Suspect arrested in murder of Beersheba woman

Suspect tells police that he had slit 74-year-old victim’s throat after she threatened to call his wife and tell her that he tried to rape her.

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May 31, 2013 01:56
1 minute read.
Ch.-Insp. Eran Cohen of the Negev Branch of the YAMAR investigative unit

Eran Cohen 370 . (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

An argument over a glass of water was enough for a man to brutally murder an elderly female acquaintance in a case that bedeviled Negev police for over a month, until the chief suspect was arrested this week.

At the Negev police sub-district station in Beersheba on Wednesday, Ch.-Insp. Eran Cohen of the Negev Branch of the YAMAR investigative unit, said the investigation involved living in the neighborhood “day in and day out for weeks, interviewing dozens, if not hundreds of people” until a suspect was identified.

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A resident told detectives that 57-year-old Michael Sorkin had been seen a few times walking the victim, 74- year-old Anna Katz, home from a mini-market in the neighborhood. Sorkin had once worked for the woman’s daughter before he was fired.

Cohen said that when Sorkin was brought in for questioning, he told police that he had slit Katz’s throat after she threatened to call his wife and tell her that he tried to rape her.

Police have not found evidence that a rape was attempted or that the two had any sort of sexual relations in the past, Cohen added.

Under questioning, Sorkin said he went to Katz’s house on the day of the murder in early April, under the influence of alcohol, and asked for a glass of water. When Katz refused, the two began arguing and – according to Sorkin – things only escalated from there, Cohen said.

When Katz’s body was found in her apartment that day, Negev police formed a special task force and made the investigation a top priority because the crime involved an act of violence against a senior citizen – at a time when the Israeli media had run a series of articles on such cases.

Sorkin has no criminal record and Cohen referred to him as “a normal family man.”

On Wednesday, Sorkin was taken for a remand extension at the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court, where police extended his remand by a week.


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