Israeli murder suspect is a real-life 'Michael Myers' from 'Halloween'

Michael Myers, the suspect in the murder of his partner's daughter's ex, has a disturbing history of legal troubles that began during his time in the Border Police.

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The Acre Magistrate's Court extended the detention of Michael Myers, a former Border Police officer suspected of murdering Yevgeni Stepanov, the ex-husband of his partner's daughter, in Haifa earlier in July.

Later, the Haifa District Court reduced his detention when Judge Eyal Baumgart accepted the argument of attorney Fares Barik, representing Myers on behalf of the Public Defender's Office, that there needs to be a balance between the needs of the police investigation.

"There is a solid case against the suspect, supported both by forensic evidence and findings collected from the field," stated Judge Ziad Saleh at the Acre Magistrate's Court.

The police officers responsible for investigating the murder also arrested Myers' former partner and her daughter. Later, the daughter, 24-year-old Nastasya Grishaeva from Tirat Carmel, who was previously married to the deceased, was released. Her mother, 45-year-old Olga Grishev, also from Tirat Carmel, was released earlier.

It remains unclear who Myers is allegedly connected to in relation to the murder, as all angles of the investigation are being examined at the Haifa Magistrate's Court. One possibility being explored is a potential "romantic-financial" motive, as there were strained relations between Yevgeni Stepanov and his girlfriend Nastasya, and Myers seemingly intervened in her defense, resulting in restraining orders being issued against him.

 Michael Myers, the fictional serial killer from the classic horror slasher film franchise Halloween. (credit: WALLPAPER FLARE)
Michael Myers, the fictional serial killer from the classic horror slasher film franchise Halloween. (credit: WALLPAPER FLARE)

A troubling past and a name from a horror franchise

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the suspect himself chose the name "Michael Myers," taken from the fictional serial killer in the horror film series Halloween. Despite his background in law enforcement, he has a lengthy history of legal issues.

Born as Mikhail Kamenshchikov in Ukraine, he immigrated to Israel at a young age with his mother, severing ties with his father. He had a sickly brother whom he helped care for.

Myers joined the Border Police and served between 2004 and 2007, but his troubles began during this time. Following a transfer out of his unit, he deserted and disappeared for approximately two years. When he was eventually found, he served time in a military prison.

Known for his unyielding nature, he refused therapeutic interventions from the start of his criminal career. The Police Investigations Department accused him of engaging in a pattern of bullying behavior rather than a one-time incident.

According to the indictment filed by the police, resulting in his conviction in 2011 at the Beersheba Magistrate's Court, Michael attacked a friend of his ex-girlfriend while he was still serving as a police officer. He punched the victim in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head against the wall, leading to lose consciousness. Myers then proceeded to kick and punch the victim repeatedly.

His defense attorney at the time claimed that he had intervened to protect his ex-girlfriend's friend from someone threatening them, echoing the current suspicion surrounding the murder of Yevgeni Stepanov.

That's not all. Another incident came to light involving the robbery of two boys during Myers' time in the Border Police. He was convicted of threatening them and stealing from them. In this particular incident, he ordered the boys to empty their pockets, and when they resisted, he kicked their legs before confiscating their cellphones and cash. Judge Or Adam sentenced him to six months in prison.

However, it appears that Myers did not learn from his previous convictions. In 2017, he faced additional charges in the Lod District Court, including obstructing a police officer in the performance of duty, armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, and kidnapping. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

At that time, he was 31 years old and already using his new name, residing in Netanya. According to the indictment resulting in his conviction, he conspired with Abd al-Rahim Zarzour to steal vehicles and sell them in Kafr Kasem. One day in March 2017, they carried out their plan.

They targeted an 84-year-old man driving a Mercedes car on Yitzhak Modai Street. When the man's wife stepped out of the vehicle to collect something from a friend, leaving her husband in the running car, Myers and Zarzour swiftly entered. Myers took the wheel, while Zarzour occupied the back seat. Myers ordered the female passenger to remain silent and immediately drove away. The elderly man pleaded to be allowed out of the car, but Myers threatened to put him in the trunk, claiming that people in Jaffa wanted to speak with him.

During the drive, Myers repeated the last sentence multiple times. Driving at a dangerous speed of 160 km/h, swerving between lanes and sometimes driving on the roadside, Myers and Zarzour headed towards Kafr Kasem. Police officers in a patrol car attempted to stop them in the city, but they continued evading capture. In their attempt to escape, they ended up colliding with other vehicles, including a police car. The four officers in the police car, as well as Myers, sustained injuries. Myers managed to flee on foot and hid beneath a staircase.

After a four-day hospitalization due to his injuries, the police managed to arrest him. He faced charges of kidnapping, gang robbery, obstructing a police officer, conspiracy to commit a crime, various traffic offenses, and more.