Thousands Pack Brooklyn Streets To Say Goodbye To Leiby Kletzky

Father, 3 Rabbis Speak Of 8-Year-Old's Beautiful Soul; To Be Buried In N.J.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the hearse carrying Leiby Kletzky’s body made its way to a final goodbye, a sea of humanity parted in silence.  It was a final, respectful bow to a boy who trusted a stranger and died because of it.

“It’s a shock, a shock. Nobody can believe it,” said one mourner at Wednesday night’s funeral.

Thousands of people turned out to mourn the boy’s death and pay their respects. Even blocks away, the crowds spilled into the streets.

PHOTO GALLERY: 8-Year-Old Boy Murdered, Dismembered

The boy’s sisters and mother entered the temple school first, then came Leiby. His casket was lifted above the crowd, which was stunned by how he died.

“No one understands how this happened, why this happened and why it was such a brutal murder,” Hadassa Sochet told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

Three rabbis spoke at the funeral service.  The boy’s father also spoke briefly, thanking God for such a “beautiful child” with a “beautiful soul,” 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

The boy’s burial will be in Laurel Park, N.J.

The people of Borough Park gathered in groups earlier Wednesday to share what they’ve heard and how they felt about the terrible tragedy that has struck their community.

“It’s an unbelievable, unbelievable feeling that … I feel I lost one of my kids. That’s the closeness that everyone feels to this family,” one woman told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Kletzky is the only son in a family of five children and he would have turned 9 this month.

The boy’s father — Nachman Kletzky — owns a passenger van and works as a driver for various community agencies. Kletzky’s family is neither prominent nor prosperous.

“Great people. I mean, there’s nothing more to say. No flowery stuff about them, they’re not into the trimmings and all the hidden agendas that come along with pleasures of life and all this stuff. They’re a simple, humble, good family that just wanted to be an asset to this world in the best way they can,” said family friend Shmuel Eckstein.

In their time of need, hundreds of fellow Hasidim rushed to help Kletzky’s family in the search. Many looked at Leiby’s picture and thought that he could be their child.

“I can speak for myself as a father. Thinking over the final grisly moments of this death, there’s no words,” Borough Park resident Joshua Berman said.

An intense two-day search for the missing Borough Park boy ended with the arrest of 35-year-old Levi Aron, after the boy’s dismembered body was found in two different locations by police.  Aron was charged with murder Tuesday evening.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Aron panicked after seeing flyers of Kletzky around the neighborhood and killed the boy.

When investigators arrived at the home, they found the door slightly ajar and asked where the boy was; Aron nodded to the kitchen. There, they found blood on the refrigerator handle.

Detectives found the other half of Kletzky’s remains wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag inside a red suitcase in a dumpster in Sunset Park, about two miles from Aron’s home.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Al Jones
  • Rhoda Auerbach

    When a child dies, parents naturally beat themselves up and guilt themselves with thoughts of how this could have been prevented. None of it helps, of course, because the child is dead and no amount of replaying all the reels of mental film will bring him back. I know this firsthand. As long as you live and remember him you will grieve for his loss and you will miss him. And you will see him in all the old familiar places. It will be difficult and painful. You will have to train your minds to avoid a path of pain where it will most likely want to go. Instead, steer your thoughts away from the pain and toward thoughts of peace and release from pain. Distract the mind as best you can. It will be your saving grace.

  • Sheila

    To say that I am heartbroken for this family is an understatement…There are not enough words. I see a sweet face and look into the eyes of an innocent child I’ve never known…and weep with a heavy heart as if I had…I weep for a precious little boy, Leiby, who will always be remembered, missed and loved on earth…who is forever loved and protected in heaven. He walks with God now and without fear..of this I am certain…Leiby is home…this I know. Rest in sweet peace “Little Man.”

    • Nora

      Good said it Sheila. Ohhh God I feel so sad, you will always loved little angel.

  • Kristin

    We are all connected. All fragile. All one. Dear Precious Leiby, your brief life and tragic departure may serve to remind us all of how we are our brothers’ keepers. You and your family are prayed for every day. Now go, brave little man, and walk among angels. Your absence is your presence. Please know that your family will be loved and protected, just as you were!

