Suspect reveals alleged Beersheba killer's name

Teen breaks down under police questioning; police located her finding a shoe at crime scene, wiretapping her telephone.

May 7, 2012 06:35
3 minute read.
Illustrative photo

crime scene. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [illustrative])


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One of the suspects, a 16-year-old female, in the murder of a father of two in Beersheba, revealed the identity of the alleged murderer late Sunday.

The murder was particularly grisly as the motive for the murder appears to have been merely that the father asked the group of youths to keep the noise down when he had been unable to get his children to sleep due to the noise the youths were making.

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Although many of the eight arrested suspects had refused to admit involvement in the murder, the teenager broke down under police questioning and even returned with police to the scene to describe the events of the crime in detail.

The police reportedly cornered the suspect having found her shoe at the crime scene and based on listening to her telephone conversations, which police had wiretapped.

Some of the arrested suspects were believed to be directly tied to the killing, while others were suspected of aiding the murderers.

The arrests followed an intensive investigation by the the Negev police subdistrict’s central unit.

Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said, “We are at war, a war over the character of, and some would say the future of, Israeli society. It can be compared to every other war fought by Israel, and it is no less important.

We all need to join forces to combat the plague of violence in our midst.”

Danino added that “there are no magical solutions. There are monetary solutions. We need more officers on the streets and in the parks. More officers in the Arab community. More officers in entertainment districts and where youths are.”

Danino said he would submit a proposal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday to increase the size of the Israel Police, adding that the organization hasn’t grown since 1994.

After Gadi Vichman was killed in Beersheba early Saturday, officers searched house-to-house and tried to identify the attackers.

There has been growing outrage over the police’s failure to prevent the killing, after it emerged that members of the public, including the murdered man’s wife, Michal, had called to complain about youths smashing bottles two hours before the attack.

A patrol car dispatched to the street in response to the calls “didn’t find a thing,” police said, and left to attend to another incident. Two hours later, Vichman left his apartment to speak to the youths, before being headbutted and stabbed to death.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday that the police would “investigate [its] conduct in this incident, and learn all of the lessons, as the investigation continues.” He vowed that the “murderers will be arrested.”

But the scope of the investigation remained unclear. While Aharonovitch said it would be overseen by Danino, senior police sources told The Jerusalem Post they were unaware of a major internal inquiry, saying a probe would be conducted at the local level.

Hundreds of mourners attended Vichman’s funeral on Sunday evening. “I keep thinking maybe he’s clinically dead and he’ll recover. But he won’t,” his wife, Michal Vichman, told Israel Radio before the funeral.

Earlier, Aharonovitch called her and expressed his “deep sorrow and condolences over the terrible loss,” adding, “I’m shocked and horrified by the painful murders that occurred in recent days.”

He condemned “the intolerable ease with which these criminals take lives,” and said that “this cannot continue.”

A pilot program already in place in 13 cities, which involves training municipal inspectors and granting them police powers, will be expanded to every city, and CCTV cameras will continue to go up in urban centers and crime hot spots, the minister said.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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