Today’s news:

Arrest in George Weber murder!

The Brooklyn Paper

Police have arrested a teenage suspect for the vicious murder of WABC newscaster George Weber, whose body contained more than four dozen stab wounds when it was discovered in his Henry Street apartment on Sunday afternoon.

The Queens 16-year-old, who apparently met Weber through an online personal ad, was arrested on Tuesday. The New York Post identified him as John Katehis and said that he had confessed to the murder, which police believe happened last Friday night.

Officially, cops would not say more.

“We believe that [Katehis] met Weber over the Internet through Craigslist, and that they agreed to meet and that while he was inside Weber’s apartment, he stabbed him approximately 50 times,” said NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne.

The spokesman added that the suspect “subsequently made statements implicating himself in the stabbing death.”

The Post took that a bit further, reporting that Weber and Katehis had agreed online to meet for a sexual encounter for which the newsman would pay $60. The pair drank vodka and did cocaine before, the paper reported, “the situation turned violent.”

Weber, 47, was well known to listeners of WABC Radio for years as “the news guy” on the “Curtis and Kuby” morning show. News of his death unleashed an outpouring of good memories.

“I loved him,” Curtis Sliwa told The Brooklyn Paper, who knew Weber for 10 years. “George was a fixture at ABC. After our show, he became the national news guy for the network.”

Above all, Sliwa said, Weber “was obsessed with his adopted neighborhood, Carroll Gardens. You’d see him at Angry Wade and at all the restaurants. He loved Brooklyn.”

Police had responded to Weber’s apartment at 561 Henry St. after co-workers had become alarmed when he had not shown up for work and was not answering his phone.

At the house, which is at First Place, cops discovered Weber dead “with a wound to his neck” and hands and feet bound by duct tape.

No less a fan than Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement after hearing about the death.

“George was the kind of professional who could give you the news and his views without one getting in the way of the other, and he was an absolutely central part of my Friday WABC radio show with John Gambling and dozens of other programs,” the mayor said. “On or off the air, and especially during our commercial breaks, his views were incisive and insightful. He’ll be deeply missed by millions of radio listeners, including me, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.”

Though heard by millions every week, Weber had turned his attention recently to the Internet, where he maintained a popular local Weblog, georgeweberthenewsguy.

On it, he regaled (if that’s the right word) readers with tales of his two bedbug infestations, a fire hydrant that’s hidden under an orange construction cone, a never-ending construction project at Smith and Douglass streets, and the joys of smoking (unless the pack costs $12.75, as it does at one Manhattan bodega).

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Rocky from South Brooklyn says:
I guess since the Post doesn't exhibit restraint, neither will Goish.
March 25, 2009, 1:36 pm
Reader from Brooklyn says:
Rocky- You want "restraint", then go read the Daily News:

"The troubled teenager accused of stabbing WABC newsman George Weber during drug-fueled rough sex is a 16-year-old Satan-loving sadomasochist with a knife fetish."

...er, nevermind
March 25, 2009, 2:25 pm
e.banks from greenwood says:
while this IS tragic and all... and i understand a lot of the journalistic community were friends/fond of this man... why has nobody shed more light on the fact that he was soliciting underage males for sexual activity online? that he was engaging in pedofilic acts, possibly doing something illegal?

everyone's talking about how much of a great guy he was, while the circumstances surrounding his death are as dubious and vile as any snuff film. perhaps it's too early to really start digging (the cops obviously aren't saying much), but there's definitely a deeper story here...
March 25, 2009, 5:14 pm
e.banks from greenwood says:
also -- not a dig on the BK Paper. more in reference to the entirety of journalistic coverage on the subject.

so many of the comments on here are unnecessary guff. you guys do a great job, keep it up, etc.
March 25, 2009, 5:19 pm
Jake from Brooklyn says:
e.banks said: "why has nobody shed more light on the fact that he was soliciting underage males for sexual activity online? that he was engaging in pedofilic acts, possibly doing something illegal?"

Uh - the sex angle was just recently confirmed.
Hasn't light been shed, VERY obviously, by reporting these details? Exactly how much more light do you want?
Also, the guy is dead. Would you suggest postmortem crim. punishment? Having everyone retract their statements of fondness for him?
So I don't quite get what you want.
March 25, 2009, 5:25 pm
e.banks from greenwood says:
"Uh - the sex angle was just recently confirmed."

the whole thing was recently confirmed (as he's recently dead). the sex angle was there almost from the beginning. also, i acknowledged it's too early anyway.

