Sharing a family's pain

July 15, 2011 1:13:05 PM PDT
I've worked on more stories that I can count - a fact meant not to convey productivity, just the volume of years I've been working.

But never have I received the number of emails and messages than I have in the past 24 hours - all because of my visit to the Kletzky family in Brooklyn.

As they sit Shiva in the apartment in Borough Park, I talked to friends and family who had gathered to support the family of Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old boy who was kidnapped, murdered and then dismembered. The outpouring of sorrow and anger and pain has been staggering, and I tried to convey that - both during my visit and later on the air and on our website.

The pain is the family's alone, but it's clear that millions of others share it.

So thank you for writing in. I'm including a few representative comments at the bottom of this column.

We'll have the latest on the investigation into the murder, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer has the story of a local cemetery in disrepair. And by disrepair I mean caskets open, skeletal remains exposed.

And Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side come to the aid of a bride-to-be whose finance died. In mourning, she went about returning the goods she had bought for the big day. But she ran into a problem with her wedding dress - the shop wouldn't take it back. So Nina comes to the rescue.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

And one more note: I'll be on vacation next week - so this column will be dark. See you a week from Monday!


And now a few of your comments. Again, thanks for writing in. It is much appreciated and your words were inspiring.

A.O. from Brooklyn writes: "Bill, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. The news report I just read online about your Shiva visit to the Kletzky family... the kind deed you did by going to visit the family, is a sign of what a wonderful person you are, with a real heart. Thank you."

Judy from Plainview: "I want to thank you Bill. As a New Yorker, as a Jew, and more importantly as a mother and grandmother - to visit the family during their period of Shiva gives comfort not only to them, but also to those who visit. So through your visit the many millions of us were also allowed to let the family know that so many people grieve with them."

Miriam from Brooklyn said: "As a member of the ultra Orthodox Hasidic community in Borough Park, I would like to thank you for your kindness and empathy! We, and all of humanity, are shocked, stunned, speechless and in deep mourning, and grieving over this horrific and senseless, gruesome murder. I didn't know Leiby ? I do not know his family, yet the intense pain i feel for them is completely overwhelming"

And Mendy from Brooklyn wrote: "I'm an Orthodox Jew from Crown Heights, and I just want to thank you very much for going to visit the family. In the Jewish faith we say everybody is brought down for a reason and to fulfill something, and little Leiby fulfilled his in many ways - especially bringing everybody not just from the Jewish community but from all faiths closer, I had a very close friend who was killed in a jet ski accident last year."

And this from Zipporah from Brooklyn: "Your review of your visit to the Kletsky home was the most honest, sincere and moving tribute that I have ever heard or read. I am a trauma counselor in the orthodox community, and I am honored to watch you as you continue to speak so eloquently for all new Yorkers."

Jerry from Brooklyn wrote: "There is a Jewish saying. 'Words that leave from the heart go into the heart.' Thanks for those beautiful words."

And Joan From Monsey said: "I am a African-American who feels sadness for the family of Lieby. I cried every time I watch you talk about the family."

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