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Posts tagged ‘crime’


Leiby Kletzky, Caylee and randomness

I wrote about this case a month, or so, ago and realized that I never followed up on what is currently happening in the case.
Murder suspect, Levi Aron, appeared with his defense attorneys in a Brooklyn court last week to plea “not guilty” to the charges of kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of eight year old, Leiby Kletzky. (Those are not the official charges, they represent the crimes.)
Another significant update regarding this case is that Aron has been found to be mentally competent to stand trial.
The child, Leiby Kletzky, was brutally murdered by stranger Levi Aron, as little Leiby was just trying to find his way home.  On the day he disappeared, Leiby’s parents, for the first time ever, allowed him to walk from day camp all by himself to meet his parents.
It was an important day for 8 year old Leiby.  He was anxious to have a little independence, and his parents finally agreed to allow him to walk by himself.  Though they insisted on waiting for him at a designated spot along the way.  Leiby walked about seven blocks and became lost.  Tragically, he asked suspect Levi Aron for directions.
It is terribly, terribly tragic, as most murders of children are.  This crime,  however, is so heinous and disturbing, it is is difficult to fathom.  The case has garnered a great deal of sympathy from around the world, and especially in Brooklyn, NY, where the crime occurred.
The eyes of a murderer?

Murder suspect Levi Aron.

Do the eyes of this murderer tell of his crimes?
Do the eyes in this photograph look like a man who is sorry for his crimes, as he has purportedly said in the recent past; expressing his regret and sadness?
Even though we don’t see the man’s eyes straight on, there is something about those eyes and the glare that is frightening.
People who work in jails with prisoners or inmates, often say that there’s something different in the eyes of a killer.  There’s a blank, vacant coldness behind the eyes of a killer, many have said.
I once toured the Miami Dade County Jail and saw a notorious serial rapist and murderer who was really scary to encounter.  I can’t remember his name right now.  It was eerie to see  him, like in a zoo, behind bars.  And it was odd because, I remember how everything about him – the way he walked, and stood, the tilt of his head, and the way he stared gave him away.  You could actually see the evil in him.  It’s unnerving to encounter pure evil like that.
This dangerous criminal was held in isolation but was allowed an hour a day to exercise in a small yard outside of his cell.  When I was touring the jail that day, instead of exercising, he paced and paced and paced in circles, then abruptly stopped and stared into space.
I saw his eyes.  And he looked my way, right at me.  Even though he was behind a set of double bars, seeing him and looking in his face was terrifying.
Back to Levi Aron!  (I got off topic for a moment!)  His attorneys are claiming mental illness.  They say he is a very sick man; he hears voices and hallucinates.  It remains to be seen if his plea will include insanity.
There will be a status hearing in October.  In the meantime, Aron is being held in Bellvue Hospital in the psychiatric ward.
This case is horrible; so senseless and so cruel.
Today would have been Caylee Anthony’s sixth birthday, had she lived. have a video of George and Cindy releasing balloons to commemorate the day. It was touching to see, and of course it was very sad.  Both George and Cindy were treated very kindly during the event by the crowd.  There were many well-wishers there.
Maybe it is just me, but why must everything the Anthony’s do be followed by the media?  Granted, this is a sad and important day for the family and the community who cared about the death of little Caylee, to me it seems a bit odd how everything related to this case has to be publicized.
I suppose, I’m just as much to blame as I am fascinated by this story and have written extensively about it.    I simply wonder why everything must be such a public event?
I don’t mean to criticize the publicity, I am questioning why so much publicity and media attention?
What ever happened to grieving in private?
Has it become more about publicity and on-camera time than respect and remembrance?


crime and violence

I haven’t checked the actual statistics of which state in the U.S. is troubled with the highest number of murders, but it really seems to me that Florida has a groundswell of some of the most vicious crimes.

Having followed the Casey Anthony case for so long, I’d read the Orlando newspapers, see the television reports, and listen to the radio news on a daily basis.  It is plain that Orlando has its fair share of very violent crime – on a daily basis, too.  I’d focused on Orlando for so long, I’d missed a lot of what was going on crime-wise in my own neighborhood, in Broward County, Floria.

