Women charged with killing scientist, burning body

Dr. Eli Laluz, 70, found with stab wounds in burned out TA apartment.

Justice gavel court law book judge 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Justice gavel court law book judge 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office served indictments in the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday charging two Ukrainian citizens with the murder of Dr. Eli Laluz, a 70- year-old French chemistry expert with a PhD from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot.
Anna Komishyn, 30, and Marina Tarasenko, 24, allegedly murdered Laluz as part of a plot to rob his apartment. Paramedics found Laluz’s body in his burned-out apartment near Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street in December. He had been stabbed to death and his body set alight.
According to the indictment, Komishyn entered Israel on a tourist visa in September, while Tarasenko was residing in Israel illegally; it is not known how or when she entered the country.
Both women, who worked as prostitutes, were acquainted with each other and lived together in an apartment in Ashdod.
In addition to premeditated murder, the two women are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, murder while committing robbery, murder in order to evade punishment for another crime, arson, destroying evidence and obstructing justice.
The indictment alleges that Laluz had first become acquainted with Komishyn about a week before his murder, when she visited him in his apartment to perform sexual services. He allegedly paid Komishyn NIS 200 and 200 euros on that occasion, and the two discussed the possibility of a further meeting.
According to the indictment, following this initial encounter, Komishyn told Tarasenko that Laluz had money in his apartment, and the two hatched a scheme to rob the septuagenarian.
The two women allegedly decided that Komishyn would set up a second meeting with Laluz, telling him that she was bringing a friend and that the two would have sex with him.
Having gained access to his apartment, the two planned to rob him after first spiking his drink with the illegal drug Ecstasy (MDMA), the indictment charges.
Komishyn and Tarasenko allegedly put their plan into action late on December 26, when they went to meet Laluz in his apartment. After drinking alcohol together, the two women allegedly distracted him and slipped the Ecstasy into his drink.
As the 70-year-old lay naked on his bed with the two defendants, the indictment continues, they decided to murder him in order to carry out their robbery plans. Tarasenko went into Laluz’s kitchen and took two knives, handing one to Komishyn, and the two then put a pillow over the victim’s head before stabbing him nine times in the chest and neck, the indictment says.
One of the stab wounds penetrated the main artery in Laluz’s neck, and another his right lung.
He lay on his bed bleeding to death, but the two defendants allegedly shoved him onto the floor, pushing his body between the bed and the wall.
The two then placed two plastic bags over his head, pushing them into his neck, according to the indictment.
They then allegedly searched the apartment for valuables, stealing NIS 1,200, 100 euros and a television set.
The indictment says the two women collected the two knives they used to stab Laluz, the glasses from which they had drunk, the bottle of alcohol and the victim’s two cellphones and put them into a plastic bag, to conceal the evidence against them.
To the same end, it continues, they decided to set fire to Laluz as he lay in the bedroom, choking on his own blood, his head still covered with the plastic bags.
Together, Komishyn and Tarasenko allegedly placed a blanket over Laluz’s body, poured alcohol over it and then set fire to it, then left with the bag containing the murder weapons, cellphones and drinking glasses, closing the bedroom door behind them and leaving Laluz to die.
The indictment charges that the two took a taxi home to Ashdod and dumped the bag of evidence in a garbage can several blocks from their apartment.
Alongside the indictments, the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office also served a request that the two women be remanded in custody for the duration of legal proceedings.
Attorney Snait Fisher-Aharoni said in the remand request that the murder had been “deliberate, determined and planned” and the two defendants had committed “severe violence against a 70-year-old man” and “used any means, however cruel, to kill him and mutilate his body.”
According to the remand request, forensic evidence against the two defendants includes Komishyn’s DNA found on a cigarette butt left in Laluz’s apartment.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.