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‘Brooklyn Butcher’ Accused of Previous Kidnapping Attempts

The killer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky previously tried to kidnap another child, a mother said, as the US tries to comprehend the gruesome murder.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/16/2011, 11:19 PM

Family Photo

The murderer of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky previously tried to kidnap another child, a mother said, as the United States still tries to comprehend the gruesome murder.

Levi Aron has confessed to kidnapping and killing the child and is under psychiatric observation while being held under tight security.

Brooklyn resident Zisa Berkowitz told the New York Post that the same man tried to kidnap her son two years ago but that she scared him away by screaming. She said she had reported the incident to police. The newspaper also reported that Aron also had followed an 11-year-old child while driving, but the boy noticed he was being tracked and ran home.

Leiby fell into Aron’s clutches after he apparently lost his way home from summer camp, the first day he made the trek alone after pleading with his parents to let him do so. Police said that Leiby fought for his life after Aron picked him up. Leiby left scratches on the murderer’s arms.

The hareidi religious community is wracked by the brutal murder of Leiby and is doing a lot of soul-searching over whether Aron was known as a danger to the public and if it took appropriate measures against him and to protect children. The New York Post quoted one person in the community as saying that Aron was an “oddball” who “used to give kids rides in cars.”

Aron told police he had intended to return Leiby to his parents but was scared by reports of an intensive search for the missing child. He then killed him, slicing his body in half and disposing of the parts in his freezer and in a local dumpster. Police found the body in the garbage container after a search unit noticed that the lid was open. The murderer apparently went to a wedding afterwards.

Aron is separated from his wife, who said he abused her.

Meanwhile, the Kletzky family continues to mourn in the seven-day ‘Shiva” period. The family issued a statement to the press: "We are forever grateful and thankful to HaShem.

“We would also like to express to each and every individual -- to our friends and neighbors and our fellow New Yorkers and to all the volunteers and all the agencies from the local, city, state and federal who assisted us above and beyond physically, emotionally and spiritually -- and to all from around the world, who had us in their thoughts and prayers.

"From the depths of our mourning hearts, thank you.”