George Weber (radio personality)
|Born||March 23, 1961|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||March 20, 2009 (aged 47)|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Network||ABC Radio Network|
George Weber (March 23, 1961 – March 20, 2009) was an American radio personality on the ABC Radio Network doing hourly news updates. For several years he was on the WABC 77 morning show, with Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby in New York City. He did periodic news updates throughout the morning, as well as joining in conversation with the hosts about those news stories. He was found stabbed to death in his home on March 20, 2009, at the age of 47.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Weber began his radio career at WBUX (AM) in Doylestown. He then went on to WAEB in Allentown, where he worked for two and a half years as a reporter and news anchor. After contacting Phil Boyce, then news director at Denver station KIMN, he received an offer to be a street reporter and anchor with that station. Two and a half years later (after KIMN's demise) Weber went to crosstown rival KOA, where he began a new career as the host of a night-time talk show. Some other important stops on his way to a full-time job with WABC were KGO, KOGO, KTLK, and KMPC. As a former tobacco user, he has been featured in radio advertisements for KickTheHabitNow.com.
Weber was fired by WABC at the same time as John R. Gambling in February 2008. Financial problems at ABC, coupled with the fact that ABC's new morning show Imus in the Morning had its own newsman, Charles McCord, led to his dismissal. In April 2008, Weber obtained a new assignment doing news updates for the ABC Radio Network.
Hey it's George Weber, the news guy. For more than a decade, I've been on the airwaves in New York city radio, most of that time at 77 WABC. Currently, I'm a radio anchor at ABC NEWS. I started in broadcasting at the tender young age of 16 at tiny WBUX in Doylestown, Pennyslvania. [sic] For the next 25 years, I hopscotched the country working at great radio stations like KIMN, KOA and KTLK in Denver, KMPC and KABC in Los Angeles, KGO in San Francisco and KOGO in San Diego. Depending on the day and the year, I was either doing talk radio or news. I love them both.— George Weber, Personal Blog
A number of Weber's stories and investigations were based around experiences in his private life. He often reported about his neighborhood in New York and his two dogs featured in some of his stories. The last story on his website was published on the same day he died, March 20, 2009, and described an outbreak of bed bugs around his Carroll Gardens neighborhood.
Extract from letter to dog Noodles after death of his other dog Romer:
Don't bite me, Noodles, if I hug you a little more these days or if I squeeze you too tight. That's how humans show how much we love each other and comfort each other in times of grief. And someday when you get old and frail, like Romer, I promise I will be by your side in the autumn of your life. You won't be as playful or agile but you will be wiser in your elder years. You'll be able to reflect on all the things you learned, all the friends you made and most of all, little buddy, you will continue to be my best friend well after you take your last nap. I Love You. Daddy.— George Weber, Official website
On Friday, March 20, 2009, George Weber was killed in his Brooklyn apartment on Henry Street. A co-worker became concerned when he didn't show up for work on Saturday, so police were dispatched to Weber's apartment on Sunday at 12:30am, but they noticed nothing amiss, and left. When the co-worker called again at 8:30 a.m., cops returned to the building, where a neighbor said he heard water running in the newsman's apartment all night. Police entered the apartment and discovered Weber's body, with his hands and feet bound. Weber had been stabbed more than 50 times in the neck, chest and arms, and his guest bedroom had been ransacked. The water was still running in the apartment's bathtub and kitchen sink, and investigators believe Weber's killer used the water to clean himself after the murder. Authorities said there was no sign of forced entry.
On March 25 police arrested 16-year-old student John Katehis of East Elmhurst, Queens, New York for the murder. He was lured to a rendezvous with detectives by his father, who promised to give him $300, and was arrested without incident. Katehis confessed to the crime when apprehended, also claiming to be a Satanist and a sadomasochist. Katehis told police that he and Weber had met through a personal ad Weber had posted on Craigslist for "rough sex," but stabbed Weber in self-defense after Weber tried to stab him. This led to the media referring to Katehis as a Craigslist killer.
