Ronnie Ron, Marie Pizem 311.
(photo credit: Reuven Kastro)
Ronnie Ron and Marie Pizem were sentenced on Monday to life sentences for the
murder, and incitement to murder, of four-year old Rose Pizem.
Central District Court convicted the two – the child’s mother and paternal
grandfather – last month. Their lawyer said they would appeal the decision to
the Supreme Court.
Court: Pizem murder sentence hearing postponed
Grandfather convicted of killing Rose Pizem, 4, in ’08
In their decision, the judges rejected a last-minute
plea by Ron’s lawyer Benny Nahari, stating that Rose was killed as a result of a
blow to the head administered to her by Ron, who is a martial arts
The judges wrote that they had deliberated Ron’s testimony about
the blow to the head in their initial verdict, and ruled it out as a cause of
The judges noted that even if they accepted his argument, the fact
that Ron was capable of killing Rose only strengthened his guilt, as he would
have known that his actions could lead to her death.
Ron is accused of
placing Rose Pizem’s body in a suitcase after killing her and dumping it in the
“To this day the court doesn’t know what caused Rose’s
death. If indeed Ron killed her with a blow to the head, the offense would shift
from premeditated murder to a lesser manslaughter offense, and the sentence will
be lesser accordingly,” said Nahari.
Marie Pizem was acquitted of murder,
the judges determining that she was not directly involved in her daughter’s
killing, but convicted her of inciting Ron to kill her, an offense that carries
a mandatory life sentence.
The judges rejected her lawyer’s claim that
she was mentally unfit. Pizem’s lawyer, Revital Sweid, said she would challenge
the court’s decision to sentence her to life in prison in the Supreme
Both Ron and Pizem declined to make a last-minute statement to the
court before hearing the sentence, and neither showed any emotion upon hearing
the judges decision.
The tragic case of Rose Pizem first came to light in
September 2008. At first her disappearance was treated as a missing child’s
case, but shortly afterwards suspicions fell on Ron, and throughout the course
of the investigation, on Pizem as well.
Rose Pizem was the child of Marie
and Ben Pizem. She was born in France in 2004 and lived there until the age of
three. During a family visit in Israel, Marie fell in love with Ben’s father,
Ronnie Ron, and told her husband she planned to stay in Israel with him, leaving
Rose to Ben Pizem’s care.
After Marie moved in with Ron and had two other
daughters with him, she pleaded of him to bring over Rose, who was at the time
in the care of the French welfare agencies.
Rose’s arrival, however,
brought no joy to Marie and she quickly regretted having brought
Rose spent most of her time in Israel with her great-grandmother
Vivian [Ron’s mother].
It was only when Vivian demanded that Marie and
Ron find a permanent arrangement for Rose that she moved back with her mother.
It was not to last however. The judges determined that Marie considered Rose a
burden, and was willing to do anything to get her out of her life.
three years of court hearings, the judges’ verdict made it clear that they did
not believe a single statement that the defendants uttered – and while the
precise nature of the young girl’s death may never be fully known, the judges
had no doubt that Ron had murdered her, and did so at Pizem’s
“Watching the video depicting Pizem’s first police interrogation
on the day of her arrest cannot leave the viewer indifferent, in light of the
complete lack of natural maternal emotion of Pizem towards Rose. The
accused described Rose in a humiliating, ugly, fashion – mimicking her and
expressing feelings of hate and loathing towards her,” read the
“She said that Rose was indeed her biological daughter, but that
she wasn’t really her daughter, ‘not in her heart’ – that she felt nothing
towards her, and that as far as she was concerned, she only had two daughters.
Every time it was suggested that something had happened to Rose, she either
denied the possibility or ignored the question, and only asked to see Ron, whom
she loves, and her daughters who were crying down the hall.”