Netanya man suspected of brutally murdering his 3 children
Children found with stab wounds across entire bodies; suspect attempted suicide 6 times, spent time in psychiatric hospital; family blames welfare authorities for not intervening.
By BEN HARTMANA 38-year-old man stabbed his three children to death in his Netanya home on Saturday morning, police said.“Now my children have found peace,” Itai Ben-Dror wrote in a note to his court-appointed attorney from his hospital bed later in the day.RELATED:TA: 2 dead in haredi murder-suicideSuspect arrested for Rehovot murderItai's wife Lilach was reported to have asked her family to "let me die, there is no point in living. If you love me, let me die." Lilach's recently deceased mother was said to have warned her against contact with Itai.Firemen broke into Ben-Dror’s house following a call from his father, who had spoken to his son moments earlier and feared he might kill himself.Rescue workers found Ben-Dror in bed trying to slit his wrists. Omer, 10, Roni, 8, and Or, 5 had stab wounds across their entire bodies. They had been covered with a blanket.Ben-Dror is believed to have put the children to bed and stabbed them in their sleep. He then wrote several notes with instructions for rescue personnel in case his suicide was successful.AdvertisementIn one of the notes, Ben-Dror wrote that he and the children “will now finally be together in heaven. I will take you with me to the next world, where we will be together for eternity.”Ben-Dror had only lightly injured himself and was taken to Netanya’s Laniado Hospital.Shock at the gruesome murders was followed by outrage at what many are saying was a failure on the part of welfare authorities, which allowed Ben- Dror to maintain visitation rights with his children despite his extensive record of psychological treatment and of violent harassment of the children’s mother, Lilach – who celebrated her birthday on Friday.Two months ago, Ben-Dror was discharged from a psychiatric hospital where he was hospitalized for several months for severe depression.On Saturday, police reported that he had tried to kill himself at least six times before.Nonetheless, social workers in Kfar Yona, 7 km. east of Netanya, where the children lived with their mother, allowed Ben-Dror to retain unsupervised visitation rights with his children.This despite four complaints of violence his former wife had lodged with police.A similar complaint was made by a woman with whom Ben-Dror had an affair during his marriage, police said. The woman later took out a restraining order against Ben-Dror.Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch visited the scene of the crime on Saturday, as did Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen.Later on Saturday, the Central Police District head held a meeting in which it was decided to assign the district’s branch of the YAMAR special investigative unit to the case.On Sunday morning, Ben-Dror will be taken under heavy police escort for a hearing at the Ramle Magistrate’s Court, where police will seek an extension of his remand.His state-appointed attorney, Ran Alon, said on Saturday night that Ben-Dror was emotionally disturbed and not fit to stand trial.
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