  • Rose

    It doesn’t matter where you come from this is heart breaking to all. thank the lord that at leasthe wasn’t alive when he cut him. this child is in heven now and may he bring a sign to his family that he is in great hands now.

  • sandra gonzalez

    i’am deeply sorry for your lost, i wish i had words that could end your pain, but i don’t all i can say remember your son and all the smile and good he did in his short life, i am a mother and a grandmother and i know the love you had for your son, i will keep you and your family in my prayers. once again i am deeply sorry for your lost god bless your family.

  • Aguinaldo Darque

    God bless this child. I’m with a heavy heart and my emotions are saddened by this fact deveiria not have happened. There is something in this world. People are increasingly bloody and nasty with each other. I think we are going back to the inquisition. Leiby was just a child who wanted to find her mother to come home. His cheerful disposition and dreamer was at that time thought that only “want to go to my house.”

    I can not stop crying … my heart hurts.
    I travel law, and even more so now fight even more against any kind of child abuse. People who comment on a barbaric act of violence of this kind have to pay for their actions.

    God bless you all.
    I believe the Lord Jesus welcomed the boy Leiby.

  • Susan

    I am so disgusted with CBS NY. This morning at 4:30 they were broadcasting from in front of the Kletzky home. This family is trying to deal with the horror of what happened to this little boy and you jerks put a van with lights, etc in front of their house at that hour of the morning! Did you worry that the story would lose impact if you’d done it from some other location? Unbelievable!

  • paul

    I wonder if it is not a copycat related to all that media coverage of the florida case that let the lady to get away with it. It would be nice if news was more about art and design to further our culture and economy rather than low life news that serves no purpose but to terrorize our lives which mostly consist of good rather than bad most of the time, so why not more news about the good, because the bad will happen anywhere but we must forster the good over the bad. I mean it is so sad and everyone is moved but it is news we can not help and provides no intelectual purpose, but thinking about art and design definately furthers our export capabilities and communal happiness, that is why a renaissance of art and design was so cherished by the Greeks and renaissance people.

    • Aguinaldo Darque

      You do not know what he’s talking. Do not confuse things. A bloody act like this has no explanation and no comparisons. Do not make glib comparisons and put in place, if you’re worried about going to art gallery of art and places where you will be happy.

      You were and are being very unhappy with this comment, and hope that it never happens to anyone in your family. You are in need of spiritual healing and put in your place and watch what you say, think and speak, because all you get back to you, then do not complain and not put blame on other people, you are miserable.

      Go to a church to ask forgiveness for what you did this your life miserable.

  • Glenn Erdmann

    He should be realeased on bail after his court appearance, and released into the community. Let them deal with it, I believe it will be much quicker and definitely cheaper.

    • Chaya Rochel S.

      all i will say to that is; WHAT!!!?!?!?!?!?! ARE YOU INSANE?!?!?!

  • David

    The reporter says “hundreds turned out for the funeral”. That’s quite a bit off; it was over 10,000 people. Jews are like brothers and sisters to one another and we just lost a brother. May G-D have mercy on his family and may the one who consoles all console this poor family.

  • Mohamed Arafat

    On behalf of my family, friends, and all of the Muslim communities in NYC, I give my condolences to the family and the Jewish community. Everyone I spoke to today was very touched by this sad story. It may be hard to believe, (because of the ignorance the media streams into people’s heads about Islam and Muslims in general) but my family and every Muslim I know prayed for this boy’s safe return home. Because we all belong to the same family. The human family. My prayers go out to the family of this innocent child. May God bless his soul.

    • L Goldstein

      Beautifully said. If we could only get the rest of the world to feel the same way, we’d have peace. God bless this little boy, his family, and all those who mourn his loss.

      • Chaya Rochel S.

        I second L Goldstein’s comment.

      • marie

        I third agree and thank Mohamed Arafat for such a BEAUTIFUL comments. Thank you Arafat and Goldstein.

    • USHER


    • Margaret

      My Roman Catholic community in Brooklyn also mourns this beautiful child. As the poster, Mohamed Arafat said, we are all of the human family.

      May God keep little Leiby’s family safe and strong and may little Leiby rest in peace.

  • MI


    • eli

      I can only guess which hood you are from. Please review a little history of neighborhoods burning in recent American history and you will realize just how hypocritical and senseless your comment is. This isn’t Crown Heights, South Central, or Detroit.

