Police: Son stabs and kills father sitting shiva in Rehovot

‘We pleaded with mental health workers for help, but they did nothing,’ relative charges.

By
December 21, 2010 01:41
3 minute read.
Police investigators at crime scene

Rehovot crime scene. (photo credit: YAAKOV LAPPIN)

 
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Residents of northwest Rehovot were left stunned on Monday by the killing of a 53- year-old man at the hands of his 27-year-old son.

The attack took place while the family was observing the shiva mourning period for the death of the victim’s mother.

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The victim, Shlomo Buskila, came to wake his son, Emile, around 12:30 p.m. in the son’s apartment, which is adjacent to the family home, said Shimon Malka, Buskila’s brotherin- law and the deputy mayor of Rehovot.

Police were uncertain whether an argument erupted between father and son before Emile Buskila allegedly stabbed his father repeatedly in a fit of rage.

“He collapsed, cried out for help, and died soon afterward,” Malka told reporters outside the crime scene.

“Emile planned this in advance. He bought a knife last week for the murder,” Malka said.



The suspect then fled, covered in his father’s blood, as family members sitting in a mourning tent nearby looked on in shock. Police, fearful that he would harm others, mounted a massive search for the younger Buskila, mobilizing large ground forces and a helicopter. Family members were taken to the Rehovot police station for their safety.

The suspect was found hiding in an abandoned structure near a cemetery in Ness Ziona a few hours later and was arrested.

“He’s refusing to speak to us at this stage,” a police spokesman said.

Emile Buskila had a history of mental instability, and had been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. He has also been convicted of theft and drug crimes, and served time in prison.

His mother said there had been a financial dispute between father and son, though Malka denied this.

“Shlomo did everything for his son. He got him an apartment free of charge and tried to arrange work for him,” Malka said.

Relatives have slammed mental health officials, who, they said, ignored pleas for help to stabilize Emile Buskila as his mental state deteriorated.

On Friday, the suspect’s aunt went to the mental hospital in Ness Ziona and urgently asked doctors to administer sedatives to him after noticing a surge in his violent tendencies.

“But they did nothing,” Malka said.

Last week, Buskila threatened to burn down the family home after his girlfriend broke up with him, and obtained a fuel canister, Malka added.

He described the murder victim as a “wonderful man.”

“He co-owned a business in Ashkelon and made his living. After his mother died, he turned to me and my wife and said that we were his parents,” Malka said, before bursting into tears.

Shlomo Buskila leaves behind a wife, three children and six brothers and sisters.

Last month, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry published the findings of the Pizam Committee, headed by retired Judge Haim Pizam, to examine the murders of three young children by their father, Itai Ben-Dror, in Netanya last July.

The committee concluded that there was a serious lack of coordination between various government authorities, especially the social services and health professionals, who had been aware that Ben-Dror had mental health issues.

Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog said at the time that while “it was not possible to predict that [the father] Itai Ben- Dror would hurt his children... The committee found a disconnection between social welfare and mental health services.”

Herzog has expressed his desire to improve coordination between social workers and mental health services, which are currently under the authority of the Health Ministry.

Ruth Eglash contributed to this report.

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