From escape to recapture - Benny Sela on the run

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
December 10, 2006 01:45
3 minute read.

 
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  • Thursday evening, November 23: Convicted serial rapist Benny Sela is transferred from Eshel Prison, where he is serving a 35-year, nine-month sentence for multiple counts of rape and sexual assault, to Nitzan Detention facility in advance of an alleged court date in Tel Aviv Friday morning.
  • Friday morning, November 24 (8:10): Sela is handed over to the custody of two Tel Aviv District policemen from the prisoners' transport unit. •
  • 8:30: The police officers arrive with Sela at the Labor Court only to discover that the court does not hold hearings on Friday, and take him to the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, where he sprints past a police officer, scales a wall and then jumps to freedom. •
  • 8:55: Police declare Sela to be an escaped prisoner. •
  • 11:00: Police confirm reports that they have found Sela's prison-issue pants after concerned citizens alert them to a central Tel Aviv park, where they have seen a man changing clothes. •
  • Sunday, November 26: As searches continue, the Yaron Commission begins its work investigating how Sela managed to escape. On the same day, police receive a strong lead in the late evening, when a resident of the Tel Mond area says that he recognized Sela biking through the fields in Ein Sarid. The man, who says that Sela, prior to his arrest, had asked to rent an apartment from him, tells police that when he tried to approach the bicyclist, the suspect fled. Police still believe that this was in fact an actual sighting of Sela. •
  • Tuesday, November 28: Police flock to a Ramat Gan industrial zone only to find that a reported sighting of serial rapist Benny Sela turned out to be a false alarm when a motorbike's owner tried to evade a police patrol car because his registration was not accurate. •
  • Wednesday, November 29: Police rush to Safed after multiple sightings seem to place the escaped rapist in the Galilee city. After a day of searching, "Sela" is revealed to be a tired and bedraggled local beggar who takes to the airwaves to request that the city's residents please stop mistaking him for the rapist. •
  • Monday, December 4: A police officer claims to have seen Sela in Binyamina, wearing a parka and eating cheese. Sela's comments following his arrest suggest that this sighting was, in fact, accurate. •
  • Thursday, December 7: Sela breaks in to a Pardess Hanna house, showers and shaves and steals cash, credit cards and keys to the family's car. Meanwhile, the Yaron Commission delivers its recommendations for ensuring that such an escape be prevented in the future. •
  • Friday December 8, 03:00: Police suspect that Sela stole a white Honda Civic that was parked in front of the Pardes Hana house of Moshe Rozen. •
  • 13:00: Police receive complaints from civilians who say that they have seen someone similar to Benny Sela driving near the Mount of Beatitudes just north of Lake Kinneret. •
  • 13:45: Less than an hour later, Sela is captured on camera passing through the gate of Kibbutz Kinneret. At the kibbutz, Sela stops to ask a question of Lior Shatz, a soldier who lives at the kibbutz. •
  • 18:10: - Sela shows up on the doorstep of distant family members in the Ramot Yitzhak neighborhood of Nesher, near Haifa. His family refuses to let him in, and then alerts police as soon as he leaves. •
  • 19:50: Police receive the first report that the vehicle has been sighted at a checkpoint south of Nahariya, and that the driver, suspected of being Sela, has been arrested. •
  • 21:15: The gag order on the investigation is lifted, allowing police to confirm that the suspect being held at the Nahariya Station is in fact Sela. •
  • 23:15: Sela, looking battered and exhausted, is transferred from the Nahariya Station to the Tel Aviv District for questioning. •
  • Saturday, December 9, 3:00: Sela is returned to prison - this time to the national isolation bloc at Rimmonim Prison.

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