NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – At WCBS Newsradio 880, we’ve been counting down the top 11 Tri-State Area news stories of 2011.

Number 8, suggested by a listener on our Facebook page, is the most horrific story most of us can remember covering.

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WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot On The Story

It was a family’s loss and an entire community’s pain.

“I think we should all, before we go to bed, take a look at our children and recognize how lucky we are to have them and pray this doesn’t happen to us and say a prayer for the young boy and for his family,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the time.

“It was Leiby Kletzky‘s first time walking home alone from day camp and, though his parents showed him the route, the 8-year-old got lost and stopped to ask for directions,” reported WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

In a protective Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood, the NYPD immediately declared a level one search, usually done only when a child is gone for 24 hours.

5,000 volunteers searched Borough Park, block-by-block.

Two days later, surveillance cameras led police to a loaner who lived in his parents’ attic.

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The door was open when police arrived and saw bloody carving knives and towels and they asked Levi Aron where the boy was.

“The autopsy showed that the 8-year-old was knocked out with a lethal cocktail of drugs, powerful pain killers, and muscle relaxants before being smothered with a towel,” reported WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell.

The sweet, innocent boy’s body had then been dismembered, part of it found in a dumpster in another neighborhood.

Today, Levi Aron is on 24-hour suicide watch at Rikers Island. Insanity will be his likely defense. His lawyers say his written confession was coerced by police.

Around New York, at last count, 76 stores now display a green “safe haven” sticker to help lost children – the legacy of Leiby Kletzky.

WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 11 – Gov. Chris Christie
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 10 – Tour Bus Crashes
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 9 – Gay Marriage

We’ll continue our countdown with number 7 this afternoon at 3:50 p.m. Stay tuned!

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