It’s all I can do to keep up with one case at a time – my work schedule won’t allow it, and I can barely keep up with my blog sometimes.  However, after reading the paper today and reading about the sickening terror in Norway in which 80, or so, young people were brutally murdered in the worst blood bath (in Norway), since the World Wars, a new reality about violence has sunk in.

Of course, when the violence has to do with children, it’s insanely heartbreaking.  It’s also unbelievable when children are the ones committing the violence.

Our local news has been filled of late with horrific and violent deaths of parents at the hands of their own children.  One story is worse than the next, and then the next one is even worse.

Parents brutally murdered by children who they’d nurtured for years.  This type of killing is called parricide, and this week in South Florida, two young men were charged with murdering one or both of their parents.

If that’s not bad enough, I was looking at my local online newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel, and happened to click on the mug shots of those who were arrested just today, and there were hundreds!   And, I think, boy I’m naive – I never dreamed there could be so many people arrested in a single day!

It’s big business for someone, isn’t it?  I guess the lawyers and the bail bondsmen do pretty well in this kind of atmosphere.

And after the terrific and carefree day I spent with my family and my dear little six-year old niece, this evening we were all sitting in my living room eating dessert when we heard three LOUD gun shots!  And then the police sirens where blaring and my brother went out to see what was going on, and he saw the police but no activity.  My neighborhood is safe, well I was robbed last year, so maybe it’s not that safe, but I have a sense that I’m safe in my community.  I hope it’s not a false sense of security, though.  Maybe it’s better to feel scared?

Violence is all around us.  Are there easy answers?  Hardly.  I don’t know of any. Do we build more jails?  That’s not a solution – the more jails you build, the more criminals you’ll have to fill them.  Build it and they will come would be true in this case.

My sister-in-law and I were talking about how to protect ourselves – she’s especially fearful of that because she’s a mom of a very beautiful six year old, my beloved niece.   And today the bad guys are so brazen they’ll try to hurt, rob, kill you in broad daylight.

The other side of this scary reality is the realization that it’s not wise to trust anyone, and I find that really sad.

Having to be afraid of a stranger – no matter if they’re young, old, or somewhere in between, is the new reality.  Well, maybe it’s not so new to other people, it is to me.

I’m an official airhead sometimes.


update: Leiby Kletzky

The Missing Flyer for Leiby Kletzky

The Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes, announced today that a grand jury had handed down an eight-count indictment against the animal, Levi Aron.  Aron is charged with the horrific kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of eight year old, Leiby Kletzky.

The most serious of the charges facing Aron are two counts of felony murder.  They carry a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Aron was also charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping in the first degree and one count of kidnapping in the second degree.

Aron is currently being held in a psychiatric ward at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.  His lawyers are suggesting Aron’s defense could be insanity; they have also made passing mention of “diminished capacity.”   A diminished capacity defense is a partial defense and suggests that although the defendant is not deemed “insane,”  they are not aware of their actions and do not have the capacity to comprehend actions they may have taken.  In this defense, the defendant does not refute they committed the crime, they only contend the state of mind (due to physical and/or emotional factors), was such that the defendant should not be judged to have committed premeditated, or felony, murder.

Attorney’s are claiming that Aron hears voices and must play very loud music to drown the voice out.  He also suffers from hallucinations.

The medical examiners office said the boy was drugged prior to being suffocated by Aron, who murdered the little guy after realizing there were hundreds of people looking for the him in the community.  Aron stated that he “panicked” after seeing the flyers that alerted the community that Leiby was missing.

The insanity defense is very difficult to prove. I don’t think it will fly in this case.  Well, it will be interesting what the defense comes up with in this awful case.

More on this story as it evolves.

As for the Casey Anthony case…. The madness continues with very little new news.


little leiby kletzky

I almost didn’t make it to my computer tonight!  Came home from work and proceeded to fall asleep on the couch until 9:00 tonight!

I don’t have too much to discuss, since the night is nearly over!

Also, I’m a bit down tonight, too.  I applied to be a Big Sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization in my area.  But learned today that they have more Big Sisters than they have kids.  I was really, really looking forward to it.

