Police revealed Thursday that they have arrested a teenager whom they believe is a serial murderer who roamed the streets of Petah Tikva.
Rostislav Bogoslevsky, 18, is suspected of murdering two people, attempting to murder a third, and of torturing, killing, skinning and planning to eat an estimated 500 street cats.
He was arrested almost three weeks ago, and sent for psychological observation. Three days ago Bogoslevsky was determined to be competent to stand trial, and his remand was extended until May 26.
He was recently excused from IDF service due to psychological incompatibility.
The investigation began on March 23, when 68-year-old Vladimir Vfreb was killed on Petah Tikvah's Rehov Pinsker. The assailant - whom police now believe was Bogoslevsky - stabbed Vfreb in the back of the neck and left him to bleed to death. An investigator noticed several similarities between Vfreb's case and the attempted murder of a 32-year-old resident of the Sharon-area city three weeks earlier.
Police began an undercover investigation to try to determine whether a serial killer was preying on Petah Tikva. They received a chilling confirmation just over a month later when the body of 51-year-old Nicolai Riabcheskin was discovered by workers at a building site. The location - Rehov Max Bord - is one street away from where Vfred was attacked.
But it was only after they received a tip that investigators began to look seriously at Bogoslevsky, who lives near the murder scenes. Police searched his home, and discovered an extensive knife collection and large numbers of cat skins.
Bogoslevsky admitted to abusing and killing approximately 500 street cats, and said that he had planned on cooking and eating some of them. He said he hated street cats, and that he was doing the municipality a favor by reducing their numbers. Nevertheless, Bogoslevsky claimed he liked animals and owns two cats and a dog.
Sharon Subdistrict Police Chief, Lt.-Cmdr. Menashe Arbiv, said the suspect had been in the habit of roaming the streets at night in search of intoxicated victims. Arbiv said the police had more than enough incriminating evidence against the Bogoslevsky, including photographs of the victims he took with his cell phone. A second youth, a friend of Bogoslevsky, is believed to have joined the suspect in abusing at least one body following the murder.
Police arrested Bogoslevsky's friend and are expected to charge him with several offenses. Investigators said they had information regarding additional crimes committed by Bogoslevsky as well.
Two years ago, Haifa Police arrested Nicolai Bonner, who bears the dubious title of Israel's first serial killer.
Bonner - like Bogoslevsky, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union - was supposedly drunk when he murdered four fellow immigrants, beating them to death and then setting their bodies on fire.
Earlier this month, Bonner was sentenced to four consecutive life terms (120 years) - one for each murder - as well as five years for attempted murder, nine for aggravated rape, and three for assorted lesser charges - a total of 137 years in prison.
Bonner, a native of Moldova, immigrated to Israel in 2000 with his Jewish wife. But when his wife succumbed to tuberculosis, Bonner's psychological state declined and he ended up living on Haifa's streets, where he carried out his gruesome crimes.