What do Chappaqua, an open door, murder, and Muhammad Ali, all have in common? Scott Weinberger. “When one door opens you have to step through it,” said Weinberger, tracing that mindset to his days at St. John’s University when he was on the debate team and helped a young Muhammad Ali with his speech writing skills. “I had a chance meeting with him that turned into a long friendship and mentorship. He gave me direction, telling me when a door opens you have to go through it, even if it’s not the one you expect.”
A Chappaqua resident, Weinberger has walked through many doors of opportunity toward fascinating and fulfilling careers. He’s worked in law enforcement, journalism, and is the CEO and Executive Producer of Weinberger Media, which he founded in 2007, and co-hosts Anatomy of Murder, a weekly Top Ten true crime podcast worldwide that examines adjudicated homicide cases and paths to justice for the victims. “There’s something about murder that brings out people’s curiosity. It’s heartbreaking and interesting at the same time, and with the right storyteller, it keeps you riveted to your seat. I love it,” said Weinberger.
In a soundproof home studio in Chappaqua, Weinberger has recorded over 150 episodes with Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi, a former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery’s True Conviction. In 2020, the podcast debuted at #1 worldwide on Apple Podcasts and within its first three seasons aired more than 100 episodes delivering a record 100 million downloads, making it one of the most downloaded crime podcasts worldwide. “I’m humbled by it. It gives me a good perspective of how popular true crime is. The genre has exploded.”
This is right up Weinberger’s alley who had a 10-year career in law enforcement, including stints with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and as a deputy sheriff in Florida where he was featured on the late-80s TV series Cops. Intrigued by the production side of the show, he created the crime drama The Marshal with actor Don Johnson and easily transitioned into a journalism career from 1995-2007, becoming a three-time Emmy-award winning on-air investigative correspondent for WNBC and WCBS. “It was that mindset of being able to do it, recognizing the opportunity, and not being afraid,” said Weinberger.
Weinberger ventured into podcasts after encouragement from a friend. “My journalism background and my law enforcement and producer background melded into a product where people get a sense that they’re getting a crime story from insiders,” he said. “Anna-Sigga and I give that perspective because we’ve been there, done that. We’ve gone from being the first person at a homicide to the person responsible for standing in front of a jury to get a conviction.”
The podcast also covers unsolved cases to help aid law enforcement in obtaining substantive information. “Anatomy of Murder is the process that breaks down the investigation to get to the heart of the matter. We’re two experienced individuals talking about a case, giving you the inside track to how it was done, and making the listener feel like they’re getting a lesson in investigation and prosecution.”
Weinberger spends days immersing himself in each case. “We look for cases that have interesting twists and turns, where we’re able to drop a few breadcrumbs along the way for the listener, or something that has a compelling story to it where you know in the end the resolution is going to be something everyone is hoping for,” he said, noting one of his favorite episodes involves an unsolved murder of a Polish immigrant in Brooklyn during the 9/11 tragedy, an event he covered for WNBC-TV. “All the resources in the city were focused on downtown. This man never got a full investigation.” In 2022, it won a Webby Award for best single episode in the Crime and Justice category.
Moving to Chappaqua last year, Weinberger found the perfect home personally and professionally. “I’ve always had an affection for this town. We’re living in a great neighborhood,” he said. “We knew this is where we wanted to be because of the community feeling, the folks who run it.”
Weinberger sees the trifecta of his life coming full circle. “I feel fortunate to have had all of these experiences,” he said. “I see them as teaching points for others and a way for me to give back as a mentor and have an impact on someone’s life.”