LONG BEACH — Halloween night had come and gone, when a student made a gruesome discovery on the morning of November 1, 1986 at the Yeshiva dorm at 63 Beech Street in Long Beach. The dorm was connected to Torah High School.
Chaim Weiss, 15, the son of a holocaust survivor was dead on the floor in his single-bed dorm room, his head bludgeoned with a hatchet-like weapon. Crime scene evidence suggested the body had been moved from the bed to the floor not once but at least twice.
The killer was obviously comfortable being in the room.
Body was moved at least twice and the window was opened and a yartzeit candle was lit. A yahrtzeit candle was also found lit three days later. Rabbis refused to tell police who lit the candle.
“The cops came to me and said Chaim had been injured,” the teen’s father, Anton Weiss, recalled in a recent interview in the fall of 2017.
Nearly 32 years later, the brutal murder remains unsolved, yet there’s no shortage of theories as to motive.
People inside and outside the insular Orthodox Jewish community have speculated revenge, anger, jealousy or a desire to protect secrets could have played a role in the shocking crime. School administrators suggested a former janitor who went back to Europe was a possible culprit. A former School official recently admitted that the janitor theory made no sense and does not even know where the rumor came from.
After PIX11 revisited the case in November 2017, they received a call—and a copy of a letter—from a former student, who said he was a student at Torah High School of Long Beach in 1976-77.
The former student said he was 14 years old then, but only survived a year there, because of what he called systemic abuse imposed by one rabbi who “beat me up on a regular basis, including punching, kicking, and twisting of the ear.”
The former student blamed the former principal for allowing the abuse to exist during his tenure and also called him a fraud. This was 10 years before Chaim Weiss was killed in the yeshiva dorm.
According to a person formerly associated with the yeshiva, drugs were rampant in the yeshiva dorm and ignored by the heads of the yeshiva who knew what was going on.
When asked how on earth drugs would be tolerated in a yeshiva the reply was, “that was normal in those days”.
PIX11 also learned that a student hanged himself in a dorm shower several years before the Chaim Weiss murder. That student was found dead a day before the new semester began right after Pesach. Chaim Weiss murder happened a day before the new semester began right after Succos.
Gifteringotham has learned from friends of the suicide victim that the teen was brilliant and say there was absolutely nothing wrong with the victim his entire life until he got into Long Beach yeshiva and in a matter of a few short months was found dead in the dorm. Former students believe something had to happen to cause a depression and a suicide so quickly. Nobody goes from a clean bill of health their entire life and supposedly committing suicide in the yeshiva within 6 months.
Former students have said there was nothing medically wrong with their friend.
Long Beach yeshiva is the only yeshiva in the United States and Israel to have two students found dead in a dorm within 3 years of each other.
After the Weiss case, some of the heads of the yeshiva went to Israel and ran to Rav Shach to convince him that a non-Jew murdered Chaim Weiss A”h.
Rav Shach supposedly wrote a letter four days after the murder stating a gentile murdered Chaim Weiss. Rabanim who were shown the letter question if Rav Shach Zt’l wrote the letter and would like to see an original with a signature and preferably someone on the record to say he was present during the conversation. Some Rabanim say the letter was not the style of Rav Shach Zt”l and find it hard to believe that he would sign off on such a letter. With so many Gedolim in America at the time why didn’t the Yeshiva seek out someone in America?
Why did the yeshiva feel it is more important to run to Israel instead of consoling the Weiss family and caring for them in their time of need?
Another question is who gave that info so fast without facts to Rav Shach? If the yeshiva was so convinced with their theory why didn’t they give info to the Nassau County police department? Rab Shach was not a police officer. Rabanim has said they feel Rav Shach was manipulated regardless of the letter’s authenticity.
The letter below is from a sefer of published letters during the lifetime of Rav Shach Zt”l.
Letter translated as follows: Wednesday, Parshas Noach Mar Cheshvan 5747
I come with this letter to express my pain and to share with you in the terrible accident, in the tragic accident, that happened in the holy yeshiva.
And a student in this yeshiva who was murdered certainly by a non Jew and only because he was a Jew is considered to be killed Al Kiddush Hashem
That chazal said on them that nobody can stand in their mechitza. (because they are so holy as the gemorah says in Bava basra) And how great is their pleasure in the yeshiva shel maalah where they are enjoying the company of go-ds presence.
And certainly he is asking for pity that the yeshiva should merit to grow and spread together with the Rosh Hayeshiva shlita and it should be only peace. And the obligation is only to strengthen in Torah and yiras shamoyaim (fear of g-d ) and good middos upon us is the obligation to strengthen ourselves and to examine our deeds. For he was a community sacrifice or a communal sacrifice for the whole community of beni torah.
And the main thing is that go d forbid there should not occur any weakness in the yeshiva.
I also wish to express my words of consoling to the parents of the student who was murdered and Hkb”h should grant their comfort in the mourners of Zion.
