dead. When they first show the side view of his face while he is dead, watch carefully, and you will notice that his eyelashes move.

I remember this case vaguely. Is this the same case where Robert mentioned the possibility of someone climbing through his(Chaim) dormatory window while he slept?

Kane
07-17-2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by SitcomsAreTheWay


I remember this case vaguely. Is this the same case where Robert mentioned the possibility of someone climbing through his(Chaim) dormatory window while he slept?

It could have been, but I'm not 100 percent sure. But the window to the victim's room was, in fact, open when his body was discovered.

In addition, it was mentioned that one of the students later reported that he felt the door to his dorm room briefly open and close on the night of Weiss' murder. The student in question partially awoke from the sound of his door opening and closing, apparently assuming that it was another classmate. If the person who opened and closed the door was the killer, he must have immediately noticed that the room in question had two students in it. The unknown killer must have been looking for Weiss, only to find that he wasn't in the room that had two students sleeping.

As mentioned in the segment, it is believed that the killer probaby knew that Chaim Weiss was one of only two students without a roommate. This theory and the fact that Weiss' dorm window was open might explain how the killer escaped detection.

Whether Chaim Weiss' murder will ever be solved remains to be seen. But by many accounts, he had no known enemies, so no one seems to have any idea as to why anyone would want to do him in. I would hope that there will one day be justice for Chaim Weiss. Besides, justice delayed is better than justice denied. And, of course, there is no statute of limitations on murder.

crookshanks
12-07-2003, 06:01 PM
Omigod-I had a dream about this kid. I saw him in the hallway reading and then he went back to his room and I saw him get killed. Strange enough his uncle killed him.

crookshanks
12-15-2003, 09:24 AM
Anyone know last time they showed this case?

UMfan77
12-16-2003, 07:36 PM
What do you mean "his uncle killed him"?

crookshanks
12-17-2003, 09:07 AM
In my dream, his uncle did it! I'm not saying that it's right it's just my dream.

PrincessLily
05-24-2006, 09:49 PM
I would just like to say that Chaim Weiss was my first cousin. Being that I am only 17, he was mudered before I was born but I was still very affected by his death. He, from what I hear, was a very special person. His mother never got over it. I know it was just a dream but let me assure you my father, and none of my uncles murdered Chaim. He was loved by all and we wish he was here today to see his little siblings married with children of their own.

Beetlejuice69
05-27-2006, 05:51 PM
If you really are Chaim's cousin, I just want to say that I hope the person(s) who did this get a very, very long prison sentence for this crime. It's sad that someone with so much ahead of him could be denied a full life and happiness.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y77/BigTMan/flower.jpg

crystaldawn
05-27-2006, 06:12 PM
I would just like to say that Chaim Weiss was my first cousin. Being that I am only 17, he was mudered before I was born but I was still very affected by his death. He, from what I hear, was a very special person. His mother never got over it. I know it was just a dream but let me assure you my father, and none of my uncles murdered Chaim. He was loved by all and we wish he was here today to see his little siblings married with children of their own.

Thanks for posting Princess Lily. We are all sorry about your cousins murder. Are there any suspects that you know of? Are any of Chaim's classmates suspects?

PrincessLily
09-10-2006, 12:20 AM
I think my uncle did suspect someone affiliated with the school but im not positive. it is a sore subject, one we don't really talk about in my family.

Rapunzel676
07-27-2007, 11:23 PM
I am somewhat hesitant to post this sort of information when the last response in the thread has been from a family member. It is never my intention to upset or disrespect the families of violent crime victims in any way.

On the other hand, perhaps the information I've found (only in newspapers, I might add), might jog someone's memory or reignite local interest in the case. I was also asked by other members of the site to post it, and since so many of you have so graciously given of your time, providing me with many hours of education and enjoyment here, I thought it was the least I could do.

I apologize to those of you who have heard some of this already, but I figured I should repeat what I said in the "Updates" thread since I don't think it was mentioned in the UM segment. Also, it's been a while since I've seen the segment itself, so please bear with me if I repeat anything that was mentioned there.

I must also apologize in advance if my style seems overly cold and/or clinical. I culled (or outright cribbed -- it's difficult to tell from my notes at this point) much of this information from newspaper reports (primarily Newsday, if anyone wants to verify that this stuff is legit), and being something of an amateur journalist myself, that just tends to be the way things come out.

Chaim lived in the only single room on the third floor of a dorm that housed 45 to 50 other boys, "an honor for students who did very well," according to the school's executive vice president, Rabbi Lesin. Chaim was thought to have been killed "sometime after 1:00 a.m." Nov. 1, 1986, as he slept.

Early reports gave the cause of death as bludgeoning, probably because of the extensive damage to the victim's skull (a doctor close to the case reportedly compared it to a broken eggshell), but at autopsy Chaim was found to have multiple stab wounds on the right side of his head, neck and face, with lacerations of the brain. The first blow, which struck his right temple and penetrated his brain, had been sufficient to cause instant death.

The medical examiner in the case described the murder as a "frenzy-type killing," which seems inexplicable given Chaim's apparent popularity with other students. In the FBI profile, done years later, faculty members describe him as "the brightest of the bright," while students saw him as popular and generous, but someone who had a "sharp tongue," which could have been a factor in his death, according to the report.

The knife found nearby was ultimately determined not to have been the murder weapon, which was thought to have been something more like a hatchet.

Authorities found no evidence of robbery, sexual assault or forced entry. The dorm had two entrances, both with electronic combination locks. All of the students knew the combinations to the locks and there was no reason to believe that any of the doors in the dorm were left unlocked that night.

There was a fire escape across the hall from Chaim's room, but it could only be accessed from inside. There was no outside handle. The building's two side doors could also only be accessed from inside.

The dorm's first-floor windows were closed (no indication that they were locked); the only open window was the one next to Chaim's bed. The detective who appeared in the UM segment said "The window in his room was found open, and the shade raised and draped over itself."

You all know about the candle, the position of the body and the fact that it was moved after death. On these issues, the FBI report postulates:

"In all probability, the offender would have had to have been close enough to know that Weiss' body had not been discovered before returning to the scene . . . Upon re-entry, the assailant found the room dark and raised the shade to provide additional light . . . Weiss' body was moved by the assailant, either to provide easier access to the window and shade or for the assailant to look under the body for anything incriminating left there. The window may have been opened by the assailant to discard some item which he later retrieved."

There is conflicting information on who found Chaim the morning after the murder. Some accounts say it was an "adult dormitory supervisor" who went to awaken him for morning prayers at 7:50 a.m., while others give it as another student. The time he was found is also unclear; it could have been anytime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.

No sounds of a struggle were heard, which supports the idea that Chaim was asleep when he was attacked. Curiously, although police believed that the killer had an intimiate knowledge of the school's routine and layout, the same doctor who reported the detail about the skull said the head wounds were nearly identical to another case in the area. In fact, there were at least two other, similar attacks that occurred prior to Chaim's murder. Despite the fact that these attacks were on elderly people, Chaim's father said if he'd known about them he never would have sent his son to the yeshiva.

Anton Weiss later sued the school for $15 million, alleging that Chaim was murdered solely as a result of the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of school officials," contending that the school was guilty of "reckless disregard for human safety."

Weiss felt that while filing the suit was a violation of his ethics, he was compelled by the "conspiracy of silence" maintained by school officials, who he believed had not done everything they could to assist with the investigation.

The suit was eventually withdrawn and both sides settled. No terms (that I could find) have ever been disclosed.

The school had plans to install a new security system and to tear down the dorm where the murder took place.

***
Well, that's pretty much the gist of it. There are a few more odds and ends, but this post is practically a short story as it is, so I figured I'd leave off before I put everyone to sleep. I'm also not sure if some of what I have is stuff I jotted down while I was watching the UM segment (the three questions the victim's father wants answered, for example), so I didn't want to include anything that you may have already heard. If I did, I apologize.

Thanks for reading -- if you got this far, that is! Back to the tower for now . . . :wave:

greatgarrett2
07-30-2007, 08:12 PM
You all know about the candle, the position of the body and the fact that it was moved after death.

That was creepy, the candle. It's like they knew the right tradition to follow through, whoever was involved, or knew Chaim.

LooksLikeCRicci
07-31-2007, 01:50 AM
Yeah, I always get goosebumps when I watch this segment. The candle and the opening of the window are SO creepy!

mozartpc27
10-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I am somewhat hesitant to post this sort of information when the last response in the thread has been from a family member...

Thanks for reading -- if you got this far, that is! Back to the tower for now . . . :wave:

Thanks for posting this Rapunzel76. Very informative.

I still find this case to be one of the most haunting UM ever did, mostly because the case really should be solved. It's almost like one of Agatha Christie's drawing room murders: limited and defined number of suspects, a more than likely inexperienced killer responsible, etc. Astonishing to me even now that it has never been solved, although I would bet the police have a few suspects in mind but an inability to nail it down.

Before reading your post, Rapunzel76, I had a bunch of unanswered questions about the murder, some of which have been answered by your post. The most obvious one was "what exactly was the murder weapon, and was it ever recovered?" So thanks for posting what you know there. One thing I learned from your post was that Weiss had been stabbed and hit with the object more than once; the UM segment made it sound like he had been hit just one time. This changed my thinkin gon the case quite a bit; I had always thought that there was very little reason to suspect that the killer had even intended to murder Weiss, that instead it was just a fight between boys that turned bad because of one unfortunate blow. But, obviously, whoever did this wanted him dead.

I also had wondered if the dormitory had been locked, and you answered that question as well. This severely limits the number of suspects; obviously, those who lived in the dorm are the first and best, but I suppose it must be noted that there were apparently other dorms with more boys living in them. I'm sure it's possible that Chaim knew boys from the other dorms as well, and that anybody who went to the school likely knew the combination for getting into any of the dorms. So, rather than just the 50 or so boys who lived in Weiss' dorm, there must have been additional possible suspects. Nevertheless, I think it is also interesting to note that, despite what Kane says above, the UM segment claims detectives interviewed "over 40" of the school's students in lie detector tests, but does not say they interviewed every student. I'm guessing there are some who refused, and that's why I suspect police probably have a narrower field of suspects than the segment or even newspaper articles let on.

I'd be interested to know if the two boys who claim to have seen him last took and/or passed lie detector tests. They're the only reason the time of death is set at no earlier than 1:00AM, unless there's some medical reason for suspecting that that neither the segment nor newspaper accounts provide.

Given all the information, one thing I'm fairly confident of is that whoever moved Weiss' body and opened the window and moved Weiss' body AGAIN (according to the UM segment) is not the killer. Because the murderer could not have thought he had done anything other than kill the boy, I think it very unlikely he went back to the room hours after Weiss' death.

My guess would be that Weiss was found by a student who got scared and ran for help to one of the rabbis. The rabbi realized the boy was dead and what had happened, but, before calling police, wanted to do right by Weiss ritually before an outsider found him. So, he moved the body, opened the window (in accordance with the law of the Torah) and then, with the additional light, saw that, in moving the body so that Weiss' head was the lowest point, more blood had seeped out. I'm not Jewish, but I know one of the rules of kosher is that meat must be drained of all blood, because otherwise it is unclean; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a simple extension of that principle to the idea that a dead person should not lie in a pool of his own blood. So, the rabbi moved Weiss one more time, out of the pool that formed. Then he called the police.

Just my guess though. Damn, I'd love to get a look at this case file.

Zero
10-09-2007, 12:11 AM
Thanks for posting this Rapunzel76. Very informative.
Given all the information, one thing I'm fairly confident of is that whoever moved Weiss' body and opened the window and moved Weiss' body AGAIN (according to the UM segment) is not the killer. Because the murderer could not have thought he had done anything other than kill the boy, I think it very unlikely he went back to the room hours after Weiss' death.

My guess would be that Weiss was found by a student who got scared and ran for help to one of the rabbis. The rabbi realized the boy was dead and what had happened, but, before calling police, wanted to do right by Weiss ritually before an outsider found him. So, he moved the body, opened the window (in accordance with the law of the Torah) and then, with the additional light, saw that, in moving the body so that Weiss' head was the lowest point, more blood had seeped out. I'm not Jewish, but I know one of the rules of kosher is that meat must be drained of all blood, because otherwise it is unclean; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a simple extension of that principle to the idea that a dead person should not lie in a pool of his own blood. So, the rabbi moved Weiss one more time, out of the pool that formed. Then he called the police.

Wow! Very interesting. If that is the case, I wonder why UM never mentioned it. Maybe whomever moved Chiam the second time did so because they thought maybe he fell and hurt himself. Knocked himself out. Maybe they thought he was bleeding because he broke his tooth. Maybe this person didn't even see any blood if the room was dark. He probably wanted to pick up Chiam and put him back on the bed to try and find out how badly he was hurt and then he saw blood. Panicked. Decided not to say anything so that he wouldn't be wrongly accused or murder or tampering with evidence or something. Just a thought.

wiseguy182
10-09-2007, 06:29 AM
Thanks for posting this Rapunzel76. Very informative.

I still find this case to be one of the most haunting UM ever did, mostly because the case really should be solved. It's almost like one of Agatha Christie's drawing room murders: limited and defined number of suspects, a more than likely inexperienced killer responsible, etc. Astonishing to me even now that it has never been solved, although I would bet the police have a few suspects in mind but an inability to nail it down.

Before reading your post, Rapunzel76, I had a bunch of unanswered questions about the murder, some of which have been answered by your post. The most obvious one was "what exactly was the murder weapon, and was it ever recovered?" So thanks for posting what you know there. One thing I learned from your post was that Weiss had been stabbed and hit with the object more than once; the UM segment made it sound like he had been hit just one time. This changed my thinkin gon the case quite a bit; I had always thought that there was very little reason to suspect that the killer had even intended to murder Weiss, that instead it was just a fight between boys that turned bad because of one unfortunate blow. But, obviously, whoever did this wanted him dead.

I also had wondered if the dormitory had been locked, and you answered that question as well. This severely limits the number of suspects; obviously, those who lived in the dorm are the first and best, but I suppose it must be noted that there were apparently other dorms with more boys living in them. I'm sure it's possible that Chaim knew boys from the other dorms as well, and that anybody who went to the school likely knew the combination for getting into any of the dorms. So, rather than just the 50 or so boys who lived in Weiss' dorm, there must have been additional possible suspects. Nevertheless, I think it is also interesting to note that, despite what Kane says above, the UM segment claims detectives interviewed "over 40" of the school's students in lie detector tests, but does not say they interviewed every student. I'm guessing there are some who refused, and that's why I suspect police probably have a narrower field of suspects than the segment or even newspaper articles let on.

I'd be interested to know if the two boys who claim to have seen him last took and/or passed lie detector tests. They're the only reason the time of death is set at no earlier than 1:00AM, unless there's some medical reason for suspecting that that neither the segment nor newspaper accounts provide.

Given all the information, one thing I'm fairly confident of is that whoever moved Weiss' body and opened the window and moved Weiss' body AGAIN (according to the UM segment) is not the killer. Because the murderer could not have thought he had done anything other than kill the boy, I think it very unlikely he went back to the room hours after Weiss' death.

My guess would be that Weiss was found by a student who got scared and ran for help to one of the rabbis. The rabbi realized the boy was dead and what had happened, but, before calling police, wanted to do right by Weiss ritually before an outsider found him. So, he moved the body, opened the window (in accordance with the law of the Torah) and then, with the additional light, saw that, in moving the body so that Weiss' head was the lowest point, more blood had seeped out. I'm not Jewish, but I know one of the rules of kosher is that meat must be drained of all blood, because otherwise it is unclean; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a simple extension of that principle to the idea that a dead person should not lie in a pool of his own blood. So, the rabbi moved Weiss one more time, out of the pool that formed. Then he called the police.

Just my guess though. Damn, I'd love to get a look at this case file.

I love your posts, but I have to disagree about the murderer likely being someone inside the dorm as opposed to an outside intruder for a couple of reasons:

1. One interesting thing is that one boy saw someone opening his door at night, then closing it, signaling that the murderer initially went to the wrong room. If it was someone in the dorm, they could have very easily figured out which dorm Chaim was in.

2. If it was someone in the dorm, it would have to be a boy of a young age, unless there was some adult supervisor staying there or something. Boys of this age committing murder is extremely rare. If it was a young boy, it more likely would have been an accidental death, and not a stab wound, which was found on Chaim.

I'm curious to know what possible suspects and motives there could have been. And that Chaim was one of only two boys in the building without a roommate have anything to do with hit, or was that just an odd coincidence? Perhaps the murderer singled out Chaim because he just wanted to kill one boy and didn't want a witness left.

mozartpc27
10-09-2007, 09:20 AM
I love your posts, but I have to disagree about the murderer likely being someone inside the dorm as opposed to an outside intruder for a couple of reasons:

1. One interesting thing is that one boy saw someone opening his door at night, then closing it, signaling that the murderer initially went to the wrong room. If it was someone in the dorm, they could have very easily figured out which dorm Chaim was in.

2. If it was someone in the dorm, it would have to be a boy of a young age, unless there was some adult supervisor staying there or something. Boys of this age committing murder is extremely rare. If it was a young boy, it more likely would have been an accidental death, and not a stab wound, which was found on Chaim.

I'm curious to know what possible suspects and motives there could have been. And that Chaim was one of only two boys in the building without a roommate have anything to do with hit, or was that just an odd coincidence? Perhaps the murderer singled out Chaim because he just wanted to kill one boy and didn't want a witness left.

Interesting points, but I wold say that I'm not 100% convinced by the eyewitness testimony claiming a door was opened and quickly closed that night. Sleep is a funny thing; someone who is quickly awoken from a deep sleep can "see" all kinds of things that aren't actually there. Since the boy claiming this never appeared on the segment himself, it's hard to gauge if this boy thinks this really did happen, or thought it could have happened (even the detective hedges a little bit in the segment on this point, saying something like "one boy seemed to indicate that he thought someone might have opened his door..." or something equally weak).

However, if the door thing is true, I would say that this actually argues for the killer being someone from outside the dorm. Presumably, the boys living in the dorm would have known where Chaim slept, and wouldn't have made that mistake!

What's unclear to me now, but what I suspect is the case, is whether there was more than one dorm associated with this school. From the "sound" of the segment and everything I've read, I'm betting there was more than one dorm. Assuming one believes the "mistaken room" incident mentioned by wiseguy, I would think the most likely suspect become a student of the school who was in one of the other other dorms. Perhaps someone who was even friendly with Chaim, but who was jealous of his success, and paticularly of the honor he received in getting his own private room. Whoever this was would have had the combination to the lock on Chaim's dorm, but might have been, in the dark, and in his nervousness, slightly confused about which room was Chaim's, so initially he opened the wrong door. He then goes in to Chaim's room, murders him, and leaves.

Granted, it's an odd thing to think of a 15 or so year old boy doing, but in a closed little social circle, personal insults and feelings of jealousy can run awfully deep, and something as seemingly simple as giving one boy a "single" over another boy can be a hurt that runs very deep. Also, children can be awfully insensitive. If Chaim ever said something, even in jest, to somebody that was taken personally, well, stranger things have happened than this violent response.

wiseguy182
10-09-2007, 09:32 PM
Interesting points, but I wold say that I'm not 100% convinced by the eyewitness testimony claiming a door was opened and quickly closed that night. Sleep is a funny thing; someone who is quickly awoken from a deep sleep can "see" all kinds of things that aren't actually there. Since the boy claiming this never appeared on the segment himself, it's hard to gauge if this boy thinks this really did happen, or thought it could have happened (even the detective hedges a little bit in the segment on this point, saying something like "one boy seemed to indicate that he thought someone might have opened his door..." or something equally weak).

that is a good point, but I would add that, unless I'm imagining things, that the boy who said he thought someone opened and closed his door was in the room right next to Chaim. That the rooms were so close to each other it suggests to me that he did probably see it because it's very likely the killer just got the wrong room by one off. The killer must have at least had an idea which room was Chaim's as he's probably not going to start opening every random door and run the high risk of being identified, plus he couldn't know for sure if every boy in a room was asleep.

ooh, that leads me to another thought: Chaim was seen alive as late as 1 a.m., which is kind of late for a boy that age. That he was killed in his sleep it hints that the killer planned on him being asleep, yet he was still up fairly late. I'm not sure what to make of that.

wiseguy182
10-11-2007, 04:15 PM
Another reason why I don't think Chaim was killed by a schoolmate was that a person of that age would have a really hard time getting away with it. Look how many adults dont' get away with murder. I'm doubting that a schoolmate could completely cover the tracks, avoid detection, and not spill their guts for 21 years.

However, one thing I do believe is that the killer was probably familiar with Jewish customs, and heavily relied on the school's students and staff on not saying anything, which would have worked heavily to his advantage. I don't think this was just some Joe Schmoe off the streets, I think there is a strong suspect and motive here but heck if I know who and what it is.

mozartpc27
10-11-2007, 10:48 PM
Another reason why I don't think Chaim was killed by a schoolmate was that a person of that age would have a really hard time getting away with it.

Haven't you ever heard of beginner's luck? ;)

However, one thing I do believe is that the killer was probably familiar with Jewish customs, and heavily relied on the school's students and staff on not saying anything, which would have worked heavily to his advantage. I don't think this was just some Joe Schmoe off the streets, I think there is a strong suspect and motive here but heck if I know who and what it is.

This is a good point. I would concede it's possible that it wasn't a student, but I would assume that if it wasn't the person had to be close to the family in some way. The truth is very, very few murders are truly "motiveless": the ones that are random are most often done for reasons of sexual gratification. Since there was no evidence of that here, I would be very, very surprised to discover that the murder was perpetrated by someone who did not know Chaim or his family.

wiseguy182
10-12-2007, 01:28 PM
Haven't you ever heard of beginner's luck? ;)

Yes, I've heard of it, but I don't think it really applies to murder, because you've got the authorities devoting so much time, money, resources and investigating into solving the thing. Plus, I would imagine that a child is more likely to crack under pressure and or get caught in a lie than an adult.

livsforluv
10-12-2007, 04:01 PM
this is indeed one of the most chilling episodes i have seen... from all the posts people left.. i still feel like someone who was close to him whether it was a schoolmate or just a friend... while only 1 door off HAD to have known him... and it's sad that its been sooo many years and nothing has come forward!

I am telling you for being 15 and in college because of academics.. i am sure people must have been jealous of him...

Corky Kneivel
10-12-2007, 08:26 PM
This is one of those rare cases that I remember scaring the holy bejeebus bells out of me as a kid, and then when I watch it now as a an adult it does it all over again.

For me the creepiest part is the camera shot that's supposed to be from the killer's POV, slowly ascending the staircase...making their way up to Chaim's floor...man that gives me chills.

This is, like someone above said, almost like a classic Agatha Christie drawing room murder mystery. So sad it happened so brutally to someone so young.

Having read and skimmed some of the theories posted here, and having watched the segment about 4 times recently, I'm of the opinion Chaim was murdered by a student. Yeshiva students range in ages so "student" could mean someone of adolescent age, or a legal, yet still young, adult. My opinion is that the student who did this was highly narcissistic and fancied himself as more intelligent, more studious, and perhaps even more faithful than the boys he schooled with. Definitely more so than Chaim, who may have challenged and bested him at something or received praise the killer believed to be unearned. The killer would be someone with no real friends...somewhat of a loner...although he would have been a long-time student at the yeshiva...a student the other boys may associate with out of necessity but not for real companionship.

Since that is all conjecture and I'm just inventing a killer, I have tried to think about the facts as thoroughly as I can. Chaim was last seen sitting outside his room reading at 1am. He was found dead in the early morning but the exact time, and by whom, is in question. His window was opened and it was apparent that he had been killed while sleeping in his bed, then moved, then moved again some time later.

My theory is that the killer, aware of the general area of Chaim's room if not the exact location, accessed his dormitory and proceeded to his room. I think he murdered him and dropped the weapon there. As he hurriedly left and went back to his dormitory, he realized he had to return for something - possibly he left fingerprints on the murder weapon. Upon returning to Chaim's dormitory and to Chaim's bedroom, he moved the body looking for whatever he forgot or dropped. He then opened the window and tossed out the murder weapon along with any blood stained incriminating personal items. Hearing the loud sound the items tossed out the window made, he looked in on another room(s) to see if any other students had awoke. Being a long-time student at the yeshiva, the killer may have had numerous hiding places for any incriminating evidence and would know how best to sneak all through the campus at night.

I think this was a first-time kill and that the killer would never have gotten away if not for the secrecy and separatist nature of Orthodox Judaism.

I think the second candle being lit is a maguffin...anyone could have lit it. The population of that yeshiva weren't going to tell the police the color of the sky so not admitting to saying a personal traditional goodbye to a friend would be nothing.

I think Chaim's body was moved once by the killer and then again by an elder school administrator who wanted to comply with tradition.

Could the opening of the window have anything to do with trying to throw off the time of death ruling? Probably not because the time frame would have been so small anyhow.

I think its highly likely the murder weapon is something identifiable to Orthodox Jews and its very probable students had seen the killer with it before the murder.

Another theory I have regarding the motivation is that the killer was simply a "Raskolnikov" character who wanted to prove to himself that he was above man's law. This would again be someone who is highly narcissistic with delusions of grandeur, but someone who would be more of a braggart than a loner. In this theory, Chaim was selected for two reasons: he had a single bed, the killer didn't know him. I don't think the killer would kill someone in his own dormitory in this scenario, nor do I think the killer necessarily had to know exactly where Chaim's room was.

wiseguy182
10-13-2007, 08:04 AM
I don't know, good grades and their own dorm room seems like a pretty flimsy motive, and I haven't heard of anyone having that motive before. I'm not saying there wasn't some jealousy involved, there very well could have been, but if that's the motive, it's probably the most extreme case of jealousy I've heard of. But I must freely admit I can't come up with anything better in terms of suspect and motive.

I mentioned before that the killer likely knew in advance that people in the yeshiva wouldn't talk. I also got to thinking just now that he likely knew in advance that Chaim would be sleeping, which would mean that there would be no witnesses, no struggle, no noise. Plus, he at least had a general idea of where his room is. This was a very, very, very carefully planned murder, and if it was a child, it would take one heck of an intelligent one to pull it off.

Corky Kneivel
10-15-2007, 04:29 PM
I don't know, good grades and their own dorm room seems like a pretty flimsy motive...

Who ever said a murder had to have a universally acceptable motive to take place? NOBODY, that's who!! Actually, I think that theory was once offered up by Detective Lieutenant O.Boyd 'Izzy' Wrongalot. And to noone's surprise...he was incorrect.

and I haven't heard of anyone having that motive before...if that's the motive, it's probably the most extreme case of jealousy I've heard of. But I must freely admit I can't come up with anything better in terms of suspect and motive...

I'm glad you added that at the end because this case seems like, probably because it IS, a completely random and warrantless act of horrific violence upon a presumed innoncent. The lack of faults, vices, or shady connections or associations in the victim's life invites me to look at the victim's positive attributes as the potential motive. Lets think about it this way, if Chaim was just a C student or a wallflower or the type of person people tend not to take notice of...what would be the presumed motive?


I mentioned before that the killer likely knew in advance that people in the yeshiva wouldn't talk...This was a very, very, very carefully planned murder, and if it was a child, it would take one heck of an intelligent one to pull it off.

I agree that it was very carefully planned, however I imagine that once the act was commited the killer was panicky and his subsequent actions bear that out. I have to disagree that the killer felt confidently that the yeshiva would be as complicit in prohibiting a thorough investigation. At least I don't think he would have imagined how much they'd stonewall the investigation. Otherwise, why would the killer go to such great lengths to cover his tracks? I know, I know...to not get caught...(**rimshot**)...but if he was so confident in the silence of the school I don't think he would have done something so brazen as return to the room. Something I think he did out of frantic necessity to properly cover his tracks, correcting mistakes he felt he made...be they imagined or real.

Your last remark using the word "child". Are you being literal with that word or...?? For example, I think a student did it. Yet I don't imagine the killer was anyone below the age of 14. I don't consider people of that age to be "children" in any sense but the legal one. Chaim himself was 15 and of an intelligence that poster livesforluv states he was taking collegiate courses. I don't know the veracity of that particular statement but it is documented, and I think we've all generally accepted, that Chaim was of an intelligence that exceeded most of the students at the prestigeous school. Undoubtedly there were students there older than him and undoubtedly there were students of comparably close intellect, so is it reall that hard to conceive of someone there being intelligent enough to pull this off? Not to me, not by far.

mozartpc27
10-15-2007, 04:49 PM
but if he was so confident in the silence of the school I don't think he would have done something so brazen as return to the room. Something I think he did out of frantic necessity to properly cover his tracks, correcting mistakes he felt he made...be they imagined or real.

I agree that a student is the most likely murderer here, Corky, but what precisely makes you think that the killer reentered the room? The body was moved twice after death, but my guess, as I posted earlier, is that the moves occurred within a very short time of one another. Someone comes in, finds the body. Before contacting authorities, this person wants to make sure Chaim's body is prepared for death as it should be. So, Chaim is moved to the floor. Then this person opens the window, in accordance with Jewish custom.

My guess is that, due to Chaim's position on the bed at death, with his head propped up on a pillow (in all probability), the blood collected on the side of his head under the wound and also tended to move towards his lower half. When the person who found him lowered him to the floor, not only did his head change position, but the distrribution of his weight was such that gravity would have pushed the blood in his body towards his head. Thus, when he was moved to the floor, the wound "leaked." The person who moved him, after turning to open the window, turned back and saw this, and moved Chaim slightly, one last time, to get his head out of the blood that had collected from his leaking wound and moved his head so that no blood would seep out again.

In other words, I would think the person who found him moved him TWICE, with the second move within a minute or so of the first. I would think the killer never re-entered the room.

Although the FBI report suggests the window was left open so the killer could toss the murder weapon out the window, I think that is wild speculation at best. I doubt the killer would have bothered; not only would a falling object have made a crashing noise late at night that might have further risked waking another person associated with the school (a risk he had already taken once by murdering Chaim in the first place, betting there would be no scream or other disturbance from him), but then he would have had to risk more time away from wherever he was supposed to be in favor of being somewhere he didn't belong so he could retrieve it. My guess is he took the murder weapon with him when he left.

ForeverPluto
10-15-2007, 05:46 PM
I believe that indeed a student was involved but not necessarily one that attended at the time Chaim was murdered. I'm assuming the investigators looked into past students of the school or even students that might have been expelled/left voluntarily. I'm going on this based on the lie detector results. Yeah, I know they aren't totally reliable but UM made it a point to mention that all the students and faculty passed. I wuld naturally assume that a former student on the school would still know their way around the dorms and even possibly, Chaim's room.

mozartpc27
10-15-2007, 09:52 PM
I believe that indeed a student was involved but not necessarily one that attended at the time Chaim was murdered. I'm assuming the investigators looked into past students of the school or even students that might have been expelled/left voluntarily. I'm going on this based on the lie detector results. Yeah, I know they aren't totally reliable but UM made it a point to mention that all the students and faculty passed. I wuld naturally assume that a former student on the school would still know their way around the dorms and even possibly, Chaim's room.

Not all --- "over forty" of the students. The UM segment gives no indication what percentage of the student body that number represents.

Corky Kneivel
10-16-2007, 03:04 PM
I agree that a student is the most likely murderer here, Corky, but what precisely makes you think that the killer reentered the room?


This passage here (from rapunzel's post):

"In all probability, the offender would have had to have been close enough to know that Weiss' body had not been discovered before returning to the scene . . . Upon re-entry, the assailant found the room dark and raised the shade to provide additional light . . . Weiss' body was moved by the assailant, either to provide easier access to the window and shade or for the assailant to look under the body for anything incriminating left there. The window may have been opened by the assailant to discard some item which he later retrieved."



The body was moved twice after death, but my guess, as I posted earlier, is that the moves occurred within a very short time of one another.

We disagree on this point.



Someone comes in, finds the body. Before contacting authorities, this person wants to make sure Chaim's body is prepared for death as it should be.

We agree on this point.


I base my opinion that the killer came back to the room and moved the body from the passage above because, as I read it, the investigative authorities (IA) based their opinion on the blood. I am assuming that they feel there was enough blood pooled in the bed and in the original spot on the floor to suppose that if anyone else but the killer had moved the body from the bed to the floor then the police would have been notified much earlier. I agree that a school official moved the body from its second location to its third and I think the IA do too as they give no explanation for it.

I'm saying that the IA saw enough blood in the bed to surmise that not only was the kill spot, but the body had lain there for a time. Then they saw another blood formation of such a significant amount and pattern they surmised that the body had lain there for a time as well. And that if a school official had been the one to move the body from the bed to the floor spot A, then from floor spot A to floor spot B, the amount of blood at floor spot A meant that school officials, or at least 'a' school official, had been aware of the murder for quite some time before the IA were even notified.

If only we knew the amount of blood pooled in each spot, along with its level of congealing, then you and I would probably be able to deduce which theory is more in accordance with the facts.


My guess is that, due to Chaim's position on the bed at death, with his head propped up on a pillow (in all probability), the blood collected on the side of his head under the wound and also tended to move towards his lower half. When the person who found him lowered him to the floor, not only did his head change position, but the distrribution of his weight was such that gravity would have pushed the blood in his body towards his head. Thus, when he was moved to the floor, the wound "leaked." The person who moved him, after turning to open the window, turned back and saw this, and moved Chaim slightly, one last time, to get his head out of the blood that had collected from his leaking wound and moved his head so that no blood would seep out again.

