Craigslist ’Gay Slay’ Suspect Claims Self Defense

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday May 11, 2009

John Katehis, who faces trial for the murder of newsman George Weber, says that he's straight--and claims that the episode of violent sex for pay that ended in Weber's stabbing death was self defense.

Katehis, who notoriously had posted photos of himself online wielding bladed weapons, initially said in a signed confession that he recollected stabbing Weber once in the neck after he panicked at the sight of Weber pulling a knife.

Weber's body, however, was found to have suffered more than 50 stab wounds; moreover Weber was bound at the ankles with duct tape at the time of his death.

At his May 8 arraignment, Katehis' attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, said that Weber had solicited Katehis on craigslist and called himself by the name "smotherboy."

Weber had indicated that was looking for someone to suffocate him during sex, but then he pulled a knife and attempted to force himself on Katehis, the lawyer argued.

Newspaper accounts said that the attack splashed blood across the walls and floor of Weber's New York City apartment, and that Katehis washed up before leaving, neglecting to turn off water running in the bathroom when he went.

As reported at EDGE in March, Katehis posted a MySpace profile in which he described himself as "always looking for a big thrill," adding, "I'm a big risk taker and like to live life on the edge."

The profile continues, "I am an Extremist, an Anarchist,and a Sadomasochist.

"As long as you show respect for me i will show respect for you, if you disrespect me, then i will fucking break your neck."

Weber had been a longtime on-air contributor for radio station WABC.

After losing his job due to downsizing last year, Weber continued to freelance for ABC Radio.

According to Schwartz, Weber was also leading a double life, a story posted at the Web site for CBS affiliate WCBS TV on May 8 reported.

Claimed Schwartz, "It seems that Mr. Weber had this whole secret life that no one knew about."

Added the attorney, "He lured John Katehis into his home. He plied him with alcohol and illegal drugs."

Katehis reportedly described Weber's death as inadvertent, allegedly saying, "I didn't mean to kill George. It was an accident.

"He pulled a knife on me, so I stabbed him. He gave me something to drink and some coke. He asked me to do things I wasn't comfortable with."

The article quoted Schwartz as saying that the newsman "attempted to get [Katehis] to do, some sadomasochistic sex to him."

Added the attorney, "Um, the situation got out of control."

Katehis, 16, stated that he was not gay, and that he only answered the ad in order to be paid, according to a May 9 article in the New York Daily News.

The suspect and the victim reportedly agreed on a price of $60 for Katehis' services.

Katehis will be tried for murder as an adult, the article said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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