  • Shiney

    Just heartbreaking. To actually read each post here where every single post is in agreement and not bashing people with dumb racist off color comments or spamming against political lines. Why must it takes a tragedy for us to open our eyes to the world as one? I hope we all adjust our mindsets and learn from this sad event. I as a parent can not image this happening in my home. Everyone please take a moment to better the world. One mission shared. Be kind to one another and be your friends and neighbors eyes and ears and help bring communities and families closer together. My deepest condolences to this family and may time diminish the pain that they now must carry within themselves forever. Peace….Shiney

  • :(

    Thoughts and prayers with heavy heartfelt to his family. As a parent, one can only imagine what the family is going through. Life is too short and with the problems we hear going all around the world and the economy seem so miniscuaal right about now. Live, love, and pray.

  • Leslie

    All this innocent child wanted was to go home….and now he is.

    My eyes are swollen from crying and my heart has broken for this family and the loss of their only son, Leiby.

    A little lamb who came upon a wolf.

    May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest .

  • Patricia

    NEVER let your child walk home alone ever. I never let my son walk home from school- not even until he was in high school. And if someone drives up alongside your child, tell him to run in the opposite direction- cars can’t easily back up.
    This unfortunately was bad timing, bad luck, and I feel so bad for the parents right now.
    I hope that murderer gets the death penalty!

    • GAMZu

      No, never letting a child walk home is not the answer. Children can’t have no independence till they are adults. It is vital to their development to be able to act grown up. In previous generations kids played outside alone every day until dark. Our children aren’t afforded such a simple luxury.
      Children need to be taught how to act in cases like this. This poor boy spent all of Tuesday in this demon’s house. He could have called 911, climbed out the window, anything! His parents couldn’t imagine this would happen. Now we learn from it. Knowledge is power.
      Thanks for sharing the tip to run in the opposite direction of a suspicious looking car because it’s not easy to keep up with a child while backing up. Another tip is to scream “This isn’t my mother/father!!” if an abductor has got a hold of the child. There are plenty of screaming kids being led along by their parents, and no one ever takes notice.

  • Carol Sullivan

    My heart is aching for poor Leiby and his distraught family. The evil in this world is lurking around the corner, and this poor, sweet child fell prey to it. The parents were being loving and caring, trying to let their son feel like a big boy. They did nothing wrong, especially not in a community where everyone was supposed to look out for one another…”zero crime”. How stunning this all must be. May out of this intense tragedy there be something good…but only God knows what that is.

    • Mary Thomson

      As the mother of one son, my hears aches and bleeds for this family. Although we are of different faiths, we are ALL God’s children and I cry for the loss of my “brother “. Mary Thomson

    • mojcrt

      Thank you for this comment. I am heartbroken for this innocent little boy and his family. I agree, they did nothing wrong, and it breaks my heart to see how judgmental people have been during this tragedy. I don’t understand this blame game, the only one to blame is the person in custody, the one responsible for this horrific crime, no one else is at fault.

    • Jezzy

      never let your child walk home alone. not even my 13 year old, who weighs 150 lbs, has a black belt in Taekwondo, looks like he’s 18, and is stronger than most men his size, is allowed to go anywhere alone. he’s always with a friend, always. these things happen to adults, how easy it is for it to happen to a child. NEVER LET YOUR CHILD GO ANYWHERE ALONE. No matter the neighborhood, evil people dwell everywhere, and the man who killed this poor boy is of the community, even if he’s not living in the community, he preyed on overconfidence. And I blame the evil mand who did this, but I feel anger at the parents for letting a small boy walk home even for a few blocks. never let your kids go anywhere without you. this horrible thing will drive that point home.

    • Etta D. Jackson,Founder/CEO

      Hello Carol:
      I share your thoughts completely. My heart cannot stop aching!!!

    • Mari-Jane Conklin

      I can not imagine the pain and hurt that Leiby’s family is going through. I just want to say my thought are with his whole family.

  • skorpio

    Faith in God will give them strength to get through this tragedy.

    My condolensces to the family.

