NY - Chaim Weiss, 15, Long Beach, 1 Nov 1986

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by gaia227, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    This is an interesting unsolved murder. Chaim was only 15 yrs old when he was murdered. He was struck in the head and stabbed multiple times in his dorm room. The killer was familar with Jewish customs, moving the body close to the ground, burning a candle and leaving the window open so Chaim's spirit could escape.

    Chaim was only one of two students who did not have a room-mate. It has been long thought that whoever killed Chaim was either a fellow student or was very familar with the school. I wonder if they janitorial staff, cleaning services or something of that nature. LE polygraphed over 40 students and teachers.

    http://www.unsolved.com/unexplained.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/04/n...pics/Subjects/M/Murders and Attempted Murders

    http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-40393.html
     
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  3. annemc2

    annemc2 her name is Suzanne Marie Sevakis

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    This case has really intrigued me since I saw it years ago on UM. There's not much out there on the net about it.

    Thanks for the links.
     
  4. rpipergirl

    rpipergirl proud owner Kidmissing

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    Me too. I'd really like to see it solved. It was horrible crime. It was scary because he should have been completely safe where he was. I think someone from the school a student or instructor did it. A motive,no clue. The show that Orthodox Jews won't speak even if they have an idea because they are not allowed to accuse. So, we never know. That is so sad for his parents.
     
  5. Terryboberry

    Terryboberry New Member

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  6. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I have never heard of this case before; it's fascinating as well as chilling. One would think the safest place for a child would be in a religious institution. I haven't had the chance to read very much but already I have some questions/observations. He roomed alone, apparently an honor bestowed only on the very best students. Could the motive have been jealousy, because he was so academically gifted? I also read that he was "sharp tongued", which could mean anything from being just curt or abrupt to being an all out smart-ass or bully. Maybe he said or did the wrong thing to the wrong student, who killed him out of anger? Final question for the time being; UM says he was killed by a single blow to the back of his head that was so severe, it severed his spinal column. To do that with a single blow would almost certainly require that the murder weapon be an ax, hatchet or machete. How in the world would anyone at the school hide such a weapon? If the killer was an outsider, how was he not seen by someone? It was Halloween and a lot of teens and adults would still be lurking about or driving home from parties. All very strange.
     
  7. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Further reading says it wasn't just the single blow; that Chaim was stabbed as well. So maybe we're looking at 2 weapons and 2 killers? Since the victim's body was moved twice, that could also indicate 2 killers. One person moving the body would've found it hard to manage, unless they were quite strong and sure of not dropping Chaim. The accidental thud of just a foot or arm slipping to the floor or against furniture would've caused unwanted attention.
     
  8. Stella

    Stella Member

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    If the murder was an "inside" job, (another student or rabbi/teacher) and everyone knew who did it, would they necessarily give this person up? I've seen 2 schools of thought on this. Some say it would be their moral obligation to do so, others say they would mete out their own form of justice. I wonder if LE, over the years, has periodically checked to see if any students or adults connected with the yeshiva at that time were "shunned" after the murder.
     
  9. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Is the Yeshiva school referenced in one of the links up thread the same as Yeshiva college is NYC (Upper Manhattan)?
     
  10. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I believe the school where Chaim was murdered was Torah High School, located in Long Beach, Long Island.
     
  11. necco

    necco New Member

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  12. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I can't find out who was the Rabbi at Chaim's school. I did run across the case of Motty Borgor and Rabbi Baruch Lebovits. It makes me wonder if there was some connection or the same sort of abuse was going on with Chaim as a victim?
     
  13. theforgotten

    theforgotten New Member

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  14. eman77

    eman77 New Member

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    According to the poster in the link who was a former classmate of Chaim's (I tend to trust people who were "inside" the investigation more than newspaper clippings, TV shows etc.) we have a lot of the facts wrong.

    1) Yeshiva was very cooperative with police. Allowed them to interview every student, closed the dormitory the rest of the year for the police and were always available for them. The idea that Yeshiva was this secret society is a bunch of BS and used to make the episode more "dramatic" and "eerie". I'm Jewish as well (although not Orthodox) and while Orthodox Jews have their traditions, they are allowed to break them for situation like this. Plus the classmate said many students voiced their suspicions and have done so for the last 20-25 years.

