Thursday, July 14, 2011

Monsters Among Us...Parents Beware

I almost hate myself for having just written the title of this post. I may hate myself by the time I am done with this whole piece, just my opinion about a terrible event that just took place pretty locally to me.  You see, the title (and the rest of this post) could be taken in the wrong way by a couple, a couple whom I do not want to offend and onto whom I do not want to heap even a feather's weight of blame. To them, right now, even a mere feather of blame would weigh tons. The couple of whom I speak are parents, and I do not want them to mistakenly think that what I am about to write, meant by me to be a warning to parents of young children, is instead a heartless reprimand of them. I doubt though that the couple in question will ever see my blog and I have decided to go with the title and the rest of it.

The couple in question,  probably are the only two people in the world who might see this as a heartless reprimand. They were the parents of Leiby Kletzky. Yes I said "they were" but I suppose even though Leiby is now gone, they are still and forever will remain his loving and grieving parents. On Monday evening, Leiby Kletzky was abducted by a man a monster, he was killed by that monster a short time later, then was dismembered and most of his body was left in the trash. Leiby was abducted on his way home from summer day camp. Is it ironic that his killer's birthday was on the same day a his arrest for the abduction and murderm and that the victim's birthday, his ninth, was to be later this month. Leiby Kletzky was only 8 years old. He was on his way home from day camp when he came across a monster disguised as a helpful man. You see, Leiby had just been given permission, from the couple (his loving parents) to walk half way to his home, only 7 blocks from day camp, alone. he was to meet his mom. (This hits home all to hard for me. I was around 8 when I was first allowed to cross the street, thus allowing me to go anywhere.) He was at the age, the right age, for parents to give their children such permission. An age at which children begin to become responsible for themselves even if only at something so simple as walking 7 blocks alone to meet a parent.

As I heard reported on 1010 WINS yesterday, Leiby's parents even had taken the precaution of showing him the way to get home. My guess would be that somewhere in his upbringing they also told him about strangers as virtually all parents tell their children. They apparently did it all the right way. They just never expected that a monster would meet their child in a moment of weakness, that everything would just lead their child the wrong way into a mosnter's hands. That moment, the one when things started to go wrong for Leiby, came shortly after Leiby missed a turn in the route to his home. He continued straight and soon was lost. It is believed that he then saw the monster the man. I imagine the man appeared to be nice, kind, helpful a knowledgeable adult, just another member of the fairly tight knit Hasidic Jewish community in which Leiby lived. He asked the man for directions; he had no idea that the man was a monster, the man hid that well. Somehow, the man got Leiby to go along with him. Then, apparently many hours later, seemingly the next day, little 8 year old Leiby Kletzky saw for himself, in his last moments on earth, that yes monsters really do exist.

The man who is the monster has been captured. He was arrested in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Police, acted quickly and had overwhelming help from the community. All of us should be so good at getting together to assist one another as were these people in their search for Leiby. Yet, they were all too late no matter how much they tried to help. Now they will feel guilt, they will feel helpless just as will Leiby's parents but nowhere nearly as much.

Leiby is gone but thankfully they have caught the man monster. He told the police where the boy, his remains, could be found. He has confessed. He sounds crazy. It should not matter if he is crazy or not. I can only describe him as a monster if it is found that he is actually the person who killed this 8 year old innocent child. If so, I think he should be executed post legal haste. Maybe his being crazy (or insane) should help speed up the process that leads to his execution; it certainly should not delay it. I have no pity for a guy like this, I think he is a monster and that all monsters should be destroyed.

You cannot leash your children, you cannot keep them imprisoned in your homes safe and sound and innocent forever. Sooner or later you need to start to give them some freedom, some autonomy, some responsibility to do things for themselves. You cannot know they will begin to do it right, you cannot overly worry they will do it wrong. You cannot be there, holding their hands to guide them if they start to go wrong or it would not be autonomous. You need to give them some freedom and as a parent I can tell you that you can never know with certainty if they are ready for it; you always take a chance when your child is given that responsibility. So teach them, and teach them as well as you can, o never approach a single stranger or go with a stranger , or get near a stranger's car. Teach them even more so about which strangers are safer. Teach them whom to approach if ever in trouble. Teach them who would be the safer bet, as it were, from whom to seek help if they need an adult. Tell them to virtually never to stop or approach a single stranger in a car unless it is a marked police car or firetruck. Teach them that if they ever get lost, as did poor little Leiby Kletzky, they need to walk into a store or other business, one in which they see plenty of workers and customers, and then announce in a loud voice - "Can you help me please, I am lost", or "I am hurt", or "my mom is outside and is sick", or whatever is the emergency that is making them seek the help of strangers. Tell them to look for a police officer and to yell for help as loud as he or she can to get the officer's attention, to get everyones attenion. Then, pray and hope that they have learned well if ever put to the task. You can even test them, have someone, a very trusted someone, follow and observe your child the first time or two that he or she does something like this alone - or do it yourself but don't let your child see you. This was the very first time that Leiby had been given permission to walk home by himself - fate can be a terrible thing - monsters come when least expected and without regard for innocence.