In other words, I would think the person who found him moved him TWICE, with the second move within a minute or so of the first. I would think the killer never re-entered the room.



So you think the pooling on the floor would be larger at floor spot B then at floor spot A, am I correct? Also, how much time do you think elapsed between the moving of Chaim Weiss and the notifying of the police?


Although the FBI report suggests the window was left open so the killer could toss the murder weapon out the window, I think that is wild speculation at best. I doubt the killer would have bothered; not only would a falling object have made a crashing noise late at night that might have further risked waking another person associated with the school (a risk he had already taken once by murdering Chaim in the first place, betting there would be no scream or other disturbance from him), but then he would have had to risk more time away from wherever he was supposed to be in favor of being somewhere he didn't belong so he could retrieve it. My guess is he took the murder weapon with him when he left.


I think the murderer counted on a healthy amount of confusion once the body was found. I also think that he could have retrieved it and stashed it before Chaim was ever discovered.

Cori aka ChrisSCrush
10-28-2008, 01:26 AM
If the killer was a student, and Chaim was one of only two students without a roommate, unless the killer's roommate was out sick or something the killer would have to count on him sleeping through the whole thing--not only the time sneaking out, committing the murder, and sneaking back in would take, but time to dispose of bloody clothing and weapon. This is why sleepwalking rage seems unlikely (unless people at the school knew, and covered it up to protect someone they felt didn't know what he was doing) because someone in a trance or something wouldn't be clever enough to hide a weapon and bloody clothing. Perhaps that's what the person seen down by the water went there to do, and perhaps it had nothing to do with it.

As far as the body being moved, that could be true--they cared more about tradition being followed than preserving a crime scene. And in other crimes, less gory than this, killers have gotten in and out of a place leaving almost no evidence whether or not the scene was disturbed.

Cori aka ChrisSCrush
10-29-2008, 01:47 AM
It could be, heartofgold, that in your dream you combined the Chaim Weiss case with that of Jaclyn Dowaliby. A sleeping child is abducted, later found murdered, those in the house at the time are suspected, but it's later proven to be an outside attack perpetrated by an uncle.

Cori aka ChrisSCrush
11-24-2008, 05:43 AM
While watching a Kennedy assassination documentary, I was reminded of this story. As far as not lying in a pool of blood, if you notice in the films of Robert Kennedy's assassination, the wounded Kennedy is unable to hold his head up, but two other people are holding it up so it doesn't touch the pool on the floor. :(

mozartpc27
11-24-2008, 01:13 PM
Seeing this case up on the front page got me thinking about it again. Some thoughts, collated from the segment and information posted here:

The FBI file sugests that this was a "frenzied" killing, based on the number and severity of blows struck on Chaim's skull. While this does not totally eliminate the possibility that an outsider who was selecting not Chaim personally but a yeshiva student generally, it makes it substantially less likely. If it indeed WAS a random person from the outside looking to strike terror into the school community by selecting one boy to kill at random, there are essentially two possible motives I can think of for this person:

1) This person, perhaps living in the neighborhood where the school was located and perhaps not, was a classic anti-Semite. This was someone who hated Jewish people enough to enter a dorm at night and kill one randomly, to teach the rest a lesson or scare them.

2) This person was somehow formerly associated with the school; perhaps he was a student who as expelled, or who had had a bad experience of some kind while attending it.

If either theory is correct, we need to square it with the facts as they appear. I turn, immediately, to the apparently frenzied nature of the killing. rapunzel had posted that, according to the FBI, the first blow pierced the skull to the brain and was sufficient in itself to cause death, but that the attack continued for several more blows. This suggests someone whose passionate anger --- rage, really --- ran very deep. Could a random intruder work up the passion required to beat a boy he didn't know personally at all, but who was instead selected randomly, to death with a hatchet-like object, striking many more blows than were necessay to kill him? I doubt it, but let's look at the two possible "random" archetypes I've identified, starting with the second one.

I think that if the "random person" in question were motivated in the way I suggest in (2) above, it is all but impossible that the murder would have been this savage. Why would someone who had had a prior bad experience with the school pick a student to kill in the first place? It seems to me it would be more likely - and more effective - for such a person to kill an administrator or teacher, since the bad experience at the school probably started, as most such things do, with a disinterested or corrupt power structure.

If the random person were just a raging anti-Semite as I suggested in (1) above, perhaps this hypothetical killer could hav worked up the rage required to kill Chaim as violently as he was murdered. However, when such things happen, the person doing the killing usually tries to make it apparent what the motive was - the point of a race murder, after all, is to scare a large group of people by convincing them that an even larger or more powerful group doesn't want them around. If this were an anti-semitic stranger, why was there nothing at the scene indicating as much? Perhaps a swastika drawn on the wall, or something? It seems very pointless to murder a Jew to scare other Jews if you don't let the whole world know why the first Jew was murdered. There are, of course, crazy anti-semitic people in the world, who would gladly do what wa sdone to Chaim, but they're usually not shy about advertising their motives, if not their identities.

More importantly, in either case, if this were a random person who had somehow managed to gain access to Chaim's dorm and was intent on killing one of the students (but, since he would have been unknown to Chaim, not particularly caring who precisely he killed), how did the killer seem to have at least a decent guess as to where one of only two boys with a single slept? Why would the killer have known that ANY boys had single rooms? As others, notably wiseguy, have pointed out, whoever this was seemed to have a reasonable understanding of the layout of the dorm. Would a random killer who decided one night to kill a random yeshiva student have such knowledge? Suppose it were our hypothetical anti-semite. Though I expressed doubt earlier in this thread about whether or not the incident where the murderer mistakenly opened the door to a room next to Chaim's with two boys in it is true (a doubt I sill have), the surprise would be, in the case of a truly random anti-semitic psychopath off the street committing this crime, that this person didn't have to open EVERY SINGLE DOOR he came to before finding the room with only one boy inside. Indeed, if he were truly random, and knew nothing about the inside of the dorm before entering it, it's hard to imagine how he wouldn't have had to try this clumsy trial-and-error method. Isn't this an awfully dumb risk to take? And why would a random person looking to kill a random student take the further risk of going to an upstairs room, where he might be trapped befor he could escape? Why not just enter a room on the first floor, strike until somebody woke up, and then bolt? The circumstances just don't fit; this killer seemed to have a general idea of what he was doing. Or, if he didn't, and the "mistaken door opening" story is true, it suggests he was just looking for a boy alone - and that he must have taken the risk of opening pretty much every door he came to until he found what he was looking for in Chaim's room. It's hard to imagine someone could be this ballsy - I know I would lose my nerve after I'd gotten it wrong once or twice; I would have either murdered whoever I found or given up and ran for it before I was caught (or both)

I suppose the answer might be that the random person was indeed our hypothetical "disgruntled former student" who would have had knowledge about the dorm's layout and where the single room was (or was unsure for certain, but remembered that it was one of two rooms on an upper floor). But, for reasons I went over, why would this person select a student, rather than someone higher up the food chain to kill? And wouldn't such a student be easily identifiable - surely the police must have asked if there were any recent students who had to be expelled who might have wanted to get some measure of revenge?

I just don't think there is a viable scenario where the killer is not specifically targeting Chaim Weiss.

The Third Man
11-24-2008, 01:29 PM
I remember this case well. It's still one of the stranger cases, mainly because it seems to me that it's so close to being solved.

I agree with mozartpc27 in that it had to be someone from inside the school or at least someone who knew the layout of the school. If that's the case, though, one figures the case should have been solved a long time ago. The few likely potential suspects were teenaged boys who should have cracked under NYPD interrogation. At the very least, somebody should have talked, if only to other classmates.

The motive combined with the method of homicide is strange to me. Frenzied crime-of-passion style attacks usually indicate that the attacker knew the victim very well. Honestly it didn't seem like anybody was that close to Chaim. Furthermore, that kind of attack usually occurs after an argument. By all accounts Chaim was sleeping when he was attacked. Who could have been so angry at Chaim that he would have done that to him while he was sleeping? Surely there couldn't have been that many people in the school who fell into that category.

Even if you take away all of the stranger aspects of this case, it still seems as if there are a few things that don't make sense. If someone gets attacked when they're sleeping, surely they wake up and make a ruckus...unless they're struck hard enough to be incapacitated immediately, which suggests some kind of weapon was involved. Was such a weapon ever identified? Or did other students hear something, and were too afraid of the attacker to speak up?

mozartpc27
11-24-2008, 01:40 PM
So, if we can eliminate as a likelihood the "random" killer theory, that means Chaim was murdered by someone who knew him. What are the possible motives? In no particular order:

1) By all accounts, Chaim was a "popular" boy in the school (and even religious schools, I'm afraid, have this kind of dynamic). This leads to two distinct possibilities in my mind: 1) someone close to, but just underneath, Chaim on the social totem pole at the school, someone that Chaim perhaps even regarded as a friend, murdered him out of jealousy, or perhaps because of a specific incident in which he had been embarrassed in front of other students by Chaim in some way and 2) someone at the bottom of the social totem pole, out of jealousy, or because perhaps Chaim picked on him or something similar, had built up such a hatred toward Chaim that he killed him. This would not be uncommon; it happens among high school age boys.

2) Although it's never been offered as an explanation yet, I think would be remiss if we did not note that, even if the group we are talking about is a group that takes its religion very seriously, this was still a group of young people, just reaching puberty living in close quarters. This could have been an argument over a girl (I don't know how much opportunity these boys got to get outside the school, but it wouldn't be hard to imagine them meeting girls by, for example, sneaking out of the dorms at night and taking the short walk to the boardwalk/beach area that was apparently nearby), or, lest we fail to mention all possibilities, perhaps a murder motivated by homosexual desire. Its possible that Chaim had experimented with another boy, but ultimately decided nt to pursue it, and, in a rage brought on by rejection, the second boy killed him. It is possible that Chaim himself never realized that a particular boy had a "crush" on him, and that Chaim was not homosexual; perhaps another boy had convinced himself that he and Chaim could "be together" in some way, and then Chaim said something to him about liking a girl he had seen or met. In young adolescents in a closed community where the intensity of all personal relationships is inevitable heightened, I can imagine such a scenario leading to a boy losing control of himself and murdering Chaim.

3) Perhaps Chaim was murdered by an outsider, but someone who KNEW him. Three major theories develop: a) Perhaps there was a boy who was recently expelled over an incident involving Chaim. I doubt this because the answer would be so obvious that one would think it would HAVE to be solved, but this cenario would explain why an outsider would have intimate knonwledge of the dorms and why Chaim specifically had been targeted.
b) Perhaps Chaim knew someone from his neighborhood (his family was from Staten Island) who wanted him dead enough to pursue him out to the school on Long Island.
c) Perhaps Chaim had indeed met a girl who he himself had snuck into the dorm on a few occasions. This would explain, perhaps, why Chaim was up so late - he was waiting to be the last person awake so that he could get his girlfriend into the building. Perhaps on this night he dumped her, or they had a fight of some kind. Or perhaps he had already dumped her, and she was angry and had the combination to the dorm, and so went up there to take her revenge.

I think Cori AKA ChrisSCrush raises an interesting question when s/he mentions that, if one boy did this, not only was he risking not being heard or seen by anyone near by when he committed the murder, but also was risking that he would not wake his roomate, since all but two students had roomates (one of them being Chaim). I wonder how heavily the other boy with a single was checked out. It seems unlikely that a young, probably nervous young boy inexperienced in crime could avoid waking up someone in his own room. This observation certainly makes one want to take a second look at the notion that someone from outside the school did it, but it also raises the possbility that not one but two boys were involved - two roomates. Perhaps one held Chaim while the other struck the fatal blows.

There's no real physical evidence, as far as I know, that there were two people in the room; on the other hand, except for the fact that Chaim was dead by a violent but not self-inflicted wound, there is precious little indicating even ONE other person was in there with him.

nohwheregirl
11-24-2008, 07:59 PM
Okay, law enforcement calls this a crime of passion or a frenzied killing because of the overkill. But what if this was really a crime of inexperience?

Sorry to get graphic, but let's say that we believe the medical examiner and the first blow was enough to kill. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be any involuntary movement, coughing, gurgling or labored breathing as Chaim's body gave out. It's possible that an inexperienced killer would panic if this occurred, and hit him a few more times just to make sure he was dead. Blunt force trauma/stabbing isn't as exact a killer as a bullet through the brain.

I see this as a situation where the killer just wanted to make sure that Chaim was dead rather than a crime of anger or hatred. But the motive is still baffling. The way his body was found, it's as if the killer was remorseful, or wanted Chaim to seem cared-for. I wonder if Chaim saw something he wasn't supposed to see.

TheCars1986
11-24-2008, 08:00 PM
To play Devil's Advocate here, would it not be safe to assume that this was just a random act of violence were the motive was simply anti-semitism? It would certainly be the most plausable motive for murder out of all the ones brought forth thus far, and it also explains why someone opened the wrong door and shut it quickly when the perpetrator realized that there were two people residing in the room. Perhaps the killer checked more than one room, but only one of the boys actually woke up (or was the only one willing to talk to authorities about it). Just because the window was open and the candle was on his desk does not mean the murderer was either in the Yeshiva nor Jewish. I think either one of the boys or a rabbi found him, and keeping with their customs opened the window and lit the mourning candle. But I think authorities ruled out the possibility of an outsider too quick for that very reason.

Trevenien
04-05-2009, 07:06 PM
I have several comments:

1: The portrayal of the Yeshiva World through TV
2: They system of the Yeshiva World
3: Girls, Sex and Homosexuality in a Yeshiva Dorm
4: The Chaim Weiss case

1: I grew up in the Yeshiva System and was in a Yeshiva Dormitory for all of H.S. and 7 years of Post H.S. . My children have all gone through the Yeshiva system. So I have more than 30 years of living "in" that world.
Me my friends and relatives simply cackle with peals of laughter when we see how television portrays the Yeshiva life. There has not been one TV or movie episode that got it right.

2: Yeshiva living is not scary, secret or eerie. It is physically open, bright, and sunny for those who are in it. However, having said that, emotionally it is in fact very challenging. It can lead to individual students who donít get it, are not interested in the lifestyle, are troubled, or are misfits to feel isolated and very lonely. However, that can be said of any school system in the world. The Orthodox religion is very rigid - proudly so, and thus the staff of Yeshivas try and mold the young men in a lifestyle that understands that the rejection of the western values, of the "me" generation, of a life of pursuit of pleasure and materialism is not healthy and not the way of a Torah Jew. That is the stated goal.

Having said that, 90% of right wing yeshiva educators have zero formal training in curriculum, education, child psychology or anything else for that matter. It is a system where the teachers are chosen by giving those who have come up through the system and excelled at Talmud a job. In almost all cases he is a young man in his early 20s who is recently married with one or two children and he needs a job. He is plugged into a class of 14 yr olds (9th graders) to teach Talmud. As this teacher gets older he may or may not get moved up the chain to teach higher grades. This inevitably depends on if the Rosh Hayeshiva (The head Rabbi of the Yeshiva or "Dean") has any sons or sons in laws that need a job. The system of who gets hired and which students get admitted into the best Yeshivas is based on 1) nepotism and 2) if the family has money or not. Those are the only two criteria. The first criteria is not denied by anyone, the second criteria is only admitted off the record as wry self deprecating humor amongst those who at least have the decency to be somewhat embarrassed by the realities of trying to manage a budget solely on the charitable donations of others. (As high as Yeshiva tuition is, it never covers even 50% of the budget and every yeshiva has to raise the rest of the budget on their own).

The older I got and the more exposed to the outside world I became the more it became clear to me that while the teachers are for the most part very well meaning and want to do what is right, they have no business being educators. Most of them are very nice people who do care but simply lack any training. It is analogous to any one of us who is not trained in medicine going to a foreign country and trying to help sick people. We know a little bit, we want to help, we mean well and we would genuinely care, but we would fail in a lot of cases because we simply donít know what we are doing.

3: Girls in the dorm room. Homosexual element:

As far as a girl being in the dorm. Notwithstanding the antics of boys in dorm rooms that is portrayed on TV, the portrayal in the media that every 14 and 15 year old is somehow more clever than anyone in authority is absurd. I know that "nothing is impossible" but I can tell you that it is in fact impossible for a girl to get into a yeshiva Dorm when the semester is in session. Maybe you can do it once, but never on a regular basis.

No one can get away with anything in the dorms and this fact adds to the pressure and tension the boys feel. Living in a Yeshiva dorm is literally living in a fish bowl. everyone watches everyone else, and everyone is encouraged to tell on his fellow classmates in order to 'save him'. The fact is that these boys are forbidden to talk to anyone of the opposite sex outside of their sisters and cousins. No Yeshiva Rabbi would ever tell you otherwise - nor would they be ashamed in any way. They are also very cognizant that boys of this age have raging hormones and the possibility does exist for some small percentage to experiment with homosexual behavior because they are restricted from any kind of sexual behavior, or contact with the opposite sex at all. Thus, all yeshiva dorm rooms have no locks on them. The boys have no privacy and are well aware that there is nowhere to go within a Yeshiva campus. I believe that besides 3- 5 exceptions, in the US all Yeshiva campuses are on less than 3 acres of property and the rooms are always crowded and are most often just converted Mansions or a series of one family houses converted to dorm rooms. This isnít to say it doesnít happen. It does. Itís a rarity - but it does happen, and the staff knows as we all do that adolescence is a confusing time.

As mentioned above, I donít think they have the professional training or experience to deal with boys who have these issues very well. The standard operating procedure for anyone caught engaging in homosexual activity is immediate expulsion. (Immediate means the same day- boom out the door - Iíve seen it happen with my own eyes when I was a student and when I was an adult involved with a Yeshiva).

Again they mean well and try - but they are working in a system and with a parent body that has zero tolerance for any kind of western romantic influences on their children - and they reject absolutely the politically correct acceptance of behavior that they find abhorrent.

The upshot is that there is not much one can get away with in a Yeshiva Dorm. it was like this in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today.

4: The case of Chaim Weiss: There is not much more to say on a case that is 23 years old - I think everything that can be said has been said. I just want to point out that the chances of any student actually knowing the laws of how to handle a dead body is almost zero. The laws of Jewish death and mourning are very complicated and even seasoned Yeshiva Rabbis and teachers do not alwys know these laws well. Learning Jewish Law takes a lifetime and there are different fields and specialties. The laws of Death and Mourning fall under what we call "practical rabbinics" - it is something a congregational Rabbi who is less learned in Talmud - would have a better grasp on than most yeshiva rabbis as they deal with it as part of their job.

Thus only some of the teachers would have known these rules and not many of them either. It would have had to be the older and more scholarly ones. But there is almost zero chance that any student knew these rules. (Unless he had actually lost a family member and during the time of mourning was exposed to these laws, - easy for the authorities to check which student lost a direct family member - or he actually studied up on them because he knew he would be coming across a dead body - pretty sick - but in that case someone would have known and seen what he was learning and it would have stuck out as very odd).

There have been claims that the Yeshiva stonewalled the investigation because of religious reasons. Iíd like to make it clear that Religious Jews who cover up crimes of this nature (or assault or sexual molestation) are not fulfilling any religious laws, they are fulfilling self preservation. The Jewish law forbidding reporting another Jew to non Jewish authorities does not apply - anywhere - in any shape or form - when it comes to crimes that endanger the community. The law of not going to non Jewish authorities only applies to monetary disputes. Jews are "supposed" to be able to settle their monetary differences through Jewish arbitration. This works only because the law of the land allows arbitration to work. It is in fact sanctioned by the government. (The government welcomes any form of arbitration as it relieves the court system which is overwhelmed). However, the notion by so many of my fellow orthodox Jews that hiding violent crimes falls under this rubric is nonsense. I would say it is misguided, but there is no one in the Orthodox world who does not know the truth. The community must be protected, that is paramount. Human life is sacrosanct and suspends all Jewish law. Every Jewish child knows the law that to save a life one MUST desecrate the Sabbath.

If the Yeshiva did in fact stonewall the investigation as the deceased's father alleged in a suit that he filed against them back then, then they have committed the ultimate act of desecrating G-d's name and shaming their own people and religion.

Corky Kneivel
04-07-2009, 12:46 PM
This is an awesome thread and one that has brought out such intelligent discussion.

Mastermind
04-07-2009, 03:16 PM
1: I grew up in the Yeshiva System and was in a Yeshiva Dormitory for all of H.S. and 7 years of Post H.S. . My children have all gone through the Yeshiva system. So I have more than 30 years of living "in" that world.
Me my friends and relatives simply cackle with peals of laughter when we see how television portrays the Yeshiva life. There has not been one TV or movie episode that got it right.

Too true!

One of the things that gets lost in this case is that Chaim was 16 years old. He was not a little kid, which is something that i felt the UM epsiode didn;t do a good job of showing.

He's a teenager and with most teenagers he's wont to find trouble at times. Think abou the Kurt Sova case. (not that I'm blaming poor Kurt for his predicament)

Trevenien... were drugs and drug abuse prevalent at Yeshiva schools? Any type of "Chocalate War" type sects or gangs?

Another question I have is how big was Chaim? Was he taller than average, shorter?

Couple of points:

1. One blow may not be sufficient enough to kill a victim. I find it hard to believe that an outside intuder would just use a single blow and not strike him at least once more. The fact that it was a sharp object is curious. That doesn;t fit in with your usual bludgeon device. Makes me wonder if his injury is more accidental than intentional. Does an autopsy report rule out accidental blow?

2. If it was an intruder, the only real motive I could see would be vengeance against the Yeshiva school or Judaism in general. But why would he just kill one school kid with a blow to the head? Why not draw Swastikas on the wall, set a fire, put a pipe bomb or something? Why not molest the kid or do more damage to the body? If it was a disgraced Yeshiva student, why not go after one of the rabbi's? What seems more plausible is that this was the act of a psychopath who just wanted to kill someone in that school? I disagree that the killer would necessarily have to know the inner workings of yeshiva to break in and kill Chaim.

3. The fact that the body may have been moved twice within a short distance is suspcious. The only reason I can think that this was done was to make sure that it was known right away that Chaim was dead. if he left the kid in bed, it would be assumed that he was still sleeping.

4. I think that if some psycho was killing studnts coming through their windows, the students and rabbis would be more than willing to talk about any info they have. I mean think about it, the killer could strike again and kill another student. Wouldn't you want to make sure that guy was caught? If there is some "code of silence" in this case, I have to think that the threat is more inside than outside. That the students know the killer is among them, and that it benefits their safety not to talk.

Chaim was killed by
1. One of his fellow students as part of some retribution for some secretive activity (drugs, cult, school gang, alcohol, sex, grilfriends, homosexuality etc....)
2. Killed by a random psychopath who saw the open window as an opportunity to kill a 16 year old boy.

I hope it;s the former, because if it;s the latter....then this guy may have and may still strike again. n:(

The theory that keeps running through my head is that Chaim was killed as some initiation or part of some dare by a group of kids at the school.

TracyLynnS
04-07-2009, 05:06 PM
The theory that keeps running through my head is that Chaim was killed as some initiation or part of some dare by a group of kids at the school.

Now that's got me thinking... what time of year was it, (had the school year recently started up again?) and were the kids involved in any type of hazing activity?

Is that why they all clammed up? To protect each other? Were several kids involved in a hazing that went wrong, they miscalculated what would happen, and they ended up killing Chaim by accident?

slasherman
04-10-2009, 01:05 PM
Undoubtedly there were students there older than him and undoubtedly there were students of comparably close intellect, so is it reall that hard to conceive of someone there being intelligent enough to pull this off? Not to me, not by far.
I think this is a pretty good point.
And as to returning to the room theory. My theory is that the killer never left the room and returned. I think the killer was in the room for awhile and change the position of the body a couple of times. I mean he must have been sure he was dead. There was no risk that someone would scream. He had planned to kill him but what happen after was an act of improvisation.
I'm 90% sure this was a student, teacher or somebody related to the school....
As to the motive even though I don't think it's that important in this case:
Homosexuality, jealousy, envy or religious sin.
Chaim was killed as some initiation or part of some dare by a group of kids at the school.
This theory does not hold water cause of the knife that was used. It was no accident. A group of people would never have been able to keep this quiet. And all passing the lie detector test. No, this was an act of one killer.

What seems more plausible is that this was the act of a psychopath who just wanted to kill someone in that school? ..... vengeance against the Yeshiva school or Judaism in general.
I'm of course open to this theory as well even though it is something in they way the killing was handle that tells me this was an act of another Jew.
I'm also open for that the killing was not against Chaim himself but against the Weiss family. Especially against Chaims father. The way the father acted after the murder by suing and blaming the Yeshiva school tells me that he may have enemies from the past.

Mastermind
04-10-2009, 06:37 PM
Chaim was killed as some initiation or part of some dare by a group of kids at the school.

This theory does not hold water cause of the knife that was used. It was no accident. A group of people would never have been able to keep this quiet. And all passing the lie detector test. No, this was an act of one killer.

Not necessarily.

A dare or initiation doesn;t have to be an accident. The initiation or dare might have been to actually kill Chaim Weiss. Not to simply attack him.

How many students took the lie detector test? Not all I assume.

Chaim may not have knew the boys that did this as an intitiation. The reason they may have chose him was that he was an outsider in their group. They may have chosen him because he was an easy target. I assume the lie detector was done on only the students connected to Chaim.

Secrecy is always a key part of any gang, cult, etc. It could be also as simple as the boys that killed Chaim were not interviewed or were interviewed for a short duration. I don;t think they were thrown in the box or anything.

I'm of course open to this theory as well even though it is something in they way the killing was handle that tells me this was an act of another Jew.

Or someone who hates jews. You always study those you hate. An anti-semite, Muslim or atheist could easily know about the school and Judaic rituals with the idea of striking a blow againt Judiasm in his mind. Though I think

I tend to think that too much is placed on the fact this happend in a Jewish school. If you think about it, this could easily have happened in a secular boarding school, catholic school, or all girls boarding school fo rthat matter. heck it could happen in a military school or madaressa(sp?)

As has been discussed and used as an theory on the Jon Benet Ramsey case...there is an open window. Anybody from the outside could have noticed this and used it as an access.


The thing that bothers me about this case is the fact that it was ONE blow. If he was killed, this killer had been interrupted or was supremely confidant that he could kill Chaim. The one blow is why an accident has to be considered. It wasn;t like Chaim was mauled or anything. The only thing I can think of is that the kille did not want to risk drawing attention if he struck him multiple times.

It;s really important to know what Chaims size was. If Chaim was average size, this kind of rules out his fellow classmates from being suspects. Just imagine a power forward in the NBA trying to move another power forward in the NBA from his bed and you'll see what I'm getting at. An average size kid is not going to confidant that he can lift the body of another average size kid.

It makes much more sense that a full grown adult would chance moving the body.

Looking at it know, i lean toward this being the act of an outside individual. I don;t think this person necessarily has to be connected to the school. Possibly the jogger that was seen. I think it;s quite possible their could have been someone who lived near the school and harbored anti-semitism and killed Chaim as a means to hurt the school.

Mastermind
04-10-2009, 06:55 PM
Originally Posted by mozartpc27
I agree that a student is the most likely murderer here, Corky, but what precisely makes you think that the killer reentered the room?

If body had to be lifted to be moved. That would point more toward an adult, than a teen.

3) Perhaps Chaim was murdered by an outsider, but someone who KNEW him. Three major theories develop: a) Perhaps there was a boy who was recently expelled over an incident involving Chaim. I doubt this because the answer would be so obvious that one would think it would HAVE to be solved, but this cenario would explain why an outsider would have intimate knonwledge of the dorms and why Chaim specifically had been targeted.

Chaim doesn;t drive and goes to school in a boarding school. His circle of friends and acquaintances is not that large a group. His family should be able to point out a POA. If it's a family member why would they risk breaking into a boarding school to kill Chaim? I have to think there are easier ways to off him.

Rapunzel676
10-04-2009, 08:00 AM
Since this is, for lack of a better term, my "pet" case, I periodically check news databases for information on it. Last time I looked -- I can't remember when it was, but it's been a while -- I found a whole cache of articles I hadn't seen before, with some very intriguing (and at times, confusing) information. I found a number of discrepancies and inaccuracies that I'll get around to posting when I'm not so tired -- providing, of course, that all the stories I saved and my meticulous notes on them didn't get wiped out in one of the numerous computer crashes I've had since. I don't mean to be a tease; just visited the board on a whim and noticed there had been some discussion on the case this year.

One thing I do remember, though, is that Chaim was in fact killed instantly by a blow to the head so severe that the medical examiner compared his (Chaim's, that is) skull to a broken eggshell. The remaining wounds were inflicted postmortem, with a heavy, bladed object that still hasn't been identified, though I have a few ideas about that.

I'll get back to you guys, I swear! And it won't take me two years. ;)

ETA: He wasn't completely on the floor; the upper part of his body was on the floor, while the lower half remained in bed. That might tell you something about the strength of the killer or the timing of the murder or it might just be one of those troubling details.

youngUMfan
10-04-2009, 11:32 AM
Here is a bit of a news case.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/21/nyregion/unsolved-crimes-that-piqued-public-interest.html?pagewanted=all

edit: there you go rapunzel.

Mastermind
10-04-2009, 07:45 PM
ETA: He wasn't completely on the floor; the upper part of his body was on the floor, while the lower half remained in bed. That might tell you something about the strength of the killer or the timing of the murder or it might just be one of those troubling details.

Rapunzelle, do you have Chaims specifics in terms of height & weight?

Rapunzel676
10-04-2009, 08:47 PM
Rapunzelle, do you have Chaims specifics in terms of height & weight?

Specifically? I doubt a reporter would have access to that level of detail. To the best of my knowledge he was slight, but I'll have to check. I'd have to find my notes and they're pretty jumbled.

Some general advice: Be careful about posting news stories. Fair use only goes so far, and news organizations take copyright infringement pretty seriously. I learned this the hard way. :(

lighthousekeeper
10-04-2009, 10:34 PM
I lived on LI when this happened and was always surprised that apparently no-one was brought to justice.
However---I wonder if the Orthodox community "took care" of the offender, themselves. Kept justice within the fold. Did anyone associated with the yeshiva, or Chaim's family, etc. take an unexpected life path? Not Soprano-style, but in a way which would accord with Orthodox practice? Didn't marry as well as was expected? Or rise to the academic heights expected? Was given a level of trust or work out of the ordinary for one of his family, or gifts? Sent away unexpectedly?
I wouldn't be surprised to find that both the police and the family are satisfied that justice has been served, in fact if not in law.

Mastermind
10-04-2009, 10:40 PM
Specifically? I doubt a reporter would have access to that level of detail. To the best of my knowledge he was slight, but I'll have to check. I'd have to find my notes and they're pretty jumbled.

You'd say he was smaller than average, for a boy his age, then?

The type of kid who would be the victim, rather than the bully?

Corky Kneivel
03-10-2010, 04:24 PM
This is an awesome thread and one that has brought out such intelligent discussion.


I agree with this poster 100%. He seems very smart.

And handsome.








And funny.

mattc
03-10-2010, 07:44 PM
This is an awesome thread and one that has brought out such intelligent discussion.

I completely agree too! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread this evening, as this case has always stayed with me for the same reason it has stayed with all of us: This case seemed so close to being solved at the time it aired.

Now, if you'll allow me to throw all political correctness out the window here, and just express some thoughts on this case, that would be cool!

First, "Trevenian," thanks SO much for your post..it was very informative on the Yeshiva culture.

I have two theories on this case:

1) The parent of a student at the yeshiva, or
2) Either a student, or more likely an adult, affiliated with the yeshiva was who simply a religious nut case, for lack of a better word

My first theory is the one I first thought when watching the segment: this was a bright, popular, prodigal son type of student, and perhaps he was murdered by a jealous parent of a student (remember that crazy chick who killed the cheerleader in Texas). Some have said that jealously and "one's own room" are weak motives, but this was their entire life, remember. This wasn't like high school, where you go for 6 hours, then leave. I'm sure in that environment, status, reputation, and academia were extremely important. I'm thinking that the parent of a student killed him (a parent would know the combination), and that the child may not have even known that the parent was going to do it. I strongly feel that the movement of the body and the window being open are not all that important because I agree that a rabbi or adult at the school (or maybe even a student who happened to be aware of the custom, did it to increase the level of respect to the body before LE came in.

But as I thought more about this, and read this brilliant thread today, I'm thinking that he was killed by an over-zealous rabbi or adult (or maybe even older student). Let's face it, Orthodox Judaism, like all other extreme forms of religion, are hard core. Their religion is their life; it's more important than abiding by "human laws. I'm thinking that Weiss may have been caught doing something (including engaging in homosexual behavior), or perhaps he was being sexually abused by an adult rabbi in the yeshiva, and the rabbi was worried about him revealing this. The killer then kills the kid because he disobeyed the Torah or whatever, and either no one knows who did it, or the person who did it is respected enough that the few people who do know are so far gone in their beliefs that they feel it was justified.

I know that "Trevenian" says that withholding information goes against the teachings, but, lets face it, religion is often hypocritical, and not immune from ethics violations.

I believe that people (however few) in that yeshiva know exactly what happened, and simply feel that they are either "above the law of humans" or feel that what ever happened is best left dealt with "within the community."

And I what put money on the bet that several students/adults refused polygraphs because "it goes against my religious beliefs."

I don't know, but this case really pisses me off, because I get tired of violence hiding behind, or being justified, on religious grounds :mad:

Wamisto
03-11-2010, 12:04 AM
I believe that people (however few) in that yeshiva know exactly what happened, and simply feel that they are either "above the law of humans" or feel that what ever happened is best left dealt with "within the community."

