Long Island, NY – Police Reopen Cold Case About Death Of 15-year-Old Yeshiva Student Chaim Weiss

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    On November 1, 1986, at approximately 7:50 AM, Chaim Weiss a third year rabbinical student at Torah High School, a Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva, was found murdered, by unknown person(s). His body was discovered in his dormitory located at 63 East Beech Street, Long Beach, NY. Photo: Nassau PoliceLong Island, NY – Police are reopening a cold case regarding the death of a 15-year-old rabbinical student from Staten Island.

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

    According to a report in The NY Times in 1989, 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.

    No murder weapon was found and the case went cold more than 20 years ago.

    Police are expected to hold a press conference with the family next week and raise the reward for information leading to an arrest.


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    37 Comments
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    DrUriBakay
    DrUriBakay
    11 years ago

    I remember this well. This happened in 1986 on a Friday night which was Halloween, initial thought was that it was a Halloween prank. Unsolved mysteries tv show did an episode on this. Hope they find the killer.

    11 years ago

    window left open?
    Do you really think a murderer will open the window to let the neshomo out??

    The candle was lit a few days after the murder , Could it have been a friend who was later afraid to say he did it once he realized that he would be a suspect?

    There was a polish worker in the yeshiva that left back to poland the next day, the FBI ruled him out as a suspect for reasons unknown.

    11 years ago

    I meant- Could it have been a friend that LIT THE CANDLE?

    DrUriBakay
    DrUriBakay
    11 years ago

    I remember from the Tv episode that the police had a hard time doing their investigation because it was Shabbos morning.

    11 years ago

    While it would be terrible if a Yid killed the boy, it would be worse to allow a killer to go free. A boy is dead and someone has to know something! Yes, it is a “cold case” but we should all daven that the family should be able to get some closure by finding out the true murderer of their poor boy.

    11 years ago

    (reply to #6 ) The FBI was definately very involved, the local police must a called them in

    11 years ago

    In 1993 in israel, I had a roomate with a violent temper, He was a lefty and over 6 feet tall. I once went by his closet and saw a bunch of yahrzeit candles. I don’t know if this guy went to long beach or not, but I always thought that this guy was the killer. I didn’t sleep well the rest of the Zman. Probably was nothing, but hey you never know.

    11 years ago

    The window was opened all the way . It was on the side of the bed and the victim had been murdered on the bed (bloody pillow) and then moved with the upper half of the body on the floor and his feet still on the bed. It was likely that the murderer considered throwing the whole body out the window, perhaps to make it look like a suicide. I was on the 3rd floor of the 63 that tragic Shabbos Breishis.

    Luckshin
    Luckshin
    11 years ago

    It might even be his Mashgiach or Rosh Hashiva that wanted to Molest him, who know, after all this stories now I guess maybe this is a Lead, hope I’m wrong

    11 years ago

    In the olden times they used to kill a Moiser or Mooser, and made hush hush. They used to drown them in a Mikveh and say that he was found dead.
    Maybe he had threatened someone with blackmail.
    What was the Heter?

    11 years ago

    Supposedly after this incident many parents wanted to pull their sons out, but Reb Elya Svei called up all the other Roshei Yeshiva and told them not to accept anyone from Long Beach so the yeshiva would not have to close down. I also heard rumors at the time that the father felt the yeshiva was not cooperative with the police in the murder investigation. Both of these things leave a very bad taste in my mouth and do not reflect well on the leadership of the yeshiva or the leadership of Reb Elya Svei. Perhaps the Huricane Sandy impact on the Long Beach Yeshiva was some kind of divine retribution for this murder. At the very least the yeshiva clearly did not take adequate security precautions to safeguard their charges. I also wonder what if any connection there is between this murder and the suicide that occured their a few years prior. The bottom line lesson that yeshivos should take from this is to take security and safety very seriously and not cop out with the standard bitachon defense. In light of the recent incident in London all yeshivos especially ones with little kids should have security and response plans in place and conduct drills just like they do for a fire.

