Man charged for murder of 1st wife and 3rd wife
State adds charge for murdering 1st wife to indictment of serial con-man for murdering for 3rd wife; drops charges on 2nd wife.
New Lod District Court Photo: Yonah Jeremy Bob
The Central District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed a request to amend its
indictment against alleged serial con man Shimon Cooper to add a charge of
murdering his first wife to go along with the murder charges regarding his third
The amended indictment, including for the first time definitive
charges against Cooper for the murder of Orit Cooperschmidt, was filed in the
Lod District Court.
A web of lies, scams and a fictional story about a
Mossad hit overseas are at the center of the case, initially filed in
The new charges arise from additional investigative activities
that shed new light on Cooper’s alleged method of operation in general, and
regarding his first wife in particular.
According to the new charges,
Cooper murdered Orit (the prosecution is still unclear how) and then set up a
scene to make it look like she had committed suicide by
Cooper then allegedly called family members and police and
covered his tracks by being the person to notify everyone.
original indictment, the Central District Attorney’s Office alleged that the
51-year-old Cooper was a serial con man who seduced and married his third wife,
Jenny Cooper, before murdering her during the night of August 20-21,
Cooper allegedly accomplished the murder by injecting Jenny with an
overdose of tranquilizers, the exact identity of which are still under gag
order, said the indictment.
Police had hypothesized in November that
Cooper might have also orchestrated the death of his first wife, Orit
Cooper married Orit in 1983, said the
The indictment said that shortly before Orit died, Cooper
told her family members that she was suffering from depression.
in very similar circumstances to Jenny in January 1994.
Orit was found
with an assortment of bottles of what appeared to be drugs that she had
swallowed near her, said the indictment.
However, the autopsy found that
the drug levels in her body could not have caused her death on their own, noted
the indictment, and her cause of death was left as unknown.
original indictment, Cooper was also believed to have tried to kill his second
wife, referred to as S under a gag order, using the same
Cooper’s relationship with S started in 1992, when he was still
married to Orit, the original indictment said.
When S learned that Cooper
had told her family that she was suffering from depression and had convinced her
parents to name him in their will instead of her, noted the original indictment,
she divorced him.
While the original indictment alleged that S found
drugs which neither she nor he had been using, but could be used to cause or
fake an overdose death in their bedroom, the amended indictment has dropped this
part of the narrative, ostensibly due to a lack of evidence.
October 2012, police arrested Cooper on suspicion of orchestrating the murder of
two of his ex-wives. Anesthesiologist Dr. Mariah Zakotsky, an accomplice and
alleged lover of Cooper’s, was also arrested, and is suspected of providing
Cooper with tranquilizers which he used to kill his ex-wife.
previously lifted most of an earlier gag order on the investigation, allowing
the publication of details of a case that appears to more closely resemble a
movie script than a murder indictment.
Cooper met his ex-wife, Jenny, in
1999, the indictment alleged. After a short time dating, Cooper and his sons Adi
and Beni, from his first marriage, moved in with Jenny and her two daughters on
a kibbutz, according to the indictment.
Cooper had long told his ex-wife,
Jenny, that he worked in a top secret capacity for the Israeli security
establishment, as a cover for the times he’d disappear for days at a time, said
According to police, during the investigation Zakotsky
admitted that Cooper pulled the same ruse with her, and that she supplied him
with tranquilizers after he told her he needed them to carry out an
assassination for the Mossad in an undisclosed location outside
According to the indictment, the age and weight of the man Cooper
described to Zakotsky matched substantially with Jenny’s physiological
Cooper met Zakotsky in 2006 and started a relationship
with her, while still with Jenny, said the indictment.
alleged that little by little, Cooper took legal steps to ensure he would
possess all rights to Jenny’s assets if she died.
He undertook these
actions even though Jenny was only in her mid-40s and in good health, said the
In 2008, Cooper also convinced Jenny’s parents to put
ownership of their house in Jaffa in Jenny’s name, noted the indictment, while
not revealing to them that he was sole heir to Jenny’s estate.
to the indictment, immediately after the seven days of mourning for Jenny were
over, Zakotsky moved in with Cooper into the house that he had been living in
In March 2010, Cooper was the subject of a 30-minute segment
on the investigative news program Uvda, which detailed the mysterious
circumstances which led to the deaths of Cooper’s ex-wives.
appeared to infer that Cooper murdered two of his ex-wives in order to inherit
their property, and in both cases wove the same web of lies about his classified
work with the Israel security establishment and portrayed both wives as
suffering from severe depression up until their sudden deaths.
amended indictment fills in the picture regarding Cooper’s first
The state said that Cooper would not be prejudiced by allowing the
state to amend the indictment, because it had filed the amended indictment
before Cooper had responded to the original one and before a hearing on whether
to detain Cooper until the end of the proceedings.