And I what put money on the bet that several students/adults refused polygraphs because "it goes against my religious beliefs."

Just like the terrorists who are going to refuse to submit to the full-body scans at airports because it is "against my religion". Right! Actually, the saddest thing about all of this is that we spend all this money to protect us from the very people who are going to refuse to submit to it on grounds of religious freedom. White man, it would appear, is not nearly as intelligent as he likes to think :rolleyes:

Anyway, I digress ... I think the people on the inside know, and this is why: If I was living in a dorm, and someone was murdered, I would be packing my bags and high-tailing it out of there like yesterday! Especially if I was that kid whose door was opened by the killer. And if my son was a student there, I'd be down there in a heartbeat, tell my son to pack his bags, and take him out of there never to return. Unless, of course, we all knew who did it, or knew the powers-that-be knew who did it, that it was personal and not random, and that the "culprit" would be dealt with "internally".

Neither the segment or any other source I have read indicates a great fear gripped the students and a mass exodus followed for fear that this murderer might return to knock off a few other students randomly out of some hatred for Jews or Judaism or this particular Yeshiva or for who knows what other reason. Regardless of any new security system, as a student, I would be developing a pretty quick case of insomnia, I can tell you that, and in no time at all, I would not be able to focus very well on my studies anymore.

UM often does not name suspects, but usually "implies" quite a bit. Like the ATV Murder segment, when Robert Stack says "the most frustrating case is when the police know who committed the murder, but lack the evidence to convict", and then later interviews an officer, who says, "we believe the killers live in the area". Sure enough, when they ran the update, RS said about the man arrested and charged, "[So-and-So] was a suspect from the very beginning of the investigation". Implication: "this is the guy we were talking about when we introduced the segment".

This case is similar, in that RS speaks of the "secrecy" right at the start - and this theme of secrecy, silence, etc., was what was highlighted throughout the segment. UM is privy to much that they do not put into the segments. I think UM knew, because the investigators they interviewed knew, that the murderer was another student, that the killing was personal, but due to the conspiracy of silence, they were not able to know for sure who the killer was, and certainly could not gather the evidence necessary to convict.

Combine this with the suspicions of Mr. Weiss, and his lawsuit alleging silence and covering-up, and combine this with the vicious nature of the crime (multiple stab wounds which screams "crime of passion" borne of personal feelings of anger, and/or envy, or rejection, etc.), and I just think it is highly unlikely that the murderer was anyone other than another student.

ccmmze
03-14-2010, 11:50 PM
I have just stumbled across this thread, and I find most of the analysis well reasoned, however, not well informed. Most of your information comes from the media, which did not portray all the facts accurately. I was in the dorm the night Chaim was murdered. Only one poster, I believe, posted a side fact that was not well known, and that, I believe, was not in the media.

Furthermore, most of the posters here are not well versed in orthodox culture. Please read Trevenien's posting, as he very accurately protrays the culture and is obviously speaking from his background.

I do not know who did it, and my speculation is as good as anyone else's. However, some inaccuracies need to be cleared.

Every single student who was in the dorm that night was subjected to a "voluntary" polygraph.

I know a few students who had suspicions and were not afraid to voice them. Every single lead and rumor was followed.

The older students (i.e., those who were approximately 17 and over) were not there that weekend, as they had an extended holiday break and were not due back till the following week.

One side door from the outside, the one that led to the staircase directly to Chaim's room, was NOT locked from the outside. The lock was broken.

One fact that was not reported, due to it being the night after Holloween, the police department had promised to station a car outside the dorm for the night. No police car was seen the entire night. In fact, Chaim and I made a point of mentioning it earlier that evening.

Corky Kneivel
03-16-2010, 05:00 PM
The older students (i.e., those who were approximately 17 and over) were not there that weekend, as they had an extended holiday break and were not due back till the following week.


Wow!!! Thanks for posting ccmmze.

A few very interesting points in your post:

One side door from the outside, the one that led to the staircase directly to Chaim's room, was NOT locked from the outside. The lock was broken.

One fact that was not reported, due to it being the night after Holloween, the police department had promised to station a car outside the dorm for the night. No police car was seen the entire night. In fact, Chaim and I made a point of mentioning it earlier that evening.

How can this not be a major deal right here?

The older students (i.e., those who were approximately 17 and over) were not there that weekend, as they had an extended holiday break and were not due back till the following week.

I find this interesting as the killer could have felt like he had an alibi for not being on the scene.


I have a few questions for you if you donít mind:
Did you google Chaim's name and come across this site?
How did the Yeshiva, and the community at large, treat Chaimís father afterwards?
What was the mood of the students and the studentís families afterwards? I ask because a poster above brings up a good point about how a schoolís population could drop severely if the perception is that the faculty is hiding things and/or stonewalling the investigative authorities.
In that community does anyone question the rabbis?
Do you concur with Trevenien that students wouldnít be cognizant to observe death rituals as the rabbis would?

ccmmze
03-16-2010, 06:55 PM
Wow!!! Thanks for posting ccmmze.

A few very interesting points in your post:



How can this not be a major deal right here?



I find this interesting as the killer could have felt like he had an alibi for not being on the scene.
I don't think that's likely. All older students were home with their parents or family for the holiday. The murder took place on Friday evening. An observant jew, especially a teenager at home with his family, cannot simply disappear for hours in middle of the night without being questioned or noticed, and there is no legitimate excuse to violate the Shabbos.

I have a few questions for you if you donít mind:
Did you google Chaim's name and come across this site?

Yes.

How did the Yeshiva, and the community at large, treat Chaimís father afterwards?

I cannot speak for the administration or faculty. However, I have never heard any harsh or negative words from the student body directed toward the family, nor can I justify any.

What was the mood of the students and the studentís families afterwards? I ask because a poster above brings up a good point about how a schoolís population could drop severely if the perception is that the faculty is hiding things and/or stonewalling the investigative authorities.

A number of students and/or their families wanted to switch schools. However, almost all orthodox schools that were comparable to the Mesivta collectively decided not to accept any transfer students, in order to prevent the Mesivta from possible collapse. There was one exception, a high school in Baltimore, and one or two students did transfer. To put this in perspective, there were only 16 students in our class.

In that community does anyone question the rabbis?

Most of the students did, although only a few openly. I'm sure alot of the parents did as well, although I would have been too young then to be involved in such discussions. I don't think this is an "orthodox" thing, as I'm sure authority figures are rarely challenged openly by 15 year olds.

Do you concur with Trevenien that students wouldnít be cognizant to observe death rituals as the rabbis would?[/QUOTE]

Trevenien is more correct than he realizes. I happen to be very familiar with death rituals myself, and it took me several years of intensive study. Furthermore, there is no religious requirement that a window be opened. There are some laws pertaining to ritual impurities that depend on whether a window or door is open, most of which are not relevant today (relating to religious sacrifice). I personally think this angle was first proposed by the first officer on the scene. That officer (non-jew) propped the door open to the room "to let the soul escape."

Zlatko
03-17-2010, 01:11 AM
Thank you, ccmmze, for the information you've given thus far.

I just have a few questions regarding Chaim. Were there any students in the school that didn't like Chaim? By that, I mean had a lot of animosity towards him? Did anyone have anything against his family in general?

Mastermind
03-17-2010, 12:13 PM
Wow!!! Thanks for posting ccmmze.

A
Quote:
few very interesting points in your post:



How can this not be a major deal right here?



I find this interesting as the killer could have felt like he had an alibi for not being on the scene.
I don't think that's likely. All older students were home with their parents or family for the holiday. The murder took place on Friday evening. An observant jew, especially a teenager at home with his family, cannot simply disappear for hours in middle of the night without being questioned or noticed, and there is no legitimate excuse to violate the Shabbos.

1. But this is an "observant jew" that has murder on his mind might not be that observant or obedient to his religion. I'm sure like in most religions he's willing to bend a few rules

2. Perhaps his family did know their child left during the night...hence the coverup.

3. Just because your in a religious family..it doesn't mean you can't escape from your parents home to engage in mischief. Doesn;t mean your parents are that strict.

A number of students and/or their families wanted to switch schools. However, almost all orthodox schools that were comparable to the Mesivta collectively decided not to accept any transfer students, in order to prevent the Mesivta from possible collapse.

That is very interesting....where these desires to leave specifically voiced...AFTER...Chaim;s death...or BEFORE?

ccmmze, thanks for your input...some questions I have..

1. Would you characterize Chaim as being smaller than average or larger than average for his age?

2. Usually in every school whether it be private, public, catholic, yeshiva, or whatever...there is either a local "tough" or group of "toughs". Was there a guy(s) during your time there at the school that would qualify as being the school bully? Someone that the kids in the school usually steer clear of.

3. Was there ever any incidents of anti-semitism at the school prior or after Chaim's death? A threatening phone call, a letter with hate marks.

4. Was there any people with access to the school that wouldn't be classified as orthodox jews. Cleaning crews, repairman, night janitor anybody like that? Was the school completely kept out from non-orthodox jews).

5. Has any rabbi, teacher or student ever dismissed before or after Chaims death? Was there a rabbi that students either favored or hated more than the others.

6. Was Chaim's body completely on the floor or was it partially on the bed?

7. If a fight were to occur between two yeshiva students...what would be the first thought that comes to your mind as to the reason behind the fight?

8. if someone were to still something...say a student stole another students watch. What would you expect the pinishment to be? I'm not asking what the Yeshiva rules would say, but what would ACTUALLY happen?

9. Say I was a Yeshiva student who wanted to go out to drink alcohol, smoke pot and get it on with a girl. Would I be able to do this easily? Have students done it before? Would you characterize such incidents as fairly common or extremely rare? Is there a particular venue they would use to obtain women, alcohol, pot that was very accessible?

10. Has the school every been broken into prior to Chaim's death?

11. Who mediates disputes at the Yeshiva?

12. Who ,if anyone at all, handles security at the Yeshiva?

Thanks for your help?

Thanks.

ccmmze
03-17-2010, 12:28 PM
Thank you, ccmmze, for the information you've given thus far.

I just have a few questions regarding Chaim. Were there any students in the school that didn't like Chaim? By that, I mean had a lot of animosity towards him? Did anyone have anything against his family in general?

In general, notwithstanding his "sharp tongue", he was a very popular kid. I can't think of any student that would have enough animosity to kill him.

Think this through for a minute - we spent at least the next 9 months of the school year (some of us even several more years) sleeping in the same building with the rest of our classmates. Don't you think we spent most of our waking moments considering whether one of our classmates did it? Even if you would believe that there was a "code of silence" (which wasn't stronger in our school than any other high school in America), don't you think at least one of the students would have leaked the information, at least anonymously? The possibility that one of the students did it, and other students knowing about it and not informing the authorities would only be conceivable if EVERY single person hated him enough to kill him (which only happens in Agatha Christie novels), and Chaim was definitely not hated, and actually one of the more popular students.

Mastermind
03-17-2010, 12:59 PM
don't you think at least one of the students would have leaked the information, at least anonymously?

1.But their students though...I assume most of them do not have cars. To contact a police officer they would have to call him..on a phone in the Yeshiva or their own home.

2. The kids would not talk for the same reason a neighbor in Anacostia DC doesn't talk to the police about someone being shot. The killer still is in your school and could easily make you the next target. If a rabbi did it, that is almost like witnessing a congressman kill someone!:eek: The rabbi has the power to make your life miserable.

The possibility that one of the students did it, and other students knowing about it and not informing the authorities would only be conceivable if EVERY single person hated him enough to kill him

I don;t see your logic there. It may not be so much that they hate Chaim...but that they love their own lives a little more than getting justice for the already dead.

The person who fingers Chaims killer is going to know to everyone. That person and his family are going to be in danger from possible repercussions. Heck that person is going to be considered a sinner if the killer ever got out of jail.

In general, notwithstanding his "sharp tongue", he was a very popular kid.

Could you explain what you mean by "sharp tongue"? Why would this sharp tongue not prevent him from being popular?

(which only happens in Agatha Christie novels)

Well, not really. It happens all the time.

1. A drug dealer or mobster/ that was disliked by his fellow gangsters for his brash behavior will probably not have anyone speaking out in his defense.

2. A prisoner who was a pedophile will probably not have any defenders if he;s found hanging from a short distance.

3. If a marine seargant who was excessively strict is found shot to death in his barracks...i'm pretty sure there won;t be a lot of privates feeling that sad about it.

I'm pretty sure in any school that there are those students that classmates would not speak out about if they died.

The code of silence works on these 3 principles
1. We clean up our own messes.
2. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
3. the IOU system. (you do me this favor...I'll remember and do you a favor)

The above could easily explain what happened at the Yeshiva
1. We don;t need secular, non-ordthodox laws to govern us. The rules of our God will tell us how best to find and punish this individual that killed Chaim.
2. If I expose the killer what if my own improper activities get exposed later.
3. If I don;t expose the rabbi's son as a killer, said Rabbi may make good on that favor for me later.

Corky Kneivel
03-17-2010, 03:58 PM
I can only speak for myself in saying that I accepted at face value UM's claim that the school was secretive and non-cooperative. They made it a point to portray Yeshivas that way and, what with the improbably circumstances of the murder going unsolved, it seemed that way. From what you've said though there was much more cooperation than we would have ben led to believe.

Thank you for being so open and honest and indulging these questions, I've been curious about this horrible crime for a long time. Also please excuse the quizzing and the ignorance of yours and Travenian's culture but its a million miles, figuratively, from how I grew up so i'm a little curious.

Think this through for a minute - we spent at least the next 9 months of the school year (some of us even several more years) sleeping in the same building with the rest of our classmates. Don't you think we spent most of our waking moments considering whether one of our classmates did it? Even if you would believe that there was a "code of silence" (which wasn't stronger in our school than any other high school in America), don't you think at least one of the students would have leaked the information, at least anonymously? The possibility that one of the students did it, and other students knowing about it and not informing the authorities would only be conceivable if EVERY single person hated him enough to kill him (which only happens in Agatha Christie novels), and Chaim was definitely not hated, and actually one of the more popular students.



Taking into account what you've said above I am assuming that its your opinion that the murderer wandered in off the street, through the broken door, & up the stairs to Chaim's room?
Was that the prevailing opinion throughout the school?
If my assumption is incorrect what's your opinion?
How do you yourself account for the body being moved at different times?
Did the stairs lead ONLY to his room?
What about the student who reported his bedroom door being opened?
You mentioned no police presence as was scheduled. Was that a point of contention between the community and the police?


I think a major matter is that the doors have no locks on them. Whoever the killer was either had prior knowledge of that or discovered it during/after the act. Coming back was brazen enough but this person must have known they couldn't linger in the room for too long. Why come back and spend time moving the body?

ccmmze
03-17-2010, 07:40 PM
I can only speak for myself in saying that I accepted at face value UM's claim that the school was secretive and non-cooperative. They made it a point to portray Yeshivas that way and, what with the improbably circumstances of the murder going unsolved, it seemed that way. From what you've said though there was much more cooperation than we would have ben led to believe.

Thank you for being so open and honest and indulging these questions, I've been curious about this horrible crime for a long time. Also please excuse the quizzing and the ignorance of yours and Travenian's culture but its a million miles, figuratively, from how I grew up so i'm a little curious.

Taking into account what you've said above I am assuming that its your opinion that the murderer wandered in off the street, through the broken door, & up the stairs to Chaim's room?
Was that the prevailing opinion throughout the school?
If my assumption is incorrect what's your opinion?
How do you yourself account for the body being moved at different times?
Did the stairs lead ONLY to his room?
What about the student who reported his bedroom door being opened?
You mentioned no police presence as was scheduled. Was that a point of contention between the community and the police?

I think a major matter is that the doors have no locks on them. Whoever the killer was either had prior knowledge of that or discovered it during/after the act. Coming back was brazen enough but this person must have known they couldn't linger in the room for too long. Why come back and spend time moving the body?

Corky,

You make some good points and ask some good questions. However, please keep an open mind. With respect to UM portraying the Yeshiva as secretive and uncooperative - What would you expect? The world at large cannot undertand orthodox judaism, and therefore believe that most of our actions are mystical and secretive. (It also makes for great TV!) As you may know, the media ia not always 100% accurate. I saw the relevant UM episode and it was about 80% accurate. That's amazingly good, and much more accurate than alot of the original reporting. However, that leaves about 20% of the material inaccurately portrayed.

With respect to the Yeshiva, without defending them, how would you define "cooperative?" They insisted every student submit to a polygraph administered by the police, every student had to be available at any time to answer any of the detective's questions, the police were at the school for months, and the entire dorm building was shut down and available to the police for the remainder of the year. I think that's being cooperative.

There were some internal politics between some of the faculty, dealing with academic matters, that was serious enough to go to religious arbitration. The police were so pissed that they weren't made aware of it and accused the school of being uncooperative! The matter wasn't hidden or kept secret - every single student in the school was aware of it, it just wasn't relevant! I remember when the detective blew up over it. It left the entire student body scratching their heads, "like, you got to be kidding me!"

With respect to your other questions, was it someone from outside? very probable. It was the night of Halloween, the movie Halloween was on TV that night, and the expression "kill the jews" has been used and acted upon pretty often throughout world history. It could easily have been two punks on a dare. It could just as well have been a lunatic who had some vendetta against Chaim's family. At this point, I don't think we'll ever know.

Why was the body moved? Probably the most difficult question. It was moved during the night, and at least 45 minutes after the actual murder. The only answer I can think of, (and I've thought this over for over 20 years) is that the murderer forgot something and came back for it. Extremely risky, but infinitely less risky than leaving whatever it was behind.

As an aside, I believe more than one person heard their door open. The one student that I remember that definitely heard his door open, was more than halfway down the hall. The student was definitely not lying. (Take my word for it.) However, it is possible he misheard. I.e., either he never heard anything, and was simply mistaken, for example, it was part of his dream. Or he was hearing the sounds of the murder down the hall, and thought he was hearing his door open. Either way, he said that he immediately rolled over and went back to sleep. (One other student woke in the middle of the night to a noise, assumed it was his roomate snoring, and then went back to sleep as well.) In either case, it adds nothing to the analysis. However, if his door was opened, it would lend to the theory of an outsider who came in, targeting Chaim in particular.

crystaldawn
03-17-2010, 09:56 PM
Thanks so much for posting ccmmze and letting us know more facts and your insight. Only having watched the UM segment we aren't privy to 100% of the facts. I do agree that I think this could have definitely been a random act of violence now thinking that it was Halloween night. I'm curious what are your thoughts about the candle that was left burning in Chaim's room. Do you think the killer lit it? I think if he did it wouldn't have been an anti-semitic act for that seems to indicate respect for the religion. Unless of course, he was doing it to confuse the police.

VikingsGal
03-17-2010, 10:02 PM
ccmmze, I want to thank you for posting as well. As for crystaldawn's question, was there even a candle left burning in the room? Or was that made up as well?

This may sound like a very obvious question as well but weren't you or any other students nervous about staying in the dorm after the murder?

I can't think of any student that would have enough animosity to kill him. I never thought it was a student, I thought it was an outsider.

mozartpc27
03-18-2010, 11:32 AM
Corky,

You make some good points and ask some good questions. However, please keep an open mind. With respect to UM portraying the Yeshiva as secretive and uncooperative - What would you expect? The world at large cannot undertand orthodox judaism, and therefore believe that most of our actions are mystical and secretive. (It also makes for great TV!) As you may know, the media ia not always 100% accurate. I saw the relevant UM episode and it was about 80% accurate. That's amazingly good, and much more accurate than alot of the original reporting. However, that leaves about 20% of the material inaccurately portrayed.

With respect to the Yeshiva, without defending them, how would you define "cooperative?" They insisted every student submit to a polygraph administered by the police, every student had to be available at any time to answer any of the detective's questions, the police were at the school for months, and the entire dorm building was shut down and available to the police for the remainder of the year. I think that's being cooperative.

There were some internal politics between some of the faculty, dealing with academic matters, that was serious enough to go to religious arbitration. The police were so pissed that they weren't made aware of it and accused the school of being uncooperative! The matter wasn't hidden or kept secret - every single student in the school was aware of it, it just wasn't relevant! I remember when the detective blew up over it. It left the entire student body scratching their heads, "like, you got to be kidding me!"

With respect to your other questions, was it someone from outside? very probable. It was the night of Halloween, the movie Halloween was on TV that night, and the expression "kill the jews" has been used and acted upon pretty often throughout world history. It could easily have been two punks on a dare. It could just as well have been a lunatic who had some vendetta against Chaim's family. At this point, I don't think we'll ever know.

Why was the body moved? Probably the most difficult question. It was moved during the night, and at least 45 minutes after the actual murder. The only answer I can think of, (and I've thought this over for over 20 years) is that the murderer forgot something and came back for it. Extremely risky, but infinitely less risky than leaving whatever it was behind.

As an aside, I believe more than one person heard their door open. The one student that I remember that definitely heard his door open, was more than halfway down the hall. The student was definitely not lying. (Take my word for it.) However, it is possible he misheard. I.e., either he never heard anything, and was simply mistaken, for example, it was part of his dream. Or he was hearing the sounds of the murder down the hall, and thought he was hearing his door open. Either way, he said that he immediately rolled over and went back to sleep. (One other student woke in the middle of the night to a noise, assumed it was his roomate snoring, and then went back to sleep as well.) In either case, it adds nothing to the analysis. However, if his door was opened, it would lend to the theory of an outsider who came in, targeting Chaim in particular.

ccmmze, thanks for posting here. This case has always been one of the most "popular" UM cases in terms of interest, probably because of how scary and tragic the circumstances were. It's hard to believe anyone would want to do that to a 16 year old kid.

Your new information raises some important questions:

1) Apparently, the administration of this school felt they had something to fear from the neighborhood. Were previous and/or subsequent mischief nights problematic, or was it just this one time? Were there ever any other times of year when the school was targeted by anti-Semites? Can you relate any other incidents?

2) If the administration of the school was concerned enough to ask for a police car to be posted outside the school, why did they NOT make sure to have a broken lock fixed, especially in time for mischief night, which seems to have been a particular concern? This seems like a glaring inconsistency in attitude; a locksmith could fix a broken lock in an afternoon. If there was enough consternation about the neighborhood surrounding the school and potential incidents to motivate them to ask for a police car to watch the school all night, why weren't they motivated enough to get a locksmith to come put a new lock on the door?

3) How difficult would it have been for a random person to enter and navigate the dorm, without causing enough of a disturbance to wake anyone enough that they got out of bed, and ultimately find one of only two boys with a single? If this was a random killer, it seems he got at least somewhat lucky. My question to you is: exactly how lucky did this person get?

4) Thanks for the information about how long of a time it was, minimally, between when Chaim was killed and when his body would have been moved the first time. But, if 45 minutes, minimally, had elapsed, isn't it very unlikely that the murderer was someone who otherwise had no business being in the school? Going back seems like a highly unusual thing to do, not to mention a terribly risky thing to do, for someone who only entered to kill Chaim in the first place. Any ideas of what he could have been looking for that would have ended up UNDER Chaim's body, necessitating that it be moved? I can't figure how the murder weapon would have gotten there.

5) If the person who murdered Chaim opened the window, indeed, to throw the murder weapon out of it, rather than for any particular religious reason, how likely would the crash that the noise made have been to be loud enough to people inside the dorm to wake them? Could you hear a lot of going on outside from these rooms, or not? And, if a random person had thrown a weapon out of Chaim's window, would he have had an easy time finding that weapon again once he got downstairs and outside? Was the area underneath Chaim's window easily accessible to an intruder?

It would be interesting to have answers to all of these questions.

mozartpc27
03-18-2010, 11:43 AM
This passage here (from rapunzel's post):

"In all probability, the offender would have had to have been close enough to know that Weiss' body had not been discovered before returning to the scene . . . Upon re-entry, the assailant found the room dark and raised the shade to provide additional light . . . Weiss' body was moved by the assailant, either to provide easier access to the window and shade or for the assailant to look under the body for anything incriminating left there. The window may have been opened by the assailant to discard some item which he later retrieved."

I base my opinion that the killer came back to the room and moved the body from the passage above because, as I read it, the investigative authorities (IA) based their opinion on the blood. I am assuming that they feel there was enough blood pooled in the bed and in the original spot on the floor to suppose that if anyone else but the killer had moved the body from the bed to the floor then the police would have been notified much earlier. I agree that a school official moved the body from its second location to its third and I think the IA do too as they give no explanation for it.

I'm saying that the IA saw enough blood in the bed to surmise that not only was the kill spot, but the body had lain there for a time. Then they saw another blood formation of such a significant amount and pattern they surmised that the body had lain there for a time as well. And that if a school official had been the one to move the body from the bed to the floor spot A, then from floor spot A to floor spot B, the amount of blood at floor spot A meant that school officials, or at least 'a' school official, had been aware of the murder for quite some time before the IA were even notified.

If only we knew the amount of blood pooled in each spot, along with its level of congealing, then you and I would probably be able to deduce which theory is more in accordance with the facts.

This is an older post of yours, Corky, in response to one of mine about who moved the body the FIRST time it was moved. I somehow never responded. You were responding to my thought that the person who originally found the body moved it the first time, but then moved it again, because blood seeped from the wound after the first move, and so it had to be moved again to prevent it from lying in its own blood. No matter who moved it the first time, this or something like it does appear to have been the motivation for moving it the second time, I think.

You raise some excellent points arguing for the notion that it was the killer, and not the person who found the body, who moved the body the first time, and I could be persuaded to your way of thinking; the only thing is, we now apparently know that at least 45 minutes elapsed between the murder and the FIRST time the body was moved. That's an awfully long time, and it certainly suggests that, if the killer did it, he came back after having left and did it. That seems to me to be an awfully risky thing to do, but it certainly could be the case. I don't know; I'm torn now.

Also, I'd like to point out that I like the point made earlier in this thread by another poster (TracyLynnS, I believe) suggesting that the apparent "frenzied" nature of the killing might really be the result of an inexperienced killer simply over-doing it in a panicked attempt to ensure that his or her victim was, in fact, dead.

sdb4884
03-18-2010, 01:06 PM
I've just seen this case recently and I love the music featured in it. I also heard the same music on another "jewish" type case.

Mastermind
03-18-2010, 01:42 PM
5) If the person who murdered Chaim opened the window, indeed, to throw the murder weapon out of it, rather than for any particular religious reason, how likely would the crash that the noise made have been to be loud enough to people inside the dorm to wake them? Could you hear a lot of going on outside from these rooms, or not? And, if a random person had thrown a weapon out of Chaim's window, would he have had an easy time finding that weapon again once he got downstairs and outside? Was the area underneath Chaim's window easily accessible to an intruder?

1. He may not have had to throw the weapon away. It may have been something that he could holster or pocket like a wrench, knife, flashlight, hammer, gun or baton..He may have worn a tool belt or was wearing a holtster(which is a frightening and disturbing thought:(). Can it be completely ruled out that a gun inflicted the blow? I've seen the blunt of knives capable of doing servere damage.

2. The murder weapon may have been something he needed to keep. For example a flashlight. Or a gun he mentioned.

Any ideas of what he could have been looking for that would have ended up UNDER Chaim's body, necessitating that it be moved?

1. A piece of decoration or insignia? (like a badge, religious adornment, name tag, golden pips...)
2. A common racist notion is that all Jews are rich hoarders..perhaps this guy in his ignorance was hoping to find money or some valuables.

I don;t know why he needs to move the body twice in order get something. Pushing Chaim over a little would be sufficient. I also like you, don;t know how anything would get under there unless he was already planning to move Chaim and it fell under.

3. maybe he moved the body because he was attempting to molest Chaim...but was suddenly interrupted.


Also, I'd like to point out that I like the point made earlier in this thread by another poster (TracyLynnS, I believe) suggesting that the apparent "frenzied" nature of the killing might really be the result of an inexperienced killer simply over-doing it in a panicked attempt to ensure that his or her victim was, in fact, dead.

Wasn't Chaim struck only once? Why would that seem frenzied?
The victim was 16 year-old Chaim Weiss. A single blow to his skull with a sharp object had severed his spinal column.

I think the fact that Chaim was struck only once indicates a lot in this case. It almost seems that whoever killed him wasn;t intending to kill him. Perhaps only knock him unconcious.

If the administration of the school was concerned enough to ask for a police car to be posted outside the school, why did they NOT make sure to have a broken lock fixed, especially in time for mischief night, which seems to have been a particular concern?

Not to get conspiratorial here..but I think it's quite possible the lock was damaged on purpose to bolster the intruder theory.

3) How difficult would it have been for a random person to enter and navigate the dorm, without causing enough of a disturbance to wake anyone enough that they got out of bed, and ultimately find one of only two boys with a single? If this was a random killer, it seems he got at least somewhat lucky. My question to you is: exactly how lucky did this person get?

Depends on his criminal background. If he's a career burgular (which he might be to be able to scale the building) he might be used to moving around houses in the dark.

Unlike a burgular...the killer does have an advantage in that he's not looking for hiding places for valuables...he's looking to find a kid to kill.

Dorm rooms can be pretty generic if you think about it. It;s not like breaking into someones high rise apartment where the layout could vary tremendously.

That being said, i do agree that the killer has to have some prior knowledge of the school's layout.

1) Apparently, the administration of this school felt they had something to fear from the neighborhood. Were previous and/or subsequent mischief nights problematic, or was it just this one time? Were there ever any other times of year when the school was targeted by anti-Semites? Can you relate any other incidents?

Here's the problem with the Anti-Semetic attack theory...

You;d think that if an Anti-Semite could break into the Yeshiva school..that he would do a lot more than kill one kid with a single blow.

Why didn't he..
1. Throw a malotov cocktail into the dorms and try to kill multiple students in an "Alabama bombing" type attack?

2. Why not try to deface the place with Swastika's.

3. Why not try to assasinate several Rabbi's with a gun.

Not trying to be funny here...but it seems like a waste of an opportunity to just kill one kid.

Melanie85
03-18-2010, 03:36 PM
Wasn't Chaim struck only once? Why would that seem frenzied?
The victim was 16 year-old Chaim Weiss. A single blow to his skull with a sharp object had severed his spinal column.

I think the fact that Chaim was struck only once indicates a lot in this case. It almost seems that whoever killed him wasn;t intending to kill him. Perhaps only knock him unconcious.



Not to get conspiratorial here..but I think it's quite possible the lock was damaged on purpose to bolster the intruder theory.

But wouldn't you think a single blow to the head would indicate an intruder? If the killer has some personal vendetta against Chaim, then he would have been full of rage and inevitably strike him several times. I know crimes of passion usually entail overkill, so to speak, and I would expect the same if the killer was a teenager that was angry with Chaim.

mozartpc27
03-18-2010, 03:39 PM
I believe the FBI report on the case indicated there were multiple blows.

EDIT: From an earlier post by rapunzel:

Early reports gave the cause of death as bludgeoning, probably because of the extensive damage to the victim's skull (a doctor close to the case reportedly compared it to a broken eggshell), but at autopsy Chaim was found to have multiple stab wounds on the right side of his head, neck and face, with lacerations of the brain. The first blow, which struck his right temple and penetrated his brain, had been sufficient to cause instant death.

Mastermind
03-18-2010, 04:34 PM
I believe the FBI report on the case indicated there were multiple blows.

EDIT: From an earlier post by rapunzel:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel
Early reports gave the cause of death as bludgeoning, probably because of the extensive damage to the victim's skull (a doctor close to the case reportedly compared it to a broken eggshell), but at autopsy Chaim was found to have multiple stab wounds on the right side of his head, neck and face, with lacerations of the brain. The first blow, which struck his right temple and penetrated his brain, had been sufficient to cause instant death.

Anyone have a link to the FBI report?

Mastermind
03-18-2010, 04:35 PM
Why is the FBI involved in Chaim's death?

Hate Crime?

Mastermind
03-18-2010, 04:44 PM
But wouldn't you think a single blow to the head would indicate an intruder?

Usually if you have intent to kill someone, your going to want to strike someone more than once to make sure that they are dead. You can;t have confidence that one blow is going to do the trick.

A single blow at times indicates a non-intentional or even accidental strike, since the killer had no desire to strike again on the victim.

A single blow would indicate that the attacker saw the damage he did and was too horrified to continue striking.

I

Melanie85
03-18-2010, 04:48 PM
I don;t know why he needs to move the body twice in order get something. Pushing Chaim over a little would be sufficient. I also like you, don;t know how anything would get under there unless he was already planning to move Chaim and it fell under.

3. maybe he moved the body because he was attempting to molest Chaim...but was suddenly interrupted.



Maybe the killer came back in an attempt to move the body to conceal it. Maybe he tried to move the body under the bed or into a closet, but either Chaim was too hard to move or he got frightened that somebody might hear him.

Mastermind
03-18-2010, 04:53 PM
Maybe the killer came back in an attempt to move the body to conceal it. Maybe he tried to move the body under the bed or into a closet, but either Chaim was too hard to move or he got frightened that somebody might hear him.

He moved him once...I can;t imagine it would have been that difficult to move him again.

I tend to go with the theory that Chaim was moved by Rabbi's when his body was discovered.

mozartpc27
03-18-2010, 05:59 PM
Why is the FBI involved in Chaim's death?

Hate Crime?

I gather that local authorities simply asked for investigative assistance. This was long before the world had ever heard of "hate crimes" legislation, so there would have been no separate division working on that. The forerunner to a "hate crimes" prosecution, I guess, would have been prosecuting someone for violating the civil rights of another. I suppose the FBI might have investigated under that idea.