Perhaps Leiby's parents did all of those things, except apparently for following him to observe him his first time. Maybe they could not, maybe they did not think of it, maybe they just figured - since they had shown him the route - that he would get it right. They, or at least one of them, took him over the route last week on Friday. My guess is that they did everything else and that they knew their son was ready. They seemingly did it right. They probably did more than enough. There is no way they can be blamed for the actions of a monster. I do not fault them, not one bit, but you can bet they will fault themselves, they will do that for the rest of their lives.

They did not do their child a wrong. They did what parents do everywhere. They let their child start to grow up. They could not have known that something as innocent as a child not making a turn would have led their son directly to a monster, especially not in a pretty safe and closely knit neighborhood as is theirs. It was and is not their fault - a monster was among us. A monster pretending to be a helpful and friendly man is seemingly the one who did the evil deed. He was at the same exact spot, at the same exact same moment, as was a lost little boy who needed and then sought help. He needed help and was probably scared and he saw what he thought was a friendly, safe, caring trusful adult. He never expected to meet a monster pretending to be just that type of a man, the type that could fool even adults into believing he was there to help. Leiby's parents  never could have actually expected it either; they never would have let him go it alone had they thought it, even for a moment. Pray for Leiby and for his parents, no matter what your faith. If you are not religious, keep them in your thoughts and well wishes.

Teach your children but don't try to keep them sheltered as children forever. Sooner or later they have to start to do things on their own, teach them well not only how to seek help but how to fight back if need be and how to get away (since I originally wrote this, the police have surmised, becasue of scratches on the suspected killer's arms, that little Leiby fought back). Do one other thing too, demand that your politicians and legal authorities implement the death penalty for monsters - the world will be a better place with even one fewer of them and our children would be so much safer too.

Glenn B



Humble wife said...

Glenn his murder made me cry. You are so correct, if a monster is out there-nothing we can do is enough.

I have tried to instill in the children the advice you suggested, but you and I both know these animals have perfected the ploy they use or they would not be so successful.Caught or not this monster was successful...some simple innocent frail weak thing may be what he used-who knows?

When I was 12 and my half sister was we were at a very large wrestling tournament in Ohio. It was a state event held in Columbus and it was packed. My brother won a match and my mom was busy chatting and deeply involved with that when a man came up and put his hand out and my little sister took it and began to walk with him. He said nothing...I remember. I was stunned into inaction until they almost reached the double doors in the sports exit. I was softly saying Mom, Mom, and finally I yelled MOM and pointed. She said "Jenny run get her," as she began to run too...down the bleachers.I caught up first and ripped my sisters arm away and pulled her. My mom was kind of yelling but the man disappeared. SCARES me to this day.

That man almost had my little sister for what ever. Well we both know. That event changed my life and I have always been precautionary to my kids...but also tell them if IF some bad evil piece of vomit gets them...NEVER forget we love them ALWAYS and fight. I may be too practical, because I tell them to fight to leave evidence behind. Scream FIRE...hurt them in cop ways that Bill taught us all. Run, hide etc.

But like this little boy perhaps it will be far too late. I mean, as clear as I am typing this, I remember that man that said nothing. He just extended his hand.

What ever his actions showed it was enough.

This story is far too close to home for all parents. I pray that Leiby's parents find peace and solace in knowing this was NOT in their control. Evil exist...

ajlounyinjurylaw said...

It's a sick person that would take and kill an innocent. Liebby, you didn’t make it to moon in this lifetime, but with your outstretched arm, you’ve slipped the surly bonds of earth and gone to touch the face of God. RIP

Glenn B said...

Even though the above comment is a round about way of adding spam to the comments here, I will allow it because of the sentiment expressed. if you do not want to see a law office website then do not click on the link: