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Man Accused of Killing Brooklyn Boy Was 'Creepy,' 'Emotionless'

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The man accused of abducting and brutally killing an 8-year-old boy in Borough Park, Brooklyn, this week was "creepy" and kept to himself, according to co-workers and neighbors.

Levi Aron, 35, was arraigned on charges of murder and kidnapping in the first degree in Brooklyn on Thursday. His lawyers said Aron — who stared at the floor during the proceedings — had hallucinations and heard voices.

The former deli security guard did not have any prior charges in New York, other than a citation for public urination. Police are investigating in Tennessee, where Aron lived for two years.

Sam Lowy, who worked with Aron for eight years at Empire State Supply in Brooklyn, said the shelf-stocker was "emotionless" and when news that the boy was missing emerged, everyone in the store pitched in to help find him. He couldn’t confirm whether Aron joined in the search.

"He fits the creepy type," Lowy said.

Aron lived on the third floor of a building he shared with his parents on a leafy street in Borough Park, Brooklyn. All day Thursday, NYPD officers in safety suits removed evidence from the house.

"He was quiet, I never saw him smiling or anything," said neighbor Gidaliy Kuasha, 28. "He looked like a regular person, just another guy."

Aron told police, in a confession first obtained by NBCNewYork.com, confirmed by NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, that 8-year-old Lieby Kletzky approached him and asked where the Jewish book store was. They boy then proceeded to wait for Aron while he visited his dentist.

Aron then allegedly brought the boy home and said he fell asleep watching TV. Aron said when he saw flyers in the neighborhood indicating the boy was missing he panicked and smothered the boy with a towel. He later dismembered the boy's body.

Police say they’re not sure what time this occurred, but the scratch marks on the accused killer suggests the boy fought back.

In court Thursday, Aron pleaded not guilty and he was jeered by other inmates.

He was remanded in custody and the judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

With reporting by Mirela Iverac, Ailsa Chang and Stephen Nessen

 

Street in Kensington, Brooklyn where Levi Aron lives. (Kathleen Horan/WNYC)

 

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Comments [10]

bf

Lisa,
Self reliant-tight knit also = caring, helpful, organized and looking out for each other, just as you might see in a small town or a Church community. Every group has its particular positive and negative aspects. You seem to have a real hostility for Chassidic Jews.
I applaud Connie and Kathy for their more balanced and insightful comments.

Jul. 15 2011 04:29 PM
bf

Boris,
Did you go out to search for this boy? Would you do it for any other kid from another community? Maybe so.
It is natural for any community to respond more quickly and emotionally to crimes that hit someone in their circle.
I'm sure my community should be more open-minded, but so should everyone else.
I see evidence of a strong sense of the need to emphasize the otherness of our community on this site, and I am sure this attitude would remain the same no matter what we did.

Jul. 15 2011 04:23 PM
barent

this is terrible to say,but let's be honest,we are all relieved, it was not a person from another community, who did to this to this poor little child. it makes no difference to the poor victim obviously,but, the horrible tention and political fallout, would have been huge, if a person outside the orthodox community, had done this.

Jul. 15 2011 12:18 PM
CONNIE SELIGMAN from Morristown, NJ

Responding to the discussion about the rabbis' asking the community to keep the knowledge of sexual predators inside of the community, I too find this extremely disturbing. But I do want to say this mentality derives from the time of the blood libel (the accusation that Jews baked the blood of gentile children into their matzah) in which any intimation of wrongdoing on the part of any Jew became justification for a pogrom aimed at the entire Jewish community. It is the consciousness of those experiences which inclines the rabbis to want to keep these things
within the community.

Jul. 15 2011 11:13 AM
Kathy from Rockland County, NY

As a mom I am appalled by this tragedy and extend my sympathies to the family. However, as I listen to WNYC at this moment the Boro Park orthodox/hasidic community is being portrayed as one that is a model for community relations. In the next minute child abuse is being discussed. I agree with the gentleman who just spoke and said that this is the time for grieving and not for a dissection of the community. The wrong positive and negative impressions are being given. The Hasidic communities are not getting along very well with their non-Jewish neighbors in Rockland County. But I don't believe child abuse has been an issue here. Avoid generalizations about any community. Express sympathy and move on.

Jul. 15 2011 10:53 AM
Boris from Flatbush

As a secular Brooklyn Jew, I want to say that I was impressed when I heard that the Orthodox community from as far away as Monsey NY and Boston came to Brooklyn to look for the missing boy. I also want to say how disappointed I am by the fact that they would never do this for someone that wasn't one of their own.

Jul. 15 2011 10:42 AM
Lisa from New York NY

Self-reliant, tight-knight = opaque = secrets to hide.

Jul. 15 2011 10:38 AM
Adrienne Adams

This is a horrible crime but I don't buy the premise that somehow because the child and the killer were part of a religious community the community is suffering more than others would.

Jul. 15 2011 10:37 AM
clark from nj

Does his facebook image have to be "above the fold" on your home page?

Your adjectives in combination with the image make the content alarming. Is this an homage to Murdock? It sure looks like it.

Why do I make the mistake and think public radio or TV is above it all?

Jul. 15 2011 08:33 AM
Gary from Long Island

When I read this account and it states that the suspect "had hallucinations and heard voices" and committed this unimaginable crime, it is obvious that he suffers from mental illness just as the person who shot the Congress Women in Arizona and the person who shot John Lennon. The real issue is how we identify these people and get the proper treatment and isolate these people so they can not do such extreme harm.

Jul. 15 2011 01:12 AM

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