Ra’anana woman chokes her two young daughters to death

Neighbors say Michal Aloni was depressed, in financial distress; "She wasn't fit to be a mother."

November 10, 2010 14:02
2 minute read.
Crowd gathered outside Ra'anana murder scene

311_raanana kids murder scene crowd. (photo credit: Alon Hakmon / Israel Post)

A 40-year-old woman choked her two young daughters to death on Wednesday in Ra’anana, police said, in an alleged double homicide that left neighbors stunned.

Amos Aloni, 55, husband of the murder suspect and father of the slain girls, became concerned when he attempted to call his wife, Michal, and received no reply.

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Aloni contacted Magen David Adom paramedics, who arrived at the address on Rehov Hama’alot and discovered the lifeless bodies of the two sisters, Roni, four, and Natalie, six.

The paramedics immediately contacted the police.

“I took their lives,” Michal told officers who arrived on the scene. She was immediately arrested, together with her 46-year-old brother, who is suspected of being in the home during the time of the murders.

“Michal Aloni is the main suspect,” a Sharon Police spokesman told the Post. “We are attempting to ascertain the brother’s role in this.”

Michal Aloni had worked periodically as a kindergarten assistant and in elder care, but she had not worked recently due to back problems. Amos Aloni worked as a kindergarten security guard for the Ra’anana Municipality. He has four children from a previous marriage.

Dozens of shocked neighbors gathered around the crime scene. They cried out in disbelief as a ZAKA stretcher carrying the small body of one of the girls was wheeled out to a waiting van, after forensic officers had completed their work in the apartment.

“The girls were beautiful,” a young male neighbor told The Jerusalem Post, holding back tears.

“I’m not surprised,” he said. “She was mentally unstable. And she had great economic difficulties. She was scared to ask for help from the social welfare services because she thought her kids would be taken away.”

“It’s clear she’s not normal,” he added. “Although she was nice, she was deeply depressed. She wasn’t fit to be a mother. Everyone, including social services, woke up too late.”

A woman in her 50s, who worked in a local kindergarten attended by one of the girls, said, “I am shocked. She loved her daughter so much and cared for her. She wasn’t violent.”

The kindergarten teacher added that Michal Aloni had once worked in the kindergarten as an assistant.

“I never believed this could happen. How could she do it?” the teacher asked.

Other neighbors described the two girls as appearing happy and trouble-free.

“She was just an innocent little girl,” a neighbor said about one of the children. “I didn’t see a sign that anything was wrong.”

On Monday, Aloni chaperoned Natalie’s first-grade class on a school trip, and was reportedly fine. On Sunday, a social worker visited the family because Aloni had failed to send her children to school and kindergarten, but Aloni had been cooperative.

Psychologists began holding meetings with the girls’ teachers to advise them on how to break the news to their classmates.

Ruth Eglash contributed to this report.

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