(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Police expect that as early as this week they will finish their case against a man they believe murdered and torched four women in cities across Israel, and will recommend that prosecutors indict Fyodor Beizhneri for the killings.
A police official close to the case said there is forensic evidence linking Beizhneri to at least two of the murders, and that they believe that their case will be strong enough for an indictment to be issued soon.
Beizhneri, 26, is the prime suspect in four murders in recent years – a killing in Ashdod in March, one in south Tel Aviv in January, and two in Haifa in 2013. One of the Haifa victims was Beizhneri’s upstairs neighbor, and all four murders followed a similar modus operandi in which the victim was killed inside their apartment and then set on fire.
Beizhneri immigrated to Israel four years ago and resided in Kibbutz Tze’elim, in the northwestern Negev, along with his then-wife, Nadia. They later moved to Haifa, where he continued to work as a repairman, and allegedly killed his first victims.
His ex-wife Nadia told reporters last week that Beizhneri “never hit me and I never saw him act violent.”
The couple had a son four years ago, and Nadia told reporters last week that Beizhneri pays his child support and that they speak every week and have stayed friends.
“There’s no way he could have done this. I know how he is, I lived with him, we slept in the same bed for fourand- a-half years, I’m sure he didn’t do this,” Nadia said in an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday.
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Also earlier last week, the mother of one of the victims said in an interview with Maariv that “Fyodor didn’t murder my daughter” and that she believes that he is being framed by police.
The investigation of Beizhneri has involved detectives from across the country, including the special investigations department of the Lachish and Coastal districts, and a special task force from the Yiftach subdistrict, which covers south Tel Aviv.
Police managed to keep the case under wraps until this past week, when on Tuesday they announced that a Haifa man was suspected of a series of sex crimes, and called on members of the public to contact the police if they have information about him.
Later on Tuesday it emerged that in addition to the sex crimes, Beizhneri is suspected of involvement in a series of murders across the country in recent years, and had been in custody for nearly a month in a half, with a gag order preventing any publication of the details of the case.
Beizhneri’s court-appointed attorney Lior Ronen has said that his client denies the charges against him and has accused police of violating his rights by keeping him in custody for more than 40 days without filing charges.
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