Saturday, September 01, 2012

More on Aron Levi who had brain damage, the Butcher of Leiby Kletzky

Writing this now after the fact. Still feel it should be written. After he was sentenced to 40 years from a man who did know what he was doing was wrong in trying to hide the evidence but the big mitigating factor is the fact that he did have legitimate brain damage due to a bike accident with his head breaking open onto the asphault that his behavior is of someone with damage to the  prefrontal cortex of the brain. This can occur when the brain smashed against the inside of the skill,(1) Doctors note that damage to the prefrontal cortex is associated with several DSM-IV disorders, including obsessive behaviors, and loss of social skills.(2)

This is from the link above. See the link for the whole article. Clearly Aron Levi had brain damage to an area of the brain that effects social interaction from this bike accident and a serious blow to the head and was an outcast and little empathy was shown from the fact he did have a legitimate brain injury that he himself claimed changed him. Anyway, now to quote from the article.

"One afternoon in the spring of 1987, a boy named Levi Aron fell off his bicycle. Or perhaps the accident occurred in 1986, when Aron was 10. Sometimes Aron would recall that he had fallen of his own accord, and sometimes he remembered that he was knocked over by a passing car. Sometimes his head was sliced by the spokes of his front wheel, and sometimes he somersaulted onto the asphalt, his head breaking open in a puff of bright pink. But in recounting the incident for friends, Levi Aron always stressed the same thing: The accident changed him" . (My comment: So, this was a serious injury to the head that maybe the family couldn't afford care but at least some sympathy should have been shown which it seems little was)

Aron was a nebbishy kid, shy and withdrawn. He was born into a large family that moved between Brooklyn and Monsey, a Jewish community in upstate New York, before settling in a three-story house in Kensington, just over the eastern boundary of Borough Park, their lives half in and half out of its tight-knit Hasidic universe. Aron’s parents, Jack and Basya, were Orthodox and exceptionally devout. He was not. He attended shul but had trouble concentrating. Scripture—the same scripture that other yeshiva students devoured with ease and pleasure—was to him an impenetrable wall. He later told friends that he felt from an early age like an outsider. “Not of that world,” he would say.

Aron clashed frequently with his father. Jack liked to talk. He liked to talk over his wife, over his children. Aron burrowed deeper within himself, becoming, in the words of an acquaintance, “a stranger in his own family.” He had two sources of solace. The first was his mother, the only relative who seemed to understand him. The second was music. Aron spent hours listening to albums: pop, disco, rock. All were forbidden commodities, anathema to Jack, who encouraged Levi to pursue a normal life of God and prayer.
Aron spent three years at a high school in Borough Park, where he was remembered as a spectral and strange presence. He watched his brother Joe, a well-¬adjusted and charismatic boy, depart for college, then a promising job in Arizona. Aron left high school before graduation and failed to obtain his GED. Unable to find his own way out, he moved his belongings down to the basement of the Kensington house. Despairing, Jack arranged a job for him at Empire State Supply, a Hasidic-owned hardware store about a mile from Yeshiva Boyan.

Someone who remembers him from the shop recalls Aron as a “lunatic genius,” completely antisocial but able to remember the location of every item in the store, down to the last screw. The managers assigned Aron to the back room, where he helped manage inventory, out of customers’ view. (My comment: This behavior is clearly the type of behavior of someone with frontal lobe brain damage that completely ruins social skills but can be very meticulous in a way that a normal person could not be)

(My continued comments: So while this crime is horrible clearly this brain injury and the lack of any compassion by the community for someone who had brain damage  played into his overreaction. Clearly if he never had this bike injury this would have never happened. 

In addition I do think if he did return this boy when the news came out he was missing he would have been labeled as some sicko because of his strange social behavior which was not his fault. He may have not got 40 years but I do think he would have charged with kidnapping and the fact he had such odd social behavior due to his brain injury the book would have been thrown at him and he would have been made into a monster although not to the same degree. He himself said he panicked because he did suspect no sympathy would have been showed with his own experience. 

Also interestingly one of the lawyers representing him this Ms. Mccann represented a woman who murdered her husband in a pretty gruesome manner and got 1-3 years. Some justice system we have and this hate that is heaped on any man that is different due to no fault of his own is not something to be proud of. And a man with clear prefrontal brain damage gets 40 years for a gruesome crime but clearly would not have happened without him suffering this serious  brain injury and the hate heaped upon him his whole life and few people mention itAnd in fact puts all of us in danger as men seen in this light can do almost anything because no matter what they do they will be seen as bad and the only think that seems appropriate is to hide anything you have done. 

His lawyers sadly were of no help to him either who just made defenses that can only be seen as excuses. Heard voices and such. 


(2) Ibid


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