    2) The crime scene set up as a ritual death scenario seems to be bunk as well. It takes years to study how to correctly do this and not something any of the students would know how to do. The candle lit story seems to be confused with Rabbis doing this after his death.

    3) The police concluded that his body was moved 45 minutes after his death. This is the interesting part of the story. The window was open (the only open window in the building on a cold night). The classmate suspects that the killer came back to retrieve evidence he may have left behind and might have thrown something out the window and later went back to get it (outside his window was a side yard).

    4) All doors in the building were locked with combinations except a rarely used side door which had a broken lock. Also this was on Halloween night when there is lots of mischief. The Jews also tend to be a historically hated group of people. There are antisemitic suspicions.

    5)He was on the third floor which makes it a very high risk murder for the UNSUB. If he was an outsider then Chaim would have had to be a random room for him to walk into. A few students remembered hearing noises in the middle of the night but fell back asleep. There is no evidence any of their doors were opened (which would have supported the random murder theory since he would skip those kids because they had roommates).

    6) He was a popular kid so it is unlikely it was a jealousy murder which has been suggested. There was a small crop of students in his class (only 16) and everyone knew everyone very well (I can vouch for this since I went to a Jewish school when I was young which had 20-25 kids in our class for 7 years and we knew each other very well). Classmate claims that he has thought about this for many years and nobody really believes a fellow student did it.

    7) The classmate talked to Chaim the night before and they both noticed that there was no policeman patrolling the building that night, which there was supposed to be (since it was a night with a high chance of mischief).

    _________________________________________

    Now for my opinion. The kid was bashed and stabbed in the head many times including the first blow being hard enough to penetrate his brain and probably kill him instantly. This was done while he was most likely asleep since there was no sign of struggle.

    That is a VERY violent move. There does not seem to be any hesitation stabs. Somebody committing their first murder would not likely have put that much force and aggression into it (much less with a knife to a teenager's head). This is a vicious, vicious crime and I prefer the antisemitic theory.

    I think this was suspect who had a very strong hate of Jews (and certainly a violent criminal history). He had a heavy stressor in his life (usually job or relationship), may have gone to see a late night movie ("Halloween" was playing that night), maybe drank a bit and then decided to take his aggression out at some Jewish students. There was no police patrolling that night, he tried a couple side doors and found one that opened.

    He went inside and went up the stairs and for some reason chose the third floor (maybe he had a reason or it was just a random selection). Tried a few rooms (all doors are unlocked at Yeshiva to discourage sexual activity or hedonism, both heterosexual and homosexual) until he found a kid who had his own dorm. Went inside and violently relived his urges. Then he left.

    Later he is walking or driving home and realizes he may have left something there in the heat of the moment. He sneaks back in (alcohol may have blinded the danger of this), goes back in the room and looks for whatever he is looking for (could be weapon, but since body was moved he may have thought he dropped something under his body so maybe it was jewelry which could be used to identify him), opens the window for some reason (maybe he needed some fresh air when he took another look at what he's done, maybe he dropped something out the window it pick it up later, who knows) and then leaves.

    There were other crimes in the area in the months prior where the victims were killed in similar ways. I do not know if those victims were Jewish as well.
     
  15. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    :rose: Chaim is our featured cold from 10/14/2012 to 10/21/2012 :rose:
     
  16. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels "The trilling wire in the blood / Sings below inve

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    I go back to the strict religious practices and beliefs. Could this young man have done something that his murderer thought justified this punishment? Had he "ruined" a girl or anything like that? I'm not trying to smear this boys name or memory, but this thought comes to mind. Fifteen is an age of raging hormones. Or, by orthodox law, what acts would be punishable by death that fit in the realm of possibility with this young boy? I think the religion is the key, and that this was punishment for some perceived and unforgivable deed? Or, had something been done to him that he was being silenced for, or that he had witnessed?
     
  17. eman77

    eman77 New Member

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    The more I look into it the less I feel this is the case. According to the classmate, all the older boys were home with their families so only the younger boys were at the school at that time.

    Judaism, in general, isn't an anger filled religion. There is nothing Chaim could have done that would have been worse than murder in the eyes of Orthodox Judaism. Even if he was having relations (heterosexual or homosexual), there is no sect of that religion (no matter how esoteric) that would have allowed murder, especially on Shabbot when this crime was committed.

