Anglo ex-pats shocked at murder-suicide, recall father's suicide year ago
Mother of Hod Hasharon cop who killed wife, two kids before turning gun on self was asked to stay away from grandchildren's graves.
Valerie Fisher, whose son Michael is believed to have killed his family on Thursday before killing himself, was dissuaded by police officers and friends of the family from visiting the graves of her grandchildren after their funeral Friday afternoon, due to the sensitivity of the issue. She did not attend the funeral.
Two separate funerals were held for the four family members. Michael was interred in the Ra'anana graveyard shortly before his wife, Hila, and their children, Yuval and Yarden, were laid to rest in the Hod Hasharon cemetery.
Haaretz was informed that Valerie Fisher told relatives that she intended to visit her grandchildren's grave later on Friday but changed her mind after speaking with relatives and officers from the Central Police Unit.
Detectives from the Central District's serious crime unit intend to interview the families of both Michael and Hila Fisher at their homes as part of their effort to unlock the mystery of the apparent murder-suicide.
"We are aware of the enormous difficulty of the situation of both families, and for now we prefer to focus on other investigatory activities and not to burden them in their most difficult time of mourning," a senior Central District police officer said.
Since Thursday investigators, under the command of serious crime unit commander Yoram Slackman, have been hunting for every scrap of information that could point to a motive for the murders. To this end, investigators are examining the Fishers' home computer in search of e-mail correspondence that might shed light on the alleged actions of Michael, himself a respected police officer.
Hundred of people attended Michael's funeral, including his mother, sister and brother-in-law; and senior police officers, among them Central District chief Nissim Mor and Central Unit commander Avi Neuman.
Fisher was buried next to his father Ray, who committed suicide a little over a year ago, in a quiet funeral. Fisher's uncle, who recited the Mourner's Kaddish on his behalf, delivered the only graveside eulogy, repeating how shocked he was by the events.
Afterward Michael's police colleagues sprinkled dirt onto his grave.
After Michael's funeral many of the mourners made their way to the Neve Hadar cemetery in Hod Hasharon, for the funeral of his wife, Hila, and their children, Yuval and Yarden, who were buried beside her.
Michael's name was removed from the signs placed on the wreath-adorned graves of his children, which read "Yuval, son of Hila of blessed memory" and "Yarden, daughter of Hila of blessed memory." The sign on the fresh grave of Hila also omitted any connection to the name of the man who had been her husband, and said only "Hila, of blessed memory, of the Bachar family."
The country's top police officers attended the funeral, including National Police Commissioner David Cohen and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. Hila was an officer in the Sharon District Police. Her father, Yehuda Bachar, is a former Central District commander.
Danielle, Hila's younger sister, gave a moving and heartbreaking eulogy: "No one hurts the way that I hurt. I had a sister and she was murdered."
Mor spoke about the emotional impact on the police of Thursday's incident. "Loss and sadness have buffeted the Central District mercilessly. The news spread quickly within the police, and the sadness was visible on everyone. Officers who are accustomed to difficult scenes were dumbfounded."
Mor talked about Hila's most recent assignment, as a training officer who earned a great deal of praise for advancing police training. "Everyone forecasted a brilliant career for her. Our heart cries out and our eyes shed tears. We shall never forget your smile," Mor told the mourners.