Monday, June 28, 2010

John Katehis update

Back on March 31, 2009, I posted about the murder of George Weber by John Katehis.

I just now came across the news story Notorious Criminal Defendants Appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court by Samuel Newhouse, Brookly Eagle, June 25, 2010, which reports on several different criminal cases including that of John Katehis. This article says:
John Katehis, of Queens, who just turned 18 on Saturday and once referred to himself as the “prince of darkness,” has pleaded self-defense for stabbing to death WABC newsman George Weber, 47, of Henry Street in Carroll Gardens.

Katehis, a self-described Satanist, was 16 when he stabbed Weber to death in March 2009 after going to his apartment in response to a Craigslist ad placed by Weber soliciting sex for about $60.

It is believed that Weber and Katehis engaged in rough bondage sex and may have used drugs together before the murder.

Katehis faces 25 years to life if convicted. He is due back in court on Sept. 3.

This article also talks about the (apparently unrelated) case of a man who burned down his own apartment building, claiming that "demons" told him to. I can't help but suspect he's just out to get himself declared insane, rather than admit a more pedestrian motive like a desire to collect insurance.

About the Katehis case itself, I found only two other recent reports via Google News, both in gay news sources: Defense in Philly Murder Case Planning to Use Variation of ’Gay Panic?’ by Kilian Melloy, EDGE (Boston), Wednesday Jun 23, 2010 (mostly about another case, but refers to the Katehis case too), and Kids Who Kill, Gay Times (U.K.), July 10 - Issue 382. Both these source are covering the story as an anti-gay hate crime, which perhaps it is, but there's also the complicating factor that the adult victim was paying a 16-year-old for sex.

I guess it's good for all the affected minority groups (gay men, BDSM people, and Satanists) that this case is not receiving a lot of ongoing publicity, although it did get quite a flurry of publicity back when the crime was originally committed. As I remarked back then: Alas, when members of unpopular minority groups commit crimes, they are too often seen as reflecting on the group as a whole, whereas, when other people commit similar crimes, they're seen as just aberrations.

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