Leiby Kletzkyleiby kletzky

Leiby Kletzky was a smart 8 year old boy. He lived in Boro Park, Brooklyn. He attended a school day camp. Leiby and his family were devoted orthodox Jewish community members. Leiby was the victim of a brutal kidnapping and murder. When Leiby was walking home it is thought he stopped and asked directions home from a man. The man eventually got Leiby into his car. Leiby was taken to the man’s apartment and tied down, given a several different drugs and then smothered with a bath towel. He then dismembered the small boy’s body. His body was found in his killer’s fridge and also in a suitcase in a dumpster.  

'Little Leiby put up a fight but had no chance - his feet were tied up': Police reveal brutal details of eight-year-old Hasidic boy's final moments - and say killer hasn't yet revealed the whole truth
Hasidic child abducted on his way home from camp 'put up a fight' while tied down and suffocated, police say

Levi Aron confessed he 'panicked' and killed the child after search became so high profile - but police doubt his story
Ordered to undergo psychological tests after his lawyer said he 'hears voices'
Boy's family say 'We're not into revenge'

Aron said to have shown 'no remorse' while 'giggling' in custody

Leiby was lost on first solo walk home and stopped Aron to ask for directions

Aron arraigned in court today after police found child's butchered remains in a fridge and a dumpster
Thousands mourn at emotional funeral service in Brooklyn

By Paul Bentley and Fiona Roberts

Last updated at 10:51 AM on 15th July 2011

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The innocent Hasidic child brutally murdered by a stranger he asked for directions bravely fought as he was tied down and suffocated by his captor, it has emerged.

Eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky was abducted by 35-year-old Levi Aron while walking home alone for the first time from a day camp in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon, sparking a city-wide police search.
After losing his way on the seven-block walk home, the child asked the older man to help him - a most cruel chance encounter which led to him being kidnapped, suffocated and dismembered with a kitchen knife.
But in his final moments the brave child fought for his life, police have revealed, scratching Aron while tied down with a rope and smothered with a bath towel.

As thousands took to the streets of Brooklyn to mourn the death of the young child, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Aron had cuts on his arms and wrists - evidence Leiby had tried to fight him off.

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'There are marks on his body,' Kelly said, adding that it was 'reasonable to say' this indicated a struggle.
It was a fight the child could never have won, however, as marks on Leiby's ankles indicated he had been restrained with rope.
Aron has denied sexually molesting the child but has offered no other understandable motive for the murder, according to police.
He  was last night under psychological evaluation and suicide watch in prison.

'In this business, you see a lot of violence. Here, it defies all logic. That's what is so disturbing about this case,' Mr Kelly said. 'It's heartbreaking.'
Aron, who once worked as a butcher, told police in graphic detail how he suffocated Leiby with a bath towel in a panic before cutting up his remains.
'I understand it may be wrong, and I am sorry for the hurt I have caused,' he wrote in a hand-written statement.
At the Kletzky household, his family were looking for answers.

'Why?' asked Shmuel Eckstein, a close family friend, as the boy's parents and five sisters sat and prayed. 'We don't have that ... What we know is that through Leiby's death, God is sending us a huge signal - that we're doing something terribly wrong. And we're looking for what it is.'
He added that the family was not looking for retribution. 'We're not into revenge,' he said.

He is said to have remained detached throughout police interviews, showing 'no remorse' and at times even giggling when speaking to investigators, Mr Kelly said.
Today in court for arraignment, Aron was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after his lawyer told a judge he might be mentally ill.
'He has indicated to me that he hears voices and has had some hallucinations,' attorney Pierre Bazile said.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said he plans to charge Aron with felony murder and was also investigating whether he might have had any improper contact with children in the past.

As he was led out from the courthouse holding pens, other inmates screamed obscenities at Aron.

Authorities doubt much of Aron's explanation for his actions. He claimed he offered to give Leiby a lift to a book store in his car but ended up taking the boy to a wedding in upstate Monsey as a treat.

He said they got back late 'so I brought him to my house, thinking I'd bring him to his house the next day'.

After realising the extent to which the search had gained momentum the next day he then 'panicked', made Leiby a tuna sandwich and smothered him with a bath towel, he said.