  • tampa ray

    something like this is not only sad to jews, i have a boy that age and if anything like this happened i would crawl under a rock and never come out – god bless you

  • e

    he didnt panic. this loser had the boy for sex and he dismembered him to be rid of the body. why he kept the feet i would hate to guess. the boys remains showed signs of being tied with rope. there should be a special place in hell for these perverts

    • Larry

      as you say, there should be a special place for him, he should rot in hell for ever

  • skorpio

    Everyone is going to have to answer to God for their actions very soon !!!!!

  • ABrokenHeart

    For people so evil as this murderer there is no pain in this world that fits the crime; THAT’S WHAT HELL WAS CREATED FOR! MAY IT SERVE HIM WELL! AMEN!

  • chaya rochel

    never let such a young child walk home alone. always walk in pairs or take the school bus.

    • Carol Sullivan

      An 11 or 13-year old can’t combat such evil! The parents did nothing wrong. Keep your judgment to yourself in such a tragic time.

      • safe children

        It is quite obvious that 9 is way to young to walk home alone.The outcome of this proves it.Parent take time out of your day and walk kids home.

      • honor leibby

        Apparentyl the parents did a test run on friday after the boy begged them to let him walk home alone- I think its part of growing up. you cannot lock your kids in forever! the mother was supposed to meet him only a few blocks away from his school. I think the parents were responsible and tried to do the right thing.

      • sad day

        If he did not walk home alone carol sullivan we would not be commenting here .It is not parents fault but was just bad judgement on there part thinking he was mature enough.Sad but true there is no safe area in new york or anyplace else.

      • Chaya Rochel S.

        I believe that it would be wrong to stifle a child. If you and your child feel that they are ready, let them out. I actually got lost similarly to Leiby when i was 9, but thankfully, someone i knew found me before my mother called the police.

        (no, i’m not the original poster, only have the same name.)

  • "Yahaira" Maximus

    My prayers go out to the Kletzky family. My heart goes out to the entire Hassidic Community too. Justice will be served. I hope the psychopath receives the max punishment. I can’t imagine this actually happened.
    I deeply admire the sense of unity and support within the Hasidic Jewish community. I have not seen such level of systematic and synchronized support in any community. Hence it’s understandable that everyone within this community have shared trust amongst each other. I just feel that this is a curse as well as a blessing. It’s great to be in a unified community but at the same time you let your guards down. Please do not take this the wrong way. I feel that the Hasidic Jewish community should be less restricted, more open to people from other ethnicities because we are all human, despite the diversity in faith. When you are brought up to socialize and trust people only in the same faith you become prejudiced towards a lot of good people from other ethnicities. In this case it was commited by a psychopath who has the appearance of a religious person but is really a devil on the inside.

  • Sergio

    My heart is hurting , but I am praying that the family find peace and also their friends and the community , that they help this family find strength to carry on , God be with you !

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    So sad. It goes to show that evil can take on many forms. May this boy rest in peace and i hope that his family can make it through. i would not like to wish this on my worst enemy! i hope this monster never sees freedom again

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    So sad. It goes to show that evil can take on many forms. May this boy rest in peace and i hope that his family can make it through. i would not like to wish this on my worst enemy



  • ngonzalez

    What a horrible way to die at such a young age..
    for every parent out there teach your children not to trust just anybody …and let your children know that there are still a lot of good people left in this world..

  • Colorblind2evil

    Tyrone, God bless you for telling the truth. I was upset about the comments made how there are only Latinos, Italians, and Jews in that neighborhood, and therefore nothing bad could happen there. Well, those of us who are intelligent know that evil is not a color or a race. It is a deranged person like the one who selfishly took that innocent child’s life.

    My prayers go out to the family of this little boy.

  • Aguinaldo

    Jesus acolheu este menino que já muito sofria neste mundo. Este mundo é mau e mal. As pessoas cada vez mais estão se tornando sanguinárias e muitas ficam felizes com as tristezas e desgraças das outras pessoas. O ser humano que é bom e caridoso incomoda muita gente e as criaças que deveria estar cada vez mais protegidas, estão ficando desprotegindas porque os adultos estão preocupados consigo mesmo e esquecendo de proteger as nossas crianças.
    Deus abençoe a alma desta criança, Jesus acolheu este menino que trazia consigo os seus sonhos e alegrias que foi interrompido por um ato de egoísmo e soberba e de pura crueldade.