After the Casey Anthony verdict, I resolved to get involved in the community and give back to kids in need.

I’m so disappointed.  There will come a time when they need Big Sisters again.  In the meantime, they need volunteers in other areas, so I’ll do that until there are more kids in the program.

I read an article today about Leiby Kletzky, a little 8 year old in Brooklyn New York, who was taken off the street, murdered and dismembered by a sick monster who pretended he was helping the young boy, who’d lost his way, to turn in the direction of his home.

It is incredibly sad.  Little Leiby Kletzky, had convinced  his parents that he was big enough to walk home from day camp by himself.  He desperately wanted his independence.  He finally convinced his parents to allow it.  They held dry runs, to make sure young Leiby could find his way home those seven blocks.

The big day came, and the loving mother waited patiently and waited and waited and waited for Leiby.  He never made it home.  Even after all the rehearsals, little Leiby Kletzy got confused and was lost.  And then, he happened upon a 35 year old, Levi Aron who appeared to be so helpful.

I am going to pass over the details, but I will tell you that Levi Aron suffocated the boy, dismembered him and placed him in his refrigerator.

This is the part that confuses me: This despicable monster is charged with 2nd degree murder.  SECOND degree?!  I don’t understand how Casey Anthony could be charged with 1st Degree Murder, but this crime is 2nd degree?

Is this fair?

I must be missing something.

In her article, “Mourning a Loss, Blaming the Bereaved” author Susan Doherty writes:

…comments on a New York Times article about the tragedy threatened to devolve into blamefest. What were the parents thinking to let such a small child out alone on the city streets? On the other hand, parents who hover over their children in a vain attempt to protect them from any possible danger are crippling them for life. And so on.

In addition to hoping the bereaved parents don’t read this nonsense (or hear the same sentiments from “concerned” friends and neighbors), I have been thinking about why we feel compelled to do this to each other–to kick our fellow parents when they are most vulnerable; to assume — and announce — that the way we would (or believe we would) respond to a challenge is the only legitimate way, and those who behave differently need to be sorted out.

For one thing, there is what psychologists call the “belief in a just world.” We look for reasons, however irrelevant, why unfortunate people deserve their misfortune, and why we would never be caught in the same predicament. This helps us feel safer in unpredictable and frightening situations, such as parenthood.

The “belief in a just world,” I think, is a syndrome that is very relevant and prevalent in so many tragic situations.  In the Casey Anthony case, we all held opinions and never hesitated to prognosticate about Cindy and George Anthony and how they should have behaved, or reacted these last few years.

I know it’s not fair to judge someones shoes unless I’ve walked in them… It’s really unfair for so many reasons.

There by the grace of God go I.


good-bye casey

Casey Anthony will be a free woman in a few hours, in less than a day.

After being reviled, attacked, practically ripped apart physically while out on bond; having spent over three years in confinement – solitary confinement, she has survived.

I would go so far as to say, she has to be a pretty strong individual to have withstood all of what she’s gone through.

I don’t know if I could have stayed as resolute as Casey has in the face of such public scrutiny.  She has not moved from the one big lie about what happened to Caylee.  She denied, denied and denied it all until Jose Baez told us that Caylee’s death was a drowning accident, the result of which snowballed out of control.

Of course no one believes that – correction, the jury believed it. But, that’s another story for another day.

I could not possibly know what it must feel like to be in Casey Anthony’s shoes.  To have been in jail….. Then again, I have never killed another human being.

Are we all capable of killing?  Many people say, yes, we could.  Given the right circumstance, anyone could kill.  I don’t agree.  I don’t think we all are built or capable to kill.  Most of us could not and would not.

Perhaps if you grew up with violence in the home, or if you grew up with guns, or if you were trained as a soldier, you could.  But, most people are not built to kill, thankfully.

Personally I am a rag doll when faced with danger – I freeze.  And the knowledge that I become crippled in the face of danger, scares me.  I have no defense.  I can’t run either because my knees won’t let me.

Once, quite a number of years ago, when confronted by a peeping tom who was just ten feet away, on my patio, I tried to scream but noting came out of my mouth!

