A Manhattan school teacher was beaten to death by her son in her Midtown apartment Tuesday. Police discovered 63-year-old Karyn Kay at 9:30 a.m. when responding to a 911 call made from West 55th Street and Eighth Avenue. Kay was found with severe head trauma, and was rushed to New York Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Kay's 19-year-old son, Henry Wachtel, had a seizure Tuesday morning and Kay was calling 911 for help when her son attacked her. Wachtel allegedly beat his mother to death and was charged with murder late Tuesday night.
The LaGuardia High School teacher had previously confided to her Zumba instructor, Irena Meletiou, that her son was having serious anger issues, according to DNA Info. Kay's neighbor, Leigh Miller, also claimed that the victim and her son had a volatile relationship. The furniture would be flying, Miller said. It was a very unhealthy dysfunctional mother and child relationship.
Sometimes the situation would escalate so quickly that, I would go down and tell the doorman that they're really at it again, said Miller. It doesn't surprise me that things spiraled out of control.
Kay was also a filmmaker and a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute. She has written three books on film including, Women and the Cinema: A Critical Anthology, Myrna Loy, and Besides Berman.
A 19-year-old former student at LaGuardia said she never felt so much love for a teacher. She cared so much about her students, even students who were rude to her and resistant to work. She really believed that no matter who we were, we were smart and had something to say. She really believed in all of us.
Another neighbor, Jonathan Cohen, was left shocked by the murder. I spoke to her last night. I'm shocked. She was a very nice person, said Cohen. Two lives destroyed.