    11 years ago

    This mystery is one of the most horrific and intriguing in the last generation. The fact that a Yeshiva boy was killed in a closed environment, without a clear motive, on Friday night, which was halloween, with a blunt object which was never found. It is all so scary and mystifying. Even the idea that it may have been perpetrated by someone in the yeshiva is Terrifying. That it is over 25 years ago and still a mystery is terrible for the family and friends.
    I personally believe it is very possible to have been done by a yeshiva student. Probably for bullying or embarrassing a quiet sensitive boy who was a volcano inside. The window was probably opened to try to escape or throw out the knife or scissors without carrying as it was shabbos.
    The murder weapon was probably discarded on the beach or nearby, and the murderer was probably the one seen on the beach. I don’t see it having been done by a rebbe. Rebbeim, even if they would have had a lot to lose, would have used other tactics, and would have planned it better. I dont think it was planned at all. it was sloppy at best. It is unlikely that anyone other than the killer knows about it to this day. I also think it may have been a janitor, or a neighbor. I have been to long beach. It was on a side street. It wasn’t a visible anti-Semitic target. So it was either a neighbor, janitor or yeshiva student. Take that to the bank.

    11 years ago

    Mr. Anonymous, number 20, writes, “At the very least the yeshiva clearly did not take adequate security precautions to safeguard their charges.”

    A homicide in a yeshiva dorm was, at that time, and now, an unknown occurrence. It is totally unreasonable to demand “security precautions” for such an unforeseeable event. This was not a fire in the kitchen, or a bathroom ceiling that fell down.

    I hope and pray this murder is solved. People with real leads should contact the Nassau County police. May Hashem grant justice to the family.

    11 years ago

    Why was the investigation closed in the first place? If it was a sloppy crime the investigation should have remained open. Clearly, the police or FBI was sloppy too.

    Carole
    Carole
    11 years ago

    Did they ever use any legitimate crime-fighting psychics to try to get to the bottom of this? And why was the Pole who left immediately ruled out as a suspect?

    11 years ago

    This happened before by times and my knowledge of it through discussions on blog that I stumbled on discussing it. I would like to point out a number of things that went through my head.
    1. The fact that Chaim was in a single bed room may be part of the motive (he may have been a convenient abuse victim)
    2.The murderer must have been someone that would not have looked very much out of place lurking in the dorm if noticed. Even if no one was up to notice it still would have been something an outsider would need to worry/consider.
    3.Instinct would say that he was older/stronger than a 14 -15 year old.
    4.The murder left the yeshiva /scene by the time Shabbos morning came.
    The logistics of staying around would otherwise be formidable. showering/changing clothing/hiding weapon/keeping a stone face to investigators.
    I cannot even try to guess anyone who fits the profile however I would urge investigators to fully follow this possibility. It is said that the particular Shabbos was off for the older bochurim. A group of them spent Shabbos in Lakewood.
    Suppose one of them had the motive it would be the perfect opportunity to do this . I am assuming that a bochur who commits murder was..

    11 years ago

    continued …
    I am assuming that a bochur who commits murder is not concerned with chillul Shabbos. He may have left Lakewood after midnight (it is a 30 minute drive to Long Beach)done the deed and returned before the morning.
    I believe investigators considered this possibility but dismissed it because of the chillul shabbos.

    Reubies
    Reubies
    11 years ago

    At the time I was attending a Boro Park yeshiva. Our normally neglected dormitory locks were hastily repaired. I imagine that many yeshivas were not very prepared as far as security was concerned. Such an horrific incident was totally out of the norm. I wonder the yeshivas today are any more careful?

    11 years ago

    Our communities have a tremendous lack of safety. Part of it, is because we are not used to the types of crimes committed in the secular world. Another part of it is large families, young mothers, and a culture of taking upon yourself way more than you can naturally handle. Unfortunately, many schools are also mismanaged and the pathetic lack of supervision is almost assumed, and covered up. It is only abuse or worse that wakes us up. We must work much harder at protecting our kids, and preparing our kids for their marriage responsibilities.