Now that David Ranta has been exonerated in the Murder of Chaskel (Shammes) Werzberger the question remains who was the real murderer. According to Ranta’s attorney, the jewelry heist tied to that murder was an inside job involving orthodox Jews. Some fingers in Williamsburg are pointing at Nat Schlesinger, a notorious fraudster serving time for insurance fires. His nephew and others testified against him at his trial in 2005. It seems some of them had rabbinic approvals, an unusual thing in the hasidic world. Perhaps this was payback for his earlier misdeeds. If so, it explains why key figures in Williamsburg worked so hard at getting an innocent person convicted. The community did not want the scandal of revealing a murder of a respected figure yet did not mind punishing the culprit. One has to wonder whether Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes was in on this.
Kudos to David Cheifetz for openly revealing his own experience of being abused over thirty five years ago. While cover ups persist and will persist, the era of silence is drawing to an end.
The Forward published a plea by Stacey Klein for YU to open up and publicly disclose the results of its investigation into abuse at the YU high school, MTA. Well worth reading.