Leibby Kletzky 311.
(photo credit: NYPD)
NEW YORK – Thousands of Hassidim gathered in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on
Wednesday night to bury eight-year-old Liebby Kletzky as new details about the
boy’s grisly murder emerged.
Members of the religious community mourned
the loss of Kletzky, whose dismembered body was found by police earlier in the
day after he disappeared without a trace on Monday.
“Everyone is just
beside themselves,” New York City Assemblyman Dov Hikind declared. “We’ve showed
in the last two days what an incredible community this is. But you know
what, one of our people committed this dastardly act.”
referring to murder suspect Levi Aron, a 35- year-old Orthodox Jew with no
Police found parts of Kletzky’s body in the
refrigerator of Aron’s house, located less than 2 miles from the victim’s
They later recovered a suitcase containing the rest of the boy’s
remains from a dumpster in the Sunset Park neighborhood.
investigators, the victim’s chance encounter with Aron took place outside a
dentist’s office on Monday afternoon.
“A boy approached me on where the
Judaica bookstore was,” Aron was quoted by NBC News as telling
“He was still there when I went out from the dentist’s office. He
asked me for a ride to the Judaica book store.”
Aron reportedly told
investigators the boy then changed his mind, and wasn’t sure where he wanted to
go, so he took him to a wedding in Monsey, north of New York City.
showed Kletzky, who was on his way from day camp to meet his mother, talking to
the suspect. The boy is then seen following Aron into a car.
when they returned to Brooklyn from Monsey, he discovered a massive search for
the boy was under way. According to his own testimony, Aron panicked and killed
the victim on Tuesday.
“That is when approximately I went for a towel to
smother him in the side room,” Aron said. “He fought back a little bit until
eventually he stopped breathing.”
Investigators said they doubted the
suspect and victim went to Monsey and believed Kletzky was murdered on Monday,
not Tuesday. The couple whose wedding the two allegedly attended said they did
not recall seeing the boy.
Early on Wednesday, police knocked down the
door of Aron’s house, where they found him waiting calmly. He directed them
toward the refrigerator where police found the victim’s dismembered limbs
wrapped in plastic bags.
“I understand this may be wrong and I’m sorry
for the hurt that I have caused,” Aron said at the end of his
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke to reporters on
Thursday about the alleged killer’s motives, saying he was baffled by the
brutality of the slaying.
“It defies all logic, and I think that’s really
what’s so terribly disturbing about this case,” he said. “There’s absolutely no
reason. There’s nothing more innocent than an eightyear- old
Customers at a kosher fish restaurant in the heart of Borough
Park also expressed deep dismay.
“I hope this changes people’s routines,”
said Yakov, the cashier. “But who could have predicted something like this would
happen?” At the subway station on 50th Street, a Hassid named Avram related the
tragedy to Tisha Be’av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar that takes place
Such days of mourning had the effect of bringing people
together, he said.
“If anything positive came out of this, it’s that
people – not only members of the [hassidic] community – all worked together to
find him,” he said. “Sadly, it ended the way it did. But it’s times like
this that we have to pull together.”