Mastermind
03-19-2010, 01:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
Why is the FBI involved in Chaim's death?

Hate Crime?

I gather that local authorities simply asked for investigative assistance.

It's one thing for the local authorities to ask..it's another thing for the FBI to not decline the request. (which they often do..sadly)

I have a funny feeling that the reason the FBI accepted the request was:

1. The possibility of arresting a white supremicist or Islamic group in the murder was to much of a career boosting opportunity for a Supervisor to give up. I'm sure if this was a regular boarding school they would not be so interested.

2. I wonder if the FBI had prior knowledge of other attacks linked. Maybe there was a hate letter sent to the school. That was my main reason in why I was interested in why the FBI was involved in a supposed solitary murder.


Any luck in finding the link to the FBI report on the autopsy?

ccmmze
03-23-2010, 11:56 PM
ccmmze, thanks for posting here. This case has always been one of the most "popular" UM cases in terms of interest, probably because of how scary and tragic the circumstances were. It's hard to believe anyone would want to do that to a 16 year old kid.

Your new information raises some important questions:

1) Apparently, the administration of this school felt they had something to fear from the neighborhood. Were previous and/or subsequent mischief nights problematic, or was it just this one time? Were there ever any other times of year when the school was targeted by anti-Semites? Can you relate any other incidents?

2) If the administration of the school was concerned enough to ask for a police car to be posted outside the school, why did they NOT make sure to have a broken lock fixed, especially in time for mischief night, which seems to have been a particular concern? This seems like a glaring inconsistency in attitude; a locksmith could fix a broken lock in an afternoon. If there was enough consternation about the neighborhood surrounding the school and potential incidents to motivate them to ask for a police car to watch the school all night, why weren't they motivated enough to get a locksmith to come put a new lock on the door?

I have no reason to believe that the school administration knew that the lock was broken. It was a side door that was rarely used.

3) How difficult would it have been for a random person to enter and navigate the dorm, without causing enough of a disturbance to wake anyone enough that they got out of bed, and ultimately find one of only two boys with a single? If this was a random killer, it seems he got at least somewhat lucky. My question to you is: exactly how lucky did this person get?

I think either it was so random, that the police had nothing to go on, or the person was extremely lucky.

4) Thanks for the information about how long of a time it was, minimally, between when Chaim was killed and when his body would have been moved the first time. But, if 45 minutes, minimally, had elapsed, isn't it very unlikely that the murderer was someone who otherwise had no business being in the school? Going back seems like a highly unusual thing to do, not to mention a terribly risky thing to do, for someone who only entered to kill Chaim in the first place.

Killing someone in a dormitory on the third floor is "highly unusual" and "terribly risky." I would also think that a murderer would continue taking risks to avoid getting caught. The necessary conclusion would be that if an object was left behind, it would have to be something that could identify the killer, even possibly a fingerprint.

Any ideas of what he could have been looking for that would have ended up UNDER Chaim's body, necessitating that it be moved? I can't figure how the murder weapon would have gotten there.

5) If the person who murdered Chaim opened the window, indeed, to throw the murder weapon out of it, rather than for any particular religious reason, how likely would the crash that the noise made have been to be loud enough to people inside the dorm to wake them? Could you hear a lot of going on outside from these rooms, or not? And, if a random person had thrown a weapon out of Chaim's window, would he have had an easy time finding that weapon again once he got downstairs and outside? Was the area underneath Chaim's window easily accessible to an intruder?

The police believe that the weapon was carried out. Something else could have been thrown out without making a clatter. The area outside was a side yard and unpaved, other than a small walkway.

ccmmze
03-24-2010, 12:00 AM
He moved him once...I can;t imagine it would have been that difficult to move him again.

I tend to go with the theory that Chaim was moved by Rabbi's when his body was discovered.

The Police arrived before the Rabbis. The only phone call made was to 911. (Phone calls are prohibited on Saturday, other than when a person's life is in danger. We had not yet absorbed that Chaim was dead, and thought he may merely be critically injured. The rabbis were either called by the police, or by someone who ran to their house to summon them.

ccmmze
03-24-2010, 12:17 AM
1.But their students though...I assume most of them do not have cars. To contact a police officer they would have to call him..on a phone in the Yeshiva or their own home.

2. The kids would not talk for the same reason a neighbor in Anacostia DC doesn't talk to the police about someone being shot. The killer still is in your school and could easily make you the next target. If a rabbi did it, that is almost like witnessing a congressman kill someone!:eek: The rabbi has the power to make your life miserable.

I would assume that if I saw someone do it, I would be more afraid of living with that person, where that person knew that I knew, than having the person arrested and put away. If I was really scared, I would go home.

Furthermore, you are forgetting a basic background fact: Every student there took a lie detector test and was asked whether they "knew anything", "saw anything," "heard anything," or "were withholding any evidence." I'm assuming the police were satisfied, as no students were arrested or brought in for further questioning (that I know of).

I don;t see your logic there. It may not be so much that they hate Chaim...but that they love their own lives a little more than getting justice for the already dead.

The person who fingers Chaims killer is going to know to everyone. That person and his family are going to be in danger from possible repercussions. Heck that person is going to be considered a sinner if the killer ever got out of jail.

.

Could you explain what you mean by "sharp tongue"? Why would this sharp tongue not prevent him from being popular?



Well, not really. It happens all the time.

1. A drug dealer or mobster/ that was disliked by his fellow gangsters for his brash behavior will probably not have anyone speaking out in his defense.

2. A prisoner who was a pedophile will probably not have any defenders if he;s found hanging from a short distance.

3. If a marine seargant who was excessively strict is found shot to death in his barracks...i'm pretty sure there won;t be a lot of privates feeling that sad about it.

I'm pretty sure in any school that there are those students that classmates would not speak out about if they died.

The code of silence works on these 3 principles
1. We clean up our own messes.
2. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
3. the IOU system. (you do me this favor...I'll remember and do you a favor)

The above could easily explain what happened at the Yeshiva
1. We don;t need secular, non-ordthodox laws to govern us. The rules of our God will tell us how best to find and punish this individual that killed Chaim.
2. If I expose the killer what if my own improper activities get exposed later.
3. If I don;t expose the rabbi's son as a killer, said Rabbi may make good on that favor for me later.

I can't disprove the possibility that everything you say is true. However, being there, I can only tell you my belief that it is highly unlikely. We spent hours, days, and weeks going over every possibility and every conceivable suspect. We never forgot Chaim, and I'm sure I speak for almost everyone, that we remember him fondly. I'm sure that everyone's prime objective was to have the person brought to justice. No matter who it was. Even if it was one of our own. Believe me, if we had a shred of proof that someone we knew, even a Rabbi, was involved, there would have been a race to the phone. There were more than one person in the class willing to take on a Rabbi if he felt that a Rabbi was wrong.

ccmmze
03-24-2010, 12:26 AM
Thanks so much for posting ccmmze and letting us know more facts and your insight. Only having watched the UM segment we aren't privy to 100% of the facts. I do agree that I think this could have definitely been a random act of violence now thinking that it was Halloween night. I'm curious what are your thoughts about the candle that was left burning in Chaim's room. Do you think the killer lit it? I think if he did it wouldn't have been an anti-semitic act for that seems to indicate respect for the religion. Unless of course, he was doing it to confuse the police.

I'm not sure about the following, because I only heard it second hand from my classmates. I believe the issue with the candle was that there was a Rabbi who went in daily to light a candle at the murder scene. (Tradition is to have a candle lit for the seven days following a person's death.) On the third day, the Rabbi entered and found a candle already lit. However, the scene was sealed and guarded by a police officer 24 hours/day for approximately one week after the murder. Whoever walked in, walked in with the officer's approval. We all assumed that since this Rabbi was an absent minded professor type, that he lit it once and forgot about it, and then went to light it again. It never really bothered me as much as the moving of the body, and the opening of the window.

Mastermind
03-24-2010, 12:34 PM
We spent hours, days, and weeks going over every possibility and every conceivable suspect

Thanks for your response and input. Your posts have been invaluable.

The above is helpful in that it tells us that you and your fellow classmates had no visible suspect you could think of. That in and of itself is important.

Unfortunately the fact that your group couldn;t come up with a suspect , doesn;t exactly clear the whole school.

It;s an amateur investigation (much like what we are doing..on this very site:p )

1. The advantage in having a detective or PI investigate a case is that..your pretty sure that the people that are investigating did not do the crime. That can;t be said for you and your fellow classmates. In these discussions...you very well may have talked about Chaim's murder....with Chaim's actual murderer!

2. Did you write or take notes about what everyone thought? Did your re-read or compare notes. One of your classmates may have actually said something important or conflicting that you forgot two days later or can;t compare it to another kids discussion.

3. Your relationship to your classmates is through the Yeshiva school. Just like some of us have relationships with people based on the workplace. But do you really know somebody just because you work or live in a dormatory with them? Do you know what their lives are outside of the Yeshiva? Do you know what's in their drawers or what they have hidden somewhere. Do you know what they're history was prior to the coming to the Yeshiva? A police detective can search someone's things, speak to their relatives, retrieve someone's records. Things that may not be privy to you and your fellow classmates.

I mean think about it. One of your classmates or rabbi;s could have had the murder weapon hidden right in the school. Unless you plan on searching the place or that person's belongings...you would have no way of knowing.

Furthermore, you are forgetting a basic background fact: Every student there took a lie detector test

Lie detector tests are simply just for leverage. They do not really prove or disprove guilt.

Am I right to assume that YOU, yourself took a lie detector test.

We also don;t know the results of the lie detector tests. One of your classmates may very well have failed.

whether they "knew anything", "saw anything," "heard anything," or "were withholding any evidence.

Standard police interrogation. Which can always result in mistakes, lies or pure incompetence on the witnesses behalf.

I'm assuming the police were satisfied, as no students were arrested or brought in for further questioning (that I know of).

1. The police may not have gone to the Yeshiva to seek a second interview..they may have gone directly to the persons house or chose a more discrete location.

2. All that means is at the moment the police had no reason to suspect any of those interviewed at this time. . It's like during the Zodiac killer case, when Leigh Arthur Allen was initially interviewed, there was nothing to suspect him off in the initial interview. It wasn;t until years later that they found new information to request the second interview. That could change at any point..they may receive new information. In fact they may have requested to interview a student again....now...when they are adults....potentially living in their own homes.

I would assume that if I saw someone do it, I would be more afraid of living with that person, where that person knew that I knew, than having the person arrested and put away. If I was really scared, I would go home.

Your preaching to the choir, brother. (sorry for the catholic reference...:D ) But people rarely follow that thinking. It;s why so many people are afraid to snitch on others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
He moved him once...I can;t imagine it would have been that difficult to move him again.

I tend to go with the theory that Chaim was moved by Rabbi's when his body was discovered.

The Police arrived before the Rabbis. The only phone call made was to 911. (Phone calls are prohibited on Saturday, other than when a person's life is in danger. We had not yet absorbed that Chaim was dead, and thought he may merely be critically injured. The rabbis were either called by the police, or by someone who ran to their house to summon them

Hold a sec..pardon me for my ignorance.

1. Who was watching the other Yeshiva students that night? There had to be other adults in the building, no? Those individuals would not qualify as Rabbis, correct?

2. Who was the first adult to notice Chaim;s body?

3. Who made the 911 call?

4. Was it the EMT, that were the first responders at the scene or was it the police?

5. What exactly was the time period before Chaim was noticed by an adult and the police(the police, not the emergency medical people)

6. Could a rabbi be in the building that night? Could Rabbi "X" have stopped by that night to work on scriptures, clean up, get some things...etc, ect..Would it be that unusual for him to be there.

SageSlowdive
06-11-2010, 06:47 PM
This case was one of the creepiest ever featured.

Anyways, my feeling has always been an inside job, and the church was afraid to let one of their own be humiliated.

FuzzyFaceFreak
11-12-2010, 06:15 PM
This story just aired again today...

It's been 24 years since the murder occured. The other students are now in their late 30's early 40's... Time to send an Anonymous tip on anything they knew at the time.

blackdahlia28
01-14-2011, 09:00 AM
To play Devil's Advocate here, would it not be safe to assume that this was just a random act of violence were the motive was simply anti-semitism? It would certainly be the most plausable motive for murder out of all the ones brought forth thus far, and it also explains why someone opened the wrong door and shut it quickly when the perpetrator realized that there were two people residing in the room. Perhaps the killer checked more than one room, but only one of the boys actually woke up (or was the only one willing to talk to authorities about it). Just because the window was open and the candle was on his desk does not mean the murderer was either in the Yeshiva nor Jewish. I think either one of the boys or a rabbi found him, and keeping with their customs opened the window and lit the mourning candle. But I think authorities ruled out the possibility of an outsider too quick for that very reason.

I also thought it could be a hate crime motivated by anti-semitism, but then I dismissed it as an option for the following reasons:

1 - when an anti-semite makes a crime of this type he will let us known which was the reason and usually leaves swastikas painted or any script of the type ''Death to the Jews!!!" .Which is not the case here ....

2-the police should have investigated this as the prime motive... if this happened in a Yeshiva, a Jewish Orthodox school ... and was not even mentioned as a possible explanation in UM segment...why? because it was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

3-Why kill Chaim? And not the rabbi? Or set fire to the Yeshiva? Or leaves swastikas painted on the facade?

cocytus
01-14-2011, 09:45 AM
This has never struck me as being the result of anti-semitism. There would be little reason for an anti-Semite to break into a school building and kill a single student while that student was sleeping. If they wanted to kill someone, why wouldn't they have simply set the building on fire? Or waited until one of the students was walking alone in the neighborhood?

Just finished watching this segment and I think that this killing was the result of someone in the yeshiva perhaps molesting (or trying to molest) one or more of the students. That would explain why the silence was so profound from the others in the yeshiva.Whatever happened I think that the solution to this crime came from inside the yeshiva rather than outside.

XCalibur
01-15-2011, 12:37 PM
This has never struck me as being the result of anti-semitism. There would be little reason for an anti-Semite to break into a school building and kill a single student while that student was sleeping. If they wanted to kill someone, why wouldn't they have simply set the building on fire? Or waited until one of the students was walking alone in the neighborhood?

Just finished watching this segment and I think that this killing was the result of someone in the yeshiva perhaps molesting (or trying to molest) one or more of the students. That would explain why the silence was so profound from the others in the yeshiva.Whatever happened I think that the solution to this crime came from inside the yeshiva rather than outside.

I'm inclined to agree. Somehow the theory of an outsider Anti Semite just doesn't fit. To break into the school at night and kill one student with a single blow to the head? Doesn't sound like some Anti-Jew nut.

Although I think the molestation theory is a stretch to, I think there has to be some more information or evidence pointing to that than there is before you go accusing people of that.

I think the most logical theory is that there was a dispute between Chaim and another student, perhaps this other student went to his room that night to confront him about it, they argued and it got out of hand. Perhaps he didn't even intend to kill him, he might have struck him over the head in anger, realized what he'd done, then fled back to his own room.

It would also explain the extra candle and the opening of his window, thats a sign of possible remorse. A mad dog Jew hating killer would seem unlikely to stop with one blow or do anything like that.

Although I admit its strange no one heard if there was an argument.

And its also a pretty big coincidence Chaim was one of the only students without a roommate.

cocytus
01-15-2011, 12:57 PM
I'm inclined to agree. Somehow the theory of an outsider Anti Semite just doesn't fit. To break into the school at night and kill one student with a single blow to the head? Doesn't sound like some Anti-Jew nut.

Although I think the molestation theory is a stretch to, I think there has to be some more information or evidence pointing to that than there is before you go accusing people of that.

I think the most logical theory is that there was a dispute between Chaim and another student, perhaps this other student went to his room that night to confront him about it, they argued and it got out of hand. Perhaps he didn't even intend to kill him, he might have struck him over the head in anger, realized what he'd done, then fled back to his own room.

It would also explain the extra candle and the opening of his window, thats a sign of possible remorse. A mad dog Jew hating killer would seem unlikely to stop with one blow or do anything like that.

Although I admit its strange no one heard if there was an argument.

And its also a pretty big coincidence Chaim was one of the only students without a roommate.

Actually, unless the parents pay for the rooms at the yeshiva, it doesn't make sense the Chaim had his own room, especially given that he was so young. And the molestation charge isn't a stretch as it would explain why the adults in this case actively worked to sabotage the police investigation.

As I understand Orthodox Judaism, while you aren't supposed to accuse w/o solid proof, murders are supposed to face judgment and ultimately, punishment for their actions. The killer likely would have been forced to confess or have been shunned by the group had there not been more to the case.

I think that this case was "handled" internally and the killer (or killers) have faced punishment within their own community. While that probably didn't include a stretch in prison, I'm sure that the social consequences were very harsh.

sdb4884
02-07-2011, 02:07 AM
It's hard to believe anyone from the outside could have gained access to the building. The window led to the other buildings maybe there was a walkway down to the street. It seems like there wasn't another bed in Chaim's room for anticipation of another roomate. The lack of communication which stems from the religion itself was a perfect cover for one of the students or rabbis if they did indeed cause the murder.

XCalibur
02-08-2011, 09:26 AM
It's hard to believe anyone from the outside could have gained access to the building. The window led to the other buildings maybe there was a walkway down to the street. It seems like there wasn't another bed in Chaim's room for anticipation of another roomate. The lack of communication which stems from the religion itself was a perfect cover for one of the students or rabbis if they did indeed cause the murder.

thats what I thought to. but if you will read back through the thread, a gentleman who actually attended the school said that there was a door with a broken lock in one part of the building and it opened on a staircase which led straight up to Chaim's room.

So its certainly possible someone could have come in, although it would still have been a bold and brazen thing to sneak in to a building where a good number of other people were, kill someone, and then sneak out.

I'm still leaning towards it being an inside job.

TheCars1986
02-08-2011, 10:54 AM
thats what I thought to. but if you will read back through the thread, a gentleman who actually attended the school said that there was a door with a broken lock in one part of the building and it opened on a staircase which led straight up to Chaim's room.

So its certainly possible someone could have come in, although it would still have been a bold and brazen thing to sneak in to a building where a good number of other people were, kill someone, and then sneak out.

I'm still leaning towards it being an inside job.

The method of death would seem to indicate an inside job, but has there ever really been a plausible motive presented as to why someone would want Chaim dead?

In an earlier thread, I brought up a possible anti-semitic motivated crime. I think I should clarify that a little bit. I don't think an intruder broke in with the intention of killing anyone. Like others have stated, if this were the work of a anti-semitic nut it would be more likely that this person would be there to deface/destroy property or set a fire instead of murdering a student. However, the way Chaim was killed (a single blow to the head) seems to indicate that this wasn't a crime of passion type killing, and that whoever hit him seemed like they intended to subdue or knock him unconcious. I'm only speculating here, but let's say there was one or two anti-semites who broke in to deface property, or do some other unknown devious act but where interrupted by Chaim? It seems like the person/s didn't know the layout of the building all too well, since the one dorm room was opened and then quickly shut. So what if Chaim surprised them by coming out of his room, and then he was struck in a panic, to which the killer/s then fled. In the UM segment it was stated that Chaim appeared to have been killed while he was sleeping, and then his body was moved. IMO it would be just as likely that he was awakened by something, and when he opened his door he was struck and fell to the floor, his body never being moved. I wonder how LE came to suspect that he was killed in the bed, and then his body moved twice? That doesn't really make any sense at all.

ccmmze
03-08-2011, 12:28 PM
It was pretty clear that Chaim was killed in his sleep. He was stabbed through the head, while he was lying in his bed on his side, with his back to the door. He was also dragged halfway off the bed.

I believe, he was also stabbed more than once.

TheCars1986
03-08-2011, 01:19 PM
It was pretty clear that Chaim was killed in his sleep. He was stabbed through the head, while he was lying in his bed on his side, with his back to the door. He was also dragged halfway off the bed.

I believe, he was also stabbed more than once.

UM stated he was killed by a single blow to his head that severed his spinal column.

LoveSparky
03-08-2011, 02:15 PM
This story has driven me nuts for years. It will never completely leave me, even if the truth ever comes out. Does anyone know anythng about his family in the years since the murder?

RobinW
03-08-2011, 02:42 PM
One aspect of the case that hasn't been discussed much in this thread is the jogger seeing what he believed to be a yeshiva student a few blocks from the school at about 7 AM, right before Chaim's body was discovered. The shot in the re-enactment of the boy sitting on the bench looking on the water is one those weird UM moments that gives me chills for reasons I can't understand.

I'd like to think that if the investigation was thorough, they would have been able to determine if that was one of the students from the school. I'm really curious if there were any other yeshivas in the vicinity. Even if that boy wasn't from the Long Beach yeshiva, it just seems strange that a yeshiva student would even be in that particular location that early in the morning. Given that the murder took place on Halloween night, I've pondered the possibility that Chaim's death could have been a prank or stunt from a rival yeshiva that went horribly wrong. Granted, I don't picture the yeshiva culture being like a college fraternity where students from rival schools play stupid pranks on one another. But even if they have been raised within a very strict culture, teenage boys are still immature and are capable of doing immature things that violate the rules.

And while a student from another school may not have lived in that particular yeshiva's dorm, he may have known enough about the layout of yeshiva dorms in general (or even visited the Long Island yeshiva on occasion) to get inside and move around without being noticed. If this wasn't a prank, maybe this student had an encounter with Chaim at some social function that made him angry enough to kill him, but since the two of them had limited social interaction, no one would have ever looked at this other student as a suspect.

Of course, the jogger could simply be mistaken. If the re-enactment was accurate, it doesn't seem he would have gotten a good enough look at the boy to conclusively determine that he was a yeshiva student.

One thing I've always been curious about is if any of the other students who went to that Long Beach yeshiva went on to have troubles with the law as they grew older. It's hard enough to believe that a young student could be responsible for the murder and get away with it nearly 25 years, but it's even harder to believe that would be their one and only crime.

TheCars1986
03-09-2011, 04:32 PM
Of course, the jogger could simply be mistaken. If the re-enactment was accurate, it doesn't seem he would have gotten a good enough look at the boy to conclusively determine that he was a yeshiva student.

I've always assumed the jogger was mistaken. We've always talked about how much UM tries to pad the segments to make them more mysterious, and I think this is a perfect example of them trying to "grasp at straws". The boy could have simply been a Jewish boy who wasn't a student, and the jogger could have easily gotten his dates wrong. But if the jogger's account is accurate, and this boy was a member of Chaim's school and was possibly involved in his death, just what exactly was he doing sitting on a bench that early in the morning? Wouldn't it cast a boatload of suspicion on him if he was missing from the school the same morning that Chaim was found? And wouldn't he be more safe just staying at the school? I honestly think the jogger's account (if accurate) was nothing more than an odd coincidence.

XCalibur
03-09-2011, 09:44 PM
I tend to lean towards the murder being sexually motivated. Maybe Chaim and another boy were supposed to meet up to experiment, or had done so previously. There could have been feelings of guilt or disinterest in continuing the relationship. Think about it--these kids were ultrareligious, and homosexuality is frowned upon in that denomination.There is also the possibility of Chaim being killed for some sort of shady business his parents were involved in.

OR perhaps someone was trying to steal something and was caught in the act.

In any case, what a sad story, and what a waste of a young and promising life! :(

Homosexuality is frowned on in all Judeo-Christian denominations.

Several people have suggested this, and I think its something you really shouldn't throw out there without more evidence. As far as i can tell there is nothing in this story to indicate that.

Despite the media frenzy nowadays, I believe boys that age experimenting with homosexuality, especially in environment like that, is relatively rare.

We simply don't know enough to make a conclusion like that IMHO.

sdb4884
03-09-2011, 11:09 PM
I tend to lean towards the murder being sexually motivated. Maybe Chaim and another boy were supposed to meet up to experiment, or had done so previously. There could have been feelings of guilt or disinterest in continuing the relationship. Think about it--these kids were ultrareligious, and homosexuality is frowned upon in that denomination.

There is also the possibility of Chaim being killed for some sort of shady business his parents were involved in.

OR perhaps someone was trying to steal something and was caught in the act.

In any case, what a sad story, and what a waste of a young and promising life! :(

Sorry but that is so far fetched it's ludicras, I tend to believe that it was an outsider or one of the fellow students who had a beef against him.

burbqueen
03-10-2011, 03:36 PM
i dont think the sexual thing is really that far fetched. Who knows really? I've had friends go to all boy catholic school and there is an element there. however, I will always believe that this was an inside job and not an intruder trying to steal or murder. why break into a school? maybe a former student maybe? but for sure not some random outsider IMO.

Gatorman3737
03-24-2011, 05:43 PM
I live in neighboring Oceanside NY and was 14 when this case occurred...I'b be interested to know the other similar attacks/deaths that occurred in the area similar to Chiam's...thank you

Gatorman3737
03-24-2011, 05:49 PM
Also, I can't believe there are no answers as of yet...In my high school years I hung out in Long beach often...I don't remember this story at all, I only heard about it on UM...I remember alot of other murders in this area....I remember my mom saying don't get in a van with anyone...that was a big thing back then...anyway....just can't help but think it could have been any teenager back then...having a teenager now myself

TheWayISeeIt
03-27-2011, 02:35 AM
It was pretty clear that Chaim was killed in his sleep. He was stabbed through the head, while he was lying in his bed on his side, with his back to the door. He was also dragged halfway off the bed.

I believe, he was also stabbed more than once.

I heard of this case, vagly when it took place.

It came up tonight, as one of the Deans of the school at the time, past away last week.

I'm just curious. How did ccmmze become privy to the above mentioned exact details he mentions? I would assume knowing an exact position of a murder victim, especially when he was found in a different position- is inside info. Can you supply any other info- or the sources at least?



As well, would it be at all possible for you to reach out to some of your fellow former schoolmates to join this conversation. For the sake of resolving this- perhaps, just perhaps- someone would be willing to mention something in this forum that would shed light.

Hatzlocha- (Good Luck!)

TheWayISeeIt
03-27-2011, 02:57 PM
1) Somewhere above, someone mentioned that a Candle was found lit in a very specific place- not mentioned by any reports. How public was this knowledge - especially after the building was cordorned off.

2) In your conversation with the victim the night he was killed- you discussed the lack of police beeing out front.

From my own experience in Yeshivos, it would not be public knowledge that Police are watching- so as not to cause extra stress on students- worrying that Police is required. It would all be done very quietly.

Your conversation with the victim creates the real possibility that you both knew that their was supposed to be police watching the school.

WHY?

Please answer. - As well- I would like to contact you direct- as you left a very obvious clue to the Jewish mind, above, and I would think it best that if it stays there on your previous post, it should be clarified.

RadiantEmma11
06-24-2011, 11:44 AM
I lean towards this being an inside job. Correct me if i am wrong but did somebody not say that Chaim had his room on the third floor. It would be difficult for a random intruder without detection to go through the school (especially that late at night) or get through his window somehow. Granted it is Halloween but I think in this case the administration would be even more aware of the idea that mischief can and does occur prompting them to keep both eyes open. UM points out he had no known enemies...I do not doubt he had no enemies though....known or not. When people are in high school.....your best friends can be your worst enemy, jealousy runs deep and intellectual rivalries and popularity are enough to fester hatred, kids can be cruel. It was said by an earlier post that Chaim had a sharp tongue, I wonder what was meant by that and if some examples of his sharp tongue can be elaborated upon? In any high school....I would imagine even more so in such a secluded environment....tensions can and do run high....enough to drive a select few to commit murder. I think the murderer has benefited greatly from the separatist nature of the Jewish community as well as the idea...that the crime was of an antisemitic nature...I think that is just a way to turn attention away from the real murderer, a student or rabbi of the school themselves

RadiantEmma11
06-24-2011, 01:21 PM
I love your posts, but I have to disagree about the murderer likely being someone inside the dorm as opposed to an outside intruder for a couple of reasons:

1. One interesting thing is that one boy saw someone opening his door at night, then closing it, signaling that the murderer initially went to the wrong room. If it was someone in the dorm, they could have very easily figured out which dorm Chaim was in.

2. If it was someone in the dorm, it would have to be a boy of a young age, unless there was some adult supervisor staying there or something. Boys of this age committing murder is extremely rare. If it was a young boy, it more likely would have been an accidental death, and not a stab wound, which was found on Chaim.

I'm curious to know what possible suspects and motives there could have been. And that Chaim was one of only two boys in the building without a roommate have anything to do with hit, or was that just an odd coincidence? Perhaps the murderer singled out Chaim because he just wanted to kill one boy and didn't want a witness left.


In response to your first reason, I suppose it is possible that the killer just made a mistake in getting the room wrong as a result of being nervous.

RadiantEmma11
06-24-2011, 01:24 PM
I am curious if anybody knows the actual name of this said Yeshiva school? As somebody unfamiliar with Jewish customs and such...am I correct in assuming it was essentially a dorm for jewish boys...to learn the ways of the Jewish faith. If so did they stay on weekends as well? OT...so please no flames lol...but do they also have schools for Jewish girls?

This case is quite fascinating. I mean It is so horrible that the life of a young boy was taken way too soon. I cannot help but think it is an inside job and wonder once again...as I have stated...if the motive is jealousy and hatred for Chaim.

Cori aka ChrisSCrush
06-25-2011, 03:52 AM
I am curious if anybody knows the actual name of this said Yeshiva school? As somebody unfamiliar with Jewish customs and such...am I correct in assuming it was essentially a dorm for jewish boys...to learn the ways of the Jewish faith. If so did they stay on weekends as well?

If it's a boarding school and students come from far enough away they stay on weekends. Also if they're ultra-orthodox and have restrictions about traveling on Sabbath or after a certain time of day the evening before the Sabbath, they would have to be quick off the mark Friday afternoon if they live close enough to go home.

RadiantEmma11
06-25-2011, 05:04 AM
If it's a boarding school and students come from far enough away they stay on weekends. Also if they're ultra-orthodox and have restrictions about traveling on Sabbath or after a certain time of day the evening before the Sabbath, they would have to be quick off the mark Friday afternoon if they live close enough to go home.


So I am wondering if they did get free days....I imagine it would be sunday. I assume that boarding school is the same M-F and i am not sure but I would imagine that no classes are held on the Sabbath, aka a Saturday.

Cori aka ChrisSCrush
06-26-2011, 05:28 AM
So I am wondering if they did get free days....I imagine it would be sunday. I assume that boarding school is the same M-F and i am not sure but I would imagine that no classes are held on the Sabbath, aka a Saturday.

No, but they'd be expected to attend religious services.

RebZissel
11-20-2011, 10:24 AM
I have been reading this message board with a great deal of interest for the last five years. I can tell you that all of you are bright and well-meaning, but completely misinformed. There are so many far-fetched statements on here, and while I realize not all of you are Jewish, I blame it primarily on the depiction of this tragedy on Unsolved Mysteries.

Let me try to unravel this point by point.

1) Unsolved Mysteries did a very creepy depiction of the yeshiva and what happened thereafter. Orthodox Jews are NOT cult-like. They are in no way remotely similar to what people think they are. The boys at the yeshiva were not quiet religiously fanatical minions. They were normal mischievous teenage boys who were like anyone their age. Friday nights for Orthodox Jews are always full of eating, drinking, singing, playing boardgames, staying up all night and doing what any teenage boys that age would do. These boys at the yeshiva played sports, drank beer, played pranks on one another, and so forth. THEY WERE NORMAL TEENAGE BOYS. For example, a former student told me how much fun they had chasing rats in the building. They were normal boys.

2) I've read assertions on this board of "a ritual killing" or "the community taking care of the real killer." That is ABSOLUTE CRAP. Ritual killings have been strictly forbidden since biblical times. It is NEVER ACCEPTABLE. No Orthodox Jew would ever do such a thing because of religion devotion. It goes against one of the major historical precepts of Judaism. It was one of the major issues that set Jews apart from other religions all those centuries ago.

As for "taking care of the real killer," Orthodox Jews are law-abiding American citizens. They do not have their own little world where something like that would be acceptable. Do not let a warped view and weak understanding of the religion make you think otherwise. Religious arbitration is the only thing that is remotely close to Orthodox Jews having their own judicial system, but the issues that they deal with are financial or to sort out problems among different factions of a synagogue's leadership or among different wings of yeshiva staff members. They DO NOT settle cases of the magnitude one poster suggested. The death penalty was so rare during biblical times that it almost never happened. The requirements for the death penalty are so stringent in Judaism that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to be met. The death penalty in Judaism was only administered during biblical times IF AND ONLY IF the killer was warned not to do it twice and witnessed by TWO people. In other words, it was pretty much impossible to get the death penalty.

3) The yeshiva WAS negligent in not fixing the lock to a door, which could have been accessed by anyone. Any lunatic could have walked into the building. It was also Halloween and anyone familiar with the whole "Michael Myers" storyline knows that a deranged psycho might have been influenced by those films.

4) The mysterious yahzreit candle made for some great television. It was almost something out of a murder mystery. The candle was a token of respect and ANYONE could have left it there. According to former students, there was an elderly absent-minded rabbi who in all probability placed it there. He could have easily forgotten.

5) There was no homosexual behavior in the yeshiva. Don't you think that in the age of invasive journalism the public would have found out? Homosexuality among Orthodox Jewish boys would have been noticed and reported immediately among close-knit yeshiva students. We would have found out about it, but it didn't happen. There are no secrets among a small class of students. There is no credible evidence to suggest such a thing.

6) I asked a former student about the mysterious student spotted by a jogger on the boardwalk. He told me that could have been ANY STUDENT. Students would stay up late on Friday nights and sit on the boardwalk. Again, these were mischievous teenage boys who were away from their parents.

