Will No One Speak Out About the Murder of Chaim Weiss?
I was recently contacted by Detective Captain John Azzata from the Nassau County homicide department, regarding the murder of Chaim Weiss. Chaim was a 15 year-old student at the Torah High School in Long Beach, Long Island. He was brutally bludgeoned to death as he slept in his dorm room bed on Friday night, November 1, 1986.
The murder has never been solved. No one was willing to furnish the police with any useful leads. In a yeshiva with 140 students that ate, studied, prayed, and socialized together, not one person admitted to seeing anything, hearing anything, or knowing anything about Chaim’s murder or murderer.
When police entered Chaim’s room, his body had been moved, a yahrzeit candle had been lit (on Shabbos), and the window to his room had been opened on a frigid November night. (Opening a window for the deceased is an Orthodox custom.)
The rabbis of the yeshiva refused to cooperate with the police for the first 10 hours after investigators arrived at the crime scene. The rabbis claimed that they couldn’t speak to the police until after Shabbos. But there is no halachic justification for refusing to help the police find a cold-blooded murderer on Shabbos.
The case was so profoundly disturbing that it was featured on Unsolved Mysteries, and written about by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, and numerous other publications.
The Weiss family is still devastated by Chaim’s murder. They still grieve and mourn his loss. They still contact Detective Captain John Azzata every week asking if anyone has shared any new information.
What happened to Chaim is every parent’s worst nightmare. What makes it even more painful for the Weiss family is knowing that someone has information that could identify Chaim’s murderer and no one will share that with the police.
The Torah commands us, “Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed” (Lev. 19:16). It is way past time to end the unimaginable suffering of the Weiss family, and Chaim’s aging parents. If anyone has any information at all about Chaim’s murder, now is the time to call the police.
Perhaps somebody knows someone who was a student or teacher at Torah High School. Maybe they know someone who knows someone who was. Please share this post with as many people as possible.
Any tips can be shared completely anonymously by calling 800-244-TIPS. There is a $25,000 reward available. You can also contact Detective Captain John Azzata at 516-573-7788. If you don’t want to contact the police directly, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric Aiken is an advocate for Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. His website, www.