Supreme Court Rules Rose Pizem’s Mother Also Guilty of 4-year-old's Murder

Granting an appeal filed by the state, court rules Marie Pizem had not only encouraged the girl’s grandfather to kill her daughter - but was a full accomplice to the crime.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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Mary Pizem in court, December 11, 2014.
Mary Pizem in court, December 11, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The Supreme Court Thursday accepted the state’s appeal against the partial acquittal of Marie Renault Pizem in the case involving the death of her daughter, Rose, in 2008 and ruled that she is in fact guilty of murdering the 4-year-old.

The court ruled that Marie Pizem had not only encouraged Ronny Ron, the girl’s grandfather, to kill Rose but was a full accomplice to the crime and is therefore guilty of premeditated murder. The child’s body was found in a suitcase in the Yarkon River.

Rose PizemCredit: Getty Images

Marie Pizem had been married to Ronny Ron’s son, the girl’s father, but became romantically involved with the elder Ron. The girl had been living with Ronny Ron and Marie Pizem.

The trial court found that when efforts to remove the girl from the household failed, Marie Pizem sought to rid herself of her daughter “while anticipating the possibility that Ron would get rid of Rose by killing her, and desired such a possibility, even as a last resort and even if she did not take part in the commission of the acts and did not plan how they were carried out.”

The mother was sentenced to life in prison for procuring her daughter’s killing, but now has been found guilty of committing the murder as a full accomplice. Her life sentence will remain in place. The Supreme Court also rejected appeals filed by the two defendants over their convictions and sentences.

The fact that Rose Pizem was the victim of a premeditated murder was not in dispute in court. The only issue was who was guilty of it. The state took the position that they were both parties to the crime, even thought it was not clear which of them actually killed the girl or how.

In a decision issued by Justice Uri Shoham with Justices Elyakim Rubinstein and Uzi Vogelman concurring, the Supreme Court ruled that Marie Pizem could have prevented the murder at every stage, but instead chose to act in full cooperation with Ronny Ron, who actually carried it out.

Ron initially told investigators that Rose was alive when she was thrown into the river in the suitcase. He led investigators to the spot where he said he committed the act. The suitcase was later recovered with Rose’s body inside. A coroner’s report stated that the girl had been killed two months before and had not drowned. In court, Ron later said that he had mistakenly killed the girl while he and Rose were riding in a car, but the pathology findings did not back up the claim and no blood stains were found in the car.

In fact, cellphone records, which were a major piece of evidence used in convicting Ron of the murder, placed him on the banks of the Yarkon River on the night of June 29 to June 30, 2008, where he apparently had four telephone conversations with Marie Pizem. Under police questioning, Ron denied any involvement by Pizem in her daughter’s killing, but the court ruled that his statements were simply an attempt to protect her.

On appeal, however, Ron provided a different account entirely, claiming that it was in fact Marie Pizem who killed her daughter, while Ron’s involvement was that he threw the girl’s body in the river. The police botched the investigation, he claimed, and used improper methods. He said he was systematically denied access to legal counsel and conversations with his lawyer were recorded despite attorney-client privilege.

For her part, Marie Pizem claimed on appeal that she never sought her daughter’s death and had no motive to cause her to die, in contrast with Ron, who she said was violent with her daughter.

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