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Secret lives

March 25, 2009 1:36:41 PM PDT
We all live secret lives. For most of us, the secrets aren't very earth-shaking. Nothing scandalous or salacious, maybe not even anything to make us red-faced if people knew about it.

Then there are others, whose behaviors might very well cause embarrassment, or at least uneasiness.

Sometimes we'd be surprised if we found out, sometimes we wouldn't.

We're now finding out about a man who was once a colleague - long-time WABC radio anchor George Weber. George, a fixture on New York City radio for years, was found stabbed to death in his apartment in Brooklyn over the weekend. Tonight, the boy charged with killing Weber appears in court. And with his arrest, we're learning about George Weber's secret life.

First some background about what happened after the crime: Weber's parents found out about his death not from authorities, but from a reporter, who called for a reaction. Horrible. The note about the murder from police clearly stated that the victim's family had not yet been notified.

Second, the details of his murder shed much light on Weber's secret life - a life he kept secret even from his family. And that, too, is horrible. Horrible for Weber in life, and horrible for his family in his death.

As a parent, I'm haunted by what the Weber family must be going through -- and that he found it painful to let them know who he was and why.

The murder suspect hooked up with Weber through an Internet ad that police say Weber placed, looking for "rough sex."

The respondent, say cops, was a 16-year-old who, they say, was high on drugs and basically flipped out at Weber's apartment.

Police say he has confessed to the murder.

No one who worked with Weber knew about his closeted life, or how he spent his free time, or, apparently, how he sought human companionship.

We all live secret lives, to some degree or another. George's secret life ran deeper than most.

It's all very sad. His secret life, and his public death.

We'll have the latest on his murder, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the MTA Board today doing what it has threatened to do for weeks - voted to approve its so-called "Doomsday Budget." It means a 25% jump in the basic $2 bus and subway fare -- and huge increases in just about everything charged by the MTA. It also means dramatic cuts in service.

Tonight we profile one local family that is, unfortunately, all-too-typical of commuters who will be affected.

The changes in fares begin on June 1. But there's a big "if." IF New York State lawmakers come to the rescue, this might not happen. The problem, of course, is that Albany is in rough-enough shape - with a $16 billion deficit. To cough up $1.2 billion to save the ill-managed MTA may not seem the most prudent expenditure of taxpayer dollars -- not that prudent spending is the bar for decisions in Albany. But the increases will be difficult for many New Yorkers, who are already strapped by the recession.

And our Jim Dolan continues his reports from Mexico, as that country tries to deal with the growing violence and problems of its drug cartels. Tonight, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mexico - and, as it happens, one of the drug lords on Mexico's most-wanted list was turned in today, part of the country's $2 million bounty for a couple of dozen drug mobsters. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Also at 11, for anyone who's wondered how Facebook works, and what it represents, Sandra Bookman takes a close look at the cyber-phenom. And offers some suggestions about how to keep your private information private.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

One other item: Last night we asked viewers to give us their opinions on Pres. Obama's prime-time news conference. We received many interesting responses. To see them, CLICK HERE.

BILL RITTER


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