'He fought back a little,' he wrote. 'Afterwards, I panicked because I didn't know what to do with the body.'
Police, however, believe the boy was killed on Monday, rather than Tuesday.
Officers have reviewed videotape from the wedding reception in Monsey and interviewed guests, but there is no suggestion Leiby was taken there, Kelly said.
They are now digging up his yard in an attempt to find more evidence he may have tried to conceal.

Police said Aron had shaved

 

The 35-year-old's only previous criminal conviction was for public urination last year. His former wife took out an order of protection against him in 2007, during their divorce, but withdrew it later.
Cops are now also looking into a report that he allegedly tried to force another child into his car last year. That boy's mother, however, said she thought Aron was just being 'friendly' by offering the lift.
Aron's lawyer, Pierre Bazile, said, simply: 'Our condolences go out to the family of the victim. We'll let the judicial system take its course.'
8,000 mourners lined the streets of Brooklyn last night for Leiby's highly emotional funeral.

The huge crowds parted in silence as his casket was carried aloft to the service, just hours after his dismembered body was found in a fridge and a dumpster.
Shocked and grieving members of the close-knit Hasidic community spilled out into

Leiby's funeral was due to start at 8.30pm yesterday, but it was delayed until 9pm as thousands of mourners, dressed in traditional Hasidic black clothes, streamed in to pay their last respects.
As the narrow courtyard outside a temple school filled to capacity, mourners spilled out into the surrounding streets, with men and women separated according to Hasidic custom.
They gathered behind police barricades as NYPD officers and members of local security patrol group, the Shomrim, kept order.
As Leiby's grieving family arrived, an officer said: 'We need to separate like the Red Sea so the family can get through'.
His sisters and mothers arrived first, then men carried Leiby's casket high above the crowd.
The casket, covered in a black shawl, rested on a podium during the half-hour service, which was conducted in Hebrew and Yiddish.
Three rabbis spoke, thanking God for a 'beautiful child' with a 'beautiful soul'.
Then his father delivered an emotional address to the gathered crowds. Gripping the podium for support, he thanked God for the nine years he had spent with his only son, the New York Daily News reports.
He said: 'God gives and God takes. Thank you God, for giving you to us for nine years. We have to thank you for what You gave us.

'Pray for your sisters and the rest of your family, including the entire Jewish nation, which is now part of our family.'
Others who spoke at the funeral repeatedly broke down in tears. The women in Leiby's family sat at the front, with their heads covered and pain marked on their faces.
One mourner, Leah Rosenberg, told the New York Times: 'We feel like we lost one of our own. He was everybody’s child.'
According to Hasidic custom, Leiby's funeral was held just hours after his body was found by police, a day and a half after he went missing.
Police found half of Leiby's body - including his severed feet - in a refrigerator at Aron's home which they raided in Kensington, not far from where the boy was last seen.
When police raided Aron's apartment and asked where Leiby was, he nodded to the refrigerator. Officers saw blood on the handle and three carving knives inside. Some of the boy's remains were in the freezer.

Officers were then led by Aron to the rest of the body parts, which had been hidden in a suitcase in a dumpster in Greenwood Heights.
Authorities said Leiby was abducted on his first day walking home by himself.

'He had asked his parents’ permission to walk home alone and the parents were waiting outside', Mr Browne said.
Mr Kelly added: 'This was an horrendous crime. We extend our deepest condolences with the Kletzky family.'
The boy was abducted by 35-year-old Levi Aron while walking home alone for the first time from the Brooklyn-based Boyan Day Camp on 44th Street on Monday afternoon, sparking a city-wide police search.
After losing his way on the seven-block walk home, the child asked the older man to help him - a most cruel chance encounter which led to him being kidnapped, suffocated and dismembered with a kitchen knife.
When police tracked him down, Aron confessed to the

 

