Netanya suspect's ex-wife: 'If you love me, let me die'

Children aged 10, 8, and 5 found with stab wounds across entire bodies; suspect's note: "I will take you with me to the next world, where we will be together for eternity.”

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 25, 2010 08:25
3 minute read.

body bag 311. (photo credit: Aloni Mor)

The ex-wife of Itai Ben-Dror, suspected of brutally stabbing his three children to death, told her family Saturday "if you love me, let me die."

The ex-wife, Lilach, said she was sorry she allowed the children to meet him. Her recently-deceased mother was said to have warned her against contact with Itai. Her friends and family came from all over Israel to her home to support her.

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Ben Dror is believed to have planned the attack in advance and chose the day after his ex-wife's birthday to seek revenge for the fact that she refused to return to him.

Police said Itai Ben-Dror stabbed his three children to death in his Netanya home. “Now my children have found peace,” he wrote in a note to his court-appointed attorney from his hospital bed later in the day.

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Firemen broke into Ben-Dror’s house following a call from his father, who had spoken to his son moments earlier and feared he might kill himself.

Rescue workers found Ben-Dror in bed trying to slit his wrists. Omer, 10, Roni, 8, and Or, 5 had stab wounds across their entire bodies. They had been covered with a blanket.

Ben-Dror is believed to have put the children to bed and stabbed them in their sleep. He then wrote several notes with instructions for rescue personnel in case his suicide was successful.

In one of the notes, Ben-Dror wrote that he and the children “will now finally be together in heaven. I will take you with me to the next world, where we will be together for eternity.”

Ben-Dror had only lightly injured himself and was taken to Netanya’s Laniado Hospital.

Shock at the gruesome murders was followed by outrage at what many are saying was a failure on the part of welfare authorities, which allowed Ben- Dror to maintain visitation rights with his children despite his extensive record of psychological treatment and of violent harassment of the children’s mother, Lilach – who celebrated her birthday on Friday.

Two months ago, Ben-Dror was discharged from a psychiatric hospital where he was hospitalized for several months for severe depression.

On Saturday, police reported that he had tried to kill himself at least six times before.

Nonetheless, social workers in Kfar Yona, 7 km. east of Netanya, where the children lived with their mother, allowed Ben-Dror to retain unsupervised visitation rights with his children.

This despite four complaints of violence his former wife had lodged with police.

A similar complaint was made by a woman with whom Ben-Dror had an affair during his marriage, police said. The woman later took out a restraining order against Ben-Dror.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch visited the scene of the crime on Saturday, as did Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen.

Later on Saturday, the Central Police District head held a meeting in which it was decided to assign the district’s branch of the YAMAR special investigative unit to the case.

On Sunday morning, Ben-Dror will be taken under heavy police escort for a hearing at the Ramle Magistrate’s Court, where police will seek an extension of his remand.

His state-appointed attorney, Ran Alon, said on Saturday night that Ben-Dror was emotionally disturbed and not fit to stand trial.



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