"Exactly how much more light do you want?"

i dunno, maybe someone should call a spade a spade... i've read articles decrying the kid as "disturbed", "troubled", a "knife collector" with a "passion for Marilyn Manson"... but nobody questions why a middle-aged man was seeking out the company of someone underage?

now i didn't know the guy, am not familiar with his work, and don't mean to discolor his legacy. i'm sure he was great and nice and all. but i think a middle-aged man soliciting sex from underage males is way more troubling than an angsty teen who likes to collect knives and listen to marilyn manson. just seems like this story could benefit from some deeper digging...
March 25, 2009, 5:36 pm
Julee from Carroll Gardens says:
Why has no body asked what happened to NOODLES????? I live across the street from this guy - this is all sorts of awful.
March 25, 2009, 10:26 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
This guy was a good gay. He liked little boys. The boy is not the demon. Hey There Goergie Boy like it rough. His Craig List ads sez it all. Julee, you can have the dog.
March 25, 2009, 10:57 pm
KA from NOYB says:
You people are all too happy to believe what the tabloids are feeding you. Some of what has been reported is simply not true. Weber cannot defend himself as HE IS DEAD. Let's not forget who the monster is here. THE KILLER, John Katehis.
March 26, 2009, 2:13 am
Jan from Bay Ridge says:
e. banks from greenwood said: "i think a middle-aged man soliciting sex from underage males is way more troubling than an angsty teen who likes to collect knives and listen to marilyn manson."

The kid didn't just "collect knives." He stabbed someone to death.
That's not a whitewash of Weber - but murder IS pretty troubling. Which is why it's a story at all.
March 26, 2009, 5:45 am
allen from park slope says:
e.banks from greenwood says:
'everyone's talking about how much of a great guy he was, while the circumstances surrounding his death are as dubious and vile as any snuff film.'

ok, we get it already - you think he deserved to be snuffed.
March 26, 2009, 9:19 am
allen from park slope says:
addendum to e.banks, re 'underaged':

who, exactly, knows the precise text of weber's craigslist ad? the media have only paraphrased it. and - considering this case's flaming notoriety - they'd shout it to the skies if weber had specified '16-under boy wanted.'

we also don't know if weber knew the kid's age. and going by the recent NYT photo at
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/nyregion/26weber.html?_r=1&ref=media
... this fellow *definitely* passes for over-16. and his knife/violence/S&M interests and tough-guy persona - as detailed on his now-defunct webpages - sure could enhance that impression.
that wouldn't be a legal defense for weber (if he were alive ...), or an excuse for his rotten judgment - but it takes the edge off of your weber-demonizing.
March 26, 2009, 9:54 am
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Penal Law: A child under 17 can not give consent to sexual intercourse. Did Mr Weber commit a crime before he died? In the end the lawyers will have a lot to discuss.
March 26, 2009, 11:28 am
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Remember it was Mr.Weber's responsibility as the adult to know the child's age. The child is under 17, Allen. It's the Law.
March 26, 2009, 11:34 am
e.banks from greenwood says:
again, not trying to demonize weber, nor excuse the boy for murder -- it IS tragic and hopefully justice will be served. but is it wrong to want some more context/clarification on why/how the man ended up in this situation to begin with? allen's said it himself: "the media have only paraphrased it." there are a lot of ways to approach this story, and i think looking into weber's online sexual activity is just as relevant as looking into the boy's musical preferences.

if anything, the story serves as a great wake up call for those looking for sex online. gotta be careful 'bout who you allow into your house...
March 26, 2009, 11:38 am
allen from park slope says:
Pacholo says: 'The child is under 17, Allen. It's the Law.'

does anyone NOT know that? read carefully, and note that i said ignorance 'wouldn't be a legal defense.'

as for 'Did Mr Weber commit a crime before he died?' - let us know when the crim courts exhume the dead for trial purposes.
and we're already aware that the defense will likely claim extreme emotional disturbance - since self-defense will be a reach, under the circumstances.
March 26, 2009, 12:02 pm
allen from park slope says:
e. banks wrote: 'but is it wrong to want some more context/clarification on why/how the man ended up in this situation to begin with? allen's said it himself: "the media have only paraphrased it." '

oh, for pete's sake! and why, exactly do you need this (absurd/voyeuristic) 'context'?

everyone with a pulse knows that nypd cased weber's computer, so found the emails and link to a craigslist ad - which surely has been removed, and surely wouldn't have been a standout among other, similar anonymous ads.
also removed were katehis' websites: apparently he had an elaborate and unfortunate web presence, but his sites' plugs were pulled a.s.a.p.

nypd isn't obliged to dish out every last detail to give 'context' to droolers - especially in a crim case.
March 26, 2009, 12:37 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Self defense is a very viable defense here according to the circumstances. In Fact it will be used by the defense lawyer. Yes the NYPD released only snipets of what they found on Mr. Weber's computer. The dead man did leave a fingerprint. The kid can say he tried to fight off the bigger Weber during the rape.
March 26, 2009, 1:19 pm
e.banks from greenwood says:
"why, exactly do you need this (absurd/voyeuristic) 'context'?" because our sick violence-sex-obsessed media culture has left me with a pulsing, gaping daily need for grisly, vulgar details regarding degenerate crimes.

i want to know because it's relevant information. it will certainly shape the forthcoming criminal trial and will influence how the general public remembers the man. and because i sure as —— don't trust an NYPD press release.

also it will be useful when Law & Order SVU turns it into the movie of the week.
March 26, 2009, 1:48 pm
Jan from Bay Ridge says:
Pacholo from Red Hook says: 'Self defense is a very viable defense here according to the circumstances. In Fact it will be used by the defense lawyer.'

