Friday, July 22, 2011

Remembering Lieby

LIEBY KLETZKY (Photo courtesy New York Daily News)
I cringed this week when the horrific details came out about the abduction, doping, murder and dismemberment of eight-year-old Lieby Kletzky, a member of an Orthodox Jewish family in New York. Alone for the first time on his way to a summer day camp, the boy became confused and asked directions from a stranger. Unfortunately, the stranger he asked was laying in wait for an opportunity to abduct a child (authorities have still not stated whether there was a sexual assault) and Lieby became an unsuspecting victim. Levi Aron was arrested at his apartment after video surfaced that showed him walking off with the child and the two of them entering an automobile. New York police officer Tom Burke, a specialist in identification of car models, was woken from a sound sleep when authorities could not tell the make, model or year of the gold automobile shown on the tape. Within a short time Burke was able to identify the automobile as a 1990 Honda Accord. Officers found the car parked on the street in front Aron's apartment. Police reported finding the bloody severed feet of the child on the premises. When confronted, Aron supposedly confessed and led police to a suitcase in a dumpster which contained the other remains of the hapless victim. As authorities moved ahead with the prosecution of the alleged murderer, it became clear that Aron is mentally unstable and probably psychotic. One of his attorneys resigned from handling the defense over his inability "to stomach" the story, while the other attorney has reportedly told a court that his client hears voices and can't readily distinguish good and bad acts. It is possible this was not a first incident, so police have begun the somber task of going through the accused's home, even digging up the backyard for signs of other potential victims. This is a parent's worst nightmare and there is no doubt the other victims of this crime are the family members left behind. Lieby's parents and Chabad Rabbi Binaymin Eisenberger have set up a website dedicated to his memory. However this is not just a simple memorial to a dead child. They have begun collecting funds on the website to be dispersed to do good deeds so that the memory of Lieby will never be forgotten. They hope to raise $1 million dollars and so far are closing in on the $200,000 mark. For those inclined to donate or to see the unusual response by the family to such a gut-wrenching loss, click here.

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