The yeshiva ran to other Roshei yeshivos the same week and told them not to accept any student wanting to leave Long Beach. The majority of students were petrified and wanted out of the place which was understandable. A killer on the loose was a major concern for parents and students. Many students did not want to go back but had no choice since the yeshiva convinced others not to accept any Long Beach students. The yeshiva did not go to Rav Gifter zt”l because they knew well in advance he would never agree to such things. The yeshiva was more busy treating the murder like a business instead of the well being of the students. Not letting students talk to detectives and using the excuse of Shabbos, running to Rav Shach, Running to Rav Svei zt”l to get him to get others not to accept anyone from long Beach yeshiva ensuring the yeshiva does not close down.
The yeshiva got Rabbi Svei Zt”l to call other yeshivas and not let any students be accepted.
The dean’s wife—Reena Pitter—still lives with her husband across from the yeshiva and was asked about the first case of the teen suicide and Mrs. Pitter said she remembers the suicide.
“He wasn’t in the school very long,” Mrs. Pitter said, “and he had some problems. He was really depressed and it was very tragic.”
With this dark past in mind, WPIX asked the Nassau County Police Homicide Commander, Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, if they could speak to him about the (Weiss) teen’s unsolved murder.
Lt. Fitzpatrick told PIX11 detectives had received new tips since their first report on the Mystery that aired in November 2017.
“Everybody is considered ‘open’ right now,” the Commander said about potential suspects, both inside and outside the yeshiva world. “We’ll look at everybody.”
Rabbi Gluck who is one of the most respected Jewish community leaders of our time told WPIX he was told straight out by detectives on the day of the Weiss murder that it was an inside job and the Rabbis did NOT cooperate with authorities. Police have not wavered in 32 years. Five years ago the New York Daily News interviewed Nassau County police Detectives and was told it’s either a Rabbi or a student.
A student who dormed next door to Chaim stated his door opened up in middle of the night but thought it was another student and didn’t make much of it.
Police released info a few years after the murder and stated a jogger claimed he saw a student on the boardwalk at 7:30 A.M. That student has never been identified.
Rabbi Cooper was approached by WPIX a few months ago and was asked about a meeting he had with Chaim and he didn’t want to talk about it. What is the secret?
PIX11 took a 2 1/2 hour drive upstate to Ulster County to see Camp Horim, where Chaim Weiss spent time every summer. Chaim’s father had told PIX11 Chaim called him, crying on the phone, in July 1986, asking to come home.
Anton Weiss was away on vacation and told his son he would see him soon.
The dad said Chaim seemed fine when he visited the teen a short time later.
Later in the summer, Chaim visited his grandparents in Europe and Anton Weiss said the principal called the family home twice, seeking to set up a meeting with Chaim.
The parents said Chaim didn’t want to talk about what was discussed in his private meeting with the principal at a Brooklyn home. Chaim returned to the Long Beach yeshiva. He was killed in the early hours of November 1, 1986.
Some former students that have been asked for an interview declined saying it’s Loshon Hora (evil gossip) and Mesira, to talk about the case. these former students have clearly disregarded what Gedolim paskened.
Mr. Weiss was also told by Rabbi Cooper that he is being punished for maybe some kind of misdeeds. Here is my question. What kind of Rabbi tells that to a grieving parent?
Gedolim have repeatedly ruled the Weiss case is not Mesira or Loshon Hora. Gedolim have also ruled that anyone with info, should NOT take upon themselves to decide if it’s important info or not and are obligated to speak out to law enforcement and or the family directly. Two Gedolim also said, “even if a Chilul Hashem comes out of the case, one is OBLIGATED to give up the info and stop torturing the Weiss family by keeping silent”.
Recently someone complained to youtube about copyright infringement on the unsolved mysteries video segment and video was taken down. Even after a written consent from the producer of the show someone in the yeshiva does not want it up. I have reposted it for the fourth time at the end of this article and the latest video clip from WPIX that was put out on Pesach.
I was also told by two former officials at the yeshiva, that nobody cares about Weiss. I was asked, “Why bring it up?” “Who cares about Weiss, you do?” Nobody else does.” “The police couldn’t solve it, you think you can?”
Two sources confirm to GifterInGotham that one of the Long Beach Yeshiva Rabbi’s tried convincing the police not to do an autopsy. Rav Bick Zt”l heard about it and got upset and ruled an autopsy must be done.
One Rabbi tried convincing the Weiss family to do the burial in Israel. What many believe is the yeshiva was hoping for less media coverage if burial would have been in Israel.
Taunting card sent to the Weiss family addressed to Chaim Weiss, janitor theory, fire escape theory, running to Rav Shach, Rav Svei Zt”l, trying to make sure an autopsy is not done and many other red flags. Every single move the former heads of the yeshiva did at that time was and still is contrary to caring and finding out who did it and making an arrest once and for all.
Anyone with info can email [email protected] or post a comment on this website.
One of the leading Gedolim in the United States told me to put this pasuk on the website: Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – צֶדֶק צֶדֶק תִּרְדּף
Justice Justice, We Shall Pursue