Haifa Man Charged With Two Murders, Rape and Arson

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Murder suspect Fyodor Beshnery in court on Monday.
Murder suspect Fyodor Beshnery in court on Monday.Credit: Rami Shllush

Haifa resident Fyodor Beshnery was charged on Monday with two murders, one rape and arson. Beshnery, who pleaded innocent, is accused of two cases of murdering women, raping one of them and torching their apartments. One murder took place on June 14, 2013 in Haifa and the other in Ashdod on March 7.

Beshnery, 26, is represented by Alon Nesher of the public defense, who said his client denies the charges, and adds that the defense has yet to receive the investigative materials. Beshnery’s remand has been extended.

According to the charges, in the Haifa case three years ago, the woman, born in 1954, living in the same neighborhood as Beshnery, needed repairs in her apartment and was referred by a friend to him. He attacked, raped and sodomized the woman in her apartment, and although she promised not to contact the police if he left, he killed her anyway, according to the prosecution, strangling her with a shirt around her neck. He then set her bed on fire to hide the evidence. The fire burned the body, and spread to the rest of the apartment.

In the request to extend his remand, the prosecution writes that the defendant admitted to this murder, and acknowledged that he and the deceased had known each other beforehand – he had done repair work for her before. The prosecution also states that Beshnery had been drinking beer and vodka with friends beforehand. He began talking with the woman about the repairs needed, “then doing something else came to his mind,” the prosecution wrote. The charges in this case are murder, rape under aggravated circumstances, sodomy, arson, attempt to destroy evidence, and disrupting proceedings.

The second case involved a Ukranian citizen born in 1972, who lived in Ashdod and engaged in prostitution. According to the charges, she and Beshnery had a relationship in the first half of 2015, but the woman called it off. She blocked her phone to calls from him, but Beshnery continued to want to meet and have sex with her.

In early March, Beshnery texted her from a friend’s telephone, presenting himself as “Dima,” and asking to meet and receive sex services from her. They scheduled a date and Beshnery came to her apartment. They did have sex, during which, according to the prosecution, Beshnery behaved roughly and hurt the woman. At some stage, during coitus or immediately afterwards, he decided to murder her, and cut off her breathing. The prosecution notes that it does not know how he asphyxiated her. Later, while she lay with her legs parted on a mattress in her bedroom, he set a fire between her legs, which spread through the apartment. The charges in this case include murder, arson, attempt to destroy evidence, disrupting proceedings and theft.

According to the charges, Beshnery sent two text messages from the victim’s phone to that of his friend, writing– “You are a liar I waited for you you never came” to create the misrepresentation that he never met with her. He also answered a text she received from another person, misrepresenting this message as coming from her. The prosecution also claims that he stole a ring and handbag belonging to the victim from her apartment.

Both during his investigation and speaking to a police informer in his cell, Beshnery admitted to having had sex with the Ashdod victim, but did not admit to her murder. The woman told him she would call his wife to reveal his cheating, Beshnery told the snitch; he was angered, punched her hard on the neck and she fell onto the bed. He then left the apartment and smoked a cigarette downstairs, he told the informer. Then when he came back he saw the apartment was on fire. He also told the informer that candles had been sitting alight above the bed and one may have fallen when the victim fell onto the bed, he surmised. Beshnery cried when telling the story and punched the wall hard, the snitch said.

The autopsy revealed the woman had been murdered, though.

Beshnery, who emigrated five years ago from a former Soviet state, has a partner and a 4-month-old daughter, as well as two children from a marriage. Altogether, he is suspected of murdering four women in different parts of the country between 2013 and 2015. The police have only managed to tie him to two of the cases. In the other two, one a murder, rape and arson on January 10, 2015 in Tel Aviv, and the same in September 2013 in Haifa, the investigators do not have enough evidence to press charges. The Haifa murder was in the apartment right above Beshnery’s; it did not burn down.

The police summoned an associate of his; when they were left alone, Beshnery threatened to hurt him if he talked.

Beshnery continued to deny the charges against him during the remand hearing last week, saying, “I love my children and am guilty of nothing. I know I didn’t do it. I don’t want to talk. I didn’t do anything.”

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