7) The open window. I asked a former student about this. He said Chaim and the other boys would sit out on the fire escape outside his window. Why would the window not be closed on a chilly night? He was 15. He probably didn't care.

8) There was also a crackpot theory that Chaim was killed as a result of siding with one dean over another. From my experiences in a yeshiva, that is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Young boys DO NOT get involved in the staff politics of older rabbis. That is so preposterous. Among Orthodox Jews age is an important issue. A rabbi of 70 would not be told what to do by a 15 year old boy. His opinion would not be sought. Yeshiva students are intentionally kept in the dark of the politics among staff members. Rabbis feel that it is simply not the role of young, immature students to dictate what rabbis ranging from middle age to their elder years should do.

What I am trying to convey to all of you was that the Long Beach PD and Unsolved Mysteries were biased in the sense that they wanted to pin it on a student. The fact is they couldn't because after being polygraphed and interrogated mercilessly nothing was found. Every rabbi and student was cleared.

Detective Don Daly and the LBPD botched the investigation. The precinct was full of Italian and Irish-American police officers and detectives who had no experience with Orthodox Jews. They refused help from the FBI, while they investigated the most bizarre theories.

Students did point them in the direction of a suspect, but again, Don Daly believed it was a student and disregarded any outside suspects.

I did see a post by a girl claiming to be Chaim's cousin and she said her uncle believed it was someone "affiliated" with the school. There was a suspect who did not fit the LBPD's profile of the killer and so he was not properly scrutinized. This was always what I believed to be their greatest mistake.

Necco
11-20-2011, 12:03 PM
RZ-
Thank you for your informative post. It is sad that cultural misunderstandings between the victim's community and the police department lead to a suspect falling through the cracks. I always thought the yeshiva student at the boardwalk was a red herring. Many people find comfort in the sounds and sight of the ocean or other bodies of water and I could completely understand a teenager going to someplace like that to contemplate mortality in the wake of the death of a fellow student, a girl he was sweet on or simply clear his head. As a Gentile who has spent a fair amount of time in the Borscht Belt (an area in upstate New York where many Orthodox Jews from NYC spend vacations and summers) I can attest that Orthodox kids are just kids, first and foremost. Riding bikes, playing pranks, normal kid stuff. The only difference is, their religion is more visible because of their clothing and styling.

It is interesting to find out that there was an absent minded professor who may have been responsible for the candle. I've also always thought this was a red herring. It was a simple gesture of respect and mourning. Anyone at the yeshiva could have placed it and forgot like the absent minded rabbi or simply someone who didn't admit to it because what was important was the gesture, not the person who did it. Some people do things and wish to remain anonymous because they think that credit takes away from the purity of the action.

Hopefully, justice will one day be done.

Todd Mueller
11-20-2011, 04:58 PM
I have been reading this message board with a great deal of interest for the last five years. I can tell you that all of you are bright and well-meaning, but completely misinformed. There are so many far-fetched statements on here, and while I realize not all of you are Jewish, I blame it primarily on the depiction of this tragedy on Unsolved Mysteries.

Let me try to unravel this point by point.

Hi, RebZissel -

Welcome to the board!

I appreciate your very informative post. That answers a lot of questions for me. It's funny how sometimes UM would play one angle over another. I wondered whether that was what the producers felt of the case or, more likely, what makes for better TV viewing.

Thanks again for sharing your information. Unfortunately it still doesn't get us anywhere closer to an arrest but as Necco said, hopefully one day it will be solved.

Cheers!

samiam82
11-20-2011, 06:55 PM
RZ, you said "Students did point them in the direction of a suspect, but again, Don Daly believed it was a student and disregarded any outside suspects."



Would you be wiling and/or able to tell us what the students thought?

WishfulDreamer
11-20-2011, 10:05 PM
I don't think cultural misunderstanding necessarily chalks up to the depiction of UM. That just happens to be a common misfortune. But RZ, thank you for the great post. I never thought the yeshiva was a cult in any way and I was never certain it was a student. The only thing that bothered me is that very few students-allegedly- actually answered any questions from the PD. If they had been more open, I think the PD would have been more open to other theories. However, that does not excuse the PD for botching the investigation and stopping the FBI from intervening.

crookshanks
11-21-2011, 01:17 AM
Thanks for your post, RZ. Being a jew myself I've always been interested in this case. I think many people forgot that these boys were just like any other kids their age. Its sad to think that we will most likely never know what happened and why it happened. This case is 25 years old and its no closer to being solved as it was back in 1986.

TheCars1986
11-21-2011, 12:04 PM
I'm curious to know who this suspect is that LE allegedly let slip away. It's always been a theory of mine that Chaim may have been killed by someone who was there to deface the property (or another nefarious anti-semitic activity), and was "discovered" by Chaim, and in the heat of panic they struck Chaim and killed him.

RebZissel
11-21-2011, 01:16 PM
No, he was asleep when he was killed. He was killed instantly by the first blow in his sleep.

RebZissel
11-21-2011, 01:34 PM
RZ, you said "Students did point them in the direction of a suspect, but again, Don Daly believed it was a student and disregarded any outside suspects."



Would you be wiling and/or able to tell us what the students thought?
I am quite hesitant in writing this post. I want to be completely honest: I, in no way whatsoever, know who the killer was. I do not have secret evidence or clues either. Just a tip, which made me go on a long path of mental guesswork.

First, anyone who is familiar with this case will tell you that this may have been the act of a lunatic who was a complete outsider. There were two stabbing deaths in the area prior to Chaim’s murder. Let’s establish that. They were elderly gentiles, but the method was similar. Was this the same killer? Maybe. Maybe not. It also could have been an anti-semite with severe mental issues who decided he was going to kill a Jew.

I made a phone call to a friend in 2002 to ask him if he had ever heard of this case. Not only did he hear about it, but he attended the yeshiva with Chaim. The school’s curriculum was incredibly demanding, and my friend’s father sent him to a yeshiva in Denver a few months before the murder.

This is where I obtained all the information about the yeshiva in my previous post. I have no firsthand knowledge of the yeshiva, and I do not claim to have any insider knowledge. There was a poster who claimed that he attended the yeshiva and still speculates about this case. I wish he had stated his opinion on the identity of the killer, but like everyone, he simply doesn’t know.

I began to read about the crime and it was quite apparent to me that the victim was not just a random person. Chaim was on the third floor and all alone. If this was a serial killer, why not kill two people in the first room he opened? If this was a neo-Nazi, why not come in with a gun and shoot everyone in sight? Whoever it was wanted to kill a particular person. Unsolved Mysteries claimed Chaim was killed “by a single blow to the head.” That’s somewhat true. The first blow did indeed kill him, but there were 12 stab wounds all over his head, neck, and face. My friend who was a former student told me that a friend of his discovered the body. Unsolved Mysteries would NEVER show anything similar to what the real crime scene looked like. Believe me when I tell you that it would probably have given us nightmares. Think of the Kennedy assassination footage, but much worse. The killer was possessed by frenzied rage.

As far as I am concerned, there really is only one significant clue. The killer closed the door to two possible victims to cross the hall and kill a particular boy. This was planned well in advance. The victim was intended to be a certain student. I do not know about any possible enemies Chaim may have had. That went to the grave with him.

As the late Zodiac Killer detective Ken Narlow one stated: the evidence should lead you to the suspect, not the other way around. The suspect I believe to be the killer was derived exactly from what the late Mr. Narlow warned against.

I am still hesitant to post any information about the possible suspect. I would hate to think that my post impeded the unraveling of this mystery. Folks, mysteries are fascinating but the truth exists. It’s just that we never focused properly on the possible killer.

TheCars1986
11-21-2011, 01:49 PM
I am still hesitant to post any information about the possible suspect. I would hate to think that my post impeded the unraveling of this mystery. Folks, mysteries are fascinating but the truth exists. Itís just that we never focused properly on the possible killer.

You don't have to name names, and the mystery of his death won't be solved unless people "in the know" talk about it. I don't think this was the work of a deranged, random serial killer though. A yeshiva is one of the least likely places to be targeted by a serial killer, just because of the number of potential eyewitnesses.

XCalibur
11-21-2011, 05:42 PM
If the stab wounds on Chaim were inflicted post mortem, it explains why no one heard anything. He was knocked out or killed instantly by the blow to the head so he had no chance to scream or struggle.

I was convinced myself that the crime was an inside job, if it was an outsider I figured it would have to be someone mighty brazen to enter a dorm like that to kill someone with how many people there between students and rabbis? There was at least a fifty to a hundred people there was there not? And the way those students liked to read in the hall at night..... he stood a good chance of being seen.

I still think it had to at the very least have been someone affiliated with the school somehow, who at least knew the layout and knew where Chaim was.

Isn't it to bad there weren't surveillance cameras in the hall? :)

Todd Mueller
11-21-2011, 08:12 PM
Reb -

Thanks again for your posts. Very interesting stuff.

I agree it sounds more like he was targeted then a random crime. If I remember correctly, the multiple stabbings after death would indicate a ccrime of passion or rage killing and not a stranger or random thing.

crookshanks
11-21-2011, 09:18 PM
To me, it definetly seems as if Chaim was the target. I do not think he was a random target and whoever did this wanted him dead and was going to make sure of it. I wonder if the killer tried to move his body, then either discovered he was incapable, or heard a noise and ran off. I also wonder the reason...what could he have had done that made someone so angry they wanted him dead? Maybe the killer had something against his family?

TheCars1986
11-22-2011, 08:41 AM
Has this been confirmed by a news source that Chaim was stabbed multiple times? I find it odd that UM would omit this tidbit.

RebZissel
11-22-2011, 10:15 AM
I will address what Cars 1986 mentioned, as well as other things.

The first time I discussed this case with my friend, the former student. He made me aware of two interesting things that Unsolved Mysteries did not include in their version of events.

First, Chaim's room was incredibly gruesome. It is true that he was killed instantly from the first blow, but there were 11 other blows with a knife. I hope I do not offend the Weiss family by posting this, but Chaim's room was full of splattered brain matter, skull fragments, and severed pieces of the upper half of his head. The late Chaim was murdered brutally. Unsolved Mysteries censored this because the real crime scene was not fit for television.

My friend mentioned that the school employed Polish immigrant laborers. They cooked, cleaned, and took care of maintenance. I assume this was a way to get cheap labor. The yeshiva provided them with living quarters. I am not sure whether they lived in the same building with the boys or an adjoining building. You have to understand how fascinating and ironic this is. Polish people are historically virulent anti-Semites. Poland has a long history of violence against Jews, which contributed to the fact that their country is nearly completely Catholic. Polish people actively aided Nazis with concentration camps and staged mass killings of Jews. The tables were now turned in America. These Polish immigrants who came from a world where a Jew would be spit on now had to work for them in America. I have no doubt that there was severe resentment.

There was one Polish janitor who seemed to stick out in everyone's mind. He was openly anti-Semitic and violent. He had an explosive temper. Students would taunt him in order to get a rise out of him and he would respond by slamming them into walls or throwing things at them. My friend remembers the Polish janitor getting into scuffles with students in the cafeteria and throwing hangers at them. The man by all accounts had "a few screws loose."

During the summer months of 1986, the Polish janitor was either fired or suddenly had to leave. The exact reason remains unknown. He left on very bad terms.

He was investigated, but his alibi was that he was serving on a military base and could not have possibly been in the area.

I don't know his name or even what he looks like. I only know of him, and maybe he's not alive anymore. I have no idea.

I asked my friend whether Chaim had "a sharp tongue." He insisted that he did not remember him that way at all, BUT HE DID ENJOY RIBBING OTHERS. One can say that he was like any boy that age to be fair.

Here is what I think happened. I, in no way whatsoever, know who the killer was. I do not have secret evidence or clues either. Just a tip, which made me go on a long path of mental guesswork. This is just my speculation:

Chaim and this Polish janitor with the explosive temper may have had unkind verbal exchanges between one another. Students did taunt this man because he was so easy to rile up.

When he was fired or had to leave suddenly, maybe the Polish janitor believed that Chaim complained about him. Maybe there was a nasty verbal exchange between the two that pierced his psyche.

When the Polish janitor was fired or suddenly had to leave, he must have lost his worker's visa and certainly lost his living quarters. This man's life was turned upside down in one day. He faced the possibility of being deported back to his impoverished life in Poland and he's homeless now. He left the school with a sense that the school mistreated him and a great injustice was committed on their part. They ruined his life.

Getting fired must have been embarrassing. He had to leave the living quarters where other Polish laborers lived. It must have been a sad and humiliating experience to leave. The others found out that he had to leave, of course, and this must have only worsened his emotional state.

He now faces two options. He either goes back to Poland or lives as a homeless man in the US. He can barely speak the language and has no skills to find another job. The road ahead looked dark and he's burning with rage. Maybe a particular exchange between him and Chaim echoed in his mind. Maybe the thought of that boy disrespectfully smirking at him infuriated him. For months he obsessed with getting his revenge against the Jews from that yeshiva who wronged him.

What can he do in the meantime? He needs to stay in the country and live somewhere. His only option is to join the army. He joins and serves quietly, while harboring murderous thoughts.

He decides that a few months have gone by and now was the time to act. Halloween, a night known for debauchery and violence, is a perfect night to strike, especially since it will be quiet in the yeshiva on a Friday night. The Sabbath is a perfect time to strike because all will be quiet in that dormitory.

He bribes a senior officer to leave for one day while he marks down his attendance. Money talks. It has been done before.

The former janitor leaves the base with the senior officer's help during the early morning hours of October 31, 1986. He drives to New York and arrives around noon. The base may have been in Virginia or a drive-able distance in general. He reaches Long Island and sleeps in the car he borrowed for a few hours. He wakes up and changes his clothes. The weapon is ready to be used.

At midnight he drives to Long Beach and waits for an hour. Everyone is asleep by the time he approaches the building. He knows the back door is broken and enters quietly. He goes up the stairs to the third floor.

He opens the door to the wrong room and sees that Chaim is not there. He closes it suddenly.

He enters the room with Chaim in it. He sees the very boy who taunted him or who he may have thought was responsible for his termination, which made him homeless and threatened him with the possibility of deportation. He stabs him twelve times in a psychotic rage. When he finishes, the room is extremely messy because of what I mentioned before.

He leaves the building. Suddenly he freaks out. He thinks he may have left something. I don't believe he was dumb enough to leave the weapon. It may have been a lack of confidence in how he left the room. He goes back and moves Chaim's body to make sure nothing that could lead back to him was left there. Maybe he left his gloves there or put down a flashlight. Maybe he just wanted to have one last look to make sure the crime scene could not lead back to him.

He leaves without being seen. He gets into his car and drives back to the base. Somewhere along the road he disposes of the murder weapon and the clothes he was wearing. He comes back to the base and not a soul notices he was gone.

When the police ask his senior officer about the former janitor's whereabouts the day of the murder, I STRONGLY believe that the senior officer lied and would not admit to being bribed by a man being investigated for murder. He may have worried that he would lose his position and be tried for being an accessory to murder.

That's it. That was my mental guesswork from what I was told as stated earlier in this post.

I know nothing else. This was just my theory and this case remains as elusive today as it was in 1986.

I hope Chaim's family has somewhat recovered from this tragedy. May he rest in peace and I hope one day his killer is captured.

TheCars1986
11-22-2011, 02:20 PM
That is a pretty damn interesting theory, and one that (of all of the ones presented in this thread) that would seem to make the most sense. I can see a Polish immigrant with a temper lashing out quicker than a Yeshiva student.

crookshanks
11-22-2011, 02:28 PM
Yeah that makes sense. Reading RZ's post gave me goosebumps, because it is the most believable theory I've heard so far. I could definetly see a teenage boy taunting the janitor, boys did it all the time at my school! But to think that he was killed over a few (or even one) harsh words saddens me even more.

Steve W.
11-22-2011, 03:00 PM
best theory presented so far of what happened

justins5256
11-22-2011, 04:33 PM
Thanks for posting, RebZissel.

The Chaim Weiss case is very tragic and has frustrated us for many years. The theory that you presented sounds very plausible.

For what it's worth, I always figured this had to be a rage killing and the motive was likely personal because of the overkill. I think the overkill could also be indicative of an inexperienced offender. Possibly with some degree of mental illness too, since he obviously took a great risk of doing this in the dormitory where he could be easily caught or witnessed.

The janitor theory fits all of the above variables. It also explains why everyone in the school, rabbis and students, passed polygraphs and the killer wasn't found among them, YET had a knowledge of the layout of the yeshiva, as he was a former employee.

RobinW
11-23-2011, 12:10 AM
Thanks a lot for posting, RebZissel, and sharing your insight, as this has always been one of the most baffling UM cases for me, but that was one very solid theory you presented which I'd never heard before and makes an awful lot of logical sense.

The only sad part is that this janitor may no longer still be alive to face justice for this crime and provide closure for Chaim's family, and even if he is, he'd probably be very difficult to track down, especially if he went back to Poland.

TheCars1986
11-23-2011, 11:58 AM
I find it odd (not to mention extremely stupid) that LE did not check into everyone who was present (or formerly employed at the Yeshiva) on the night Chaim was killed.

crookshanks
11-23-2011, 05:34 PM
I find it odd (not to mention extremely stupid) that LE did not check into everyone who was present (or formerly employed at the Yeshiva) on the night Chaim was killed.

I find it odd too. Or maybe they did and did not find anything. Seems like UM left out a lot of details, so its possible they checked and had nothing to investigate further

ChrissySnow
11-27-2011, 01:28 AM
rz - thank you for an excellent post.
I just learned about this case, and it is baffling!

Your theory is the best I have heard.

XCalibur
11-28-2011, 07:12 PM
Does indeed make a lot more sense than many of the other theories I have heard on here, chief among them someone being jealous of Chaim for having his own room, or some sort of crime of passion stemming from a homosexual involvement with another student. Those things are huge reaches from the information we have.

However, I am a little at a loss to know why a Yeshiva would hire a known Anti Semite to work in a Jewish school.

crookshanks
11-28-2011, 09:16 PM
Does indeed make a lot more sense than many of the other theories I have heard on here, chief among them someone being jealous of Chaim for having his own room, or some sort of crime of passion stemming from a homosexual involvement with another student. Those things are huge reaches from the information we have.

However, I am a little at a loss to know why a Yeshiva would hire a known Anti Semite to work in a Jewish school.
Maybe he was desperate for a job, and the yeshiva did not know about his views...

TheCars1986
11-29-2011, 02:33 PM
I'm guessing the immigrants were hired because they worked cheap, and if they couldn't speak a lick of English, how would anyone know their anti-Semitic views?

Hambone2421
11-29-2011, 06:55 PM
Just watched this segment for this first time in a very long time as I barely remembered it. I have no clue what happened to Chaim Weiss and most of anything I could come up would be pure speculation.

One weird thing to me, was what is so "weird" about a Jewish boy sitting on the bench the next morning? I get that it was a private school and those kids weren't supposed to leave, but come on, kids leave school all the time when they aren't supposed to.

TheCars1986
11-30-2011, 08:59 AM
One weird thing to me, was what is so "weird" about a Jewish boy sitting on the bench the next morning? I get that it was a private school and those kids weren't supposed to leave, but come on, kids leave school all the time when they aren't supposed to.

I assume it was included to add that "mystique" to the segment, since there was apparently nothing to go on.

crookshanks
11-30-2011, 12:21 PM
I assume it was included to add that "mystique" to the segment, since there was apparently nothing to go on.
Yeah, I thought that was kinda dumb. They probably left and came back on their own on all the time. My dad attended yeshiva and he said he snuck and was never caught

1990 UM fan
11-30-2011, 12:45 PM
Here is some theories I have come up with:

1. A possible homosexual relationship with another student, and in fear of ridicule and humiliation, the student murdered Chaim to hide the relationship.
2. Usually when sharp objects are used in assaults/killings, that being stabbing or slashing, usually points toward the victim having known the killer and the murder a personal motive/passion killing.
3. Someone was jealous of Chaim's achievements in class and did away with him

This is just what I think though, no real truth to them but again the case is unsolved so we can't close any doors on any of the possibilities.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 03:40 PM
I feel I should chime in again. The last post got me interested.

Please read my long post on page 8, as much of what the last few posters brought up is easily refuted. The "mystique" issue and the student spotted on the boardwalk were discussed in detail.

As for the homosexual angle, that is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE. I explained why on page 8.

As for jealousy over academic achievement, the school was generally known as the "Harvard" of Orthodox Jewish high schools. The school only recruited the best and brightest. They were ALL geniuses.

I maintain my belief that the suspect I described on page 9 was the true killer. He had a possible motive, exhibited hatred toward Jews and a deranged psyche. A disgruntled former worker has been the source of many crimes in history.

Also, someone brought up the point that law enforcement did not investigate former workers. That is completely false. They investigated everyone under the sun. That's why this case is so perplexing.

Lt. Nolan of the Nassau County PD claimed that the students, faculty, former and current workers were eventually tracked down and talked with at great length. He did what the Long Beach PD did and blamed it on "the Orthodox Jews not talking because they have certain beliefs."
Again, read my posts on page 8 and 9. Thanks.

TheCars1986
11-30-2011, 04:21 PM
Also, someone brought up the point that law enforcement did not investigate former workers. That is completely false. They investigated everyone under the sun. That's why this case is so perplexing.

We would have no way of knowing who, and how extensively LE questioned anyone from a ten minute Unsolved Mysteries segment. Everything on here is pure speculation since we don't have much to go on. I wonder why LE ruled out the former employee, perhaps the language barrier prevented them from finding out about his anti-semitic views.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 05:42 PM
From the New York Times:
Chaim Weiss

Chaim Weiss, 15, was found dead in his dormitory room at the Mesivta Yeshiva of Long Beach early on the morning of Nov. 1, 1986.

The youth had been stabbed repeatedly by someone who evidently was well acquainted with the dormitory and its routine. At first, there was speculation that the murder might have been an act of anti-Semitic violence because of harassment of the Orthodox Jewish boys who attended the yeshiva.

However, the investigation soon revealed that Chaim Weiss's murderer was knowledgeable about religious customs. A window had been left open slightly in the victim's room, which, according to Orthodoxy, enables the spirit of the dead to depart. Beyond that, a lighted mourning candle was placed on Chaim's desk.

The victim's father, Anton Weiss of Staten Island, eventually grew disenchanted with how the Nassau police were handling the case. He said he felt that the police had been ''outsmarted,'' and he requested the naming of a special prosecutor. That was never done. ''There was very little to find in the way of leads,'' Lieutenant Nolan said. ''We were dealing with a group that holds very different mores. But eventually, we were able to interview everyone in the school, as well as all past and present employees.

''We couldn't even find out why Chaim was killed. To this day, we can't positively state whether it was from inside or outside of the school.''

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 05:43 PM
Like I said, the open window and mysterious memorial candle were meaningless. It was open because boys would sit on the fire escape. The candle was a token of respect, such as laying a wreath on a tomb. It meant nothing.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 05:49 PM
We would have no way of knowing who, and how extensively LE questioned anyone from a ten minute Unsolved Mysteries segment. Everything on here is pure speculation since we don't have much to go on. I wonder why LE ruled out the former employee, perhaps the language barrier prevented them from finding out about his anti-semitic views.

They ruled him out because he was serving on a military base. Records indicated that he was there the whole time.

My theory attempted to explain this. He could have bribed a senior officer and when the police came to investigate, I have no doubt that the senior officer covered his own rear end by claiming the former janitor never left the base.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 05:53 PM
As for his anti-Jewish views, I discussed how Polish people are inherently racist and anti-Semitic. Its their history.

It is very possible that the suspect's father and uncles were volunteer guards at concentration camps where Jews were slaughtered during World War 2.

Can you imagine his outrage when he had to work for Orthodox Jews and got taunted by them? Then he gets fired! He must have exploded with rage ten times over. Killing Chaim may have provided relief for all that rage and tension that had built up over the months and maybe even years.

When the killer left the scene the first time, I believe it was because he must have been dazed and the relief had flooded in. He was in a blissful, catatonic state, but then the rational side of him woke up. He ran back to make sure that nothing could lead back to him.

1990 UM fan
11-30-2011, 07:54 PM
I feel I should chime in again. The last post got me interested.

Please read my long post on page 8, as much of what the last few posters brought up is easily refuted. The "mystique" issue and the student spotted on the boardwalk were discussed in detail.

As for the homosexual angle, that is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE. I explained why on page 8.

As for jealousy over academic achievement, the school was generally known as the "Harvard" of Orthodox Jewish high schools. The school only recruited the best and brightest. They were ALL geniuses.

I maintain my belief that the suspect I described on page 9 was the true killer. He had a possible motive, exhibited hatred toward Jews and a deranged psyche. A disgruntled former worker has been the source of many crimes in history.

Also, someone brought up the point that law enforcement did not investigate former workers. That is completely false. They investigated everyone under the sun. That's why this case is so perplexing.

Lt. Nolan of the Nassau County PD claimed that the students, faculty, former and current workers were eventually tracked down and talked with at great length. He did what the Long Beach PD did and blamed it on "the Orthodox Jews not talking because they have certain beliefs."
Again, read my posts on page 8 and 9. Thanks.

alright...but each entitled to our own opinion(s), right?

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 08:10 PM
A good friend of mine attended this school and I must have asked him about 300 questions.

He seemed to think it was either a random intruder or the former disgruntled worker.

I also attended a yeshiva during the 1990's. I can tell you that if there was even the slightest hint of homosexuality then the entire world would have found out. A bunch of teenage boys would not keep such a secret and it would not go unnoticed in an Orthodox Jewish setting.

Tighthead
11-30-2011, 08:28 PM
I don't think you can rule out that it may have been related to sexual activity. In any all-male situation, with young boys, there can be experimentation. I don't see Yeshiva being significantly different than any other boarding school - as noted above, they are just like other kids, they just happen to be orthodox and bright

There are no shortage of straight people who had their first experience with sex be with the same gender in the early teen years.

To dismiss it as ABSOLUTE NONSENSE seems unfounded and defensive. Sex and money are always reasonable motives in any murder.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 08:57 PM
Chaim's class only had 15 other boys on the floor. There is no way that two boys would sneak around and carry on a homosexual affair. If you guys had my yeshiva experiences, then you'd understand.

There are no secrets among teenage boys living on one floor with no locks on their doors. These boys spent every waking moment together -morning prayers, breakfast, studying, sports, lunch, dinner, and hanging out in the evening in the dorm.

There was no privacy. I highly doubt such a thing could have ever occurred. Orthodox Jewish boys would be acutely aware that their "experimentation" was wrong and to them it would be disgusting.

Since you brought up money, I think I should mention something. Chaim's father was a European refugee born in a displaced persons camp. Mr. Weiss and his parents were Holocaust survivors who were together in the camps. They came to America and Anton Weiss became a MEGA success. He was a world renowned businessman who became a multimillionaire.

I've always wondered whether someone was jealous enough of Anton Weiss to kill his son. Maybe it was something against the family? Pure speculation.

RebZissel
11-30-2011, 09:05 PM
I think of the Ramsey murder. How the ransom note eerily requested an amount that was exactly what her father had been given as a Christmas bonus ($118,000). I'm sure that whoever killed her (and DNA suggested that it was not a male related to the Ramsey family) was jealous of Mr. Ramsey, a millionaire executive living in enormous mansions in Atlanta and Boulder with a picturesque family.

Maybe Mr. Weiss had some jealous detractors who decided to get even with him? I don't know.

crookshanks
12-01-2011, 04:58 AM
I don't think you can rule out that it may have been related to sexual activity. In any all-male situation, with young boys, there can be experimentation. I don't see Yeshiva being significantly different than any other boarding school - as noted above, they are just like other kids, they just happen to be orthodox and bright

There are no shortage of straight people who had their first experience with sex be with the same gender in the early teen years.

To dismiss it as ABSOLUTE NONSENSE seems unfounded and defensive. Sex and money are always reasonable motives in any murder.
It is possible that a sexual relationship happened, but is it probable? No. Like RZ said, there just was not any privacy. He was a 15 year old Orthodox Jew, and honestly, he probably did not even know what being "gay" was. I was raised Orthodox Jew (though I am no longer actively religious) and my father told me that gay was something people were in Europe (I have to hold back laughter when I type this, it reminds me so much of a Roseanne episode). I had no clue that gay couples even existed. Yes, I was extremely sheltered, but it just was not part of our world. I have a friend who turned out to be a lesbian, and like me, raised Jewish, and she said when she was a teen, she did not even know. It was not until she broke out into the world that she discovered who she was. Again, may not have been Chaim's experience, but this it is more likely that the community was even more conservative back then (our community was quite modern!). Plus, it seems pretty evident to me that whoever killed him HATED him or his family. This does not seem like the murder by a scorned lover, and I do not think any of the students had anything to do with it.

justins5256
12-01-2011, 11:53 AM
I think of the Ramsey murder. How the ransom note eerily requested an amount that was exactly what her father had been given as a Christmas bonus ($118,000). I'm sure that whoever killed her (and DNA suggested that it was not a male related to the Ramsey family) was jealous of Mr. Ramsey, a millionaire executive living in enormous mansions in Atlanta and Boulder with a picturesque family.

Maybe Mr. Weiss had some jealous detractors who decided to get even with him? I don't know.

Possible. Such motives are reasonable as far as jealousy over wealth and possibly even business success are concerned.

However, I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that the murderer knew the layout of the Yeshiva. That alone points to an inside job, in my opinion.

RebZissel
12-04-2011, 06:33 PM
I recently asked two former students whether Chaim had "a sharp tongue." I asked each one separately and they both dismissed this characterization. They said they absolutely do not remember him that way. Another former student who posted here claimed the same thing.

I am wondering whether our collective analysis is wrong and we took the same path the police did. We're all trying to figure out why someone would want to kill Chaim, but what if the killer simply wanted to kill someone out of revenge against the Mesivta of Long Beach. I think the question we should ask is who hated the school so much that he (or possibly she) would want to harm one of the students.

I also asked about the Polish laborers. Both former students claimed that they spoke no English at all and had very little contact with the students.

In all actuality, this could have been the random act of a Neo-Nazi who had skulked around the premises at night while everyone slept. Haven't you people ever heard of trespassing? I know I've been to closed off areas before and walked around without anyone ever finding out. You all have to remember a key fact: the back door, which had a staircase leading to Chaim's room, was broken. It really could have been an outsider. Let's not hastily dismiss this possibility.

Also, both former students insist that at no time had they ever suspected one of the students. There was no reason to do so. Chaim was very popular and well-liked. No one in the school held a grudge against him, which is why this is so puzzling.

That is why I am beginning to wonder whether this may have been an act against the school, not Chaim personally.

Todd Mueller
12-04-2011, 08:54 PM
I recently asked two different former students whether Chaim had "a sharp tongue." I ask each one separately and they both dismissed this characterization. They said they absolutely do not remember him that way. Another former student who posted here claimed the same thing.

I am wondering whether our collective analysis is wrong and we took the same path the police did. We're all trying to figure out why someone would want to kill Chaim, but what if the killer simply wanted to kill someone out of revenge against the Mesivta of Long Beach. I think the question we should ask is who hated the school so much that he (or possibly she) would want to harm one of the students.

I also asked about the Polish laborers. Both former students claimed that they spoke no English at all and had very little contact with the students.

In all actuality, this could have been the random act of a Neo-Nazi who had skulked around the premises at night while everyone slept. Haven't you people ever heard of trespassing? I know I've been to closed off areas before and walked around without anyone ever finding out. You all have to remember a key fact: the back door, which had a staircase leading to Chaim's room, was broken. It really could have been an outsider. Let's not hastily dismiss this possibility.

Also, both former students insist that at no time had they ever suspected one of the students. There was no reason to do so. Chaim was very popular and well-liked. No one in the school held a grudge against him, which is why this is so puzzling.

That is why I am beginning to wonder whether this may have been an act against the school, not Chaim personally.

Interesting theories... I've always wondered if it could have been either a case of mistaken identity (like Chaim didn't really sass off to the Polish guy but he THOUGHT it was Chaim) or...

What if Chaim saw something he shouldn't have? It could have been a student stealing something, two students "fooling around" sexually, two teachers or a teacher & student fooling around, someone buying/selling/taking drugs... who knows. But it almost seems to me like one of the only ways a nice kid like that would be killed in such a horrible way is if he saw something he shouldn't and that person panicked.

Picture this: someone is in the hallway or one of the rooms doing "whatever" illegally, when Chaim walks by. They make eye contact, Chaim says "I didn't see anything!" and runs off. Said person chases him into his room, panicks thinking Chaim will turn him in, and rage kills him.

It might be a little out there, but honestly it's about as plausible as anything at this point. What do you think, RebZissel?

XCalibur
12-04-2011, 09:22 PM
I don't think you can rule out that it may have been related to sexual activity. In any all-male situation, with young boys, there can be experimentation. I don't see Yeshiva being significantly different than any other boarding school - as noted above, they are just like other kids, they just happen to be orthodox and bright

There are no shortage of straight people who had their first experience with sex be with the same gender in the early teen years.

To dismiss it as ABSOLUTE NONSENSE seems unfounded and defensive. Sex and money are always reasonable motives in any murder.

Aside from all the other reasons people have outlined that this probably isn't true, you got to keep in mind as well the year this happened. This was in 1986, and I think you are looking at it with 2011 eyes. Such things were not all that common back then. Thats not to say it didn't happen, but the world has become a lot more liberal in the last 25 years, not that thats a good thing, but just saying.