I moved my mouth and tried to yell to get my mom’s attention, but couldn’t.  Then, moments later, my mom saw me.   She took one look at me and saw my terror.  Her head shot in the direction I was looking.  She immediately flew, as fast as a bird, to the sliding glass door and yelled: ‘GET OUT OF HERE!” in a voice so frantic and loud that the guy ran like the devil!

By the time the police arrived, not five minutes later, my mom’s voice was already gone. She’d hurt her vocal chords so badly from that “GET OUT HERE!” that it took a couple of days to regain her voice.

If he hadn’t been behind that glass door, she would have attacked him.  My mom is five feet tall, less than 100 pounds, but she would have killed him to protect me.

I don’t know what it feels like to kill someone, especially someone I love.  I can’t go there in my mind – it’s a place that I can’t bear to contemplate for even a second.  My mind just will not go there.  It must be sanity that keeps my mind from being able to go there, even for a second.

People who kill must be able to go to a place in their mind where they know they could kill.  Do you think that maybe people who kill are born knowing they can kill?

We don’t want killers in society.  We don’t want them walking free among us.   As people of America, we have a system of laws that keep the good people free; the bad people locked away.

That’s what the law says should happen.  The good are free, the bad guys are locked away, right?

No, it’s not so black and white.

There are innocent people in jail right now as I write this, and there are guilty people who are free and committing other crimes as I write this, too.

What can we do about it?   Well we can guard against the bad guys and the killers in our society.  We can take precautions to keep them away from us – lock our car doors, stay in “safe” sections of our communities, put alarms in our homes, carry guns, knives or mace, put bars on our homes.

We do any number of things to keep evil out. But when the evil is within the home, that’s a whole new conundrum that begs for a solution where there often is none.

I know someone, in her 50’s now, who was terrorized from the time she was a young child until the time she got away from her family, at the age of 19. The terrorist was her own brother.

This family, the mother and father, and her, were terrorized by her own brother.  And not a single thing was done to stop it.

He would rage in the home, throw the mother against a wall when the father was gone, kick and throw things at her. He’d terrorize the young girl, pick her up and shake her, scream at her until she’d wet their pants, bang on bedroom doors in the middle of the night, screaming like a maniac at the family.  He held a butcher’s knife on every one of them at one time or another and not a single thing was done to stop it.

It was the 1960’s in a backwards community in rural Tennessee. You see, “Good” people kept their dirty laundry inside the home then. “Good” people were just that, “good,” and they wanted to keep their reputations “good,” too.

This family would never disturb the facade of “goodness” they enjoyed in their neighborhood.  Calling the authorities on their own son was unheard of.  In the 1960’s this did not happen, they thought.  They only knew that families protected their own and kept up appearances.

The son could have killed them all, they knew it, but they did nothing until they just couldn’t stand it anymore and threw him out.  They heard later that he joined the marines.  Yes, this maniac was “good” material for the war in Vietnam.

He survived the Marines and Vietnam, but came home even more violent.

In the 1970’s things were different, especially after Vietnam.  He never returned home but to visit.  He was a drug addict.  But the family had changed the locks and he eventually stopped bothering his family.

He eventually became such a bad drug addict that he killed himself in a drug overdose.

Even with all the turmoil he’d put the family through, when his mother learned of his death, she mourned deeply. The son who had tried to kill her so many times, was deeply mourned in death.

Our mothers will love us no matter what.  Too many mothers, though, have rose colored glasses on when it comes to their own children.

A mother will forgive her children whatever they’ve done, generally speaking.

But, honest and emotionally intelligent mothers will love but never condone the evil that the son or daughter has done.

I think this is why we had issues with Cindy Anthony. And it’s also why Cindy Anthony was in such a precarious position: She loved her granddaughter more than anything, but not more than she loved her own daughter.

I think I can forgive Cindy Anthony for that.  And I can’t help but forgive her because I have not walked in her shoes.  I can’t begin to know what it’s like to live with what she’s living through.

I sympathize with the Anthony’s.  I feel for George Anthony – for what he’s gone through.

