A web of lies, scams and a fictional story about a Mossad hit overseas are at
the center of a murder indictment filed on Monday against Shimon
The Central District Attorney’s Office alleged that the
51-year-old Cooper was a serial conman who seduced and married his third wife,
Jenny Cooper, before murdering her the night of August 20, 2009.
injected Jenny with an overdose of tranquilizers, presently unidentified under
gag order, said the indictment.
Police are also still probing whether
Cooper orchestrated the death of his first wife, Orit Coopershmidt, whom he
married in 1983. The indictment said that shortly before she died, he told her
family that she was suffering from depression.
Orit died in 1994, in very
similar circumstances to Jenny. She was found with an assortment of bottles of
what appeared to be drugs she had swallowed, 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
Cooper is also believed to have tried to kill his second wife,
referred to as S under a gag order, using the same methods. His relationship
with S began in 1992 when he was still married to Orit. Cooper and S were
married in 1995 and S’s family was generous with financial support.
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, she
divorced him, noted the indictment.
Around this time, the indictment
alleged that S found drugs which neither she nor he had been using, but could be
used to cause or fake death from an overdose, in their bedroom.
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
the tranquilizers which he used to kill his ex-wife.
On Sunday, the court
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 Jenny in 1999, the indictment
alleged. After a short time dating, Cooper and his sons Adi and Beni moved in
with Jenny and her two daughters on a kibbutz.
Cooper had long told his
ex-wife, that he worked in a top secret capacity for the Israeli security
establishment, as a cover for the times he would disappear for days at a time,
said the indictment.
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 Israel. Cooper
met Zakotsky in 2006 and started a relationship with her while still with Jenny,
said the indictment.
According to the indictment, the age and weight of
the man Cooper described to Zakotsky matched substantially with Jenny’s
Little by little, Cooper took legal steps
to ensure he would possess all rights to Jenny’s assets if she died. He did so
even though his wife was only in her mid-40s and in good health, said the
In 2008, Cooper also convinced Jenny’s parents to put their
house in Jaffa in Jenny’s name, while not revealing to them that he was sole
heir to Jenny’s estate.
According to the indictment, immediately after
the seven days of mourning for Jenny, Zakotsky moved into Cooper’s house with
Cmdr. Bentzi Sao of the central Israel branch of the special YAMAR
investigative unit said Sunday that the investigation against Cooper “is one of
the more complicated that police have dealt with recently, dealing with events
that took place years ago and were closed by investigators.”
that the case was reopened due to pressure from Jenny’s family.
2010, Cooper was the subject of a 30-minute segment on the investigative news
program Uvda, which detailed the mysterious circumstances which lead to the
deaths of Cooper’s ex-wives.
The program appeared to infer that Cooper
committed the murders in order to inherit 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.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.
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