oshrenko family funeral 248 88.
(photo credit: Benjamin L. Hartman)
A 39-year-old man has been in police custody for several days on suspicion of having perpetrated the worst multiple homicide in Israel's history last month, in which six members of the Oshrenko family were brutally stabbed to death in their Rishon Lezion home.
The suspect has been named as Russian immigrant Dimitry Olegovich Kirilik, from Rishon Lezion, who worked as a waiter at a restaurant owned by one of the victims - 32-year-old Dimitry Oshrenko.
Kirilik's wife, Nataliya, 36, is being held as an accomplice to the murder. She claims to have helped her husband plan an armed robbery of the Oshrenko family, but denies being aware of any intentions by her husband to commit homicide.
"We have the murderer of the Oshrenkos in custody," Central Police District head Cmdr. Nissim Mor said during a press conference in Ramle on Monday. He called the homicides "one of the most severe criminal incidents in the country's history."
Police say Kirilik was fired by Dimitry Oshrenko in 2007, after closed circuit footage revealed that he habitually drank vodka on the job. In a humiliating public scene, Oshrenko gathered the staff together at the Rishon Lezion restaurant and fired Kirilik for stealing alcohol, police said.
Kirilik, a Taekwondo expert and former ice hockey player, was determined to avenge the insult to his honor, police believe.
"I only took a few sips at the end of a shift," he told police interrogators, adding that large quantities of alcohol were thrown away at the end of each shift.
In addition, Kirilik allegedly suspected his wife, who also worked at the restaurant, and who was promoted to shift manager, of having an affair with Dimitry's father, 56-year-old Edward Oshrenko.
Kirilik, a compulsive bettor who traveled around the world to feed his gambling addiction, was in desperate need of cash after running up large debts. He reportedly tried to blackmail Edward Oshrenko by threatening to report alleged income tax irregularities to the Tax Authority. Oshrenko responded by photographing Kirilik committing a lewd act with a waitress, and threatening to send the image to his wife if Kirilik reported him.
Kirilik was aware of a large amount of cash in the possession of the Oshrenko family, and set out to rob their home and murder members of the family, police said. He stole approximately NIS 25,000 from the apartment, police added.
"Three generations of a single family were wiped out. This is a tragedy for all Israeli citizens," Mor said. "This was a family that successfully ran its businesses, and was well integrated into the community."
Kirilik arrived at the Oshrenkos' apartment early on Saturday, October 17, according to the police. His first victim was 56-year-old Ludmila Oshrenko, they said. He then allegedly killed Ludmila's husband, Edward Oshrenko.
Their daughter in law, 28-year-old Tatiana Oshrenko, was Kirilik's third victim, police said. According to his confession, Kirilik told Tatiana that he wished to settle accounts with her husband, and that if she remained silent, he would not harm her. But Tatiana was petrified by the sight of Kirilik holding a bloodied blade, and did not comply with his demands. He stabbed her to death as well, police said.
According to the police narrative, the commotion had woken three-year-old Revital Oshrenko and her brother, three-month-old Natanel, who began crying in their beds.
Kirilik then allegedly turned his knife on the children.
Kirilik used a great deal of force to drive his knife through the children, a police source said, adding that he had plunged the knife through Revital as she lay in her bed, and that the blade tore into the mattress after going through her body.
He then waited to kill the remaining family member, Dimitry Oshrenko, the man who had fired him, police said. Kirilik waited for Oshrenko to come home, then stabbed him to death following a struggle, according to police.
Dimitry fought back before succumbing, and even managed to strike his attacker with his motorcycle helmet, causing the assailant to cut his hand on his own knife.
"I say the family was murdered, but actually it was butchered. The wounds we found on the bodies are not usual stab wounds. This was a slaughter," Dep.-Cmdr. Avi Noiman, head of the Central Unit, which headed the investigation, said at Sunday's press conference.
According to police, Kirilik then doused the apartment with flammable liquid, turned on a gas stove and fled, locking the door behind him.
He left on a bicycle, peddling toward the same restaurant he had been fired from in 2007. Kirilik had planned to break in through the back door and access a safe, but was too shaken by the murders to proceed, police said. He then hailed a cab to a Bat Yam beach, where he wandered around for a while, smoking cigarettes. He returned home, and informed his wife that the robbery had turned into a multiple homicide, police said.
Nataliya had agreed to help cover up her husband's crimes, police said.
Later that day, Kirilik drove his car hundreds of kilometers south to Eilat and crossed into Egypt, heading to a casino in Taba. "He wanted to relax," a police source said.
On the following day, Nataliya called him to ask that he return to Israel in order to attend the funeral of the six murder victims, to allay suspicions against him, officers said.. Police said he complied and returned to Israel. Kirilik looked on as the six members of the Oshrenko family were laid to rest. He then drove south again, with his wife, in an apparent bid to flee the country.
In the days following the homicides, Central District Central Unit detectives questioned dozens of family friends and employees, and began homing in on Kirilik as a central suspect, after learning of his several feuds with Oshrenko family members.
On Wednesday, police called Kirilik and asked him to come to a police station for questioning, but he failed to show up, heightening police suspicions. "He told us he would arrive later the next day, and that he was in Rishon Lezion," the police source recounted.
But by this point, police had gathered enough information to know he was lying. The Central Unit's homicide squad, led by Dep.-Cmdr. Avi Noiman, drove to Eilat, locating the suspect's car. It was parked at the Nesiha Hotel.
Items of clothing recovered by forensics officers at the murder scene in Rishon Lezion had attracted the suspicions of police. In Eilat, detectives, armed with a court order, proceeded to discreetly break into Kirilik's car, taking a DNA sample. The sample from the car was compared to the DNA taken from the clothing.
"A full match came up," the police source said. "We were able to place the suspect in the apartment."
On Friday, October 23, Kirilik and his wife were arrested in Eilat. In the interrogation room, "His wife gave him up."
She told police he had told her about the murders.
"There wasn't much left for him to do," the police source said.
Police said Kirilik and his wife both made full confessions. On October 27, Kirilik reenacted the murder for officers.
Kirilik's mother, Olga, and her partner, Oleg, were arrested for destroying evidence - including the alleged murder weapon and a cellphone allegedly belonging to the grandmother - while a 16-year-old girl tied to the family was arrested for providing a false alibi to police.
Police also arrested Kirilik's sister-in-law, who was visiting from Russia.
Uri Keinan, an attorney representing Kirilik, condemned what he described as the police's heavy-handed use of a media gag order.
Speaking on October 28 outside of a Ramle court, after Kirilik's father was remanded in custody, Keinan accused police of "exploiting the gag order to hold Kirilik in conditions that violate law. For days on end he has been handcuffed to his cell bed. Police placed him on suicide watch."
Keinan reiterated his allegation on Monday, when Kirilik appeared in the Ramle Magistrate's Court for a remand hearing.
The attorney refused to address the police's suspicions against his client, saying he needed to study the case material, which only became accessible to him after the lifting of the gag order on Monday.