    Another thing, this was for the most part an organized murder. The killer did not make any noise or go into a frenzy, which shows a certain degree of intelligence or experience. I believe this eliminates the classmate theories. In theory, could it have been a teacher? Yes, but this was a brutal crime and it was unlikely a teacher could have done it without causing suspicion in such a closed environment (much less never do something like this before or after).

    I believe this was a killer with some degree of experience and self-awareness (who knew very well what he was doing was wrong). Self-aware enough to sneak back into the room and move the body (for whatever reason) and still not get caught.

    If he was a stranger (which is what I believe) then the #1 reason for this particular murder would be antisemitism since why else would he chose this school? There did not seem to be much overkill. Just a few stabs to the head. Usually overkill to the face/neck is the sign of a very personal murder (ex. Nicole Simpson, Lizzie Borden). If this was a homosexual crime or a jealousy crime, we would expect to see some form of overkill. Rather this was quick and apparently painless (Chaim was asleep and there were no signs of struggle). The killer did his job and left.

    If students/faculty had ANYTHING to do with it, then they would have hired a hitman since this was a crime done with precision. What I believe rules that out is that the UNSUB left something or at the very least felt he made a mistake, then came back to the body 45-60 minutes later. This would be a very inexperienced hitman. Plus I'd think very few professional hitman would agree to murder a boy.

    The murderer would have to be agile enough to sneak in two times and be quiet enough to wake up nobody. I would do research on known antisemitic individuals who lived in the area at that time who had a violent history and were not too old/crippled. Maybe white power/skinhead groups in the area. Could have been an initiation crime.
     
  18. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels "The trilling wire in the blood / Sings below inve

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    Thank you for your respsonse eman77. I look at the picture of that young boy and see nothing but goodness, maybe mixed with a little smidge of mischief. : ) God Bless his soul, and his family. I truly pray that whoever did this is suffering horribly from the guilt and will do the right thing by tellling the authorities what happened, even anonymously. In that manner, they will have some hope of salvation. Do I understand it correctly that this happened on Halloween night? Of course there are all sorts of warped things that transpire on that night, and you may be right that this was a ritual of some sort. That said, it still doesn't explain the religious observance of the body position, candle, etc. Someone from "inside" knew that. Not some random Halloween freak. All this said, the sad anniversary of this horrific crime is coming upon the family again, and I am going to pray for Chaim and his family, and ask our loving God to touch the heart and mind of the killer, to have them speak to the authorities...even annonymously. I'm sure whatever life they have led has been haunted, and without rest. To speak now, even anonymously, would give them a chance towards salvation vs. the afterlife that is waiting for them now...
     
  19. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels "The trilling wire in the blood / Sings below inve

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    Silence the victim? A distinct possibility, I agree.
     
  20. eman77

    eman77 New Member

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    I've been thinking more about my group crime/antisemitic organization theory and I feel like it makes sense.

    It would have some explanation for why the window was open. The killer could have been communicating (perhaps non-verbally) with his lookout in the side-yard, telling him the coast was clear.

    It was done on Halloween night. This could have been a crime done for the sole purpose of scaring the Jewish population, not unheard of historically. However, the fact that the killer was paranoid enough to come back and the group never bragged about the crime would tell us the group/killer was more on the cowardly side. That is, if I'm correct.

    I am very curious if this theory has ever been looked into. My amateur criminal profiling skills are leading me in this direction.
     
  21. eman77

    eman77 New Member

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    I believe the "ritual" placement of the body has been looked into too much.

    As was explained in a previous thread, the Jewish ritual regarding a dead body is not well known and takes years to learn. Plus having an open window and a lit candle is a very small part of it.

    The candle story is mixed up from a minor incident. There was no candle found burning when the body was found. However, in the days after the murder, a rabbi came in and lit a candle out of respect. One day there were two candles there despite a guard watching the door 24/7. The classmate in the prior thread thinks that the rabbi lit two candles and forgot about it since he was known as rather absent-minded.

    The death ritual story was over exaggerated to make for good television, as was the "secretive" nature of the Orthodox Jews. They are not that secret a religous group. There are millions of them.

    Also, I'm not really sold on it being a "ritual" murder from an antisemitic group. Rather, I feel it was more of a "scare the Jews" type murder.
     

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