Real Name: Chaim Weiss
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Long Beach, New York
Date: November 1, 1986
Details: On the morning of November 1, 1986, a fifteen-year-old Jewish boy named Chaim Weiss was found murdered in his school dormitory in Long Beach, New York. Chaim was an Orthodox Jew who lived in the dormitory of his yeshiva, a school that emphasizes the religious and ethical principles of Orthodox Judaism.
Detective Don Daly was called to the murder scene. He learned that Chaim had died from being struck violently in the back of his head with an unknown object. There appeared to be no evidence of robbery nor signs of a struggle. From the beginning, Daly knew that this investigation would be different.
Because it was Saturday, the Sabbath, Daly was unable to question many of the students and teachers at the school. As the days went on, many were still reluctant to talk to him or the other investigators.
In Chaim's room, several clues were found to suggest that the killer was familiar with the yeshiva and the customs of Orthodox Judaism. It appeared that Chaim had been killed while he slept. His body was then moved twice, from the bed to the floor, and then from one spot on the floor to another. In Orthodox customs, it was necessary for the body to be taken off the bed and onto the floor, so that it is at its lowest and coolest point.
His window was left open, even though it was cold outside. Orthodox traditions requires a door or window to be open in the room of a deceased person, in order to let the spirit out. After the murder, a memorial candle was placed in the room and it was sealed. Two days later, however, another candle mysteriously appeared. No one admitted to placing the candle in the room.
Detective Daly tried to piece together the last night of Chaim's life. He learned that Chaim was a outgoing student who did well in class. He had attended the yeshiva for the past two years. On the night of October 31, he left class with his friends to attend services. Afterwards, he returned to the dormitory. Several hours later, two of his classmates saw him reading in the hallway. This was customary, as students did not leave lights on in their room on the Sabbath. He was last seen alive at 1 am on November 1.
Although no students reported hearing anything suspicious around the time of the murder, one student did remember his door being quickly opened and closed at some point. At the time, he assumed that it was just his roommate.
A few days after the murder, Daly called a meeting with the students and some of the rabbis, asking for any information about the case. However, nobody offered any information. Daly learned that their religion prevented them from coming forward unless they had evidence or another witness to back up their claims.
Police eventually polygraphed forty students and several of the teachers and rabbis. However, no useful information was found. Detective Daly and Chaim's family are still hoping that someone will now come forward. Sadly, Chaim's murder has never been solved.
Suspects: None known; evidence found at the scene suggests that Chaim's killer was familiar with Orthodox traditions. It is believed that the killer also knew the layout of the dormitory. The killer was probably aware that Chaim was one of only two students without a roommate.
Police are looking for information about a yeshiva student who was apparently seen on a boardwalk at 7 am on the morning of Chaim's murder. A jogger noticed the student and felt that he was out of place there. The student was never identified, and it is unknown if he was involved in the murder.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the May 6, 1992 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. Investigators looked into a former janitor at the school, along with a mentally ill man who attacked senior citizens in their homes near the yeshiva in 1986. However, both men were ruled out. In 2013, Chaim's case was re-opened by investigators. They interviewed more than one-hundred former students, but reportedly made little progress in the investigation. In 2015, they announced that they believe a student or faculty member was responsible for his murder. However, they have yet to identify any suspects.
- Chaim's case on Unsolved.com
- Who Murdered Chaim Weiss?
- Investigation continues for 1986 Halloween murder on L.I.
- NY police look closer to home for 1986 yeshiva murder