Katehis was charged as an adult with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, and pleaded not guilty, despite his confession. Katehis's lawyer claimed there was an ongoing relationship between Weber and Katehis. Following a mistrial, Katehis was convicted in 2011 at retrial, and sentenced to 25 years to life. Author David McConnell, in his book American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men explored the Katehis case as a main example of lethal hate crimes on homosexual men where the perpetrators exhibited some degree of homosexuality themselves.
- Schram, Jamie; Rosario, Frank; Celona, Larry (2009-03-22). "George Weber Killed". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- George, Weber. "George Weber - the news guy". www.georgeweber.net. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Hinckley, David (March 1, 2008). "WABC Fires John Gambling". New York Daily News.
- Weber, George (2008-03-01). "George Weber....The news guy". George Weber. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Richard Pyle (2009-03-27). "Slain newsman's blog a window into Brooklyn life". The Associated Press State & Local Wire.
Subjects often came from the day's news or other postings on the Internet. Some were commentaries on life in Carroll Gardens, a neighborhood of 19th century brownstone row houses once known for its Mafia connections and now an upscale area where some people know each other only by their dogs' names ... As one who earned his living speaking proper English, Weber was offended by messages on Craigslist and other Web sites written in youth argot he called "ghetto speak". Among examples he cited said on Feb. 1, the "most outlandish" was "a little ditty from a gay kid trying to find another guy to have sex with."
- Gendar, Alison; Jonathan Lemire (March 24, 2009). "George Weber's killer left blood at WABC newsman's home, police say". NY Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "Police: Slain Reporter Met Teen Killer on Craigslist". KTLA. March 25, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- David Hinkley; Caitlin Millat; Edgar Sandoval (March 23, 2009). "WABC radio newsman George Weber found stabbed to death at home". NY Daily News. New York: NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- Josh Saul, Julia Dahl (2009-03-28). "Alleged George Weber Killer Demands Cash For Interview". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- Celona, Larry; Doyle, John; Chiaramonte, Perry (March 25, 2009). "Teen Confesses in Newsman Slay". New York Post. Archived from the original on March 28, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
Weber, 47, an ABC News radio broadcaster, and the teen met on Craigslist and had been e-mailing one another. Katehis, a Satan-loving teen with a knife fetish and a girlfriend, appeared to have a propensity for violence.
- Celona, Larry; Mongelli, Lorena; Ginsberg, Alex (March 26, 2009). "Radio Man's Sex Date with Devil". New York Post. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
On [his] MySpace page, Katehis declares himself heterosexual and professes his devotion to Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. He sports tattoos on his arm reading, '666' and 'Diablo'.
- Jeffry Scott (2009-04-04). "Craigslist Ads Linked To Crimes Against Potential Dekalb Buyers". The Atlanta Journal. p. 6B.
- Billy Parker (2009-03-25). "Teen Murderer of Radio Newsman Has Haunting Web Trail". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2009-03-28.
Katehlis has also left extensive material behind on both MySpace and YouTube: In his MySpace profile, he says, "I'm a big risk taker and like to live life on the edge. I am an Extremist, an Anarchist,and a Sadomasochist. As long as you show respect for me i [sic] will show respect for you, if you disrespect me, then i [sic] will f***ing break your neck." He also has photo sets with his knives and swords, posts a fair share of satanic material.
- "Alleged Craigslist Killer: 'Cash for Story'". The Advocate. March 30, 2009. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
March 30, 2009: The Advocate refers to John Katehis as "Craigslist Killer".
- Eden Carter Wood (March 27, 2009). "Teen sadomasachist pleads not guilty to murder". PinkPaper. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- Tanyanika Samuels (2009-03-29). "Newsman's Slay Suspect Goes Bonkers". Daily News.
- "Confessed Teen Slayer Pleads Not Guilty", nypost.com, March 26, 2009.
- "24-March-2013 Interview on Outsight Radio Hours". Archive.org. Retrieved 5 May 2013.