Car-jacker caught on tape as victim pleads for life
Friday 22 March 1996
The extraordinary cool of a New Jersey teacher when she found herself the victim of a car-jacking did not save her life, but it did give the police an unusually easy job in tracking down the man they believe killed her.
Not only did Kathleen Weinstein, 45, spend almost half an hour trying to reason with her assailant, she also secretly slid a mini-cassette recorder into a shirt pocket and taped the conversation.
The tape, which came to an end before she died, now stands as an unassailable item of evidence in the prosecution's case against the teenager accused of the crime. It is also a final testament to her willingness always to try to get through to even the most troubled of youngsters.
Police say they are now "beyond confident" that Michael LeSane, 17, is the man who burst into Mrs Weinstein's car at a New Jersey shopping mall on Thursday of last week. "His voice is on the tape. He is named on the tape," John Doran, a spokesman for the state prosecutor's office confirmed.
After ignoring the reasonings of Mrs Weinstein, Mr LeSane allegedly suffocated her with her own clothing and dumped her body by the side of a highway south of New York City. The accused turned 17 the day after the murder and had bragged to school friends that he had stolen a gold Toyota Camry as a present to himself - the kind of car driven by Mrs Weinstein.
The tape reveals Mrs Weinstein pleading with her assailant. "You haven't done anything yet. All you have to do is let me go and take the car," she says on the recording. "For my life, don't you think I should . . . let you take my car? For my life!" In an even voice, Mrs Weinstein tries to warn her attacker of what will happen if he kills her: "Don't you think they are going to find you?"
Well known for her patience with difficult children as a teacher in a New Jersey high school, Mrs Weinstein had recently introduced a special programme in the school called "Random Acts of Kindness". Students who went out of their way with kind gestures toward others were rewarded with prizes sponsored by local businesses, such as free pizza lunches or film tickets.
"It was her way," remarked James Ouellette, assistant headmaster of the school.
A makeshift memorial had been established yesterday under the main signboard outside the school that carried the message: "Mrs Weinstein. Thanks for your random acts of kindness. We will remember you."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...