Anton Weber and Mary Kiem lived together in meager circumstances at 221 Voegtly St. on the North Side.
As neighbors later testified, the couple quarreled during the evening of November 11, 1918, the day that marked the end of World War I. Several hours later, Weber killed Kiem while she slept, stabbing her multiple times and slitting her throat. He then attempted suicide by slashing his own throat. Their bodies were found in bed when the police broke into the home on the morning of November 13.
Two weeks prior to the killing, Weber, a 52-year old Hungarian immigrant, had been seriously injured in a workplace accident at a steel mill. It is speculated that he was despondent over the loss of vision in one eye and the loss of his job.
At trial, Kiem’s daughter testified that Weber had confessed to her. Weber claimed he acted in self-defense after Kiem attempted to stab him. The trial and jury deliberations were brief; Weber was convicted on June 6, 1919. After his motion for a new trial was rejected, he was sentenced to death on December 20, 1919. The case received little newspaper attention.
Weber’s appeal, which argued that his self-defense claim had not been adequately considered, was dismissed in a two paragraph opinion (Commonwealth v. Weber, 271 Pa. 330, 1921).
After his death warrant was read and respited multiple times, Weber’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on November 17, 1921. The Pardon Board cited his advanced age and below average intelligence in explaining their decision.
Anton Weber died of cancer in Western Penitentiary on February 22, 1942; he was 76 years old.