ABC News’ Bill Ritter Visits the Kletzky Family


billritter-abc-newsBy Bill Ritter

We cover so many tragic stories – but the saddest, always, are the ones involving children.

The murder and dismemberment of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky has affected so many people. We in our newsroom are not immune to that.

I’m not immune to it.

I went to the Kletzky home in Borough Park this morning to visit the family.

I was honored that they welcomed me in. I was honored to pay my respects.

This is a family deep in mourning. 6 children, five of them girls. Leiby was their only son.

They are surrounded by an extended family – and surrounded as well, clearly, by a lot of love.

The family members I talked to want the world to know what a sweet and thoughtful little boy this was. They also want us to know that this tight knit Orthodox community rallied quickly to search for Leiby – thousands were out – combing the neighborhood grid more than 17 times. And finding the surveillance video that ultimately helped solve this crime.

I was also able to talk to Leiby’s mother and father. They are not aware of all the gruesome details of their son’s death. They don’t watch TV or read the general circulation papers.

I told them that while their pain is theirs alone – we all share a bit of it. And by we, I mean millions – because this tragedy has affected the entire City.

And then his father offered this: He said he was proud to have been Leiby’s father for nearly 9 years – and that if somehow his death is bringing so many people together – then what a great tribute to his boy.

I thought twice about going, but I was drawn there. And I’m glad I could express to Leiby’s parents what so many other New Yorkers are feeling.

{ABC News/ Newscenter}


  1. Hold onto the unity, frumme velt!

    Hold onto the unity, k’lal Yisro’el!

    Hold onto the unity, New York City!

    Hold onto the unity, New York State!

    Hold onto the unity, America and Israel!

    We often have legitimate debates regarding politics, religion, and ideas. While unfortunate, bickering will happen, and we must accept it. But even as we fight, let us do so civilly. Let us drop the acrimony that has so long pervaded our society. Jew and non-Jew alike, let us bestow our human respect upon each other, and in that merit and in Leiby’s, let Mashiach soon come and usher in a permanent era of peace for all nations.


  2. Police need to investigate the unknown death of the sister and mother of Levi Aron. The truth never came out regarding the death af these two people a few years ago. They claimed the sister was crazy. Maybe she became crazy after the years of abuse from Levi and the father Jack. I implore the FBI and Police to investigate the Father, & Uncle. I also know that after Levi’s mother died, the Aunt moved into the East 2nd street house where the murder occured. Two years ago, she had a nervous breakdown & ran to her parents house in Boston. Since that time I was told they were devorced. Things must have been really crazy in that house for her to run away. Abuse runs in the family and people need to be careful and let the full story come out.

  3. Would you want to be the one to disclose the details? There is no reason for them to have to know now. They need to first fully absorb the fact that their child will never be coming home!

  4. Thank you Bill Ritter for writing such a beautiful article. I did see you this morning on Good Morning America and I saw how this tragedy affected you. Leiby is in a better place now and the Kletzky Family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. that is correct. My mother went this morning to be menachem avel. There are signs in the lobby letting everyone know that that the parents don’t know the nature of the death. There was also someone standing by the door of the apartment reminding everyone not to gossip. This is news that they probably wouldn’t be able to handle.


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