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).