Man charged with Jerusalem murder

Michael Aronson allegedly covered body of 80-year-old victim with salt to mask odor.

March 12, 2012 11:36
3 minute read.
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Suspect in court judge handcuffs arrest hearing 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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The Jerusalem District Attorney on Monday charged a 60- year-old homeless man with murdering an elderly Jerusalem woman.

The indictment was served in the Jerusalem District Court and alleges that Michael Aronson, a Russian citizen who came to Israel late last year, murdered 80-yearold Lena Dolgopolsky in her Gilo apartment in February.

Aronson is also charged with attacking two other women, including his elderly mother, and threatening to kill an 11-year-old boy, the son of an acquaintance.

Although the district attorney released the indictments, some details of the alleged murder remain under a gag order.

When Aronson first came to Israel, he lived with his 94- year-old mother in her Jerusalem apartment, the indictment says, but later moved into Dolgopolsky’s home and began to sell fish and children’s clothes on the streets of the city.

However, Aronson did not compensate Dolgopolsky for rent or any other expenses and in January, the pensioner asked him to move out – but he refused, the indictment says.

According to the indictment, on the eve of February 9, Aronson and Dolgopolsky paid an uninvited visit to the apartment of a mutual acquaintance, 33-year-old Viktoria Raya Tsinkhovskaya. During that visit, Aronson asked Tsinkhovskaya to pay him for some fish he had brought her. When she refused he punched her in the face, cursed her and beat her with a wooden stick until she fell to the ground, as her small daughter looked on in fear.

When Tsinkhovskaya threatened to call the police, Aronson took her cellphone, the indictment says, but gave it back when Dolgopolsky intervened.

Soon afterwards, Aronson and Dolgopolsky left Tsinkhovskaya’s apartment and he went to the apartment of a woman identified only as R.N., and her 11- year-old son, D.

Aronson allegedly told D. that he was a police officer and that his mother R.N. was “worse than Hitler” and “a danger to the Jewish people.” He then told the child to accompany him to the community center where his mother was working, and threatened that if R.N. did not pay the sum of NIS 100 she owed to him, he would murder them both.

Before the pair reached the community center, however, a police officer saw them and realized that D. was frightened and that something was wrong, the indictment says.

The officer asked Aronson to stop, but Aronson grabbed D. and ran away. D. managed to escape, and returned to his mother in tears, the indictment alleges.

At around 8 p.m. that evening, Aronson returned to Dolgopolsky’s apartment and decided to kill her, the indictment alleges. He hit the elderly woman several times on the head and blocked her airway, causing her death.

Aronson then hid Dolgopolsky’s body in a room in the apartment, the indictment continues. The next day, he tried to visit his mother, but ran away when she called the police.

Two days later, Aronson allegedly bought around 30 bags of salt from various stores in Hillel Street in Jerusalem, covered Dologopolsky’s body with a blanket and then poured the salt over it, to prevent the corpse from emitting an odor and giving away the crime, the indictment says.

Aronson also is alleged to have covered the body with clothes, books and various other items in an attempt to conceal it, before going to sleep in Dolgopolsky’s bedroom.

On February 16, the police visited the apartment block after receiving a call from Dolgopolsky’s son. Although Aronson locked the apartment door and refused to let them in, a police officer managed to enter via the balcony. The officer noticed bloodstains in the apartment and found Dolgopolsky’s body, the indictment says.

Aronson is also charged with attacking his nonagenarian mother, Riva Aronson, just days before Dolgopolsky’s death.

On February 5, Aronson allegedly entered his mother’s apartment and told her, “Get out, I’m the landlord,” then cursed her and threatened to kill her.

The district attorney filed a request that Aronson be remanded in custody for the duration of the legal proceedings against him.

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