Mark Shapiro 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
In a breakthrough for a seven-year-old murder case, Jerusalem Police officials
on Tuesday announced the arrest of a 35-year-old man suspected of murdering an
acquaintance during a mugging that turned violent.
On Monday, his remand
was extended to Thursday, when police are expected to serve him with an
The victim, 49-year-old Shmuel Siman Tov, was found in a
rooftop apartment in the Mea She’arim neighborhood on August 9, 2004, with
dozens of stab wounds all over his body. Police and paramedics attempted to rush
him to the hospital, but he died of his wounds in a matter of
Immediately following the murder, police opened an investigation
and looked into the possibility that the incident was terror-related. The
investigation did not produce any results, however, and the case remained a
A few months ago, police recruited an undercover agent in an
effort to catch drug dealers in Jerusalem. The agent told his handlers that a
few years ago, while he had been in prison, a friend had admitted to a murder
during a “robbery that went wrong.”
Police immediately arrested the
suspect, Mark Shapiro, on December 5. At first, Shapiro maintained his
innocence, but during the investigation, he admitted to the murder and reenacted
it for police.
Shapiro said that he had carried out the mugging because
Siman Tov had had a large amount of money in his apartment. Siman Tov’s father,
Baruch Siman Tov, said his son had just gone to the ATM and had approximately
“He was religious and a good man, he gave everything to
everyone,” said the tearful father at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on
Monday, where he sat across from Shapiro.
Siman Tov said he had never
lost faith that police would eventually find his son’s murderer, though it
frustrated him that it had taken seven years.
When police told him that
someone had been arrested in connection with the murder, “I felt like this had
stopped weighing on my heart,” he said outside the courtroom.