'Serial conman, wife murderer' to face indictment

Police, prosecutors says Shimon Cooper killed wife in 2009, probing if he also orchestrated death of 1st wife who died in similar circumstances.

Handcuffs arrest police crime illustrative 390 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Handcuffs arrest police crime illustrative 390
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A web of lies, scams and a fictional story about a Mossad hit overseas are at the center of a murder indictment police and prosecutors plan to present on Monday against Shimon Cooper.
Prosecutors say the 51-yearold Cooper was a serial con man who seduced and married his third wife, Jenny Cooper, before murdering her in August 2009. Police are also still probing if Cooper orchestrated the death of his first wife, Orit Coopershmidt, who also died in very similar circumstances in January 1994. He is also believed to have tried to kill his second wife using the same methods.
In late October, police arrested Cooper on suspicion of orchestrating the murder of two of his ex-wives. Anesthesiologist Dr. Mariah Zakotsky, an accomplice and alleged lover of Cooper’s, was also arrested, and is suspected of providing Cooper with tranquilizers which he used to kill his ex-wife.
On Sunday, the court lifted the gag order on the investigation, allowing the publication of details of a case that appears to more closely resemble a movie script than a murder indictment.
Cooper had long told his ex-wife, Jenny, that he worked in a top secret capacity for the Israeli security establishment, as a cover for the times he’d disappear for days at a time. According to police, during the investigation Zakotsky admitted that Cooper pulled the same ruse with her, and that she supplied him with tranquilizers after he told her he needed them to carry out an assassination for the Mossad in an undisclosed location outside Israel.
Cmdr. Bentzi Sao of the central Israel branch of the special “YAMAR” investigative unit said Sunday that the investigation against Cooper “is one of the more complicated that police have dealt with recently, dealing with events that took place years ago and were closed by investigators.”
Sao denied that the case was reopened due to pressure from Jenny Cooper’s family.
In March 2010, Cooper was the subject of a 30-minute segment on the investigative news program Uvda, which detailed the mysterious circumstances which lead to the deaths of Cooper’s ex-wives.
The program appeared to infer that Cooper murdered his two ex-wives in order to inherit their property, and in both cases wove the same web of lies about his classified work with the Israel security establishment and portrayed both wives as suffering from severe depression up until their sudden deaths.