A defense lawyer will, and is obliged to, use anything that might stick to the wall.

But it would be a wee bit shaky to claim that self-defense required stabbing someone 50 or so times. Especially when (as reports have stated) Weber's hands were sliced up w/defensive wounds; and his legs were duct taped together, which would seriously limit his offense-ability.

So I'd also lean on "emotional disturbance," plus influence of drugs ingested.
However, none of us knows the full range of evidence, so any conjecture is just smoke-blowing.
March 26, 2009, 1:51 pm
allen from park slope says:
e.banks from greenwood says:

"i want to know because it's relevant information."
-- relevant to WHAT??

"it will certainly shape the forthcoming criminal trial"
-- and if it 'shapes' it too well, no fair venue or trial is possible!

"and will influence how the general public remembers the man."
-- why in holy hoo-hah are you so interested in the impact on this fellow's reputation? it appears that he was well regarded professionally, and by friends and neighbors - but really! it's not as if he was a high-profile religious or political leader, or social 'role model,' or had an image that sold a billion boxes of wheaties.
March 26, 2009, 2:08 pm
e.banks from greenwood says:
is it not conceivable the defense could say the man had a history of abusing minors?

From Gothamist: "His lawyer said that details of the relationship between the two will emerge later and that he thinks Katehis "was used by an older gentleman.""

that's the direction the case is going to go, in some part. therefore the information is relevant.

as for his reputation, these events put that into question as well. ted bundy was well regarded professionally and socially, and was he not a high-profile figure; that is, until he was caught. friends & neighbors will always have their memories but it's the public that's gonna edit his wikipedia page.

maybe weber's obit headline should read "Males Under 18, Relax: Pedophile Murdered." or maybe it should read "Fantastic Journalist's Death a Tragic Loss to Society". again, i didn't know the man or his work, so i don't mean to decry his honor. but somebody has to ask questions, and i feel these questions ARE relevant and will shape whether or not the general public will feel sympathy for this fellow or simply toss him to the wolves. just as they will most likely be asked at the trial and used to determine if & how to punish this kid, who obviously has serious problems.

More from Gothamist: "Both Gay Wired and Queerty look at the role of Craigslist in the tragic incident. Queerty asks, "Is Craigslist Responsible for the Grisly Death of George Weber?" and refers to the site as "a 21st century equivalent of the Rambles.""

THIS is actually a much more interesting issue, and the questions the press SHOULD be asking. this story is a springboard for a lot of debate and questioning into the nature of online sexual activity. there's a lot to learn from this...
March 26, 2009, 3:34 pm
LivinCalm from Red Hook says:
Are any of us even sure that Katehis posted his actual age anywhere? Where were his parents? WHERE WERE HIS PARENTS!?!? Did they NOT know about his rather extensive knife collection? What about various sources claiming that Katehis admitted to previous hustling activities? If the "child" was living with his parents and just hustling for some extra cash, it seems like Katehis had a pretty solid idea of exactly what he was doing. Let's hear about how he treated his other tricks. And I don't buy the drug angle- if you choose to do a drug, take some responsibility. Nobody is going to hold you down and drop a 20-bag into your open nostril- YOU have to pick up the straw.
March 26, 2009, 4:13 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
LivinCalm, the boy is 16.I believe his parents didn't answer Georgie Boy's ad and they weren't at his apt either.
March 27, 2009, 12:01 am
Jan from Bay Ridge says:
e.banks from greenwood says: "From Gothamist: "His lawyer said that details of the relationship between the two will emerge later and that he thinks Katehis "was used by an older gentleman.""
"that's the direction the case is going to go, in some part. therefore the information is relevant."

Newsflash: The first public words uttered by defense are ALWAYS some variant of, "My client was wrongly charged/is the real victim (and/or 'this is a mistake'), and I am confident that the truth will emerge and my client will be exonerated."
It's said because not much else CAN be said at that point, and it covers most bases. (Katehis's lawyer also very intentionally employed the genteelish terms "used" and "older gentleman," to avoid the bad-p.r. move of trashing the victim.)

The rest of your post is so muddled that it appears that you (a) can't tell the difference between legal/criminal issues and interesting concepts; (b) think that crim cases are decided via Gallup Poll, or by having the "general public" wave burning torches 'round the courthouse; and-or (c) aren't thinking clearly, or are trying to obscure some (unknown) personal issue or bias.

So I'm out of here.
March 27, 2009, 3:38 am
e.banks from greenwood says:
"can't tell the difference between legal/criminal issues and interesting concepts"

i don't really care about the crim trial, really. that was never the focus of my viewpoints; when i say the public, i don't mean jurors. i'm viewing this simply as a story, an interesting one at that. maybe one i'd like to share with my grandkids.

just because that quote is typical of "first public words uttered by defense" doesn't mean it's not an issue that's going to be or should be explored. so i don't really see your point either, other than to trash me.
March 27, 2009, 11:49 am

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