As the Russian father of the two children who were brutally murdered Monday
morning in Jerusalem arrived from Moscow to bury his children, further details
emerged about the background and tenuous mental state of the woman accused of
The recently divorced, unidentified 39-year-old mother – who
made aliya from Moscow last year and lived in a modest third-floor apartment on
Ein Gedi Street in Talpiot – allegedly stabbed her seven-year-old son and
five-year-old daughter to death in their sleep at approximately 7
She then attempted to take her own life by slitting her throat and
repeatedly stabbing herself, but her sister, who was living with the family,
intervened. Shortly after police were notified by a neighbor, the mother was
rushed to Hadassah University Hospital in critical condition.
emergency surgery, she was upgraded to stable-but-serious condition, police said
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the children’s corpses
would remain in an autopsy unit at Hadassah University Hospital until the father
arrived to identify the bodies and decide on burial arrangements.
father was reportedly informed of the murders by a Russian ZAKA rescue worker,
who was accompanied by a psychologist and medic, Yediot Aharonot reported
Tuesday. After learning of the tragedy, the father wept and said “I knew it
would happen,” the paper claimed.
According to Bonnie Goldberg, director
of the Jerusalem Municipality’s welfare department, welfare services had
initially met with the mother on August 24th after another parent saw one of her
children with a suspicious bruise while at an area summer camp.
the meeting, a Russian-speaking psychologist was assigned to counsel the woman,
whom Goldberg described as cooperative.
However, a day before the
murders, welfare services received an anonymous call from someone close to the
woman, warning them about her fragile emotional state, Goldberg told The
Jerusalem Post Tuesday.
The department immediately contacted the mother
and scheduled a meeting for the following morning at 9 a.m., two hours after the
children were killed while sleeping in their shared bedroom.
didn’t know,” Goldberg said Tuesday of the severity of the situation. “It’s not
exact science – it’s very difficult to assess.”
“There were no signs, no
indication that she was going to do this,” Goldberg added.
“When we met
her, we met a woman with skills, with abilities.”
Indeed, according to
Yediot Aharonot, the mother was an accomplished, classically trained musician,
who decided to make aliya last year after becoming more religious. Her husband,
a well-known jazz musician in Moscow, reportedly did not want to make the move,
so the couple divorced shortly before she left with her children in February of
Due to a gag order, few other details have surfaced regarding
the woman’s background, murder and its ongoing investigation.
children’s father arrived at Ben-Gurion International airport on Tuesday
evening. According to Rosenfeld, it remains unclear when and where the children
will be buried.
Following the murder, Goldberg said she scheduled a
meeting with the welfare department’s staff for next week to discuss the case,
and called on the public to report any suspicious treatment of children they
Danielle Ziri contributed to this report.
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