The accused killer of Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky reportedly said he tries not to think about the brutal murder and says he “panicked,” but stopped short of apologizing for what he called “the incident.”
Speaking out for the first time, Levi Aron told the Daily News that he has difficulty even thinking about the days when the 8-year-old boy was abducted and later murdered.
“It hurts too much to think about it,” Aron, 35, told the News from Rikers Island in his first interview since the July 11 murder.
“I don’t know what happened,” Aron said. “I just panicked.”
His eyes were watery throughout the two hour interview and he wore a grey prison jumpsuit.
Aron would not directly apologize for the murder and only nodded his head and looked away when asked whether he was sorry for his actions.
He referred to the murder as “the incident” and said he thought he knew Kletzky from the Boro Park neighborhood where they both lived.
“He looked familiar. I thought I knew him,” Aron told the News.
Kletzky disappeared as he walked home from summer camp alone for the first time. Security video showed him walking with Aron and getting into a car.
After a massive search, cops found Kletzky’s body parts in Aron’s refrigerator and a nearby trash container.
Aron, whose lawyers say hears voices, faces murder charges. Cops say he confessed to smothering the boy.
An autopsy report also found pain-killers and sedatives in the boy’s body, suggesting he was drugged before being killed.
The killing has sparked new debate in the Jewish community about reporting child abuse, with Orthodox groups split over whether Jews should immediately call the police, or first go to religious authorities. It has also sparked more calls for oversight of yeshivas, which do not have to screen employees like public schools do in New York.