Farhan charged with murder of Dana Bennet

Suspected serial killer also indicted for two other murders, rapes; girlfriend also charged with murder.

Yihye Farhan 248.88 (photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)
Yihye Farhan 248.88
(photo credit: Dror Artzi / JINI)
Indictments against Dana Bennet's alleged killer and his accomplice were filed in the Nazareth District Court on Thursday morning as Bennet's mother, Vicky, looked on tearfully. Adwan Yihya Farhan, a 32-year-old father of four from the Galilee village of Wadi Hamam, was charged with murdering Bennet, Czech tourist Sylvia Molrova and Aharon Simahov, a cellmate of Farhan's during a brief incarceration in a Tiberias prison. Simahov's brother, Arnold Ashorov, and delegates from the Czech Embassy also were present during Thursday's proceedings. An indictment was also filed against Farhan's ex-girlfriend, whose name cannot be released because she was 16 at the time of Bennet's murder. Although it was her testimony that led police to Farhan, and eventually to Bennet's remains near Wadi Hamam, the now 22-year-old immigrant from the former Soviet Union has been charged both in Bennet's murder and that of Molrova. According to the indictment, on the night of August 1, 2003, Farhan and his then-girlfriend drove to Tiberias, where they noticed Bennet. Farhan's girlfriend then got out of the car and introduced herself to the 18-year-old as an employee of a hotel owned by Farhan. She told Bennet that the hotel needed some extra workers for a couple of hours, and that Bennet would be paid a few hundred shekels in exchange. Bennet fell for the ruse and and got in the car. Farhan then drove towards the village of Migdal, but suddenly veered off to Ofer Road, which leads to some olive groves near Wadi Hamam. He stopped the car, claiming that both he and his girlfriend needed to relieve themselves, and Bennet, uncomfortable about staying in the car alone, also got out. Upon exiting the vehicle Farhan delivered a strong blow to Bennet's face, knocking her over. Dana pleaded for her life, but Farhan continued to beat her until she collapsed. He then ripped her shirt, tore off her bra and choked her with it. The indictment further stated that Farhan's female accomplice stood by and watched as he beat and killed Bennet. To ensure she was really dead, the indictment continued, Farhan then stomped on Bennet's stomach. He asked his girlfriend to drag the body to an abandoned car nearby, and the two of them covered the body with dry leaves and brush. They then drove to a nearby gas station, filled up a container with gas, and returned to the site to burn the body. The indictment also revealed details of Molrova's murder in July, 2003 - less than a month before Bennet's. According to the indictment, Farhan offered Molrova a ride to her residence in the Golan Heights from a pub she had been drinking at near the Kinneret. Instead of driving her home, however, Farhan took her to his then-girlfriend's home, and the two drove Molrova to Zalmon Stream. Farhan then took Molrova, who was intoxicated, out of the car and carried her on his shoulders. She tried to escape, but Farhan held her by the hair and strangled her with a thin cable. Worried that she was not dead, Farhan's girlfriend suggested they drown her in the stream. Farhan then held Molrova's head under water as his girlfriend stood on her legs. When Molrova stopped moving, the two placed large stones on her body to keep it under water. The third murder occurred in 2004, when Farhan was detained in a Tiberias police station. Aharon Simahov had been placed in Farhan's cell after a skirmish broke out and Farhan, the indictment stated, decided to murder Simahov because he believed he had collaborated with the police and incriminated another detainee. According to the indictment, Simahov had gone to the shower while the other detainees were asleep. Farhan followed Simahov into the showers, punched him in the face and then strangled him with a string he had pulled from his pants. Farhan then used the string to tie Simahov to the window bars and left him hanging there under the running water. Until Farhan's confession following his arrest last month, investigators had ruled Simahov's death a suicide. While no mention was made in the indictment of a 1994 killing near the Jordan River which Farhan had also confessed to last month, the charges do include a rape and abduction. According to the indictment, in September 2005, Farhan met an escort, raped her, and then threatened her with a knife. When he led her from his apartment toward his car, where the same girlfriend charged in Bennet and Molrova's murders was waiting, the escort managed to free herself and escape.