He said he had originally intended to take the boy home the following day after taking him on a trip to a wedding upstate - a story police say they do not believe.
Police said Leiby stopped Aron to ask for directions after getting lost the first time he was allowed to walk home alone from summer camp.
'35 minutes later Leiby was in a 1990 brown Honda Accord with Levi Aron, who subsequently brought the boy to his apartment, killed him there and then dismembered his body,' Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
'Leiby appeared to be lost. He encountered Aron and asked him for directions. It was just happenstance, and a terrible fate for this young boy.'
Aron, who works as a clerk in Kensington, was seized by police after he was spotted with the child on CCTV.
Footage showed Aron enter a dentist's office while the boy waited for him on the street, before he re-emerged and led Leiby to his car.
Detectives eventually managed to source the man's address after retrieving patient records from the practice, but by the time they raided his home, Leiby had been killed.
Police Commissioner Kelly said Aron had confessed to the murder, telling investigators he panicked and killed the boy once the search for the boy became so high-profile.

 

Aron is divorced and has no children, although he did look after his former wife's children from her previous marriage.
His ex-wife spoke today of her complete disbelief at what Aron is said to have done to the child.
'I am in shock. I am not believing this,' Debbie Kivel, 34, told The Post. 'He loved children. He loved kids. My kids are now 13 and 10, but when we were married they were younger – and he loved them.'
The former couple met online, married in 2006 but split up a year later because of a 'clash of character,' she said, adding, of their relationship: 'It was more like brother sister.'

Her father, Michael Kivel, was more damning about his former son-in-law.

 

'He was creepy person,' he said. 'I gather he went to the Hebrew School, but wasn’t smart enough and dropped out.'
Sam Lowy, one of Aron’s co-workers said: 'He’s not social. You didn’t get a chance to get into his social life. He did what he did and then went home.'
Aron worked as a stock clerk so spent most of his time in the back of the store, with little interaction with customers.

'As far as the shop goes, we’re just shell shocked,' Lowy told the Wall Street Journal. 'If there was anyway to stop this…But you know, we are [an] equal opportunity employer. He wanted a job, we gave the guy work. But we serve the community. This is awful.'

Another of his co-worker said: 'I can't believe this. He was a strange guy but he was here yesterday and he was fine after killing this little boy.'
The suspect's Facebook page revealed he is a practiser of Kabbalah who enjoys playing computer games such as Farmville.
In a cruel irony, he had also joined a group titled 'IS YOUR FAMILY SAFE? Find out who really lives in your area!' - dedicated to exposing local rapists and child molesters.
Community Rabbi Bernard Freilich told WNBC Leiby's parents are totally 'devastated'  after having been informed that his body had been recovered.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind today confirmed the body which had been found was that of the missing child.
'I've never seen a community feel more depression than they are at the moment,' he told NY1. 'Whoever did this is sick beyond belief.'
Hikind said the suspected killer is Jewish.
'It’s just a horror for every parent,' he added, speaking to CBS. 'It’s just a tragedy today for everyone in New York.

'That this is possible, an innocent nine-year-old is walking the streets, and that there are human beings out there - at least we call them that - who would do this. There’s no reason for it, it’s just beyond horror.'
Jacob Daskel, a coordinator with a local Borough Park Jewish patrol, said he is familiar with the suspect.
'He's a loner,' he told the Daily News. 'He lives with his parents.'
Leiby's parents began sitting shiva - the Jewish practice of mourning - today after having the devastating news confirmed by police.
'They're distraught,' community member Simcha Bernath said. Leiby's father, Nachman Kletzky, was comforted at his home yesterday by four rabbis while his wife rested for the first time since their son went missing, he added.
Hundreds of volunteers had joined the hunt for the boy.
As well as offering help, people - some complete strangers to the family - also stumped up $100,000 as a reward for information leading to the boy's whereabouts.
Leiby, the second youngest of five children, was last seen wearing a blue shirt with green and white stripes, blue pants and black trainers.

Heartbroken friends and members of the Hasidic community offered the family their condolences to his parents.
Carrie Powell said: 'My deepest sympathies to the family of Leiby. An innocent taken, a son loved and now gone. I pray for strength for you during the hardest time in your lives. Bless your family. Bless Leiby for the years he was here on earth, a good boy, a good son.'
A woman named Cynthia added: 'Do not remember how he was taken, but how he lived his beautiful innocent life. We are all so very shocked and saddened. Our prayers for Leiby's family and all who love him and will miss him.'

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