Shiri Sobol, an 18-year-old high school student, stood in court Friday on suspicion of murdering her twin sister, Hili, in a strange and brutal act of violence a day earlier at their family home in Tel Aviv.
“I didn’t stab her or murder her, I love my sister,” Sobol told the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court just before she was ordered kept in custody for nine days on suspicion of conspiracy, tampering with an investigation, possession of a knife and being directly involved in causing her sister’s death.
The judge also ordered her sent for a psychiatric exam after her attorney, Gil Friedman, told the court: “She’s not a normal girl; she suffers from serious problems and needs a specialist to examine her and give a psychiatric assessment.”
Shiri called police at midday on Thursday to report that an unknown assailant had stabbed her sister to death in the stairwell of their family home in a residential building in the quiet neighborhood of Nahalat Yitzhak. She could be heard shouting, “They’re stabbing my sister.” She told police that Hili had received a phone call, stepped outside the apartment and was murdered in the doorway.
However, detectives quickly found holes in the story.
Hili’s phone showed no record of receiving a phone call, and there was blood inside the apartment, not just the stairwell. They also found the suspected murder weapon in the apartment.
Shiri’s 18-year-old boyfriend, David Eran, was at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of taking part in the killing.
Also, as police arrived, Shiri messaged friends on WhatsApp to tell them her sister had been attacked and that police were arriving, sending photos of her sister’s body and the police cruisers parked outside.
Both Shiri and Eran confessed to the crime on Thursday evening, police said, but Eran later retracted his confession, saying he had tried to separate the twin sisters during a fight.
In court on Friday, police said they are not differentiating between the suspects and are viewing them as equally culpable for the murder until the facts become clearer.
The court also extended Eran’s remand for nine days during the hearing.
Within minutes of the killing, police said they had determined it was criminal in nature and not terrorism.
A spokesman for the Tel Aviv police said there was no record of domestic violence or police complaints filed by either sister, but they did receive testimony that the two had a number of disputes in the past, though nothing to cause anyone to suspect a murder would take place.
They are still working to determine the motive.
Friedman said the incident has left the girls’ mother devastated.
“She is sitting here, one daughter is dead and the other is a suspect, she has nothing left, her entire world is these two girls,” he said.
One of Hili’s friends told Ynet that the two sisters had been fighting for at least a week. She noted that Hili had posted an eerie message on Facebook just a few days before she died, saying, “Don’t trust anyone, because eventually everyone knows how to stab you in the back and betray.”