Cheney Mason, the annoying defense attorney with the nimble middle finger, said recently that Casey Anthony will have nothing to do with her mother and father, but may see her brother, Lee, some day.

The Anthony’s, like my friend’s 1960’s family, never got help for Casey Anthony.

Casey was a deviant.  She stole thousands of dollars from her mother and family. The Anthony’s nearly lost their home as a result.  The Anthony’s knew Casey didn’t work, but like “good” families, they wouldn’t allow themselves to believe this – they were a family that wanted to keep up appearances.  They were a “good” family and would never admit to themselves they had a deviant daughter.

This perfect daughter wrote this, while in jail, about her loving parents (this is taken verbatim from one of the jail letters to prisoner Robyn Adam):

Saturday, hints why Baez still couldn‘t get a hold of her. Turns out, she meets with Meredith Veiera, formerly of the view, now associated with the media, the Today Show, I believe, or Good Morning America. She‘s not well enough to take advantage of seeing me in person on Friday, but can shmooze with the dirtbags the next day?! Seriously?! But wait, there‘s more! (I‘m sweating while writing this. My emotions are obviously getting a workout.) Come to find out that she put a Trademark on Caylee‘s name months back, never told me, and even talked about doing the same with mine. This is the same time she publicly states that she plans on writing a book about this!

B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L!!! I‘m so sick to stomach even thinking about this. I‘m the only person who has tried to protect Caylee throughout all of this, and it kills me! All my Mom talks about now is doing a public service for herself, because she needs to. I can‘t believe my own mother is capitalizing, or trying to, off of everything that has happened. I had written her expressing my disgust, grief, and hurt, after what happened on Friday, this is before finding out all of this. And what happens when she meets up with Baez yesterday to read my letter? She laughs at the idea of getting caught with her lunch on Saturday. Laughs!

I can‘t take it Robyn. I can‘t I‘ve done everything possible to hold my family together and I continue to get stomped on, thrown under the bus, and it doesn‘t surprise me anymore when it happens. I have too many other things to worry about and now all of this! I‘ve officially lost my entire blood-related family in the blink of an eye, in the midst of mourning my daughter‘s death, trying to exonerate myself, and figure out what steps to take in achieving these things, and I get Fucked over by my entire family. I talked to Chaplain Gonzalez about it briefly, Cliff Notes version, and she wanted to cry. She told me my feelings are completely valid, and that I have to start looking out for myself. Not that I have a choice in the matter. They chose for me.

Casey was perfect.  She was pretty. Popular.  The Antony’s have known all along about Casey but did nothing to help her because they could not or would not see it.

The Anthony’s knew she never graduated high school, but pretended she had.  They knew she was pregnant, but wouldn’t believe “good” Casey would have sex, so therefore she couldn’t be pregnant.

I’m not sure if it was George or Cindy who said, “She’s not pregnant, she’d have to have sex to be pregnant.”   (I believe it was Rick, Cindy’s brother, who revealed this conversation he’d had with Cindy when he was talking with Yuri Melich.)

So, is the Anthony saga coming to an end now with her freedom?  Probably not.  But, the Anthony’s will one day become a faded memory to us, believe it or not.

Oh, this case will be remembered, but the feelings of hate that many have for Casey Anthony will fade because  time heals everything.

Time heals even the memories of so called, “Trials of the Century.”    A century is a long time.  This is the year 2011 and no doubt there will be many more “Trials of the Century” before this century is over – in the year 2100.

We have 89 more years to go before this century is over and I guarantee this trial will be forgotten in the year 2100.  Oh, maybe it will be “Googled” in future law school classes, but then again, maybe not.  Who knows!

All I know is Casey Anthony has a lot of years of living to do before her times ends.  I hope she fills, what is left of her life, with grace.  That’s the poet and the dreamer in me talking, though.

In reality, I know Casey Anthony will not have a good life and will probably end up living her life out in some prison in America.

So be it.  Live and let live.

Good-bye Casey.


robbed from the inside, too

Sweet Jazz

I have had a grueling week, but I am counting my blessings one by one and counting doubly the fact that the creeps who robbed my home, will not, did not, and can not dampen my spirit for very long!

