Docu-series investigates Highway 2 serial killer; is he still out there?

The elusive rapist and murderer had slain 16 young women, yet in 50 years the police had been unable to track him down.

July 1, 2019 07:01
1 minute read.
Crime scene [illustrative]

Crime scene [illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Roughly 600 murder cases in Israeli criminal history had never been solved, yet one investigation, that of the Highway 2 serial killer, will now be featured in a new documentary television series, Mako reports.


“Serial killers in the state of Israel are rare, a very rare thing,” the trailer for the program A shadow of truth - the Highway Killer explains, “yet they do exist.” 
Amos Barnas was wrongly charged with the murder of IDF soldier Rachel Heller and convicted in 1976. Heller was one of the victims now thought to be slain by the Highway 2 serial killer.
It was later revealed Barnas was beaten and deprived of sleep by the police to force him to confess to the crime.
In a rare turn of events, he was fully acquitted in 2002 and compensated with 5 million NIS for the injustice done to him by the state. 

The decision to target Barnas meant the police allowed the real killer to roam free.
The murders, which took place along Highway 2 from 1966 to 1984, usually targeted young women who were at times strangled and at times sexually assaulted with the majority of the crimes done in winter.      
In 1992 a 17-year-old girl was raped and murdered, the police claim the criminal was Suliman El Abid who was eventually convicted in court and is now in prison. El Abid had claimed, and still does, that he is innocent.

Some police detectives have pointed to the similarity between that case and those accepted as the crimes done by the serial killer. 
Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman offered his help to the police by creating a portrait of the killer based on the data the detectives had at the time, yet nobody stepped forward with a lead.  
Due to the years that have passed since the crimes, it is likely the killer has died. If the program won’t cause new data to surface, the Highway 2 killer might succeed in taking his secrets to the grave. 

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