Mistaken identity may have led to moshav murder

Police learn Sharon resident Ezra Siri lived next door to man who had become target of organized crime family.

police 224.88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
police 224.88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
Police investigating the murder of Sharon resident Ezra Siri could have a dramatic new lead in the case, after learning that Siri lived next door to a man who had become the target of an organized crime family. Detectives now believe a case of mistaken identity could have led to the homicide. On May 27, Siri, 52, was stabbed to death by unknown assailants outside his home in Moshav Geulim. At first, police believed Siri was murdered by foreign workers, due to testimony by Siri's wife, who said she heard him cry out the words, "Chinese, Chinese," before succumbing to his wounds. In recent days however, police learned that one of Siri's neighbors had fallen out with one of the most powerful crime families in Israel. Some weeks ago, the man's car was torched as a warning from the family. Police are now checking a theory according to which on the day of the murder, three men were sent by the crime family to kill Siri's neighbor. With one man remaining behind to act as the "getaway" driver, two men approached their target, who was chatting with Siri in the latter's yard. The assassins allegedly misidentified Siri, confusing him with his neighbor. The neighbor has been repeatedly questioned by police as detectives examine the fresh lead. The murder victim's nine-year-old daughter witnessed the slaying through a window. She told police she saw two men wearing woolly hats stab her father, leading police to doubt whether Siri was able to identify his attackers. Detectives also believe Siri's wife may have misunderstood her husband's words. Siri is survived by his wife, five children, and a grandchild.