Suspicion grows that Oshrenko murders linked to mob

Mob may have killed Oshr

flowers grave oshrenko 248 88 (photo credit: Benjamin L. Hartman)
flowers grave oshrenko 248 88
(photo credit: Benjamin L. Hartman)
Police have recruited a veteran officer with rich experience in investigating Russian and Caucasus-related organized crime activity in Israel, as part of the feverish efforts to track down a suspect in Saturday's murders of six members of the Oshrenko family in Rishon Lezion, Israel Radio reported Monday. All six murder victims, including a four-month-old boy and a three-year-old girl, were found dead with multiple stab wounds and, according to reports, slashed throats, by firefighters who responded to the fire set in the Oshrenkos' home. A number of observers have suggested that the Oshrenko family may have fallen victim to an organized crime outfit that had an eye on the family's businesses: a pub in Ashdod, and a restaurant and a deli in Rishon Lezion. As forensic work continues at an intensive pace, police are looking for behavioral and cultural patterns of potential suspects that could point to some link between organized crime members and family members. Detectives will likely be investigating which cars, night clubs and restaurants were used or frequented by individuals of interest. Detectives will also be looking through the murder victims' phone records. "I only know what I see from the media, but cutting throats and setting fire to a home are signs - just signs - of Chechen, Georgian, Russian mob action," said Marc Kahlberg, a former Israel Police officer. Kahlberg said he had full confidence in the police's ability to solve the murders, adding that despite the many problems that plague the police's local first responders, the Israel Police's national task forces are highly competent crime fighters. "Forensics is always the first response. In today's age, forensics is more than just a fingerprint," he said, alluding to DNA sampling and other crime scene investigation techniques which Israeli police was well versed in. "The police will be looking at a lot of people. I think the police are highly capable of tackling this, and the highest echelons of the investigation community will be on board the investigation. It's not going to be handled like a random street stabbing, by a local police station," Kahlberg added. "The units involved in this investigation are better funded and staffed by academically minded officers," he said. "Israel is also very capable of tracking suspects that have fled abroad," Kahlberg added.