The body of Karyn Kay, 63, who taught English at LaGuardia High School, was discovered lying on the floor with what was described as "severe head trauma," the Wall Street Journal reported.
Kay wrote the screenplay for the 1988 movie "Call Me" starring Steve Buscemi and is listed as a visiting instructor at the Pratt Institute.
Police sources told WPIX-TV, New York, that a 911 call was made by Kay screaming that she was being beaten by her son. When police arrived at the apartment, they found her in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.
Kay's son, Henry Wachtel, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric exam, the New York Post reported.
A neighbor told police that Kay and her son had a volatile relationship.
"She said terrible things to him and you would hear things fly," said Leigh Miller. "It went on for years, since Henry was a little boy."