Bottom line is here, you got a boy brutally murdered, and its a stretch to say it has something to do with some sort of homosexual affair without more information than what we have.

Could it have happened? Yeah about anything is possible. I just don't think its very likely.

XCalibur
12-04-2011, 09:36 PM
Interesting theories... I've always wondered if it could have been either a case of mistaken identity (like Chaim didn't really sass off to the Polish guy but he THOUGHT it was Chaim) or...

What if Chaim saw something he shouldn't have? It could have been a student stealing something, two students "fooling around" sexually, two teachers or a teacher & student fooling around, someone buying/selling/taking drugs... who knows. But it almost seems to me like one of the only ways a nice kid like that would be killed in such a horrible way is if he saw something he shouldn't and that person panicked.

Picture this: someone is in the hallway or one of the rooms doing "whatever" illegally, when Chaim walks by. They make eye contact, Chaim says "I didn't see anything!" and runs off. Said person chases him into his room, panicks thinking Chaim will turn him in, and rage kills him.

It might be a little out there, but honestly it's about as plausible as anything at this point. What do you think, RebZissel?

I don't see how it could have happened like this, for a couple of reasons:

1. If a couple of these kids were doing something naughty, whatever it may have been that they didn't want anyone to know about, don't you think they would have had the good sense to close the door, or not do it in the middle of the hallway where they could be seen by a fifteen other students not to mention any teachers who might come up?

2. If a couple of kids chased Chaim down like this and tried to murder him, don't you think he would have screamed bloody murder loud enough to wake the whole place? Apparently nothing was heard.

The only way this murder could have gone down is someone sneaking in and killing Chaim in his sleep, and thats what the evidence showed. Thats the only way it could have been done in a building where there were fifty other people, if someone had attacked Chaim when he was awake he would have screamed and the whole place would have been woke up.

Todd Mueller
12-04-2011, 10:39 PM
I don't see how it could have happened like this, for a couple of reasons:

1. If a couple of these kids were doing something naughty, whatever it may have been that they didn't want anyone to know about, don't you think they would have had the good sense to close the door, or not do it in the middle of the hallway where they could be seen by a fifteen other students not to mention any teachers who might come up?

2. If a couple of kids chased Chaim down like this and tried to murder him, don't you think he would have screamed bloody murder loud enough to wake the whole place? Apparently nothing was heard.

The only way this murder could have gone down is someone sneaking in and killing Chaim in his sleep, and thats what the evidence showed. Thats the only way it could have been done in a building where there were fifty other people, if someone had attacked Chaim when he was awake he would have screamed and the whole place would have been woke up.


Good points. Unless maybe he saw something, or they THOUGHT he saw/knew something he shouldn't, and then that person came back later and killed him in his sleep.

But your comments do tend to point to more the of the targeted murder. Huh. Such a sad, strange case.

XCalibur
12-04-2011, 11:05 PM
Good points. Unless maybe he saw something, or they THOUGHT he saw/knew something he shouldn't, and then that person came back later and killed him in his sleep.

But your comments do tend to point to more the of the targeted murder. Huh. Such a sad, strange case.

Oh yeah, I wasn't disputing your theory that Chaim could have been killed for seeing something someone didn't want him to. Thats very possible.

I just didn't see how that scenario of the how the murder actually occured could have happened.

Even if Chaim was attacked in his sleep, which like I said I see no other way it could have gone down since no one heard a struggle or anything, I've always been struck how brazen this crime was. Especially if an outsider did it. To sneak into a building with all those potential witnesses and kill someone is very risky.

Something I do wonder is whether or not those dorm rooms had their own bathrooms? If they didn't and there was one down the hall used by everyone on the floor, someone getting up to go to the bathroom could have seen this guy, their could have been a night owl among the students or teachers who liked to stay up. especially since this was a Friday night. Any number of possible things.

Thats why I think if it was an outsider, it had to be someone familiar with not only the layout but the habits of the people in the school. Either that or the perp was extremely lucky.

RebZissel
12-05-2011, 11:35 AM
I don't know whether this was a case of the late Chaim seeing something that would expose someone in a negative light. It sounds a bit far-fetched, but not impossible.

Let's get one thing clear here: Chaim WAS asleep when he was killed. He was sleeping on his side with his back to the door. The first stab to the head killed him instantly, but to put this in perspective he was stabbed twelve times in a "frenzied style rage."

Whoever killed him harbored extreme rage for quite a while. This was not a methodical murder. It was a messy, hasty expression of violence. Whoever the killer was had been enraged over some matter or felt he was wronged by the school or possibly Chaim.

I agree with Xcal. 25 years ago an Orthodox Jewish setting was drastically different from today's secular world. I know Orthodox Jewish children who don't have the slightest inkling about sexual matters. I couldn't imagine them even hearing about homosexuality. Our socialization occurs in two places: school and home. Most Orthodox Jewish homes would strongly object to any provocative entertainment or literature. You're dealing with young boys who to a strong degree have been sheltered from what goes on in the world in terms of sexual promiscuity. The Rabbis would maintain a very morally upright environment. They would not allow boys to engage themselves in tawdry conversations.

Again, this was a magnate school for boys who were considered gifted and naturally immersed themselves in Torah study, which is Jewish history, religious laws, and so forth. I cannot imagine them carrying on "homosexual relations." So many posters here have suggested this but it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

Maybe a UFO was responsible? We shouldn't delve into delusional logic.

Any amateur detective must focus on what's probable, not improbable.

RebZissel
12-05-2011, 04:25 PM
Absolutely not. Do not twist my words. There is NOTHING to suggest a homosexual relationship. Zero.

The motive is what should be focused on, not hypothetical scenarios where Chaim's life was more of a tawdry Beverly Hills 90210 type drama.

I have spoken with his former classmates about him. They wouldn't even take the question seriously and dismissed it as being ridiculous beyond words. He was a 15 year old boy who was killed for unknown reasons. Don't vilify him. Vilify the killer.

Tighthead
12-05-2011, 04:39 PM
So Reb, are you saying that being a homosexual male means that you are incapable of also being a gifted theological scholar?

These were teenagers. No matter how rigorous their academic prowess, hormones played a part in their behavior at some point. To pretend otherwise is ignorant and naive.


It doesn't have to be a relationship, and it doesn't mean he or anyone was gay. The fact is that teenagers experiment, which is likely a result of hormones, not culture. Put any single sex group together and you will have same sex experimenting. Many straight people had their first experiences messing around with the same sex.

When your hormones are raging, things happen.

If the killing was sexual in nature, perhaps a senior staff type had made a play and been rebuffed, and was afraid of being ratted out.

RebZissel
12-05-2011, 05:03 PM
Kitka,

You misunderstood what I meant. Don Daly and Lt. Nolan made this a focal point of their investigation. They spent 99% of their time assuming it must have been a student. Believe me, if one of the students had any reason to kill him because of "homosexual rage" or jealousy, then they would have found out.

Each student and rabbi was polygraphed. Regardless of what Don Daly said in terms of the Orthodox Jews not cooperating, they cooperated every step of the way. Each one was interviewed numerous times and every hunch, suspicion, and doubt was investigated. Nothing seemed to produce tangible evidence.

If what you say is true, do you think a 15 year old Orthodox Jewish boy who killed one of his own classmates because of homosexual experimentation gone wrong, which would torment the religiously influenced conscience of any religious Jew because of the acute awareness that this murderous and homosexual behavior is wrong, could fool veteran detectives, beat a polygraph exam conducted by an experienced expert, and not crack under pressure?

Lt. Nolan and Don Daly had 60 years experience between the two of them. Don't you think these two would have uncovered such a thing after months of investigating every imaginable facet and dimension of the crime? Don't you think that the veteran detectives were smarter than a 15 year old boy?

If the 15 year old did it, then he must be the most clever and emotionally restrained person in history.

Tighthead
12-05-2011, 05:37 PM
Kitka,

If what you say is true, do you think a 15 year old Orthodox Jewish boy who killed one of his own classmates because of homosexual experimentation gone wrong, which would torment the religiously influenced conscience of any religious Jew because of the acute awareness that this murderous and homosexual behavior is wrong, could fool veteran detectives, beat a polygraph exam conducted by an experienced expert, and not crack under pressure?

Lt. Nolan and Don Daly had 60 years experience between the two of them. Don't you think these two would have uncovered such a thing after months of investigating every imaginable facet and dimension of the crime? Don't you think that the veteran detectives were smarter than a 15 year old boy?

If the 15 year old did it, then he must be the most clever and emotionally restrained person in history.

Maybe the kid completely devoid of a conscience and bluffed his way through, seeming earnest? If he was able to kill, perhaps his conscience was incapable of torment.

There is no doubt that certain scenarios are more likely than not, but there seems to be very little to go on in this case. The fact that the crime scene seemed to be overkill is kind of interesting.

I'd love to hear what a top profiler or someone like the Vidocq (sp) society would say about this. They are often pretty good on nailing intruder/stranger etc.

RebZissel
12-06-2011, 08:07 AM
"Frenzied style rage" indicates that whoever it was was definitely not devoid of feelings. This was a release of intense rage. The killer was someone with a fragile psyche and prone to violence. None of the boys exhibited these traits.

Like, I said: if he was devoid of a conscience, beat a polygraph test, and never cracked under pressure, then you are describing someone who possesses superhuman intelligence, composure, and emotional restraint.

Remember: the murder was Halloween 1986 and these boys did not graduate until the summer of 1988.

Not cracking or saying something that would evoke suspicion would be extremely rare. Possible, but highly unlikely for pubescent boys.

Tighthead
12-06-2011, 12:15 PM
Rob,

I tend to think that however this played out was highly unlikely, if that makes sense.

If the truth were discovered, everyone would be a bit surprised. Parts of the evidence are kind of inconsistent with most theories, and also consistent. It doesn't seem to be a pat situation.

RebZissel
12-06-2011, 12:24 PM
The issue that absolutely demolished the investigation was that the police could not determine whether it was an insider or outsider. That is why motive is the key factor in this crime.

There could only be 5 motives as far as I am concerned.

1) A serial killer needed to kill someone, anyone. There were two stabbing deaths in the area.

2) Someone hated the school.

3) Someone hated Chaim personally.

4) Someone hated Chaim's father, a prominent NYC businessman.

5) Someone hated Jews and Chaim was an unfortunate victim.

That pretty much sums up the case. It's one of these motives.

The overkill suggests personal animosity, however. One can only imagine the circumstances that gave rise to the murder.

TheCars1986
12-06-2011, 02:15 PM
There could only be 5 motives as far as I am concerned.

1) A serial killer needed to kill someone, anyone. There were two stabbing deaths in the area.

2) Someone hated the school.

3) Someone hated Chaim personally.

4) Someone hated Chaim's father, a prominent NYC businessman.

5) Someone hated Jews and Chaim was an unfortunate victim.

That pretty much sums up the case. It's one of these motives.

The overkill suggests personal animosity, however. One can only imagine the circumstances that gave rise to the murder.

1) I personally doubt a serial killer killed Chaim. Whoever killed him knew the layout of the school, and also may have known that Chaim was one of two boys without a roomate.

2) This is slightly possible, but I don't get the overkill on Chaim if the killer's "beef" was with the school.

3) This is the most likely, IMO. The former Polish employee obviously had animosity towards Chaim and Jewish people in general, and seemed to have enough motive to kill him.

4) This goes back to the "inside job" theory. Who would have held a grudge against Chaim's father who also knew the layout of the school? And why not harm Chaims father instead of Chaim himself?

5) I used to theorize that this may have started out as an anti-Semitic prank in which Chaim discovered someone/group of people doing something nefarious (defacing property, etc.) and he was killed to be silenced. But now knowing about the disgruntled Polish employee changed my perspective on the whole case. Whoever killed Chaim was someone who knew the layout of that school. Something an ex-employee would be privy to.

TracyLynnS
12-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Yesterday, I was reading some old NY Times articles, one of which said the following:


People in the community and faculty members were hesitant to describe the murder as an anti-Semitic act. Both Lesin [a school administrator] and Zelikovitz [a school faculty member] said there had been no serious anti-Semitic activity in the neighborhood, a New York suburb heavily populated by religious Jews.

Lesin said there had been some graffiti on another dormitory some years ago, but juvenile-type slogans. "We don't have any problems with our neighbors or any anti-Semitism," Lesin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He said there had been no fights within the dormitory.

http://archive.jta.org/article/1986/11/04/3005139/1000-people-attend-funeral-of-murdered-yeshiva-student

RebZissel
12-06-2011, 04:42 PM
Yes, I read this with some interest because students were indeed harassed for being Jewish. Long Beach is heavily populated by Italian, Irish, and WASP residents.

Was it serious? No, but there was some degree of it.

I feel this was an attempt by the administration to not enrage the Long Beach community and soothe things over. After all, the school didn't want to evoke the ire of crazy anti-semitic punks.

1990 UM fan
12-06-2011, 05:38 PM
Was it possible that someone may have been stalking Chaim?...waiting for the right time to kill him in the manner they did?

DarkDante
12-06-2011, 10:24 PM
I don't know if this would dispel the rumors of anti-Semitism in the case of Chaim Weiss but whomever killed him had obvious knowledge of Jewish customs regarding death.

You would think that if Chaim's death was a declaration having to do with anti-Semitism there would have been more physical evidence at the crime scene indicating such. Instead whomever murdered Chaim seemed to be extremely respectful of Jewish custom. Of course this could have been part of the killer's plan to make it look like someone inside the school murdered Chaim.

I do agree with 1990 UM fan that whomever murdered Chaim Weiss had some intimate knowledge of his routine and the routine in general of the boys at the school. It was pointed out in the segment that Chaim was one of the only students who didn't have a roommate which would have made him a more attractive target if the murder was committed by a stranger. He could have ascertained this information somehow and then carried out his plan accordingly.

Obviously this theory also works well if Chaim knew his killer as the other students in the school would likely be privy to the knowledge of Chaim lacking a roommate.

The key thing that is obviously missing here is motive. What is it in Chaim's background (presumably at the school) that made him a target for murder?

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 08:40 AM
I have not seen a single thing in this case to indicate the killer had knowledge of Jewish customs regarding death. Please elaborate.

On a side note, I hope you all know that the Unsolved Mysteries segment was not accurate. It was dramatized, so keep that in mind.

DarkDante
12-07-2011, 11:08 AM
I have not seen a single thing in this case to indicate the killer had knowledge of Jewish customs regarding death. Please elaborate.

On a side note, I hope you all know that the Unsolved Mysteries segment was not accurate. It was dramatized, so keep that in mind.

He moved the body to the coolest point in the room (the floor) and also opened up the window in the room to allow the spirit to move out of the room. It was noted in the segment that both are Jewish customs in preparing the body immediately after death.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 11:29 AM
The window was open because Chaim and the boys would sit on the fire escape when they were hanging out in his room.

Why was it open on a chilly night? He was 15. He simply didn't care.

Now let's put this in perspective: the killer left the room after killing Chaim and when he returned he didn't delicately place him on the floor. The crime scene was something you'd see in a horror movie. He came back to make sure nothing could lead back to him, so he moved him.

I find it fascinating how the Unsolved Mysteries segment postulated that this killer was capable of horrific violence AND it seemed like he wished to honor Chaim's memory and body after the murder. That sounds pretty loony to me. He had no problem killing him, but he must have observed religious customs to honor his victim. Does that sound plausible?

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 11:47 AM
And since the "religious custom observance" seemingly points to someone in the Orthodox Jewish community. Why would the killer do these things, which would indicate that an insider did it when leaving without observing "religious customs" in the crime scene would create the possibility that it was an outsider and broaden the range of suspects? Was the killer overcome with religious devotion after killing a boy that he would honor him according to "Jewish customs" and possibly incriminate himself by suggesting an Orthodox Jew killed him?

It just does not make sense. Again, I explained the open window.

Placing the boy on the floor after returning does not indicate observing Jewish customs. It indicated the killer's rational side took over and went back to see whether something was left that could lead back to him.

The killer was devoid of a conscience and brutally murdered a boy, but 45 minutes later he decided to come back and honor his memory?

Come on....

Todd Mueller
12-07-2011, 01:04 PM
And since the "religious custom observance" seemingly points to someone in the Orthodox Jewish community. Why would the killer do these things, which would indicate that an insider did it when leaving without observing "religious customs" in the crime scene would create the possibility that it was an outsider and broaden the range of suspects? Was the killer overcome with religious devotion after killing a boy that he would honor him according to "Jewish customs" and possibly incriminate himself by suggesting an Orthodox Jew killed him?

It just does not make sense. Again, I explained the open window.

Placing the boy on the floor after returning does not indicate observing Jewish customs. It indicated the killer's rational side took over and went back to see whether something was left that could lead back to him.

The killer was devoid of a conscience and brutally murdered a boy, but 45 minutes later he decided to come back and honor his memory?

Come on....


The other option is that it was more than one killer. Perhaps they left, one felt guilty about the custom part of it, and they argued and returned or one of them came back alone to do it.

I'm surprised UM mentioned NOTHING about the stabbing part. It's not like UM hasn't left out details before, but to me that completely changes the type of killing that this is and suggests someone familiar with the victim.

I think a lot of the "clues" in the story can probably be explained away fairly easily too. Possibly seeing the student the next morning on the pier, for one. Was it really a student, and if so, was it that unheard of for them to be out of the building? If it was 3am then that would smack of being really odd, but at 7am it doesn't seem to be a big deal, if it was a student at all. The second candle could have been someone from the school lighting it. Why they never admitted to it may be because to admit going in to light the candle would be to admit going in to a sealed crime scene. Perhaps their religious commitment trumped having to explain it to the police. The other weak clue was the student who thought his door MAY have opened in the night. When you are tired, you can imagine quite a bit and it didn't sound like he was very certain that is door did open and someone looked or came in.

The more I think of this, the more it seems it was someone who attended school there, lived there, worked there, or used to do one or more of these. They knew the layout, they knew the customs, etc.

The reason I came up with my theory before about him seeing something he shouldn't have, was that he was in the hall reading until late. He likely could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't think it is a stretch to think someone was worried enough about him telling that they went back in and killed him later. Remember, young kids to dumb things and mental illness could drive a person to do very odd things. I'm not saying this is certain but I don't think it is any more or less unreasonable than most of the other theories.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 01:27 PM
This all reminds me of an interesting story my friend, the former student, told me about the Long Beach PD.

A bunch of older students spent Sabbath in Lakewood, NJ. The detectives opined that surely these Orthodox Jewish boys would observe the Sabbath and not drive to Long Beach to kill someone.

If an Orthodox Jew had decided to kill, why in the blue hell would he STILL observe his religion? Doesn't that sound ridiculous?

If an Orthodox Jew did kill Chaim, what makes you all think that he would still observe religious practices when he committed a horrible, evil act that goes against the main tenet of Judaism: don't do something to someone that you wouldn't want others to do to you.

If an Orthodox Jew killed Chaim, then he probably wouldn't care about religious practices. Secondly, why would he want the crime scene to indicate that it was in fact an Orthodox Jew? It doesn't make sense. Would he really want to leave clues so that the detectives can focus on the community and not an outsider?

And like I said there is ZERO indication that an Orthodox Jew did it.

The window I explained. The second memorial candle was placed there and forgotten. It meant nothing. Would you ask the same question about a flower placed on a memorial to someone? It was done out of respect, not some sinister wish to play mind games with the investigators.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 01:34 PM
The other option is that it was more than one killer. Perhaps they left, one felt guilty about the custom part of it, and they argued and returned or one of them came back alone to do it.

I'm surprised UM mentioned NOTHING about the stabbing part. It's not like UM hasn't left out details before, but to me that completely changes the type of killing that this is and suggests someone familiar with the victim.

I think a lot of the "clues" in the story can probably be explained away fairly easily too. Possibly seeing the student the next morning on the pier, for one. Was it really a student, and if so, was it that unheard of for them to be out of the building? If it was 3am then that would smack of being really odd, but at 7am it doesn't seem to be a big deal, if it was a student at all. The second candle could have been someone from the school lighting it. Why they never admitted to it may be because to admit going in to light the candle would be to admit going in to a sealed crime scene. Perhaps their religious commitment trumped having to explain it to the police. The other weak clue was the student who thought his door MAY have opened in the night. When you are tired, you can imagine quite a bit and it didn't sound like he was very certain that is door did open and someone looked or came in.

The more I think of this, the more it seems it was someone who attended school there, lived there, worked there, or used to do one or more of these. They knew the layout, they knew the customs, etc.

The reason I came up with my theory before about him seeing something he shouldn't have, was that he was in the hall reading until late. He likely could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't think it is a stretch to think someone was worried enough about him telling that they went back in and killed him later. Remember, young kids to dumb things and mental illness could drive a person to do very odd things. I'm not saying this is certain but I don't think it is any more or less unreasonable than most of the other theories.

Well, whether it was more than one person is open to debate. Investigators seemed to believe it was one person. This was a quick 12 stabs to the head by one person experiencing frenzied rage.

Why would it be unusual to be up at 3am? The Friday night meal ends and boys stay up late. When I went on Shabbatons (staying over a Rabbi's house for Sabbath when I was a student), we stayed up till 5 or 6 am talking, play fighting, running around acting mischievously. The Rabbi would go to bed or leave to read the weekly Torah portion and the boys were free to do what they want.

My friend, the former student, could not understand the big deal made over the "mystery student" (if it was a student) on the boardwalk. They would go out all the time and sit on the boardwalk. What do you expect from young teenagers who are away from their parents? It's natural.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 01:41 PM
As for UM not mentioning the stabbing part, I explained why.

The crime scene was so horrific that it gave nightmares to the students who found him. UM decided to censor this and include a bit of blood on the pillow.

The truth is that the late Chaim's head looked like a cracked eggshell. Sadly, brain matter, blood, and pieces of his head were splattered all over the room. I mean no disrespect to his memory or his family, but that's the truth. This was an evil act by any definition.

Todd Mueller
12-07-2011, 02:33 PM
As for UM not mentioning the stabbing part, I explained why.

The crime scene was so horrific that it gave nightmares to the students who found him. UM decided to censor this and include a bit of blood on the pillow.

The truth is that the late Chaim's head looked like a cracked eggshell. Sadly, brain matter, blood, and pieces of his head were splattered all over the room. I mean no disrespect to his memory or his family, but that's the truth. This was an evil act by any definition.


I totally get what you are saying, but they could have mentioned that without showing it.

After watching that, you feel like Chaim was clocked once really hard and that was that. It is totally different to hear that it was a bloody, rage-style killing. I wouldn't expect them to show that in the re-creation but I would expect them to mention that. I don't know if they didn't mention it because the police asked or if they didn't feel it was relevant.

I'm sure they are doing that out of respect to the other students, but to not even mention that the scene was a little more grisley, and to not even mention the stabbings, I think is a little odd. They didn't have to glamorize the brutality but I feel to not even mention it really changes the crime scene.

Just my opinion...

TheCars1986
12-07-2011, 03:22 PM
Even the UM website states Chaim was killed by a single blow that severed his spinal column.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 03:34 PM
That is technically true. The first blow killed him instantly and severed his spinal column.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 06:53 PM
Teen Slain in School DormBoy, 16, found beaten to death at Orthodox Long Beach yeshiva
[NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]

Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Nicholas Goldberg and Patrick Brasley
Date: Nov 2, 1986
Start Page: 03
Section: NEWS
Text Word Count: 617

Abstract (Document Summary)


A 16-year-old student was found bludgeoned to death yesterdaymorning in his bed in his third-floor room of a Jewish high school dormitory in Long Beach, Nassau County police said. An adult dormitory supervisor discovered the pajama-clad body of Chaim Weiss sprawled across the bed in his single room shortly before 8 a.m.

Weiss, a junior, had attended the school for about 2 1/2 years. Chaim Goldberg, 16, who said he was a close friend of Weiss' and who lived on the same floor, described him as "one of the best-liked, popular and smartest students at the school." He said Weiss played basketball a lot, played chess in the dorm, and had avidly watched the World Series. "I thought he want- ed to study to be a rabbi," Goldberg said.

Michael Burr, who lives a block away and whose two sons, 17 and 18, attend the school, said that early Friday evening on Halloween, some of the Jewish students were targets of thrown eggs and were chased home by other teenagers. Det. [Robert Edwards] said that after the egg-throwing, the stu- dents had been escorted from their temple to their dormitory by members of the Long Beach Auxiliary Police as a Halloween precaution.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 06:54 PM
1st Blow Killed Yeshiva Student
[NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]

Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Bill Van Haintze and Scott Minerbrook
Date: Nov 4, 1986
Start Page: 07
Section: NEWS
Text Word Count: 744

Abstract (Document Summary)


[Leslie Lukash] said the first blow struck [Chaim Weiss] on the right temple and penetrated his brain, killing him instantly. The killer then struck Weiss again in the right temple, and then on the right side of his face and on his neck.

Weiss' body was found by an adult dormitory supervisor Saturday, sprawled across the bed in his third-floor room shortly before 8 a.m. About 40 students reside in the dormitory. Weiss had the only single room in the dormitory.

"Somebody saw him at about 12:45 a.m." Saturday, said Edward S. Ellison, Lukash's assistant. Ellison said he doubted a knife was used in the murder, but other officials said they could not rule out the possibility that a knife was the murder weapon. Sources said a large-handled, heavy-duty knife with a six-inch blade was found outside the dormitory room and was being examined by forensic specialists to try to match any blood stains or other evidence with the blood of the dead student.

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 06:58 PM
FOLLOW-UP ON THE NEWS; Clues Elusive In L.I. Killing
By Dennis Hevesi
Published: December 06, 1987

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ON Halloween night in 1986, someone entered a dormitory room at a yeshiva in Long Beach, L.I., and stabbed 16-year-old Chaim Weiss to death.

Chaim, a Staten Island resident, was found the next morning when another student at the Torah School of Long Beach came to awaken him for prayers.

The killing shook the community. And it still has the Nassau County police stumped.

''It's been over a year,'' says Sgt. John Nolan, commanding officer of the Nassau Police homicide squad. ''Unfortunately, I have nothing new to report. I wish I did.''

There was speculation that anti-Semitism might have played a part in the killing, because yeshiva students had regularly been harassed by local youths, the police say. And unlocked doors and windows at the yeshiva would have made it possible for an intruder to enter the dormitory. But the police say they still do not know if an outsider committed the crime.

''I'm afraid it would be pure speculation,'' Sgt. Nolan says. ''We can't point to anything that says it was either in or out. We really have no new leads.''

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 06:59 PM
State Probe of Yeshiva Murder Urged
[NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]

Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Cope Moyers
Date: Mar 22, 1988
Start Page: 21
Section: NEWS
Text Word Count: 372

Abstract (Document Summary)


"I'm afraid the police have been outsmarted," said Anton Weiss, the father of 15-year-old Chaim, whose body was found in his dormitory room. "This crime is something that should have been solved. It hasn't, and I want, I need, to know why."

Weiss, of Staten Island, also sharply criticized rabbis at the Mesivta of Long Beach, where police say his son was bludgeoned with a hatchet-type weapon as he slept on Nov. 1, 1986.

1) Photo by Bill Clare-Anton Weiss. 2) Photo-Chaim Weiss

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 07:01 PM
Long Beach Yeshiva Hints At Relocation
[NASSAU Edition]

Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Cope Moyers
Date: Apr 3, 1987
Start Page: 07
Section: NEWS
Text Word Count: 495

Abstract (Document Summary)


Rabbis at the prestigious Mesivta of Long Beach have told city officials that students' fears and those of their parents about the unsolved murder of classmate Chaim Weiss linger and may result in a declining enrollment next semester, according to several people who have discussed the situation with the rabbis.

On Nov. 1, between 2 and 6 a.m., Chaim, 15, of Staten Island, was repeatedly struck by a sharp metal object as he lay in bed in his third floor dormitory room. Although teachers, students and Nassau police initially feared anti-semitism was involved, that motive as well as sexual assault and robbery have been discounted by investigators.
Reproduced with permission of the

RebZissel
12-07-2011, 07:03 PM
Anguish of an Unsolved Murder
[NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]

Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By Cope Moyers
Date: May 4, 1987
Start Page: 06
Section: NEWS
Text Word Count: 1562

Abstract (Document Summary)


"The type of kids, the rabbis, the whole place, he liked everything," said Weiss. "He didn't want a school that was fanatical or extreme. He thought it was compatible to his way." Apparently it was. Soon after starting the ninth grade in 1984, [Chaim] earned the Hebrew nickname "Bal Kishron," or "a person capable of understanding," according to several students and faculty at the yeshiva. It was a saying others also had used to describe Chaim in the lower grades.

In Chaim's room, shortly after the murder, only the old wooden desk where Chaim studied, and the bed where he was sleeping when he was attacked, remained. A used bar of soap sat on a shelf in an almost empty closet; Chaim's clothes had been returned to his family after police searched them. A portion of the mattress and pieces of the carpeting that caught Chaim's blood had been removed. A cloth Hebrew calender still hung from the wall, marking days and months Chaim would not live to see.

1) Photo by Jennifer Jecklin-Students of the Mesivta of Long Beach head for a game of basketball, one of Chaim Weiss' favorite pastimes. 2) Photo by Jennifer Jecklin-Yeshiva students head for their rooms; the dorm where Chaim Weiss was killed remains vacant

1990 UM fan
12-07-2011, 07:20 PM
I'm curious to know where this school is and what it looks like, inside and out. Anyone have pictures of it from Google Street View or anything?

RebZissel
12-08-2011, 11:40 AM
The dormitory where the murder took place was torn down from what I remember hearing. Either that or it has been abandoned. Who would want to send their kids there?

You mentioned something about stalking. He had no known enemies, but anything is possible.

TheCars1986
12-08-2011, 01:02 PM
I wonder why UM didn't play up on the whole "egg throwing" incident. Would have added another "possibility" to the case, instead of the jogger seeing the supposed Jewish boy.

TracyLynnS
12-08-2011, 01:05 PM
Seems like the newspaper reports (and the UM segment) contain a lot of conflicting information. A few examples:

he was bludgeoned - he was stabbed dozens of times

he could have been stabbed - he was stabbed with a large heavy knife

he was found on the bed - he was found on the floor

there had only been minor anti-semitic activity years ago - the students were regularly harassed

At first, I thought maybe UM was withholding the information about the severity of the attack so suspects could be included or excluded based on crime scene details but newspaper articles at the time gave out all kinds of information.

I guess the only explanations are either bad reporting or deliberate planting of conflicting info to the public to aid the police in the investigation. I do know that LE has supplied stories to the media that were 100% false for that purpose. If that's what happened here, it looks like it backfired.

TheCars1986
12-08-2011, 01:12 PM
I'd have to chalk it up to faulty reporting. Newspapers are notorious for printing the wrong information all the time.

RebZissel
12-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Was he found on the bed or floor?

Both. He was dragged to the floor, but his legs were still on the bed. I fail in seeing how leaving him that way was supposedly a "Jewish custom to honor the dead."

The killer left the body and room in disarray.


As for the bludgeoning angle: that was a misconception that persisted in the early days of the aftermath. The students thought someone hit him over the head with a lamp or some object, so this misconception persists till this day. My friend, the former student, also remembered it told to him as "death by bludgeoning with a large, heavy object." They couldn't tell what it was during the initial hours and days. The coroner dismissed all this and clearly stated that 12 stab wounds with a large knife ended Chaim's life.

JenniferS.
12-09-2011, 01:22 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/04/nyregion/knife-found-near-site-of-murder-of-student.html



This article here says he was stabbed to death and a knife was found near the scene.

RebZissel
12-09-2011, 08:01 AM
Yes, I read about this. The police later determined that it was not used during the crime.

If it had been, they could have extracted the culprit's DNA. Unfortunately, the killer took precautions after the crime.

RebZissel
12-09-2011, 02:26 PM
NY Times:

Shortly after the killing, Det. Sgt. Robert Edwards said an autopsy indicated that Chaim had been stabbed in the head ''with a heavy type of knife.'' A few days later, a large knife was found near the dormitory.

''It wasn't the murder weapon,'' Sgt. Nolan says. ''We still have men assigned full-time to the case,'' the sergeant adds. ''These cases, as they get older, the trail gets colder.

''It's one of the toughest cases we've had, because we were never able to determine a motive. And without a motive, it's very tough to have direction.''

NY Times:

The Nassau County District Attorney's office said that among the notable unsolved murder cases in the past 20 years is the case of Chaim Weiss, a 15-year-old student at Mesivta Yeshiva of Long Beach who was found stabbed to death in his dormitory room in 1986.

''It was a case we wanted to solve very badly,'' said the deputy commanding officer of the Nassau County Homicide Squad, Detective Robert M. Edwards. ''We put an awful lot of effort into it. We thought it was probably connected with someone in the school. But a lot of the kids there were under 16 and they had to be interviewed with their parents. A lot of them got lawyers and it proved self-defeating.''

The Nassau County Medical Examiner, Dr. Leslie Lukash, said the ''problem was that nobody would talk inside the institution.''

No arrest was ever made, despite the help of retired agents of the Mossad, Israel's secret service, and 40 to 50 detectives working on the case at different times for more than year, Detective Edwards said.

Tighthead
12-09-2011, 04:20 PM
Some of the stuff about religious procedures being followed are somewhat silly. I think we can assume that someone who commits a cold blooded violent murder is not going to be thinking about following their strict religious traditions with the body.

I wonder if the killer was a deranged ex-student, teacher, or staff member. Knowledge of the scene etc, but not likely to make a suspect list if their connection to the yeshiva was in the somewhat distant past.