    Que a Luz do amor e da ternura esteja sempre com o menino Leiby Kletzky.
    Deus abençoe a todos,

    Aguinaldo Darque Skanadian von Aragón
    Aguinaldo de Araújo

    Santa Catarina, Brazil

  • Aguinaldo

    Deus guarde este menino e esta alma que se trenscederá em Luz. Leiby estará sempre em minha preces e orações. Não deveria ter acontecido. Há algo errado. Deus nos proteja sempre. Deus lhes abençoes Leiby, Jesus te ama e eu também.

  • father knows best

    people your child’s life is at steak when u pretend the world is safe this is not that mans first time check him like u check us blacks no race card when it come’s to kids im color blide im always a father first and if u meaning the powers that be stopped and frisked in that part of bklyn maybe youll catch more of theys real low lifes ill pray for my brother Leiby Kletzy. at any age our kids are in danger keep your eyes” ears” and harts open 2 the rest of u good mothers and fathers and child out ther may u live as long as u want and never want as long as u live peace and love

  • Kat

    I hope the family is able to survive this tragedy. Their faith is strong so I believe they will be ok after a long time. I just pray for them to have strength. I really really hope that the parents know they did everything right. They shadowed the boy to make sure he knew the way home and this time the mom was meeting the boy halfway. They were very smart about that. They psycho is said to have murdered the boy after panicking when he saw all of the missing boy flyers. I hope nobody thinks the massive search was a mistake. Again, they did everything right and what a lovely community to have that many volunteers helping. I hope they aren’t regretting the efforts. I doubt it would have ended differently had the psycho not seen the search effort and panicked. How do you tell your kids, yes I believe you are a big smart boy, but it’s the rest of the world who I don’t trust, and the horrible things that run through YOUR head to a little kid who deserves to stay naive for just a little longer?

    • Nora

      My heart is hurting bad for this tragedy, but your comment gave some peace and I think you are totally right, everybody did the right thing.

  • Davud Machsner

    I am reading this sad story on CBS news and all of a sudden a
    man comes on talking for a Dodge commercial ,that really stinks
    and defeats the purpose of coming here. We do not need this sort
    of Advertisement unwished for,go back to just print.

  • Donna

    What is this world coming to ? How can an individual be so depraved to commit such a horrific crime ? Parents should watch Their children every moment! Too many sick people around. He asked for help and this is what he got. How horrific. I pray for Leiby to be with the good Lord and for his family to be be given strength to get by.
    RIP Leiby

  • Leslie

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of little Leiby. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Ana

    There is not justice in this world. But this monster will receive Divine Justice, I hope sooner than later.

  • jessa

    Poor little guy just wanting to show some independence. A horrible random crime. I always tell my kids that if there is ever an occasion they need help from a stranger to try to find a woman with kids to help. Luckily that occasion has never arisen.

    • Kat

      That’s good advice!

  • KG

    My sincerest heartfelt condolences to the family and community who loved this child. May his memory be eternal.

  • Liz

    I cannot express how sad my heart feels tonight about the tragic departure of this little precious angel. Rest in peace little one. Liz

  • kate Jack

    It have sadden to me to learn the death of Leiby who wanted to be a big boy to walk home alone when this animal took him away from us.. May Aron burn in hell.

  • D.Negri

    My thoughts and Prayers are with the family of this child. My thoughts are with the family in this time of sorrow.

  • Betsy

    May somehow this family find a way to cope with this horrific act of insanity. I vote for a 24/48 hour maximum death penalty on dirt bags like these polluting our society. No trial, no jail, no tax money being spend, straight to hell!!

  • thor's hammer

    there is no defense for what this lowlife did, nor is there an excuse. spare the good people of new york having to pick up the cost of him continuing to breathe oxygen on the planet, with advantages young lieby will never know. that would be justice. the only question becomes which method should be used to execute the criminal. may each day be more miserable than the one before. may you hear the screams of a grieving mother get louder and louder by the hour. you were “afraid.” be afraid now, be very afraid!

  • Ellen

    What a horrible death that was bestowed on this dear little angle who now is in Heaven being loved by his God and all the saints and angles. I pray for his family that God will give them all peace in knowing their little one is now in a far greater life.

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