Esti Ahronovitz's husband on her murder: I don’t remember anything

The victim was found dead on Sunday evening at her home in a moshav in southern Israel. Her husband, who is suspected of killing her, was moderately injured when his car flipped in a police chase.

By ALEX WINSTON
November 5, 2019 19:42
3 minute read.
Giora Praff Perry, suspected of murdering his wife, Esti Ahronovitz

Giora Praff Perry, suspected of murdering his wife, Esti Ahronovitz. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Giora Praff Perry, the husband of murdered Esti Ahronovitz, spoke to police investigators for the first time on Tuesday about his wife's murder and said that he doesn't remember anything of the event.

The remand of Perry, who is hospitalized at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, was extended yesterday until Thursday.

On Tuesday, Perry was investigated for the first time since his wife's death by the Special Investigation Team of the Negev region after his medical condition improved. He told investigators, "I don't remember anything."

Perry's attorney, Tziki Feldman, said on Tuesday, "I met my client today before being questioned. He was very vague, exhausted and incomprehensible, both for the mental reason following the horrific tragedy and the physical reason of the [car] accident, so it is unclear to me how a statement was taken from him. I also did not hear the sentence attributed to him because he remembers nothing. We must be patient until he can recover and be able to relate to the incident."

Esti Ahronovitz was identified on Monday as the 70-year-old woman allegedly murdered by her husband in the southern Israel moshav of Talmei Eliyahu.

Perry, the victim's 65-year-old husband, was apprehended by police after his car flipped over several hours after his wife’s body was discovered. He allegedly shot and killed her due to an ongoing divorce battle. Police said that a gun was found in his car.

The suspect is a well-known doctor. He did an internship in the United States, and in the early 2000s became one of the first Israeli doctors to work with the Red Cross, a job that took him to Cambodia, Thailand, Georgia and other countries worldwide. He ran a hospital in Africa and worked with Native Americans on reservations in the US.

He had previously worked for the IDF as a doctor during the First Lebanon War in the 1980s.

Israeli media reported on Monday that Perry pleaded guilty in 1993 to beating his first wife, Heidi Praff, according to Maryland public records.



A relative of the victim, identified as Sagit, who found her body, told Army Radio on Monday morning about what happened, saying that “there were no prior clues to the incident.”

“When we called she didn’t answer and that’s not typical of her, so I started to suspect – but not in that direction,” she said. “What I saw there you only see in the movies: It was shocking. There were no prior clues; if there had been any hints, we would have acted differently.”

When asked about the victim’s spouse, who is suspected of murdering her, Sagit responded, “Her partner was a kind person, but lately he’s been different.”

Neighbors told Israel media outlets that the couple was in the process of divorcing.

“This is a very unusual case in the community that we still have trouble digesting,” said Ricky Peretz, head of the local emergency team. “Esther was a beloved and vibrant friend, recognized and involved in the community. A total mother and grandmother and a wonderful friend. We are currently engaged in providing support and response to the family and community. We rely on the police to investigate and handle the case.”

The alleged murder follows a spate of domestic killings in recent months in Israeli society. In October alone, 32-year-old Michal Sela was stabbed in her Motza home outside of Jerusalem allegedly by her husband, who is under suspicion of the killing, and Maxim Tal, a 30-year-old from Kiryat Bialik, was accused of stabbing his wife, Maria, to death in Haifa. His remand was extended by the courts on Sunday.


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