Episode 2: Khalil Wheeler-Weaver - Text-ual Fate (Show Notes)

Khalil Walker-Wheeler
She looked up and saw a reflection she did not recognize. “Who is this girl staring back at me?” She contemplated what she was about to do. She was nervous and her stomach was in knots. She was 20, enrolled in a good college, and she had just lied. She lied to her parents and more importantly, she lied to herself.  “Hey mom, can I borrow the van?” “What do you need it for?” “I want to go meet up with a friend. I haven’t seen them since I left for college this year.”  It was Thanksgiving break, there was a chill in the air, but it wasn’t the weather that caused her to shake. What she chose not to mention to her parents was that the “friend” she was meeting was an online acquaintance who offered to pay her $500.00 for sex through a phone app called Tagged.  This wasn’t the first time she was offered money by the “friend.” She had backed out of meeting with him in person before. It just didn’t feel right. But this time, she planned to go through with it.  As she finalized plans, she thought $500.00 was a lot of money and seemed like a lure. She texted him and asked, “You’re not a serial killer, right?” before she left the house.  Fate rolled the dice and she would not come to understand just how appropriate her question was. The lump in her throat would never disappear as she proceeded to meet him for their “transaction.” Ten days later, her body would be found on the edge of Eagle Rock Reservation, covered with leaves and the cold earth. She had been strangled. 

Before we get into the case, let’s talk a little about the general location of where most everything occurred. 

West Orange Township, New Jersey is in the upper northeast part of New Jersey and is located within Essex county where the crimes were committed and who’s police arrested the alleged serial killer. West Orange became a township April 10, 1863, and a town February 28, 1900. The township covers 12.171 square miles (31.522 square kilometers). The elevation is 512 feet (156 meters). 

The most recent census was in 2010 and here are some of the demographics: 

  • 46,207 people

  • 16,790 households

  • 11,753 families

Further demographics showed:

  • 57% white

  • 26.58% black/african american 

  • Less than 1% Native American

  • 7.96% Asian

  • Less than 1% Pacific Islander

  • 4.82% Other

  • 3.09% Two or more races. 

  • 16.20% Hispanic/Latino

The bulk of the locals are 45-64 years old with 23.7% under 18 and 7.17% 18-24. 

The ratio is 100 women for every 88.3 men. 

The median family wage is $106,742 and the median individual salary is $88,917

4.9% of families and 7.1% total population live below the poverty line. 

There are two large parks in Essex County. The first is South Mountain Reservation and the second is Eagle Rock Reservation. We will talk about the second one in a little. 

Some notable people who came from West Orange Township are

  • David Cassidy - Teen Idol who spent some time on The Partidge Family Show

  • Anthony Criss - Member of Naughty by Nature

  • Thomas Edison and his family

  • Ja Rule the Rapper

  • Carole King the songwriter

There is one notable person that I found strange to be from here as well: 

  • Charles Cullen, born 1960 who was a serial killer and nurse. He confessed to killing 40 people. 

Let’s talk about Eagle Rock Reservation. Eagle Rock is 408.33 acres (162.25 hectares). It is primarily a forest and recreational park that is located in the community of West Orange, Montclair, and Verona, all within Essex County who owns and operates the park. It Is named after the Eagle Rock, a bare rock looking down from the mountain resembling an eagle. The Lenape trail passes through the reservation. Many streams and forests flow through and the park is home to wildlife like deer and bears.

There is also a 9/11 memorial there because after the 9/11 attacks, residents from nearby gathered to view the aftermath of attacks on the World Trade Center. 10/20/02 a section of the reservation was set aside and a monument was erected. This overlooks the Manhattan Skyline. The memorial honors those killed in the attack and has names of the victims inscribed on the wall. 

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver is our subject for today. He comes from a family of multiple law enforcement officials who all lived in his home. He had a clean record until now. But, at the same time, so did Ted Bundy back in the 1970s. 

He worked for a security service called the Sterling Security Firm where he spent his time at the Shoprite grocery store. 

Other than that, there is little published about him at this point. At the time of his arrest he was 20 years old. Performing a social media search a YouTube page was found that he owned. It had three videos on it, two with original club beats and one that has a dark, one-second video that can only be described as nondescript and creepy.

Khalil's charges number 11 including murder, sexual assault, and desecration of human remains. 

I didn’t really know what desecration of human remains meant. Here’s what I found on law.justia.com: 

2C:22-1 Disturbing, desecrating human remains; offenses.

1. a. A person commits a crime of the second degree if he:

(1)Unlawfully disturbs, moves or conceals human remains;

(2)Unlawfully desecrates, damages or destroys human remains; or

(3)Commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact, as defined in N.J.S.2C:14-1, upon human remains.

b.A person commits a crime of the third degree if he purposely or knowingly fails to dispose of human remains in a manner required by law.

c.As used in this act, "human remains" means the body of a deceased person or the dismembered part of a body of a living person but does not include cremated remains.

If Khalil Walker-Weaver is convicted at the end of the trial, or found guilty, he will become the youngest serial killer to strike the northeast since David Berkowitz terrorized New York as son of sam from 1976-77. 

His victims number, currently, four total: 

  • Robin Edwards

  • Joanne Brown

  • Sarah Butler

  • A victim who survived who’s identity has not been released and is known as “T.T.” or “T” depending on what you read. 

Wheeler-Weaver’s m.o. was to stalk young, African-American women, strangling them and leaving their bodies in remote locations around West Orange and Montclair areas of New Jersey. 

The case is still unfolding as of November 11, 2019 in a murder trial they decided to hold in Newark, New Jersey. This is most likely due to the fact that his crimes are so heinous and it was all over the news, so the thought of getting a jury of his peers who had not heard about it or were not already swayed was a ridiculous notion. 

Reminder: As of now, all of this is alleged. As you will come to see though, it looks like it’s pretty certain it was Khalil. Overall, we believe he focused on African American sex workers and that the murders were sexually motivated.