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Old 10-08-2007, 08:52 AM   #16
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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 . . .
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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:11 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:29 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:20 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:32 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:15 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #22
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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?

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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.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:28 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:01 PM   #24
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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...
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:26 PM   #25
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Default great post guys

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.
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:04 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #27
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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.

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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?


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Originally Posted by wiseguy182
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.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky Kneivel
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.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:46 PM   #29
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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.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:52 PM   #30
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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.
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