Police revealed yesterday that the man suspected of killing six members of a family in Rishon Letzion last month had been employed at the family's restaurant and was fired about two years ago.
Police say that the man, Damian Karlik, 38, who was arrested with his wife, parents and two other female relatives, killed the two children of the Oshrenko family out of hatred for their father, Dmitry, whom he never forgave for firing him from the restaurant.
Dmitry Oshrenko fired Karlik, who was headwaiter at the Oshrenkos' high-end restaurant Premier, after accusing him of stealing a bottle of vodka. Karlik said he felt humiliated and began to nurture his hatred for his former boss.
Karlik, whom the police say is a compulsive gambler who spent huge amounts of money at gambling venues, allegedly began to plan his revenge on Oshrenko two months ago with his wife Natalya.
Investigators say they will never forget what they found at the Oshrenko house that Saturday morning last month. "The smell, the bodies of the parents and the children together, with the smoke and the blood that was everywhere," said a senior official at the police's Central District, Commander Avi Neuman. "It was like stepping through the gates of hell."
The investigation revealed that about two months before the murder, Karlik asked his wife, who also worked at Premier, to make copies of the keys to the Oshrenkos' Nordau Street apartment. Natalya, who was very close to the Oshrenkos, was able to make the copies easily.
About a month before the murder, Karlik used the keys to enter the Oshrenko apartment and steal cash, the police say.
On the night of the murder, Karlik left his home carrying a bag containing a long knife and handcuffs, and had a can of gasoline. He rode his bike to the Oshrenko apartment a few minutes away, the police say.
"I wanted to murder Dima [Dmitry Oshrenko]. That was my whole purpose that day," Karlik told the police.
According to the results of the investigation, at 2 A.M., Karlik opened the apartment door with his key and found the grandmother, Ludmilla, asleep on the living room couch and the two children, one age 3 and the other a few months, asleep in their parents' bedroom.
Karlik told the grandmother to go into another room; when she resisted he stabbed her to death. He took her body to her bed and covered her with a sheet. He then returned to the living room and sat down near a window where he could watch for the other family members to come home.
At about 5 A.M., the grandfather, Edward, arrived. Karlik attacked him when he opened the door, stabbing him repeatedly until he died.
He dragged the grandfather into the parents' bedroom, where the two children, Netanel and Revital, were sleeping. He then took the grandmother's cellphone and sent a text message to Tatiana Oshrenko, Dmitry's wife, telling her to come home because Revital had a fever.
When Tatiana arrived, he handcuffed her and pushed her into the room with the sleeping children and the grandfather's body. As he was forcing her to text her husband to come home, she noticed the grandfather's body and began to scream, at which point he stabbed her repeatedly and slit her throat.
The children apparently woke up, so Karlik stabbed them repeatedly. The baby's hand was found broken; police say Karlik apparently choked him to death before stabbing him.
"I saw the little children, but I saw them as Dima's children, and I saw him before my eyes," Karlik told police.
At 5 A.M., Oshrenko came home on his motorbike, opened the door and saw Karlik. The two struggled and Oshrenko struck Karlik with his helmet. But Karlik managed to stab him repeatedly. "I took off the stocking that covered my face when Dima came home," Karlik told the police. "I wanted him to see me and remember me as I killed him."
Karlik then removed his bloodstained clothes and put them on the grandmother's bed and opened the gas valves in the apartment, which he tried to set on fire. He rode his bike to a nearby street and took a taxi to the Bat Yam beach, where he smoked a cigarette. At 8 A.M. he returned home and told his wife and father that he had killed the Oshrenko family.
Four Knesset members yesterday presented a bill calling for the death penalty for people who murder children under age 13.
MKs Carmel Shama (Likud), Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu), Arie Bibi (Kadima) and Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said they believed such a law would prevent another case like the murder of the Oshrenko family in Rishon Letzion.
"Any murder is shocking and inconceivable, but there is something about the murder of helpless children that requires unique and extreme punishment," said Shama.
Matalon said: "There is no choice but to impose harsh punishments, including the death penalty, in extreme cases, and the longer we put off the decision, the longer Israeli society will continue to pay the price wreaked by these inhuman, conscienceless murderers."
Eldad said, "If once even criminals had red lines, we've seen that they have eroded. Criminals must be deterred. Nowadays every murderer knows that even if he is caught and convicted, he will be free in a few decades, and since this is now a plague, there seems to be no choice but to make punishment more extreme."