Pure random outsider seems a little bit of a stretch.

justins5256
12-09-2011, 04:29 PM
Some of the stuff about religious procedures being followed are somewhat silly. I think we can assume that someone who commits a cold blooded violent murder is not going to be thinking about following their strict religious traditions with the body.

I wonder if the killer was a deranged ex-student, teacher, or staff member. Knowledge of the scene etc, but not likely to make a suspect list if their connection to the yeshiva was in the somewhat distant past.

Pure random outsider seems a little bit of a stretch.

I used to put a lot of stock into the religious elements back when I first watched the episode as a kid.

However, I don't anymore. The crime itself has too many disorganized elements for the religious angle to fit the profile.

Todd Mueller
12-09-2011, 07:25 PM
I wonder why UM painted such a different story than what happened. Did the police want it that way? Being killed in a savage frenzied stabbing is way different than a single blow to the head. I get that they didn't want to play up the gory part, but still... It's odd to me.

I agree that the religious part was played up too much based on the evidence. Being on the floor and having an open window is not like someone drew a Star of David on the wall. I mean no offense by that -- I'm just pointing out the difference between a recognized religious symbol and a possible coincidence.

TracyLynnS
12-10-2011, 12:36 AM
Anyone remember exactly how far the window was opened and if it led to a balcony or fire escape?

RebZissel pretty much debunked the whole "killer opened the window in a religious observance to release the soul" scenario. Maybe the killer entered/escaped through the window so it was left open?

Late october weather could have been anything from freezing to hot enough to sleep with the window opened. If Chaim just wanted some air in the room the opened window wouldn't have anything to do with the murder at all.

(Sorry if I'm asking questions that were answered in the segment. As usual, I don't remember the details.)

TracyLynnS
12-10-2011, 01:09 AM
Okay, had plug the head phones in so I could watch the segment without waking up the whole house.

Robert Stack states that the window was "wide open" on a "chilly october evening".

They didn't give any real info on the weather, didn't state exactly how far open the window was, or give any indication if the window led to a fire escape or something that could be used as an entrance or exit for the room.

The detective said "if" someone walked up the stairs to get to Chaim's room..... so the segment didn't state if they had a known point of entry/exit. (I'm assuming news reports mentioned an unlocked main door? I think that's been mentioned in this thread.)

One student thought he noticed his door being opened sometime during the night but figured it was his roommate. The dozens of people who were polygraphed pretty much gave no indication to the investigators that they were holding back any info.

The jogger who may or may not have seen a person who may or may not be a yeshiva student 7 blocks away from the school can be totally discounted imo. There's no reason for a person dressed in a such a manner to stand out as suspicious in a community populated by so many people who look exactly like that.


----
edit -

In the comment's (you know where) a person claiming to be Chaim's cousin states the following: I can tell you what our family believes and not what "unsolved mysteries" shapes the case around to make it seem more mysterious and better for tv. We believe that since it was halloween, a killer came in through the window, tried to move the body after the killing, could not, and just abandoned it. you dont need to know the layout of the dorm to look through a window and realize theres only one person in there. & you're right antisemitism is real.

I need to read some more of the comments to see if this person is really related to the victim, but the theory sort of makes sense.

RebZissel
03-10-2012, 11:36 AM
The window did in fact lead to a fire escape, which is where the boys would hang out.

What is the big deal about an open window on a chilly night? I sleep with the window open all the time during winter for fresh air.

It is unclear how the killer entered. It was either through a backdoor with a broken lock or through the front door, which had a combination lock.

I've always believed the door with the broken lock was how the killer entered. It led to a staircase that took you directly to the corridor with Chaim's room.

As for the "unidentified student" --- could have been anyone. Boys stayed up late and went to the boardwalk all the time.
I also think it's hilarious that the police assume that the killer killed Chaim and then opened a window to "release his soul." Absolute crap and warped thinking.

RedBasket
03-10-2012, 12:43 PM
The window did in fact lead to a fire escape, which is where the boys would hang out.

What is the big deal about an open window on a chilly night? I sleep with the window open all the time during winter for fresh air.

It is unclear how the killer entered. It was either through a backdoor with a broken lock or through the front door, which had a combination lock.

I've always believed the door with the broken lock was how the killer entered. It led to a staircase that took you directly to the corridor with Chaim's room.

As for the "unidentified student" --- could have been anyone. Boys stayed up late and went to the boardwalk all the time.
I also think it's hilarious that the police assume that the killer killed Chaim and then opened a window to "release his soul." Absolute crap and warped thinking.

Not to sound odd or off topic.....but you and I could not sleep in the same room. I have three blankets plus an electric blanket, a space heater and a heating pad.

Back on topic, I do wonder now if religion played that big of a role. Was it a Halloween prank? A prank that happened to be at a Jewish school? Or was the student targeted because he was Jewish?

Necco
03-10-2012, 01:36 PM
I, too, wonder if it was about religion or convenience. Maybe this was just the nearest boarding school, or one the killer was familiar with. The murders at the Nickel Mines school weren't about the Amish, even though it was an Amish school. It wasn't a hate crime against the Amish, just a random act of violence against the community, which happened to include Amish people.

Was it ever said if Chaim's room was actually a single or a double without another occupant? If the room was a single, that would give more credence to the possibility that the murderer was less connected with the school than if it were a double without another occupant, for if it were a single, the killer would have merely had to know the floor plan (unless it was a lucky guess) instead of having to know the current room assignments.

I do think the open window could be a red herring. A dorm room window could be opened in October for any reason... sneaking a cigarette, chilling on the fire escape, the room being too hot, or... no offense to the dead, he was a teenage boy, and let's face it, sometimes their shoes get that not so fresh scent.

RebZissel
03-10-2012, 06:25 PM
Not to sound odd or off topic.....but you and I could not sleep in the same room. I have three blankets plus an electric blanket, a space heater and a heating pad.

Back on topic, I do wonder now if religion played that big of a role. Was it a Halloween prank? A prank that happened to be at a Jewish school? Or was the student targeted because he was Jewish?

That's the big question. Was this the act of a random nutjob or a planned crime?

No one knows, unfortunately.

RebZissel
03-10-2012, 06:27 PM
Chaim was given his own room because he was the prized pupil in the yeshiva.

RebZissel
03-10-2012, 06:31 PM
I have written extensively in this forum about a suspect whom I believe was the killer.

The Polish janitor who was fired and remembered for getting into fights with students would have known where Chaim was.

Read page 8 and 9 if you'd like to know more.

RebZissel
03-10-2012, 06:49 PM
I spoke with a few of the students who were in the dorm the night Chaim was killed.

They simply have no idea who the killer was, but they all indicated that they believed it was an outsider who came into the dorm.

Necco
03-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Chaim was given his own room because he was the prized pupil in the yeshiva.

So was it a room with only one bed? Or a double that only had one student assigned to it. Sorry if my question was unclear.

RebZissel
03-11-2012, 10:40 AM
It was a room with one bed.

It was next to a staircase that led to the door with a broken lock.

sdb4884
03-12-2012, 11:38 PM
I have been reading this message board with a great deal of interest for the last five years. I can tell you that all of you are bright and well-meaning, but completely misinformed. There are so many far-fetched statements on here, and while I realize not all of you are Jewish, I blame it primarily on the depiction of this tragedy on Unsolved Mysteries.

Let me try to unravel this point by point.

1) Unsolved Mysteries did a very creepy depiction of the yeshiva and what happened thereafter. Orthodox Jews are NOT cult-like. They are in no way remotely similar to what people think they are. The boys at the yeshiva were not quiet religiously fanatical minions. They were normal mischievous teenage boys who were like anyone their age. Friday nights for Orthodox Jews are always full of eating, drinking, singing, playing boardgames, staying up all night and doing what any teenage boys that age would do. These boys at the yeshiva played sports, drank beer, played pranks on one another, and so forth. THEY WERE NORMAL TEENAGE BOYS. For example, a former student told me how much fun they had chasing rats in the building. They were normal boys.

2) I've read assertions on this board of "a ritual killing" or "the community taking care of the real killer." That is ABSOLUTE CRAP. Ritual killings have been strictly forbidden since biblical times. It is NEVER ACCEPTABLE. No Orthodox Jew would ever do such a thing because of religion devotion. It goes against one of the major historical precepts of Judaism. It was one of the major issues that set Jews apart from other religions all those centuries ago.

As for "taking care of the real killer," Orthodox Jews are law-abiding American citizens. They do not have their own little world where something like that would be acceptable. Do not let a warped view and weak understanding of the religion make you think otherwise. Religious arbitration is the only thing that is remotely close to Orthodox Jews having their own judicial system, but the issues that they deal with are financial or to sort out problems among different factions of a synagogue's leadership or among different wings of yeshiva staff members. They DO NOT settle cases of the magnitude one poster suggested. The death penalty was so rare during biblical times that it almost never happened. The requirements for the death penalty are so stringent in Judaism that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to be met. The death penalty in Judaism was only administered during biblical times IF AND ONLY IF the killer was warned not to do it twice and witnessed by TWO people. In other words, it was pretty much impossible to get the death penalty.

3) The yeshiva WAS negligent in not fixing the lock to a door, which could have been accessed by anyone. Any lunatic could have walked into the building. It was also Halloween and anyone familiar with the whole "Michael Myers" storyline knows that a deranged psycho might have been influenced by those films.

4) The mysterious yahzreit candle made for some great television. It was almost something out of a murder mystery. The candle was a token of respect and ANYONE could have left it there. According to former students, there was an elderly absent-minded rabbi who in all probability placed it there. He could have easily forgotten.

5) There was no homosexual behavior in the yeshiva. Don't you think that in the age of invasive journalism the public would have found out? Homosexuality among Orthodox Jewish boys would have been noticed and reported immediately among close-knit yeshiva students. We would have found out about it, but it didn't happen. There are no secrets among a small class of students. There is no credible evidence to suggest such a thing.

6) I asked a former student about the mysterious student spotted by a jogger on the boardwalk. He told me that could have been ANY STUDENT. Students would stay up late on Friday nights and sit on the boardwalk. Again, these were mischievous teenage boys who were away from their parents.

7) The open window. I asked a former student about this. He said Chaim and the other boys would sit out on the fire escape outside his window. Why would the window not be closed on a chilly night? He was 15. He probably didn't care.

8) There was also a crackpot theory that Chaim was killed as a result of siding with one dean over another. From my experiences in a yeshiva, that is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Young boys DO NOT get involved in the staff politics of older rabbis. That is so preposterous. Among Orthodox Jews age is an important issue. A rabbi of 70 would not be told what to do by a 15 year old boy. His opinion would not be sought. Yeshiva students are intentionally kept in the dark of the politics among staff members. Rabbis feel that it is simply not the role of young, immature students to dictate what rabbis ranging from middle age to their elder years should do.

What I am trying to convey to all of you was that the Long Beach PD and Unsolved Mysteries were biased in the sense that they wanted to pin it on a student. The fact is they couldn't because after being polygraphed and interrogated mercilessly nothing was found. Every rabbi and student was cleared.

Detective Don Daly and the LBPD botched the investigation. The precinct was full of Italian and Irish-American police officers and detectives who had no experience with Orthodox Jews. They refused help from the FBI, while they investigated the most bizarre theories.

Students did point them in the direction of a suspect, but again, Don Daly believed it was a student and disregarded any outside suspects.

I did see a post by a girl claiming to be Chaim's cousin and she said her uncle believed it was someone "affiliated" with the school. There was a suspect who did not fit the LBPD's profile of the killer and so he was not properly scrutinized. This was always what I believed to be their greatest mistake.

Truly an amazing post, you obviously know a lot about this case.

hydranc
03-14-2012, 10:24 AM
I have written extensively in this forum about a suspect whom I believe was the killer.

The Polish janitor who was fired and remembered for getting into fights with students would have known where Chaim was.

Read page 8 and 9 if you'd like to know more.

This janitor who was in the army, just how did they demonstrate he never left the facility? Unless he worked a shift during the time the crime occurred they really have no way of actually tracking his whereabouts. I was in the air force during the time this happened and you only showed your credentials when returning to the base and there was no way of tracking your coming and going....at least in the air force.

Your theory seems very plausible and I suspect you are probably are correct, the LE could not see the forest for the trees and it is truly a shame this has gone so long without being resolved. Perhaps if he had been a movie star?

RebZissel
03-14-2012, 10:11 PM
His alibi was that he was serving on the base and could not have been in the area.

The police were satisfied with his alibi. This I believe was a major mistake.

I believe that he was the killer and his service in the military shielded him from proper scrutiny.

RebZissel
03-18-2012, 09:10 PM
This was an anti-Semitic Polish immigrant who was prone to violence. When he was fired, this must have made him boil with rage.

It sounds very right to me. Just my gut instinct tells me that this had to be the guy. A former disgruntled worker came back to the place he was fired and decided to kill a student, so that the school might close down.

I will bet any amount of money that he was the killer.

RebZissel
03-18-2012, 09:12 PM
The investigation focused solely on why someone would want to kill Chaim, but what about if the killer simply wanted to ruin the school?

So that it would close down. Sounds right to me.

Necco
03-18-2012, 10:40 PM
Reb,
That is why I was asking if his room was intended to be a single or if it was a double with one kid assigned to it. The killer didn't need to be looking for Chaim, he could have just been looking for a single victim.

RebZissel
03-20-2012, 10:22 AM
I want to add that the school nearly collapsed. Students tried to leave in droves and the school installed a new security system and hired security guards.

The dormitory was abandoned in later years, however.

RebZissel
03-23-2012, 04:06 PM
When all is said and done, this was either the act of a disgruntled worker or anti-Semite with psychological issues.

IsraelReader
05-29-2012, 01:22 PM
As a member of the orthodox Jewish community, and a product of the yeshiva system, I think that RebZissel’s comments are very much on the mark.
It seems that the investigation into the janitor hasn’t been exhausted, and should be reopened. I don’t believe that he was even questioned using a lie detector! At the time he did fall under suspicion, but he presented an alibi which can possibly be shown to be flawed.

Perhaps there was a cover up by certain parties who didn’t want to provoke racial tensions (Jews vs. Poles), or didn’t want to see a member of the armed forces fall under suspicion…

As such, I believe that there should be a call for the case to be reopened with different people handling it…

LaurierCrimmajor
05-30-2012, 02:30 PM
I've always found the production of this UM episode to be quite sensational in tone and style with the violin strings and emphasis on secrecy in the Jewish Orthodox culture, which I've always regarded as UM utilizing "creative license" to make for better TV, but it does try to make mountains out of mole hills that I don't believe are present.

IMO, the argument that the killer would've been familiar with the yeshiva, the strangeness of the open window, the custom to take the body off of the bed so that it's at the "lowest and coolest point", the memorial candle etc feels like an attempt by PD to string together things to make an overall theory and is pretty thin to go upon. This case seems to be alot less conspiratory than they'd lead you to believe.

To begin, the one aspect that really stands out as hinky in my eyes is that Chaim happened to live alone in his dormroom. An "outsider" wouldn't have insight into which dormrooms were occupied by however many number of students and which ones were isolated, so the fact that Chaim happened to live in a room without any witnesses, is a blip on my radar.

From here, the use of blunt force trauma looks to occur while Chaim was sleeping and the body movements postmortem onto the ground are most likely the actions of someone trying to simply move the body, in attempt to hide it, what have you.

The utilization of blunt force trauma as a means of homicide is something else that leads me away from a simple "outsider", for the risk one would have to undergo in infiltrating a dormatory with teenage boys and grown administrators potentially roaming the halls, only to find an isolated boy to smash in the head, feels incoherant. If an outside, unknown assailant were to have taken all of this risk to attack a 15 year old boy, the hallmarks of that thread of homicide are not present here. This murder is clean, precise and without evidence left behind or hints of someone merely finding Chaim as an opportunity to murder, which leads me into the realm of a suspect who had a specific issue with either Chaim or young boys in general, however the fact that Chaim was one boy who lived ALONE leaves me to believe he was specifically targeted.

I always find male administrators at dormatories for young boys to be rife with the potential for improprities and is a region where said young boys can be exploited, this is an area I'd delve into regardless of religion or sector of society. I'd also hazard that fellow students who, in their developing adolescent years may take personal slights or grudges to such extremes that would be a definate area of focus. Secrets don't get out if there's only one person who knows, either an administrator or student has access, so from that avenue, I can understand why PD would focus on someone inside the school. I'm just dead against this having anything to do with religion, as it is my experience that in matters of homicides and felonies in general, people are willing to sacrifice their beliefs in order to a) get what they want and b) get away with bad things.

Jumping off of the administrator and student train, I'd also suggest running down ANYONE who had access to the building, the layout and an understanding of Chaim being in a lone dormatory. This involves maintanence and janitorial crews, security and anyone with access to the buildings. From their, running down those with a history of violence could've easily used Chaim as a opportunity to kill a vulnerable victim, however a hinky lone male in general plays in my book, but again, I go back to "Why Chaim"? Wrong place, wrong time or being a lone inhabitor is a fine start, however I'd hazard that if Chaim was targeted by someone with homicidal tendencies, blunt force trauma wouldn't be sufficient for the assailint to achieve what they'd want out of the murder.

I do however have difficulty in this homicide not being a direct attack on Chaim. If this were an anti-semite looking to grind an axe against a Jewish dorm or the Jewish faith, blunt force trauma to a single boy who happens to live alone in a dorm filled with other boys feels like too much effort without enough payoff for someone with that level of persecutory and indignent xenophobia. This type of killer wants to feel superior and a "thief in the night" motif doesn't play for me.

For me, those who'd been eliminated via poly is a fine start, however I think if PD would've looked at this as a homicide without yeshiva ties and just simply an attack of a 15 year old boy, diving into WHO had access to him and who had problems with him, I think there'd have been a clearer picture.

My take, unknown assailants are often easy scapegoats when there's no solid leads or suspects(for example, just because it was Halloween doesn't mean some whackjob is going to go on the prowl to kill a complete stranger etc.), because they are wholly rare in comparison to homicide victims who knew their attacker. This young boy didn't have a massive personal life with an extrapolated number of acquaintances as say, a 25 year old would have, so in my eyes, the dragnet of potential suspects would have to be those familiar with him and who knew he would be isolated. Running the risk of being caught in an unfamilar place such a dormatory is too risky in my eyes for a simple blunt-force trauma stranger killing and in my victimology studies, hate crimes or one here that would've been committed by an anti-semite usually want to make a bolder, emphatic statement, which the crime scene doesn't highlight. Obviously an anti-semite janitor is a wonderful lead, but if he were to have committed the crime, I'd warn that it would have been carried out with more overt hate and viciousness. The cause of death here feels more deliberate and focused than that.

Endgame for me: Rageful young men do stupid things without foresight into longterm ramifications or investment of much thought on the matter beyond the moment. Flipside, adult males with access to young boys find easy prey and thus, do stupid, vile things, that sometimes need covering up. I'd work from that jumping point outward, young males in the dorm and officials who had access to Chaim. Unfortunately, there's a high probablilty of this being a lone assailant, which means that unless they talk, there will never be more on this case. My take, someone in the dormatory wanted to specifically kill Chaim(which is why the blunt force trauma was utilized over more sadistic means) and did so for some reason that only he knows.

1990 UM fan
05-30-2012, 08:09 PM
I've always found the production of this UM episode to be quite sensational in tone and style with the violin strings and emphasis on secrecy in the Jewish Orthodox culture, which I've always regarded as UM utilizing "creative license" to make for better TV, but it does try to make mountains out of mole hills that I don't believe are present.

IMO, the argument that the killer would've been familiar with the yeshiva, the strangeness of the open window, the custom to take the body off of the bed so that it's at the "lowest and coolest point", the memorial candle etc feels like an attempt by PD to string together things to make an overall theory and is pretty thin to go upon. This case seems to be alot less conspiratory than they'd lead you to believe.

To begin, the one aspect that really stands out as hinky in my eyes is that Chaim happened to live alone in his dormroom. An "outsider" wouldn't have insight into which dormrooms were occupied by however many number of students and which ones were isolated, so the fact that Chaim happened to live in a room without any witnesses, is a blip on my radar.

From here, the use of blunt force trauma looks to occur while Chaim was sleeping and the body movements postmortem onto the ground are most likely the actions of someone trying to simply move the body, in attempt to hide it, what have you.

The utilization of blunt force trauma as a means of homicide is something else that leads me away from a simple "outsider", for the risk one would have to undergo in infiltrating a dormatory with teenage boys and grown administrators potentially roaming the halls, only to find an isolated boy to smash in the head, feels incoherant. If an outside, unknown assailant were to have taken all of this risk to attack a 15 year old boy, the hallmarks of that thread of homicide are not present here. This murder is clean, precise and without evidence left behind or hints of someone merely finding Chaim as an opportunity to murder, which leads me into the realm of a suspect who had a specific issue with either Chaim or young boys in general, however the fact that Chaim was one boy who lived ALONE leaves me to believe he was specifically targeted.

I always find male administrators at dormatories for young boys to be rife with the potential for improprities and is a region where said young boys can be exploited, this is an area I'd delve into regardless of religion or sector of society. I'd also hazard that fellow students who, in their developing adolescent years may take personal slights or grudges to such extremes that would be a definate area of focus. Secrets don't get out if there's only one person who knows, either an administrator or student has access, so from that avenue, I can understand why PD would focus on someone inside the school. I'm just dead against this having anything to do with religion, as it is my experience that in matters of homicides and felonies in general, people are willing to sacrifice their beliefs in order to a) get what they want and b) get away with bad things.

Jumping off of the administrator and student train, I'd also suggest running down ANYONE who had access to the building, the layout and an understanding of Chaim being in a lone dormatory. This involves maintanence and janitorial crews, security and anyone with access to the buildings. From their, running down those with a history of violence could've easily used Chaim as a opportunity to kill a vulnerable victim, however a hinky lone male in general plays in my book, but again, I go back to "Why Chaim"? Wrong place, wrong time or being a lone inhabitor is a fine start, however I'd hazard that if Chaim was targeted by someone with homicidal tendencies, blunt force trauma wouldn't be sufficient for the assailint to achieve what they'd want out of the murder.

I do however have difficulty in this homicide not being a direct attack on Chaim. If this were an anti-semite looking to grind an axe against a Jewish dorm or the Jewish faith, blunt force trauma to a single boy who happens to live alone in a dorm filled with other boys feels like too much effort without enough payoff for someone with that level of persecutory and indignent xenophobia. This type of killer wants to feel superior and a "thief in the night" motif doesn't play for me.

For me, those who'd been eliminated via poly is a fine start, however I think if PD would've looked at this as a homicide without yeshiva ties and just simply an attack of a 15 year old boy, diving into WHO had access to him and who had problems with him, I think there'd have been a clearer picture.

My take, unknown assailants are often easy scapegoats when there's no solid leads or suspects(for example, just because it was Halloween doesn't mean some whackjob is going to go on the prowl to kill a complete stranger etc.), because they are wholly rare in comparison to homicide victims who knew their attacker. This young boy didn't have a massive personal life with an extrapolated number of acquaintances as say, a 25 year old would have, so in my eyes, the dragnet of potential suspects would have to be those familiar with him and who knew he would be isolated. Running the risk of being caught in an unfamilar place such a dormatory is too risky in my eyes for a simple blunt-force trauma stranger killing and in my victimology studies, hate crimes or one here that would've been committed by an anti-semite usually want to make a bolder, emphatic statement, which the crime scene doesn't highlight. Obviously an anti-semite janitor is a wonderful lead, but if he were to have committed the crime, I'd warn that it would have been carried out with more overt hate and viciousness. The cause of death here feels more deliberate and focused than that.

Endgame for me: Rageful young men do stupid things without foresight into longterm ramifications or investment of much thought on the matter beyond the moment. Flipside, adult males with access to young boys find easy prey and thus, do stupid, vile things, that sometimes need covering up. I'd work from that jumping point outward, young males in the dorm and officials who had access to Chaim. Unfortunately, there's a high probablilty of this being a lone assailant, which means that unless they talk, there will never be more on this case. My take, someone in the dormatory wanted to specifically kill Chaim(which is why the blunt force trauma was utilized over more sadistic means) and did so for some reason that only he knows.

I read your whole post. There's alot of good points in it but none of the theories make sense to me (has nothing to do with you by the way, just the apsects behind his death). Chaim seemed like such an unlikely target that it's hard to grasp on why someone would kill him in the manner that they did, and not attracting attention or being seen entering or leaving the school. I wonder if they ever found any shoeprints or fingerprints anywhere?

Rapunzel676
06-01-2012, 02:06 AM
I don't think you can rule out that it may have been related to sexual activity. In any all-male situation, with young boys, there can be experimentation. I don't see Yeshiva being significantly different than any other boarding school - as noted above, they are just like other kids, they just happen to be orthodox and bright

There are no shortage of straight people who had their first experience with sex be with the same gender in the early teen years.

To dismiss it as ABSOLUTE NONSENSE seems unfounded and defensive. Sex and money are always reasonable motives in any murder.

I'm inclined to agree with you, but it seems we are to take every word of RebZissel's posts as gospel truth -- after all, he's a member of the community, he attended a yeshiva and he's talked to people who were there. Case closed.

Except that I've read pretty much everything about the case I could get my hands on, including the lawsuit Anton Weiss filed against the school, and I don't think it's quite and cut-and-dried as RebZissel would have us believe. Furthermore, I resent the implication that the ethnicity of the cops involved in the case had anything to do with the outcome. What were they supposed to do, deputize a team of rabbis to investigate? If anyone cares to look more deeply into the case instead of taking RebZissel's word for it, you'll find a team of nearly two dozen very dedicated law enforcement officers who spent years doggedly chasing down every lead and every tip, regardless of how absurd it was, because they cared deeply about finding out who bludgeoned and stabbed an innocent kid to death while he slept. (Incidentally -- and RebZissel doesn't seem to be clear on this point -- blunt force trauma was not Chaim's COD. UM got it wrong, too. Go back to the early part of the thread if you're interested. Both I and a classmate of Chaim's posted on the issue.)

If you looked even further into the records, you might also discover that in the beginning, at least, the detective sergeant leading the investigation was named Edwards, which doesn't sound Irish or Italian to me, but perhaps RebZissel knows better than we do. Maybe he's thinking of Don Daly, who was the investigating officer on the case at the time the UM segment was filmed. I don't know, though, since Daly seems like a sensitive and informed guy, at least when he spoke to the yeshiva student two weeks after the murder (when their parents and lawyers finally let them talk). I no longer have the source, but in an article about the filming of the UM segment, he said:

"'I know some of the talk going around the yeshiva is that everyone knows about some of these questions the police need answered,'" Daly says to the 10 young actors and the cameras yesterday, re-enacting his actual speech to students in Long Beach two weeks after the murder. 'It's very hard for us to imagine that an outsider would come in and light a candle in the room. If somebody lit a candle as a beautiful thing for Chaim, we'd like to know about it. And we know Chaim would not have had that window open because he was sick. And we have a yeshiva-type student sitting on the boardwalk early in the morning prior to going to services, which is a little unusual because you usually go to services first and then you go about your business for the day. Another thing is we feel someone moved the body and what we're trying to find out is did anyone at all, a rabbi, one of the students, run into that room to try and help Chaim when they saw him?'" [Emphasis added]

Yeah, he sounds like a real bigot, that Irish cop.

I highlighted two areas of the quote because they explain why the window and the student on the boardwalk were issues of interest to the police. It was printed very early on (and it seems the other students were aware) that Chaim was sick enough to be taking antibiotics for a sore throat (according to his father, who would have known) which is why he wouldn't have had the window open in late October, when it was 40 degrees outside. Perhaps when RebZissel interviewed the yeshiva students more than 20 years after the event they had forgotten this detail. Did they also forget why it was unusual for the student to be on the boardwalk at the time he was spotted? Time clouds and reshapes the memory. Witnesses become less and less useful. That's why it's so critical to get to them as soon as possible, and why their earliest statements are typically the most accurate. Two weeks is a significant enough delay, and it had nothing to do with religion.

RebZissel is flat-out wrong in his assertion that the FBI was not consulted. Thanks to a hard drive crash years ago I don't have the article that establishes this fact anymore, either, but I do have a portion of the text that quotes from the profile itself:

"'Chaim Weiss,' the report says, was regarded by faculty members as 'the brightest of the bright.' Students saw him as popular and generous, but someone who had a 'sharp tongue,' which could have been a factor in his death. . . . In all probability, the offender would have had to have been close enough to know that Weiss' body had not been discovered before returning to the scene,' the report says. 'Upon re-entry, the assailant found the room dark and raised the shade to provide additional light . . . Weiss' body was moved by the assailant, either to provide easier access to the window and shade or for the assailant to look under the body for anything incriminating left there. The window may have been opened by the assailant to discard some item which he later retrieved.'"

Call me crazy, but the boys in the bunker seem to be agreeing with all those stupid Irish and Italian cops. Chaim was probably attacked by somebody who

* knew Chaim was the only student with his own room
* knew the combination to one or both of the electronic locks on the two entrances to the dorms or -- and there seems to be some confusion on this point -- that one of them was broken (There were also two side doors and an emergency exit across the hall from Chaim's room, but they could only be opened from inside, and there was no evidence of forced entry. The first-floor windows were closed.);
* knew the layout of the dorm well enough to find his way around in the dark, and was comfortable enough there to carry out what the medical examiner deemed a "frenzy-type killing" with a "hatchet-type weapon," then go back and move the body, either for ritualistic purposes or, as the FBI posits, to recover incriminating evidence.

While the prevailing police opinion was that the murder was committed by someone intimately familiar with the school and its routines (though there was some serious speculation that it may have been the work of a serial "basher") and they were understandably frustrated by being delayed access to the students, I don't get the idea that they blamed the school officials or their religious beliefs for being unable to solve the case.

The idea that administrators are withholding critical information and possibly shielding a murderer by maintaining a "conspiracy of silence" seems to come from Anton Weiss, the victim's father. Please understand that I am not criticizing or calling his behavior into question. He lost his son in the most brutal and horrific way possible, and worst of all, the killer has gone unpunished. Under the circumstances, his anger is understandable. I can't say I would feel any differently, were I in his shoes. He holds the yeshiva responsible for his son's death and went so far as to file a $15 million lawsuit against it in an effort to force school officials to turn over information he believed they were withholding from police. Before you laugh at the dumb cops for being ignorant about Orthodox practices, keep in mind that it was Anton Weiss who's on record as saying it's customary for Orthodox Jews to open a window in a room where a body is found to let the spirit out.

He's also the one who is absolutely insistent that the candle is somehow relevant to the murder, and school officials could find out who put it there if they were so inclined. Personally, I don't think the candle is relevant, but I'm not about to question Anton Weiss about the significance of the window, or the fact that his son was sick, or tell him he doesn't have his facts straight. I think it's a pretty safe bet that he was privy to a lot more information about the case than we or even the yeshiva boys were. He's the victim's father, and I'm more inclined to believe him, the investigating officers and statements that were made shortly after the murder than secondhand stories from someone who wasn't there and dismisses out of hand any idea that doesn't fit with his own yeshiva experience or personal beliefs. Maybe it's the Irish in me, but I'm not willing to point the finger at the Pollack just yet. :winkgrin

ETA: I should have looked back through the thread before I wrote this. A student who was there the night Chaim was murdered indicated that the door with the broken lock was the emergency exit across from Chaim's room. The news reports conflict on this point, so thanks to the poster for clearing this up. He also mentioned the that all of the students took and passed polygraphs. I believe the faculty and staff did as well, but I'll have go back through the articles to confirm this, which could take a while since I'm supposed to be job-hunting!

RebZissel
06-02-2012, 01:56 PM
I'm inclined to agree with you, but it seems we are to take every word of RebZissel's posts as gospel truth -- after all, he's a member of the community, he attended a yeshiva and he's talked to people who were there. Case closed.

Except that I've read pretty much everything about the case I could get my hands on, including the lawsuit Anton Weiss filed against the school, and I don't think it's quite and cut-and-dried as RebZissel would have us believe. Furthermore, I resent the implication that the ethnicity of the cops involved in the case had anything to do with the outcome. What were they supposed to do, deputize a team of rabbis to investigate? If anyone cares to look more deeply into the case instead of taking RebZissel's word for it, you'll find a team of nearly two dozen very dedicated law enforcement officers who spent years doggedly chasing down every lead and every tip, regardless of how absurd it was, because they cared deeply about finding out who bludgeoned and stabbed an innocent kid to death while he slept. (Incidentally -- and RebZissel doesn't seem to be clear on this point -- blunt force trauma was not Chaim's COD. UM got it wrong, too. Go back to the early part of the thread if you're interested. Both I and a classmate of Chaim's posted on the issue.)

If you looked even further into the records, you might also discover that in the beginning, at least, the detective sergeant leading the investigation was named Edwards, which doesn't sound Irish or Italian to me, but perhaps RebZissel knows better than we do. Maybe he's thinking of Don Daly, who was the investigating officer on the case at the time the UM segment was filmed. I don't know, though, since Daly seems like a sensitive and informed guy, at least when he spoke to the yeshiva student two weeks after the murder (when their parents and lawyers finally let them talk). I no longer have the source, but in an article about the filming of the UM segment, he said:

"'I know some of the talk going around the yeshiva is that everyone knows about some of these questions the police need answered,'" Daly says to the 10 young actors and the cameras yesterday, re-enacting his actual speech to students in Long Beach two weeks after the murder. 'It's very hard for us to imagine that an outsider would come in and light a candle in the room. If somebody lit a candle as a beautiful thing for Chaim, we'd like to know about it. And we know Chaim would not have had that window open because he was sick. And we have a yeshiva-type student sitting on the boardwalk early in the morning prior to going to services, which is a little unusual because you usually go to services first and then you go about your business for the day. Another thing is we feel someone moved the body and what we're trying to find out is did anyone at all, a rabbi, one of the students, run into that room to try and help Chaim when they saw him?'" [Emphasis added]

Yeah, he sounds like a real bigot, that Irish cop.

