In Wake of Family Murder MKs Seek Death Penalty for Child Killers

Police allege man killed Oshrenko family, including 2 toddlers, after being fired from restaurant.

Following the apprehension on Monday of the man suspected of killing the Oshrenko family last month, four Knesset members initiated a bill that calls for legalization of the death penalty in murder cases involving children under the age of 13.

The MKs, Carmel Shama (Likud), Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu), Arie Bibi (Kadima) and Aryeh Eldad (National Union), said that they believe the bill will deter future murders of tis sort.

Police allege that Damian Karlik, 38, planned to rob the Oshrenko family home and suspect he killed the two Oshrenko children out of hatred for the family, whom he felt humiliated him when he was fired.

MK Shama said that "every murder is unfathomable, but there is something about the brutal murder of helpless innocents, like these children, which commands severe and radical punishment."

He also said that "all human life is sacred, but child killers are animals masquerading as human beings."

"There is no escaping the necessity of placing heavy and severe punishments on such crimes, including the death penalty in extreme scenarios. Israel will continue to be taunted by these inhumane and unethical crimes if we don?t make these legal decisions," he concluded.

Mk Eldad said that "the criminals in Israel have no limits, and their boundaries have worn thin."

"There is a dire need to discourage the criminals, as every potential criminal in Israel knows today that even if he is apprehended and tried, he will most likely be free with in several years," he added.

The three generations of the Oshrenko family were found dead in a partially torched Rishon Letzion apartment on October 17: Revital, 3, and Netanel, 4 months; their parents, Tatiana, 28, and Dmitry, 32; and their grandparents, Edward and Ludmilla, both 56. All the bodies but one bore stab wounds.

"I wanted to take revenge on Dima," Karlik told investigators. "I wanted to hurt him and everything that is dear to him."

"When I murdered the children, it was him that I saw in front of me," Karlik said.

During the initial stages of the interrogation, Karlik denied the allegations against him. It was only after he realized that his wife revealed details of his alleged involvement that he relented to the pressure from the police and admitted to murdering the six family members.

"The first confession, in which he recalled what he did to each of the family members, was chilling," Police Chief Superintendent Ofer Mualem, the head of the interrogation unit in the Central District police department, said. "I wanted to take revenge and to kill everything that was dear to Dima."

Police arrested Karlik about 10 days ago. They also arrested his wife, parents and another minor suspected of obstructing the police investigation and assisting Karlik after the murders.

Hundreds of police investigators had been dispatched to the area surrounding the Oshrenko apartment in the days after their murder to search for clues. Forensic experts asked nearby businesses to hand over footage from security cameras they may have had installed, since the killer or killers may have been recorded at the scene.

Days after the killings, police interviewed other employees of the Oshrenkos', a number of whom pointed to Karlik, a former head waiter at their restaurant, as a potential suspect.

Police Commissioner David Cohen said on Monday that the Oshrenko family murder is an extraordinary event the likes of which has not happened in the last decade. Cohen said he does not believe the case is symptomatic of a rise in violence in Israeli society.

"This is an isolated incident and I believe that we will not witness such events in the future," the commissioner said.



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