Levi Aron's confession revealed more bizarre and disturbing details about the hours he spent with Leibby Kletzky, a Hasidic Jewish boy, after he kidnapped him from the Borough Park area of Brooklyn early Monday evening.
Levi Aron's 450-word confession seems to support a suggestion by the police department yesterday that Aron did not intend to kill the 8-year old Leibby Kletzky: As Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement yesterday, the 35-year old man panicked.
NBC New York published excerpts of the confession, which details the hours between the time Levi Aron took the boy and smothered him the next morning. In the confession, Aron claims that Leibby initially asked him for a ride to a bookstore, but then had second thoughts.
So I asked if he wanted to go for the ride - (a) wedding in Monsey - since I didn't think I was going to stay for the whole thing since my back was hurting. He said OK, Aron is quoted as saying in the confession transcript.
Monsey is an Orthodox Jewish hamlet in upstate New York, just over the New Jersey border and a little over an hour's drive from Brooklyn.
Aron went on to say that because of the late hour of their arrival back - due to traffic on the way home - he decided to have the boy spend the night at his house. Aron says that Leibby watched television before he fell asleep in the front room.
Aron claims he slept in another room, and woke the boy the next morning. Sometime after, he saw the flyers posted about the missing boy. Aron panicked, and said he was afraid to bring him home.
At that point Aron says he smothered Leibby with a towel, and that the boy fought back a little bit.
Aron added: I understand this may be wrong and I'm sorry for the hurt that I have caused.
Levi Aron has been charged with second-degree murder, presumably due to a lack of evidence of premeditation.
Leibby Kletzky was given permission from his parents for the very first time to walk part of the way home from camp at Boyan Day Camp on 44th Street and 12th Avenue in Borough Park. Leibby and his parents had practiced the route the day before, and had a prearranged meeting point a short distance from the camp.
Levi Aron went to work on Tuesday at the Empire State Supply Co. hardware store on McDonald Avenue in Kensington, where he is a stock clerk. A co-worker told a local Brooklyn news outlet that Aron showed up to work on Tuesday and appeared completely normal.
I can't believe this, he said. He was a strange guy, but he was here yesterday and he was fine after killing this little boy.
Police tracked Levi Aron down via surveillance video that showed him speaking with Leibby outside of a dentist's office. The office was able to provide clerical information that allowed police to locate Aron. He lives alone in an apartment, but his parents live in the same building.
Levi Aron's ex-wife claimed to be incredulous that her former husband could have committed such a crime.
I am in shock. I am not believing this, Debbie Kivel, 34, told The New York Post. He loved children. He loved kids. My kids are now 13 and 10, but when we were married they were younger - and he loved them.
Instances of violence and murder within Orthodox Jewish communities are extremely rare. The man being questioned has no criminal record except for one instance of public urination.
This is a no-crime area, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes Borough Park, told the Associated Press.
Hikind said that Liebby was the only son in the Kletzy family, and leaves behind four sisters along with his parents.
Police Commisioner Kelly described the tragedy as every parent's nightmare.
A funeral service for Leibby Kletzky was held at a Borough Park synagogue Wednesday night.