I highlighted two areas of the quote because they explain why the window and the student on the boardwalk were issues of interest to the police. It was printed very early on (and it seems the other students were aware) that Chaim was sick enough to be taking antibiotics for a sore throat (according to his father, who would have known) which is why he wouldn't have had the window open in late October, when it was 40 degrees outside. Perhaps when RebZissel interviewed the yeshiva students more than 20 years after the event they had forgotten this detail. Did they also forget why it was unusual for the student to be on the boardwalk at the time he was spotted? Time clouds and reshapes the memory. Witnesses become less and less useful. That's why it's so critical to get to them as soon as possible, and why their earliest statements are typically the most accurate. Two weeks is a significant enough delay, and it had nothing to do with religion.

RebZissel is flat-out wrong in his assertion that the FBI was not consulted. Thanks to a hard drive crash years ago I don't have the article that establishes this fact anymore, either, but I do have a portion of the text that quotes from the profile itself:

"'Chaim Weiss,' the report says, was regarded by faculty members as 'the brightest of the bright.' Students saw him as popular and generous, but someone who had a 'sharp tongue,' which could have been a factor in his death. . . . In all probability, the offender would have had to have been close enough to know that Weiss' body had not been discovered before returning to the scene,' the report says. 'Upon re-entry, the assailant found the room dark and raised the shade to provide additional light . . . Weiss' body was moved by the assailant, either to provide easier access to the window and shade or for the assailant to look under the body for anything incriminating left there. The window may have been opened by the assailant to discard some item which he later retrieved.'"

Call me crazy, but the boys in the bunker seem to be agreeing with all those stupid Irish and Italian cops. Chaim was probably attacked by somebody who

* knew Chaim was the only student with his own room
* knew the combination to one or both of the electronic locks on the two entrances to the dorms or -- and there seems to be some confusion on this point -- that one of them was broken (There were also two side doors and an emergency exit across the hall from Chaim's room, but they could only be opened from inside, and there was no evidence of forced entry. The first-floor windows were closed.);
* knew the layout of the dorm well enough to find his way around in the dark, and was comfortable enough there to carry out what the medical examiner deemed a "frenzy-type killing" with a "hatchet-type weapon," then go back and move the body, either for ritualistic purposes or, as the FBI posits, to recover incriminating evidence.

While the prevailing police opinion was that the murder was committed by someone intimately familiar with the school and its routines (though there was some serious speculation that it may have been the work of a serial "basher") and they were understandably frustrated by being delayed access to the students, I don't get the idea that they blamed the school officials or their religious beliefs for being unable to solve the case.

The idea that administrators are withholding critical information and possibly shielding a murderer by maintaining a "conspiracy of silence" seems to come from Anton Weiss, the victim's father. Please understand that I am not criticizing or calling his behavior into question. He lost his son in the most brutal and horrific way possible, and worst of all, the killer has gone unpunished. Under the circumstances, his anger is understandable. I can't say I would feel any differently, were I in his shoes. He holds the yeshiva responsible for his son's death and went so far as to file a $15 million lawsuit against it in an effort to force school officials to turn over information he believed they were withholding from police. Before you laugh at the dumb cops for being ignorant about Orthodox practices, keep in mind that it was Anton Weiss who's on record as saying it's customary for Orthodox Jews to open a window in a room where a body is found to let the spirit out.

He's also the one who is absolutely insistent that the candle is somehow relevant to the murder, and school officials could find out who put it there if they were so inclined. Personally, I don't think the candle is relevant, but I'm not about to question Anton Weiss about the significance of the window, or the fact that his son was sick, or tell him he doesn't have his facts straight. I think it's a pretty safe bet that he was privy to a lot more information about the case than we or even the yeshiva boys were. He's the victim's father, and I'm more inclined to believe him, the investigating officers and statements that were made shortly after the murder than secondhand stories from someone who wasn't there and dismisses out of hand any idea that doesn't fit with his own yeshiva experience or personal beliefs. Maybe it's the Irish in me, but I'm not willing to point the finger at the Pollack just yet. :winkgrin

ETA: I should have looked back through the thread before I wrote this. A student who was there the night Chaim was murdered indicated that the door with the broken lock was the emergency exit across from Chaim's room. The news reports conflict on this point, so thanks to the poster for clearing this up. He also mentioned the that all of the students took and passed polygraphs. I believe the faculty and staff did as well, but I'll have go back through the articles to confirm this, which could take a while since I'm supposed to be job-hunting!

Please read ALL my previous posts before criticizing what I said in the last two or three posts.

Yes, the students and teachers were all polygraphed and passed rounds of interrogation as well as the lie detector tests.

Rapunzel, let's get a few things straight. Edwards was from the Nassau PD, Daly was from Long Beach PD, and the FBI and Mossad were in fact consulted. Between the FBI, Nassau, and Long Beach the police departments were in a race to find out who the killer was and so there was poor coordination. Daly and Edwards were both on this case and acted in ways that would make it seem like they were in a race to claim credit for the solving of the crime. Mossad agents consulted the yeshiva for a bit but that went nowhere. Each police department/unit was in competition with one another. The FBI was involved but the local detectives felt that it was their "turf." A battle of wills ensued, which impeded the investigation. *The FBI was left out of the equation.* They were not coordinated with because of rivalries within the law enforcement community.

Anton Weiss sued the school because there were two stabbing deaths during the summer months in the area. The method was similar, but the victims were elderly gentiles. Anton Weiss sued the school for 15 million for being negligent in telling him this and so they settled out of court.

The night of the murder there was a broken back door and an absent police squad car that was supposed to be outside because of previous anti-Semitic attacks.
This door led to a staircase which took the killer straight to the hallway with Chaim's room. I mentioned this before.


*I did not say the police were bigots.* I said they misjudged the Orthodox Jewish community. For example, a few 12th graders were spending the Sabbath in Lakewood, NJ. The police declined to investigate them because they said the boys wouldn't possibly drive on the Sabbath, which is prohibited in the Torah, for a few hours to murder someone. IF SOMEONE PLANS TO MURDER, WHY WOULD HE OR SHE STILL OBSERVE RELIGIOUS PRACTICES??? That is ludicrous. Aside from that, the claims by the police that the students didn't talk because mere suspicion alone is not enough to say something to the detectives is complete nonsense. That is not stated anywhere in the Torah. Again, that is complete nonsense. It is a Jew's duty to pursue what is right no matter what. The students did talk and voiced their concerns.

How was Chaim killed? To any military strategists out there the term "fog of war" is applicable to the morning Chaim was found. There were many misconceptions that day, even thinking Chaim was still alive when he was found. Some boys remember him being hit over the head with a lamp. Some remember him being harmed in other ways. The fact is that Chaim was stabbed 12 times in the head. The boy (now middle-aged man) who found him vividly remembers the brain matter splattered all over the room.

CHAIM WAS STABBED 12 TIMES IN THE HEAD. This is a fact established by the Nassau County coroner.

About Chaim being sick: yes, I remember that. I asked a former student who left the yeshiva a few months prior to the murder about this. He said the boys sat on the fire escape to "hang out." Chaim was 15 and just didn't care about the open window.

The boardwalk. On Sabbath, some Orthodox Jews stay up all night to spend time with friends or study Torah. My friend, the former student, told me that they used to go sit on the boardwalk late at night all the time. THESE WERE TEENAGE BOYS. It's natural for them to want to go out late when they're away from their parents. My friend could not understand what the big deal was. UM dramatized this by ending the segment on an eery note with an Orthodox Jewish boy whose face is obscured sitting on the boardwalk. This either implied that it was Chaim's last hour alive or an unknown Jewish boy contemplating life after possibly committing the crime. THIS WAS DONE FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT. Long Beach has a thriving Jewish community. Maybe the boy was not even a student at the yeshiva. It could have been anyone.

As for Anton Weiss, he was angry with the school and his statements must be taken in the context of a grieving father who wants justice. Again, I want to say how ridiculous it sounds that someone would kill Chaim and then "open a window and light a candle for him." Why would someone kill a person and then wish to honor the victim's soul? Does that sound plausible?

As for the candle, would you ask the same question if someone lay a wreath on a memorial or tomb? This was a small thing that was blown way out of proportion.

Rapunzel, please read ALL my posts before you become so critical. I did not say the police were bigots, but rather they misjudged Orthodox Jews to be a different species, which is categorically WRONG.

RebZissel
06-03-2012, 09:38 AM
And another thing:

Why was Detective Daly surprised that an Orthodox Jew would go to the boardwalk before morning services?

First of all, maybe he was a young kid who stayed up late into the early morning hours, which is quite normal.

Second and what's much more important is that WHAT MAKES ALL OF YOU THINK THAT THE FIRST THING AN ORTHODOX JEW WOULD DO WHEN HE WAKES UP IS RUN TO PRAY?

Again, they misjudged the Orthodox Jews. An early morning routine of an Orthodox Jew mirrors that of anyone else. You wake up and do normal morning stuff. Brush teeth, get dressed, etc. I find nothing unusual with an Orthodox Jew sitting on the boardwalk before morning prayers.

Necco
06-03-2012, 12:59 PM
Us people? That's a little harsh, isn't it? I said months ago the kid on the boardwalk could just have been watching the sunrise, or contemplating his mortality, or pining over a girl. I also said that Orthodox kids are just that... kids. The main thing that sets them apart is their style of dress.

RebZissel
06-03-2012, 01:18 PM
My apologies. I meant all of you in this forum. My knowledge of American colloquialisms is limited.

Necco
06-03-2012, 02:55 PM
No, your use of the colloquialism was correct. It was just unwarranted. We are not all in this forum arguing against points you are making. Nor are we making assumptions about what it means to be an Orthodox Jewish teenager. I've been to a lot of countries and in a lot of cultures and am acutely aware that a kid is a kid is a kid. To assume that everyone here, including people who have agreed with many of your points, know nothing of other cultures because of our own backgrounds, is as much a display of ignorance as you're are accusing us of.

RebZissel
06-03-2012, 03:30 PM
Necco, I feel the same way the students from that school felt - that the police focused on the most silly things. A memorial candle, an open window, a boy sitting on a bench. As the UM segment tried to portray this murder with creepy religious overtones, I am trying to convey that this was a murder pure and simple. The police in the UM segment claim no one said anything, but that is not true. They all offered their insights, so I feel that the police had nothing to go on so they started looking for circumstantial evidence and blamed the school and people in it for not finding the killer. My friend, who attended the school, maintains the belief that the police just focused too much on the religious aspects of the environment and not the actual crime.

From the NY Times:

The victim's father, Anton Weiss of Staten Island, eventually grew disenchanted with how the Nassau police were handling the case. He said he felt that the police had been ''outsmarted,'' and he requested the naming of a special prosecutor. That was never done. ''There was very little to find in the way of leads,'' Lieutenant Nolan said. ''We were dealing with a group that holds very different mores. But eventually, we were able to interview everyone in the school, as well as all past and present employees.

''We couldn't even find out why Chaim was killed. To this day, we can't positively state whether it was from inside or outside of the school.''

Rapunzel676
06-03-2012, 07:09 PM
"You people," eh? I think someone is trying to draw me out. ;)

Reb, I have too much on my plate today to respond in kind to your lengthy screed, so I'll try to keep this short (at least by my standards). Before I get to that, however, I want to mention that I was updating my email address and other details this morning when I discovered I'd posted a profile photo several years ago. I can't help but wonder if this was at least partially responsible for the vehemence of your response. Or is it because I'm a woman, and I'm as well-versed in the details of the case as you are? I just can't swing a trip to Long Island, and I don't have the advantage of knowing the names of the students and administrators who were present, and I can't get my hands on the police reports. I do have the statements of another resident of Chaim's dorm who was present the night he was killed; he posted quite a bit of very useful information early in this thread. For what it's worth, he confirms that Chaim did in fact have a bit of a sharp tongue (what teenager doesn't?), and adds that it was it an absentminded rabbi who lit the candle. This explanation makes sense to me.

I don't find the sighting of the student on the boardwalk particularly relevant, either -- if it even occurred. Never said I did. In the course of your lecture, you put a whole lot of words in my mouth that I never said, and you're getting yourself all worked up over what essentially amounted to a refutation of your opinions based on a recitation of the facts of the case as they have been presented in the media.

The personal opinions I made were in response to what you wrote; namely, the bigoted statements you made about the police (you can spin them all you like, but bigotry is bigotry), your criticism of the way they handled the investigation, and the fact that it's Anton Weiss who's made the most disparaging statements about the school, not the police. His disenchantment with the police doesn't change any of this. He didn't sue the police department for $15 million, he sued the school. I certainly can't fault him for feeling as he does, but that hardly invalidates his thoughts and opinions on the case. As the victim's father, he would have been privy to a lot more inside information than you, I, or any student. The police could very well have been influenced by his views, and vice versa. The ease with which you dismiss him and his feelings is deeply troubling. It suggests the sort of willful blindness that leads to precisely the same tunnel vision of which you accuse the police.

I actually happen to agree with you on many points, but your absolute certainty in your own rightness, your clear contempt for those of us who didn't attend a yeshiva and "know nothing" of Orthodox beliefs and culture, and your obvious bias (not to mention bigotry) against the police and Mr. Weiss. You seem to rely solely on the statements of the students and research that you have yet to share with us, which implicates some anti-Semitic Pole. That's all well and good, but the first thing I learned when I started researching true crime cases is that you cannot make the facts fit your theory. It has to be the other way around. You can't dismiss a witness or evidence simply because it doesn't fit into your theory. This is why many cases profiled on UM and elsewhere have gone unsolved. This is how innocent people end up in prison.

I believe your intentions are good. I believe your heart is in the right place, and you want to see Chaim's killer caught and punished just as much as the rest of us. I just think it's a mistake to set aside the views and opinions of individuals and entire groups of people simply because they don't happen to share your experiences or your personal beliefs. Your statement "I feel the same way the students from that school felt" speaks volumes. You identify with them, so you rule out the ideas of anyone who doesn't belong to that group.

I prefer not to rule out anything, or anyone. One of these days I'm going to rebuild my archive of articles on Chaim so I can be better prepared to work up a very amateur profile of the killer (and write the second draft of the novel I based on the case), but at this point I don't think it's worthwhile for me to continue posting on the subject. Having been raised by zealots, I have learned how utterly pointless to argue with them. :wallbang

Necco
06-03-2012, 08:32 PM
RZ,
Your rampant declarations of bias and bigotry are absurd and, in fact, biased themselves. Did the former Mossad agents also think the Orthodox Jews were "a different species" as you put it?

And yes, saying the cops thought that the Orthodox Jews were "a different species" is bigotry.

Play nice. Stop using language like "You people" and making sweeping generalizations about all of us. Then maybe we can get back to discussing what happened to Chaim.

Until then, I'm not going to engage you anymore.

RebZissel
06-04-2012, 10:33 AM
Guys, I did not intend to sound the way you think and sometimes the written word can be misleading.

Rapunzel, I did not see your photo and did not know whether you were a man or woman. It makes no difference to me. Your well written post is that plain and simple. That's why I replied to you. Gender has nothing to do with it.

Necco, I did not think that I was being biased, but in fact - I was attempting to steer the debate toward a more sensible discussion. Debating open windows and memorial candles to honor the soul sounds quite loony to me.

I respect all the opinions on this board, but some statements have been so outrageous. Ritual murder? The Rabbis taking care of the real killer? A dean killing Chaim for siding against him? I have discussed all these points and think those assertions are baseless.

Rapunzel, you asked about my proof regarding the Polish janitor. I want to say again that I have never been to this school and only know students who attended it. My friend always pointed out that the police were far too busy interrogating students and teachers when most of them pointed in the direction of this suspect. He was investigated but the detectives claim that he was on the military base. Case closed? I think not. My friend vividly remembers this man getting into fist fights with students and throwing coat hangers at them in the cafeteria. Students knew he had a short fuse and they would try to get a rise out of him. He also couldn't speak English, which only added to his misery. He was fired or he quit on very bad terms. He was an anti-Semitic immigrant who was fired by a school of people he hated his whole life. He is a strong suspect in my opinion.

I also asked my friend specifically whether Chaim had a "sharp tongue." My friend said that he did not remember him this way, but he did produce the occasional ribbing. He was a teenager. Boys at that age have a "fresh mouth."

The students I have spoken with have not the faintest clue why someone would have wanted to kill him. One student I spoke with, who is now a middle-aged Rabbi, said that Chaim was a good kid.

Speaking of bigotry, I have always thought that an anti-Semitic motivation may have been behind the murder. A Long Beach resident with anti-Semitic rage. Two punks on a dare decided to kill a Jew. A Halloween prank that went too far. Bigotry may have been behind this murder. I would never want to resemble anything like that.

The police tried hard to solve this case. Detective Daly, Sgt. Nolan, Detective Edwards, and the FBI profilers did want to solve this case. I do not believe their assertions that the students and teachers were uncooperative or that "mere suspicion alone" was not enough to say something. Justice is justice and no one would ever shield someone after doing some terrible act like this.

My final point would be that I believe if the police had spent an equal amount of energy investigating outside suspects then maybe this would have been solved.

RebZissel
06-04-2012, 11:16 AM
I did not dismiss what Mr. Weiss has said, but rather I know that he was angry with the police, the school, and everything and everyone he felt impeded the investigation.

When I watched the original broadcast of this story on television, Chaim's mother was interviewed as well (this was edited out in later years) and she begged people to help her solve the crime. I'll never forget the pain in her voice and face when she spoke. Mr. and Mrs. Weiss have suffered greatly and I will never forget that.

LaurierCrimmajor
06-04-2012, 05:21 PM
Guys, I did not intend to sound the way you think and sometimes the written word can be misleading.
Speaking of bigotry, I have always thought that an anti-Semitic motivation may have been behind the murder. A Long Beach resident with anti-Semitic rage. Two punks on a dare decided to kill a Jew. A Halloween prank that went too far. Bigotry may have been behind this murder. I would never want to resemble anything like that.

The police tried hard to solve this case. Detective Daly, Sgt. Nolan, Detective Edwards, and the FBI profilers did want to solve this case. I do not believe their assertions that the students and teachers were uncooperative or that "mere suspicion alone" was not enough to say something. Justice is justice and no one would ever shield someone after doing some terrible act like this.

My final point would be that I believe if the police had spent an equal amount of energy investigating outside suspects then maybe this would have been solved.

While an anti-Semitic motive and basic bigotry is a very solid motive, my problem with this theory is that the assailant would've had to have gained entry into the residence, had a level of consciousness to avoid any detection in a building filled with people, whom the assailant would never know when or where someone might get up to go to the washroom or if there are administators/guards possibly working at night(which he'd have been unaware of the possibility unless he'd staked the place out prior).

From here, the assailant would have had to have found the one boy who lived in a room solo, somehow gotten to him ahead of any other potential victim who had a roommate and thus could've noticed the absence or a cry for help etc(this could have been pure luck mind you) and in his anti-Semitic hate, perpetuated a homicide and crime scene that did not resemble the basic "hate crime" MO.

I've studied hate crimes in my victimology courses and usually, there is an attempt of the attacker to feel superior and degrade those who are deemed inferior within the attack, there is a joy derrived from the violence and here, I don't think it matches what a hate-crime normally looks like. The reasoning and aftermath of a hate-crime attack is normally far more blatant and overt than what we see here, I'm not saying spraypainting swastikas, but alot more than what was here. They don't abide by a thief-in-the-night motif and probably wouldn't have run the risk of committing such a heinous act in such close proximity to so many people(hate crimes are committed by cowards with a strong absence of self-worth and thus, take out their rage on others as a way of deflecting their own shortcomings etc.)

IMO, for this to be an anti-Semetic thrill killer or straight-up hate crime, the killer just seems to have too many happenstance occurrances float his way, that he could not have predicted. For me, the risks involved in breaking into the dormatory, the potential of being caught by witnesses, committing such violence on a youth living solo in a domatory filled with boys bunking 2 to a room and running the risk of leaving potential evidence at the scene, it just strikes me as too much effort within the murderer's cost/benefit analysis and is probably too risky just to kill a Jewish teen out of blind bigotry.

Could this be a motive? Absolutely. However when I look at what it would take for some bigot to get into Chaim's room and murder him, I don't see it as a stranger killing, especially rooted in anti-Semitism. Now, if Chaim had been found in a secluded area like an alley or on the boardwalk or beach, where a coward could exert their bigoted hate without fear of reprisal, I'd feel more comfortable with that as motive. The fact that he was killed in his own room, just leads me to look at those closest to him.

RebZissel
06-04-2012, 06:29 PM
I agree with you. The killer was somehow connected to the victim and it doesn't seem like a hate crime. Maybe hate for a Jew was part of the overall motive, but I felt that 12 stabs to the head in a frenzied-style rage was by someone getting even. This crime for me has always been a matter of someone coming inside and killing a student because of feeling wronged.

In my opinion, someone came back to get even with Chaim or the school.

RebZissel
07-11-2012, 10:05 AM
Thinking about this case quite a lot recently. I may as well throw some things out there that I have heard.

Chaim Weiss' father was rumored to have mob connections, and I wonder if this may have been related. These people are quite professional and methodical, so if they wanted to send a message to the Weiss family they would have done it this way. I don't know how true this is, however. This was just a rumor. Given the time (1986) the Five Families in NYC controlled all construction, unions, and garbage collection. Was there a dispute? Did something happen between Anton Weiss and someone high up in the rackets? Who knows.....

The other thing I have read about and someone did confirm this was that a student in the Mesivta of Long Beach committed suicide in 1983 in the very same building. This may have been unrelated, so I am not sure what to make of it.

Again, these are possibilities.

Necco
07-11-2012, 12:34 PM
The mob rarely went after children in those days. Wives and children were off limits.

RebZissel
07-11-2012, 03:01 PM
You never know - there was also the "no drugs" rule. There was the vow of silence. Think about it. How many mobsters got involved in drugs? How many became informants?

It's hard to say what they may or may not do. The other issue is that not everyone who works for organized crime recognizes these rules. Crime syndicates are large conglomerates.

Necco
07-11-2012, 11:39 PM
You're right. I don't know. I also can't definitively say that a yeti didn't break into that dorm and go after Chaim. But I wouldn't put money on it. And I wouldn't put money on the mob. They don't kill people's kids to send messages. And if someone was dumb enough to do so, believe me, if "the family" found out, the person who killed a child would be fish food.

RebZissel
07-12-2012, 11:54 AM
It was just a rumor - never substantiated at all.

RebZissel
07-15-2012, 07:01 PM
What can be said about this mystery at this point? More than 25 years passed. The "boys" are now middle-aged men with graying beards and temples. So much time has passed that unless the killer confesses or someone who knows the identity of the killer is suddenly overcome with guilt and notifies police - this crime seems like it will never be solved.

Even since I saw the Unsolved Mysteries segment on television, I have been thinking about this case. My conversation with my friend who attended there made it obvious that despite what the segment portrayed there were in fact suspects. The Polish janitor who was fired or quit joined the military. My friend said the police claimed there was "indisputable evidence" that he was serving on a military base that day. This never satisfied me. I always had a hunch that this deranged individual, who fought with students, decided to come back and get even with the Jews at the Mesivta of Long Beach.

He wasn't the only Polish laborer at the school, and there were anti-Semitic punks who threw eggs at students. There are many, many potential suspects.

The who and the how are immaterial when you consider what the motive could have been. I can only think of three.

1) Someone's hatred for Jews made him decide that he was going to kill a Jew for no other reason other than satisfying anti-Semitic rage.

2) Someone had a personal issue with Chaim or his family.

3) Someone was angry with the school.

1- There was anti-Semitic related harassment. It was enough to have the police plan to have a squad car near the school. Why they weren't there on Halloween night is a mystery to me. The truth is, however, this could have been the act of a neo-Nazi. Yes, they do exist and they have committed crimes like this.

Someone once raised the issue of ritual murder. I don't believe that at all because Jews do not believe in murdering for religion. Human sacrifices are what got Abraham into deep trouble with the major religions and monarch of his day. Abraham advocated a religion against human sacrifices, and this was seen as dangerous and radical at the time. Jews do not kill human beings for religious purposes.

Another issue is that this was a crime of passion. Someone was ANGRY and killed Chaim. This was not a ritual murder.

2-The second motive is highly personal and given the nature of the crime it seems to make sense to me. Chaim may have said something in jest or played a prank that humiliated someone to the point they developed murderous rage.

I believe that someone knew the approximate layout of the school, and therefore, my thoughts have always focused on whether it was a FORMER student or employee. Did someone think he or she would evade suspicion because their presence at the school ended months earlier. I think so. I always felt this was someone who quietly returned and got even.

I have always thought that a 12th grader from the year before when Chaim was in 10th grade may have returned to kill for some reason. Was envy that Chaim became a star at the school the reason? It's possible. Learning torah is supposed to be done for the Father in Heaven, not personal gain or fame. I don't see this being an issue that Chaim was so smart that someone became envious to the point of murder. However, I am a mere speculator like everyone on here. Anything is possible, but I believe if the detectives, whom I believe to be experienced and street savvy, cleared the students in the building that night then they in all likelihood were innocent.

I do not believe that a student murdered one of his own classmates and then was able to fool detectives and not crack until 1988 when they graduated. Sorry. A teenage boy is not that brilliant and emotionally restrained. Most adults aren't.

I have fought the accusation of "homosexual experimentation gone wrong." Someone, who removed her messages, practically yelled at me for this. I do not believe that two teenagers in a class of 15 boys who spent every waking moment together in rooms with no locks could have carried on a homosexual affair in a building with their classmates who were up all hours of the night. There are no secrets in such an environment, and believe me if someone spotted two boys kissing or holding hands - THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD HAVE FOUND OUT. I am not convinced at all that this was a lover's quarrel....

For that matter if a boy did anything out of the ordinary - someone would have noticed. There are no secrets in a yeshiva of boys.

Chaim's family was a real American success story. All four of his grandparents were concentration camp survivors and his father was born in a refugee camp. Anton Weiss became a mega success. He was a well-known businessman in the same category as Donald Trump or Ted Turner. He just wasn't as flashy. Did someone resent how successful he was that the person decided to kill his oldest child? It is possible.

3- I am not aware of any disgruntled employees at the school, but I would not know since I never attended the school. Did someone who either worked there or attended as a student have a terrible experience? This could have been a powerful motive. When someone feels slighted, revenge is sure to follow. Some people have a hard time moving on.

In closing, I don't know who the killer was like everyone here, but just examining what I know about the crime - this was someone familiar with the school/victim and someone wanted to get even. This was a release of rage. 12 stabs to the head in a frenzied style rage that completely obliterated Chaim's head speaks volumes about the killer. HE WAS ANGRY. This was personal.

I hope his killer is brought to justice - regardless of whether it was a Polish janitor, a disgruntled employee or some lunatic from Long Beach.

Avi
07-16-2012, 09:13 PM
Today marks ten years since this thread was started and sadly it looks like this crime is no closer to being solved.

If any members of the Weiss Family are reading this, please accept my deepest sympathy- I can't imagine what you went through and wouldn't wish this on anyone.

There's so much to say on this topic that I don't know where to start from.

If I remember correctly, my aunt and uncle used to live near the family on Staten Island (they moved out in the mid 80s and I don't know if the Weiss Family still lives there).

I haven't seen this mentioned before and I do think it's important to mention. When applying to a yeshiva, the applicant usually spends a weekend in the yeshiva so that he can be observed and for him to observe different aspects of the yeshiva.

The first yeshiva I applied to was this yeshiva- shortly after the murder. (I can't really say I applied there since I never sent in an application- my parents sent me there as a test run so I can know what to expect at other yeshivas. They had no plans of letting me go there.) I first heard of the murder as the car taking us there passed by the dorm and one of the passengers said "there's the dorm where the murder took place". We were told that half is being used to house maintenance staff while the other half is still sealed off while the murder weapon is being searched for.

After hearing about the murder, and that many suspected that it was an inside job, I was traumatized for the whole weekend and royally failed the entrance exam. The whole weekend I had kept looking around at my surroundings. That guy with the icy stare- was it him? Why is he looking at me?

The guys in the room I was sleeping in took me on a tour to show me all the new security features the yeshiva had installed but that didn't help (since it may have been an inside job).

1990 UM fan
09-19-2012, 06:29 PM
Found this. It's a recent article about Chaim: http://dusiznies.blogspot.com/2012/05/986-murder-of-jewish-child-chaim-weiss.html

TheBumble
10-31-2012, 09:47 PM
If there was blood and brain matter all over the room, then certainly the killer would have been covered in it. He must have lived near by.

Also, there has been a fair amount of outright ignorance about Jewish customs especially in the earlier parts of this thread. Therefore I think it a little disingenous to pick on Reb for using terms like "you people" and him being sensitive to the misjudgments by non Jews.

saywhat
11-01-2012, 02:47 PM
Such a sad case. In my opinion - and this is pure speculation, of course - this boy must have been targetted. My guess is that there very well could have been a connection to his parents; that is, someone who felt wronged by Chaim's father or who was resentful of his success. Someone who is that successful often alienates a lot of people, even if completely unintentionally, or simply has a lot of people who resent him. Going after someone's child as a means to settle a score is obviously quite extreme, but this crime was extreme in itself (the repeated blows to the head, possibly with a hatchet) so who can really explain it rationally? The other strong possibility, in my opinion, and as others have speculated, is a former employee or former student carrying out some sort of personal vendetta against Chaim, or against Chaim AND the school.

The notion that it was a random crime is possible, but difficult to believe for many reasons that have already been stated. Why would a random attacker go all the way up to the third floor to attack his "random" victim? The fact that it was Halloween night is intriguing for sure, as is the fact that the police were going to station a car outside the dorm. Still, the facts just don't seem to support a random attacker, although it is of course possible. By definition, crazy people do not always act logically!

I agree that the window being open, the body being half-on, half-off the bed, and the lighting of the candle are likely "red herrings" here. As another poster has said, why would the killer savagely murder someone, then be concerned about respecting Jewsh death rituals (which seem to be interpreted in different ways, in any event) for that victim?

It has to be very unusual in the annals of crime for an offender to return to the scene some time after the offence for ANY reason. My guess (once again, already stated by another poster) is that after the adrenaline (for lack of a better description) wore off, the killer must have realized, or thought, that he had left something incriminating at the scene. Very unusual. But then again, he hasn't been caught, so I suppose the return trip might have been worth it. Actually, as I write this, I can see why the police were apparently so focused on this being an "inside job" and why they thought there may have been a conspiracy of silence: this guy apparently got into the dorm, went up the stairs, got into a room, committed a brutal murder, got out of the building, then came BACK, went into the room, and left again. And no one saw him, and apparently almost no one heard anything, either. BUT the fact that the staircase evidently led directly up to Chaim's room makes all of that a lot more possible. Hey, people have committed murder in broad daylight in busy areas and gotten away with it, so of course it is possible.

alecg9681
12-23-2012, 12:50 AM
I'm a bit hesitant to post this, as my knowledge of this is incomplete, but here goes. My father was one of the detectives on this case. It has been a long time, but I recall him having a conversation with one of his fellow detectives about this case. I remember them saying that they believed it was a homeless person who had a habit of camping out by the yeshiva and other places, and they also believe that the murder weapon was some sort of hatchet/hammer combination tool. Unfortunately, I am completely unable to remember whether or not they stated the name of the person, or whether or not they were discussing the type of person who might have committed the crime. In other words, I don't know if they had a specific suspect in mind or if they were just hypothesizing. Unfortunately I can't ask my father, since he died in 2000. I did send this information to Unsolved Mysteries through their website 7 or 8 years ago, but I guess they chose not to do anything with it.

TracyLynnS
12-23-2012, 10:25 AM
alecg9681, Welcome! And thanks so much for posting your information. It's a shame that no one at UM has followed up on this. I'm sure you've noticed that Chaim's case is definitely one that's close to the hearts of the folks here and we're all hoping for this young man's murder to be solved.

Steve_uk
12-23-2012, 01:07 PM
I'm a bit hesitant to post this, as my knowledge of this is incomplete, but here goes. My father was one of the detectives on this case. It has been a long time, but I recall him having a conversation with one of his fellow detectives about this case. I remember them saying that they believed it was a homeless person who had a habit of camping out by the yeshiva and other places, and they also believe that the murder weapon was some sort of hatchet/hammer combination tool. Unfortunately, I am completely unable to remember whether or not they stated the name of the person, or whether or not they were discussing the type of person who might have committed the crime. In other words, I don't know if they had a specific suspect in mind or if they were just hypothesizing. Unfortunately I can't ask my father, since he died in 2000. I did send this information to Unsolved Mysteries through their website 7 or 8 years ago, but I guess they chose not to do anything with it.
I don't accept this as the dormitory had combination locks so the killer must have had access. I think Chaim was targeted possibly out of jealousy and the killer is very cool about returning to the scene of the crime so must have some pretext to be there-either a student or an employee of the same religion,hence adhering to Jewish customs of the candle and the open window in contradistinction to the Pagan celebration of Hallowe'en the death occurred upon.