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A man who murdered his wife and committed suicide in her apartment in the Lower Galilee on Sunday had left behind a suicide note asking forgiveness, police said yesterday.

The letter was found in the car the man, Moshe Klein, would use to drive to the small community of Massad. It was sent for forensic testing. The police are still trying to trace the origins of the handgun used in the murder - it was not the gun issued by the security company where Klein was recently employed.

The couple's children - three adult daughters and a 17-year-old son - are staying with friends. Klein's wife Miri will be laid to rest today at 3 P.M.

Amir Monk, a security officer for the community, told Haaretz that Klein had not been seen in Massad for three years since a court issued a restraining order keeping him away from his wife.

"He was a rough person, but we don't go into people's homes," Monk said. Another member of the community recalled how Klein once threatened a neighbor with a wrench.

"He was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," the resident said. "He was kind, nice, jocular, even brilliant - until he'd get into one of his moods." Details from the suicide note have not been released, but Klein is known to have been fired from his last job several moths ago, and to have ended a romantic relationship.

"It seems that Klein went from being a family man and a working man to being completely worthless," said Lolik Assal, who represented Klein in the criminal process launched after his earlier threats against his wife. "He was completely disconnected from the family, and I think this, along with his being fired from his job, brought him down."

Meanwhile, in Kiryat Ata, colleagues of a math teacher who was murdered by her husband on Sunday were trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

Teaching and administrative staff held a special meeting and spoke of a teacher equally beloved by colleagues, students and parents. Students have set up a makeshift memorial.

"She always helped and never said no," they wrote in a memorial book. "She was never angry and loved everyone."

Tanya Balabar, a friend of the teacher, said she was always confident and lively. "We knew she was going through a divorce but not how bad it could get," Balabar said. "She didn't share her fears and never talked about it."