I am blessed that the creeps did not do harm to my dog, Jazz.  Although I am certain that Jazz would have gone right up to the creeps with a toy in his mouth his body wagging his tail, as if to say “Play with me, ” he appears fine.

Jazz is so cute and playful that often people, jokingly, say: “Oh, please let me steal him!”  Everyone loves Jazz.

The robbers ignored him, perhaps.  I can’t bear to think that they attempted to harm him or kick him away… They didn’t let him out the door as they exited with my large flat-screen TV set.

If only Jazz could talk.

Were they kids who came through a window I’d inadvertently left open?  Were they experienced burglars who cased my home to know what to take?

I may never know, but the police seem to think they were young criminals, not yet reaching the age of maturity to know the worth of things, as they missed things of value laying about in my home.

The police have fingerprints. But, if they are criminals in the infancy of their mean career, then we may never find them.

Because they spirited away my entire jewelry box, I feel robbed from the inside.

In the jewelry box there was nothing of great value – no diamonds to speak of.  But, I had trinkets with sentimental value.  Things I cherished because so many of the things were colored with memories of people I love.

The jewelry has no value to speak of.  Those heartless robbers will find no worth in the things in my jewelry box.  The value is mine, not theirs.  They will find no value from the single opal earring I’d kept all these years because it was a gift from childhood.  The value is not in the trinket, the value is wholly from the memories that swirl and hang invisibly from the air surrounding the thing.

The cross owned originally by my great-grandmother is a very plain-Jane one.  It came from years and years past – passed down the ages from my great grandmother to my father to me, his daughter.  I wanted to give it to my niece.

And, worst of all, my mothers lovely string of pearls.  My mother wore those pearls over fifty years ago with her wedding dress. I cherished those pearls.  Cherished them.

These are the things that rob me from the inside and make me so angry, so sad.

The rest are just “things” that can be replaced.  I can buy another TV, and Wii, and Ipod, and camera.

The rest is silence.


“…and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car…”

It’s been over a year since we first heard these troubling and frantic words from Cindy Anthony when, on the 911 tapes, she said: “ There’s something wrong, I found my daughter’s car today, it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.” 

To me those words have the same eerie feel as:  “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.”   

One of the characters in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” was reacting to seeing the ghost of Hamlet’s dead father (who was killed by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius), when he used the “rotten… Denmark” line.  It was his reaction to seeing and hearing the ghost proclaim that Claudius was his murderer.   This is what smelled as foul as dead fish in Denmark.  

Interesting, don’t you think?  Reeks with similarity to me.

I wonder if,  in her recent 13 hour long deposition with the State Attorney’s office, Cindy stuck to her story about how that smell was really the ghost of dead pizza left by her beloved daughter?  Surely Cindy has figured out,  just as the Queen in Hamlet proclaims about the loquacious character in the the skit, (who is really a parody of the Queen herself), that:  “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.”  Does Cindy now realize that not a soul buys her “protesting” about the pizza-smell fantasy?

We all know that the Anthony’s, the moment they smelled death, knew that something was indeed rotten, and that Casey was the fishmonger.

With all the madness surrounding the Anthony case, with the tragic circumstances – the frenzy and the hype – this case has become epic in its own right.  Not even Shakespeare could write a tale so sordid. 

As often happens in Shakespeare, monsters lie and blame others while the truly innocent suffer (think Ophelia and Desdemona and you’ll understand what I mean).  And so it goes in this case: Jesse Grund (and others) will be villified – but, methinks it won’t work – nary a chance of it – Jesse is too honest, too good for any juror to believe he has an inkling of blame here.    

In a soliloquy, the guilty Claudius speaks his thoughts and tells of  killing Hamlet’s father, who is his own brother.  He speaks of the foul and rank odor of his own deed when he says:  

O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t—
A brother’s murder….”

And later the King, realizing his guilt, admits that not even his thoughts will reach heavan, says:

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Sound familiar?

The “murder most foul” stunk in “Hamlet’s” Denmark, and it stinks to high heavan in Orlando, Florida, too.

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